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Don’t make these 5 Facebook ad mistakes that are killing your reach

Home » Digital Marketing » Don’t make these 5 Facebook ad mistakes that are killing your reach

Matija Hanicar

Created: May 13, 2019

Last Update: October 10, 2019

We all make mistakes, but when we’re talking about Facebook, there are definitely Facebook ad mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Why? Because by avoiding these mistakes you’ll ensure your ads have a better performance and reach.

Facebook started as a project of Harvard sophomore who, since then, became a global name. Facebook didn’t exist 20 years ago, but now we simply cannot imagine our lives without it. 6% of all digital time is spent on this social network – and this number just keeps on growing.

Facebook Audience.

This social network has users all over the world, it is available globally except for being banned in 10 countries. The country with the most Facebook users is India, leaving the United States in the second place. Among the top 10 countries are, ranked by the number of users, also: Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

56% of Facebook users are male, and 44% is female, with that ratio being similar in all age groups. Latest trends are showing that Facebook is not that popular with Gen-Z, not being among the top 3 social media networks.

Advertising on Facebook has improved significantly since the modest beginnings in 2007. Just 3 years after the launch, Facebook introduced Facebook Ads, an ad system for businesses wanting to connect with users on this social media network. At this time, Facebook provides digital marketers with one of the best chances to serve their ad in front of the right person. Facebook is constantly improving the sophisticated algorithm that understands the behavior of the 2.3 billion monthly active users of this social media network.

With so many placements and targeting options to choose from, it can feel a bit overwhelming. But choosing the right options will decide the faith of your ads and will they shine or sink like a stone.

Each month, Udonis Client Direct serves over 350 million impressions, acquires over 2 million mobile users & generate over 1.5 million leads for its partners, and a significant share of those numbers is generated on Facebook. From our experience, here are the 5 Facebook ad mistakes you should avoid when making ads on Facebook.

Choosing the wrong campaign objective

With so many campaign optimizations to choose from, it’s easy to make Facebook ad mistakes. When setting up a new campaign on Facebook, the first step will be to choose a campaign objective. This step is important because that way you’re telling Facebook how to spend your money and what is your ultimate goal (conversions, awareness, installs…). The campaign objective you choose will affect your targeting, options for optimizations, ad types and ultimately, the results. Facebook is currently allowing you to choose only one objective per campaign.

Facebook Camapign Objectives.

Some of the campaign objectives you can choose from:

Brand Awareness – This type of campaign is aimed at making more people familiar with your brand. It is optimized to reach as many people as possible by showing the ads to the people who are more likely to be interested in your brand.

App Installs – This type of campaign will get more people to install your app.

Video views – Campaign objective to get more people to view your video content.

Conversion – Aimed to drive valuable actions to your website, app or in Messenger.

Still using the Ad Set Budget Optimization

Are you still using the Ad Set Budget Optimization and why?

Message in the Facebook Ads Manager about budget moving to the Campaign level.

Campaign Budget optimization will become a fixed default that can’t be turned off, starting September. If you’re still using Ad Set Budget Optimization, you should start thinking about switching to the Campaign Budget Optimization. Once the transitional period is completed, you won’t be able to turn off Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) for new and existing campaigns.

Facebook has not announced how many people are using CBO, but it’s safe to assume that it is only a small percentage of advertisers. If you wait for the last moment to switch to the CBO, the switch could be abrupt and difficult.

Campaign budget optimization is an option that allows the control over budget at the campaign level. This novelty optimizes to distribute budget to the multiple ad sets within a campaign.

You still keep some control over the minimum or maximum spend by ad set by using ad set spend limits. If you set a minimum spend limit, Facebook will aim to spend that amount. If you set a maximum spend limit, Facebook will not exceed that amount. With Campaign Budget Optimization there is the automatic distribution: more of the budget goes to the high performing ad set. That makes the campaign creation process simplified.

This automatic system uses the power of the machine to learn which placements work the best for your ads, helping you reach your objectives.

Wrong targeting or not narrowing down your audience

Thinking that more people will see your ad if your audience is bigger, is simply one you mustn’t make! You’re quickly waste your budget if your target audience is too big. Your ad will be shown to a small percentage of a relevant audience, but the likelihood is that the majority of those who are your ads shown to are not interested in them.

Data to consider when you’re defining your target audience.

You should avoid basing your advertising campaigns on guesswork, instead, research your target audience and take advantage of plenty of targeting options Facebook is offering.

Think of targeting as bowling. Imagine you’re in a bowling alley, holding a bowling ball, about to aim at pins. Your aim is to knock down all the pins with a single hit. Well, targeting is similar. Imagine that the pins are your target audience, and the bowling ball represents ads. The better you aim the ball (ads/targeting), the better the results will be (user acquisition).

If you have a clearly defined target group, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how, where and when to reach it. If you’re wondering how to define and analyze your target audience, we wrote about it in 6 step guide to successful target audience analysis.

Forgetting to exclude the audience who has already seen your ads

If you’re constantly showing your ad to the same people, you’ll probably waste your money trying to convince users who are clearly not interested in what you’re offering.

Custom Audiences creation in Facebook Ads Manager.

Chances are, the more often users see your ad, less likely they’ll click on it. Ad fatigue is a phenomenon that affects even the most successful ad campaigns on all networks. It will happen when your campaign frequency gets too high, causing your target audience to see your ads again, again and again. It causes the contra effect and your audience simply becomes tired of seeing your ad.

There are two ways of tackling ad fatigue. You can update your creatives to refresh the ads or you can simply exclude Facebook Custom Audiences. The audience you choose to exclude can be compiled based on visitors to your website, actions taken with your brand or your Facebook followers.

For example, if you’re trying to extend your audience and increase your reach, you should exclude your existing Facebook followers. If they’re following you on Facebook, it is likely that they’re already interested in your brand.

You can also set up Custom Audiences based on which actions people have taken with your brand or which landing pages they’ve visited. By doing so, you can create remarketing campaigns with offers tailored to visitors of your website.

Not using Lookalike Audience targeting

According to Facebook, a Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers.

Creating a Lookalike audience in Facebook Ads Manager.

How to build a Lookalike Audience?

The first step would be choosing the group you want to build your lookalike audience from. You can choose between page fans, your website visitors or customers lists. To start building Lookalike Audience, you’ll need at least 100 people in your customer group for Facebook can start searching for users similar to the group you’ve chosen.

Lookalike audiences can be narrowed down even more. A larger audience will offer you more reach, but the audience might not be that relevant. More targeted Lookalike Audience will always be smaller. In that case, your ad will be seen by fewer people, but their characteristics will be more closely aligned to those of the first group. You can narrow the Lookalike Audience even more, by choosing to target only specific demographics within your Lookalike Audience. If you want to only reach Facebook users resembling your current customers that are over 25 years old and live only in California, you can add those parameters when creating your campaigns. Targeting of a specific gender is allowed in the majority of cases.

Choose a smaller audience

When you’re creating a Lookalike audience, you can choose an audience size going from 1% to 10% of the total population in the country you’ve chosen to target. 1% Lookalike Audience will most closely match your first audience group.


Even if your Facebook ad mistakes are honest mistakes, they’re still mistakes and they will surely cost you in the long run. By avoiding the mistakes we listed in this article, you’ll avoid hurting your business by wasting too much of your budget trying to find the right customers without a clear strategy and understanding of your target audience.

If you follow our advice, you’ll ensure your content is reaching the right audience, without spamming the feeds of Facebook users who are not likely to be interested in your brand.

We might have sounded too restrictive, but you should still experiment with your ads. The success in digital marketing is a learning curve, and you’ll learn the most by experimenting and trying new things.

I think you’ll also find these articles interesting! 👇 💁

Mobile user acquisition – 7 ways to attract new users
5 tips to increase conversions using Facebook ad images
New Facebook Ads Library – all Facebook Ads in one place?

About Udonis:

We are an award-winning marketing agency specialized in mobile apps & games. We help scale products that people love, keeping the attention on data and results. Have questions, need help? 🤗 Email us at hello@udonis.co!

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