Top 4 Advertising Mistakes on Facebook

Top 4 Advertising Mistakes on Facebook

Facebook Advertising has become more and more important as organic reach on the platform slows down. In fact, the average Facebook Page’s Organic Reach has been on a significant decline ever since 2014. This study showed that for the Asia-Pacific region, the average page reached only 1.2% of its followers in 2018.

Bonsey Jaden's study shows that organic reach on Facebook has been on a steady decline in APAC

Bonsey Jaden’s APAC study shows that Organic Reach for Facebook has significantly declined within the past 5 years


Why is this the case? According to Facebook, users are just following more and more pages on Facebook, which increases the amount of competition between pages looking to showcase their content on people’s News Feed. This alongside changes in the Facebook algorithm has proven to be a challenge for brands looking to connect & engage with their audiences. To adjust, businesses have been looking to expand their digital presence on Facebook with other methods.


Facebook Advertising is the New Norm


As a general rule, if you are selling a great product or service, advertising allows more of the world to discover your business. Facebook Advertising is no exception to the rule. Facebook Advertising gives your brand the ability to reach audiences that are increasingly difficult to reach organically, making it an invaluable tool to master for both new and mature businesses alike! Brands and pages that focus their strategies into Facebook Advertising don’t just reach a larger portion of their existing page followers, they reach out to new Facebook audiences as well.

But say if I have a large fanbase. Why would I want to reach out to non-fans? Shouldn’t I only be targeting my main fan-base to maximize conversions? Well, Facebook claims that advertising to non-fans can still be incredibly valuable. For example, Facebook’s data shows that when a person viewing your ad notices that their friend has “Liked” your business, “your ads drive, on average, 50% more [brand] recall and 35% higher online sales lift.” People care if their friends approve of your business, even if they aren’t “fans” themselves.

However, with no proper guidance, most page admins make a ton of simple mistakes with their advertising. This makes their Facebook ads suboptimal at best and ineffective at worst. It’s important to know what you’re doing, especially when your competitors probably do.

We’re here to give you a few pointers! Here are 4 mistakes you want to avoid the next time you’re advertising on Facebook.


Using the “Boost Post” feature on Facebook posts


Boosting a post is an easy way to advertise on Facebook. Just remember that good things don't come easy. Boosting is a crude and inaccurate way to advertise on Facebook. Boosting a post is a quick and easy, but inaccurate way of advertising on Facebook

The simplified advertising controls make using the “Boost Post” feature is one of the easiest ways to start advertising on Facebook. However, one of the biggest mistakes pages and brands make is thinking that the “Boost Post” feature on their pages post is all that there is to Facebook Ads.

It’s not, and it’s a one size fits all solution either.  The downsides of Boosting Posts come from its upsides: it simplifies too much!

Boosting posts is not the way to go if you have a specific goal to optimize for (say increased Post Engagement or Website Traffic). Facebook’s Ads Manager may be much more complex and tricky to get the hang of, but its extra customization options also allow you to control and optimize ads more specifically to your business goals throughout your campaign. This makes choosing to manage your advertising through Facebook’s Ad Manager a no brainer if you are a cost-conscious, goal-oriented marketer (Which you should be!). Click here to read more about Facebook’s Ads Manager platform.

Facebook's Ads Manager Platform is necessary to master if you want to optimize your Facebook advertising

Facebook’s Ads Manager Platform may seem overly complex, but it’s a vital tool to master if you want to take maximize the effectiveness of your advertising

A noteworthy feature available on the platform is that you can select specific Ads Objectives along with Ads Placements to optimize the cost & effectiveness of your Ads.

On the topic of ad buying objectives…


Choosing the WRONG campaign objective


Choosing the right or wrong campaign objective can make or break your campaign.

For example, if you are looking to advertise your content to increase traffic to your website, setting that as your campaign objective in Facebook’s Ads Manager will mean that your ad will be shown to an audience that’s more like to click on the links in your ads. This level of targeting is a whole lot better than just shooting in the dark, which is what you would be doing if you selected an irrelevant objective.

Because of how customisable Facebook Advertising can be, navigating around the Facebook Ads Manager platform can be confusing to a lot of people. The vast number of objectives that you can choose to match your marketing strategy makes it easy to accidentally choose a suboptimal campaign objective, which in turn can result in ineffective spending of your advertising budget.

Selecting a campaign objective helps Facebook to optimize your ad delivery to achieve that campaign objective Facebook optimizes your ad delivery to the campaign objective that you select

Make sure you choose the right campaign objective that aligns with your business goals. The most common business goals are Brand Awareness, Engagement, Traffic & Video Views.

A little tip from us: For Brand Awareness, we would recommend going with the Reach campaign objective instead of the Brand Awareness campaign objective to drive more eyeballs to the page. With the Reach objective, Facebook’s Ads algorithm will distribute the Ad to more people.

If you set Brand Awareness as your campaign objective, Facebook’s Ads algorithm will instead distribute the Ad to people who are most likely to recall your Ad in the next 2 days. Bear in mind that this result is also an estimate since users would have to respond to a questionnaire for the Ad to get a result. And let’s face it, not everyone takes time out of their day to answer random questionnaires from Facebook about whether or not they recognize an ad.


Not A/B Testing


Optimize your ads with A/B testing to get the most bang for your advertising bucks. You don’t want to be spending money on an ad if you find another that performs a lot better – whether that is in terms of engagement rate, lead generation, or even bringing in website traffic.

“AB testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.” – Optimizely

For Facebook Advertising, there are a few variables that we can test to determine which ads perform best in alignment with our business goals.

  • Target Audience

Targeting the right audience can successfully reduce advertising costs and increase conversion rates for your business. There’s not much point in showing ads to people that you don’t expect to convert into customers somewhere down the line. This ability to have a laser-focus precision when it comes to targeting your audience is one of the reasons why digital advertising is generally more popular than traditional print ads – so make sure to use it!

  • Placement

Another important variable that you can test is where to place your ads. Ads Manager offers a variety of places and platforms that you can feature your page to increase conversion opportunities. This can also give you interesting insights into the behavior and online user experience of your target audience.

  • Creatives

The format of your creative content also greatly affects its performance as an Ad.

One style of visual used in the Ad might be more effective than another style, even if the ad copy, placements, and target audiences are exactly the same. No matter how attached you are to a particular visual, it’s important to step back and test it against other creatives to see what sort of visuals really speak to your target audience.

Cannibalizing your audiences


Now that you know you can set ads to optimize for objectives, be sure to keep track of how many ads you’re running with the same objective. They might just be competing against each other instead of your competitor’s ads for a space in the newsfeed, resulting in a drop in performance overall. It’s important to avoid cannibalizing your audiences.

This is because when you set multiple ads up with the same campaign objective, you might target the same people in different audience groups by accident. This overlap not only results in cannibalisation, but showing multiple ads to the same audience can also cause ad fatigue, setting your brand even further behind your competition.


It's important to make sure that your ads are not competing for the same audiences, because one ad will be prioritized over the others Ads with the same audience could potentially be competing in the same auction.
In this circumstance, Facebook will only enter the one with the best performance history, leaving the other ad(s) you made sitting in the dark

Checking for overlap between your audiences is relatively simple. Open up the Facebook Audience tool under Business Manager to compare your audience groups and identify the percentage overlap. Unfortunately, this tool does not specifically highlight which part of your audiences are overlapping (which could be something Facebook could look into in the future).



Advertising is becoming a necessary cost to compete in today’s digital space. Advertising is also an investment, and we all want to make sure we’re getting the most bang for our buck. Understanding how to customize & optimize your advertising strategies to drive performance and results is vital to ensure that your money is spent efficiently.

Looking for help on optimizing and growing your digital presence? Feel free to reach out to us HERE if you have any questions!


OpenMinds HK is a digital consultancy that helps brands penetrate the HK digital ecosystem focusing on content strategy, social media, ad-buying strategy, analytics & more.