3 Things You’re Doing Wrong with Facebook Ads

Running ads on Facebook is one of the best ways to ensure your posts are being seen by your audience in order to grow your local exposure and increase store traffic and sales. But with so many ad types and targeting capabilities, we’re consistently seeing retailers miss opportunities to significantly increase their results.

Here are the three things retailers are doing wrong when it comes to Facebook ads.

1. Not Targeting.

One of the main reasons Facebook ads are so incredibly powerful are the targeting capabilities. You can not only target current customers, but there are several ways to target new customers as well. However, if you don’t target or if you’re not running ads that are relevant to the audience you’re choosing (Your perfect customer group(s)), you’re wasting money.

We have a Social Edge member who ran an ad for $20 that received over 10,000 impressions, which seems like a lot for just $20. However, only two people clicked on her ad. This tells me that only a couple of people were interested in the content she was advertising. She asked me if her results were good, and I said, “It’s a lot of impressions for just $20, but what was the goal of the ad? If it was to get more people to your website, and you only had two clicks, then $10/click is not a good result. That’s pretty high for a website click.” I learned that she advertised to anyone 18-65+ in a 20-mile radius of her store, which is located just outside of a major city. In the end, she wasted money advertising to people who will not shop with her and who are not interested in her products.

Get familiar with the targeting options available, and strategically plan who you want to see your ad, as well as what you want them to do. Then make the ad relevant to them using an image or video that relates and copy that connects. Some examples of the targeting capabilities inside of Facebook:

Target users who:

  • Are on your email list
  • Are similar to the people who currently like your business page
  • Have been to your website
  • Purchase luxury items
  • Purchase dog food and are a pet owner
  • Have engaged with your Facebook Page in the past 7 days
  • Have watched your video on Facebook

These are only a few examples. There are many more options out there, with the ability to combine exclude audiences, improving targeting even further.

2. Not Testing.

Most of the retailers we work with are incredibly busy. They’re trying to run their business, purchase, stock and sell inventory, train and manage staff, clean the store and market it; just to name a few tasks. :) Because they’re so busy, they don’t have much time to test the ads they’re running and analyze the posts and ads that are successful to understand why or make changes to see if it performs even better.

WIthin Facebook Ads, you can test things like images or videos, copy, audiences, placement and ad types. For example: You’re trying to raise awareness and increase sales for a new product line you just brought in. You’re advertising to a targeted group of people who would love the new line (like we discussed earlier), but you’re not sure which image of the product will capture the audience the best. So, you test three images: One from the manufacturer that’s more of a lifestyle shot of someone using or wearing the item, one from the manufacturer that’s on a white background and one that you took in store. You keep everything else the same, using the same ad type, placement, audience and copy. Let the ad run for at least 48 hours and check to see which image is getting the most activity, for the lowest cost. You can then pause the other two ads that are not performing as well.

When we test, we have a better understanding of the content our audience responds to best on Facebook, which saves us time in the long run as we know what type of content, ad or audience  will perform the best. This will optimize our budget so that we spend less for better results.

Testing tip! As I’m writing this blog post, Facebook LOVES video and puts a heavier weight on video posts, meaning this type of content is typically shown to more people than other content types, like images or text posts. If your ads are not performing well, or ad cost is high, try advertising a video instead. We’ve seen ad costs drop by up to ⅔ by changing a product image to a video.

3. Only Boosting.

I get the opportunity to travel the world and speak to retailers about how to successfully use social media to market their stores and products. I often ask my audience, “Raise your hand if you’re advertising on Facebook.” A few people out of 100 will raise their hand. Then I ask, “Raise your hand if you’re boosting posts on Facebook,” and half the room raises their hand. Boosting IS advertising, but there are several other ad types available to help support your business goals.

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If you’re only boosting, you’re missing out on other opportunities to reach people near your store and build local awareness, get people on your email list to like you on Facebook, build website traffic or increase attendance at your event. Boosting is the fastest and easiest way to advertise, which is a major reason retailers are only boosting. But to have more of a well-rounded ads strategy, you should be using other ad types to support goals.

Boosting can also add up if you’re not planning boost spends. For example, if you don’t have an allocated Facebook ads budget, and you’re just boosting a post here and boosting a post there, you might add up the cost to see you’ve spent over $400 this month boosting some posts. You may not be sure if this is high or low, or what the results were (Can I get an “Amen!” in the comment below if you know what I’m talking about?!). When you set an ads budget based on your current marketing budget, goals and audience size, and allocate it appropriately to goals (For ex: Building foot traffic, increasing web traffic, selling items online), you’ll know if what you spent was worth the result.

A lot of the retailers we work with have a $250-$500 a month Facebook Ad budget, seeing results like more store traffic (One retailer is seeing an additional six new customers a day in her store since starting Facebook Ads at a $350/month budget), busiest events they’ve had and some are selling out of items within days after the ad goes live. These results were achieved with a few ad types, and none were by boosting. So, familiarize yourself with what types of ads are available to support your goals. Then, combine the right ad types with the right audience, test your ads and start tracking the results.

New to ads, or need to know how to leverage what you’re currently doing to see better results? We’ve got you covered in the “Click Your Way to Customers: Facebook and Instagram Ads” training course, which is now available!

Click here to learn more about what’s inside, and email [email protected] if you have any questions about this being a good fit for your business.

Leave a comment below: Are you running ads? If so, successfully? Do you have some room to grow, or are you feeling like you’re wasting money?