No one was talking about Facebook advertising when I first launched my online store. I honestly, didn't even know it was an option. I had fought hard to grow my revenue with organic methods.
I was spending lots of time and effort in different forums and blogs engaging with my target audience. It drove some sales, but it didn't seem to be very scalable or predictable.
I started to document everything I was doing on my Facebook Business Page and the engagement was awesome. I'll never forget my first Facebook ad campaign. Maybe I was lucky? Or I am just that good at copywriting, ha.
My first Facebook ad campaign results
At the time, I had a very tight budget for marketing as I was fired from my day job. But, if I was going to take my side hustle to a full-time income. I needed to scale my revenue and do it in a profitable way.
The copy said, "What does you driver sound like?"
Here is the video
I believe I paid $300 and received something like 300k views and 1,000 comments. This type of reach was a clear indicator that I need to figure out Facebook advertising. Since that day, Facebook campaigns have been a core part of our marketing spend and growth.
Facebook ad mistakes to avoid (Top 3)
Here are the top 3 common Facebook Ad mistakes I have made. There are many more technical mistakes to be made. I wanted to focus on bigger lever perspectives on how to manage Facebook advertising and marketing.
1- Not knowing how to run Facebook advertising yourself
The biggest mistake to make with Facebook advertising is not understanding how they work. I personally did everything from building the Facebook ad campaign, making the ad creative, picking the ad placement, installing the Facebook pixel, and choosing my audience targeting.
If you want to run Facebook ads but don't know what those things are or how they work you can waste a lot of time and money.
I was able to build my online store to over $1 million a year running Facebook ads myself. Learning what ad creatives work for your target audience is a key part of understanding your market and growing your business. Now we can do over $1 million in a month. Running profitable Facebook ads is a huge part of that.
The next year, I went through the painful process of finding a Facebook advertising agency to manage my ads. I figured a true expert could do it better than I could, right? I burned through the agency after agency and expert after expert.
Until I finally found a Facebook ad expert that knew more than I did! Here is a link to how I vet and hire marketing agencies.
Ok, I hired the new Facebook ad expert that actually could outperform me. Then what happened?
Know your Facebook ad metrics
We crushed it! Together we scaled our online store revenue from $1 million, to $4.2 million then to $6.3 million. Then...I make mistake number 1, not knowing how to run Facebook ads yourself. I lost touch and didn't have a good grasp on my Facebook ad metrics. I "felt" like my ad expert who was killing it was too busy with other accounts. Do not take action based on how you "FEEL."
So, I ended up firing him even though we had an insane 6X ROAS! Oof, talk about a Facebook ad mistake!
If you know how to run Facebook ads and understand the metrics you can make better hiring and firing decisions. Don't make the same mistake I did.
The next 12 months were so painful, I hired and fired so many agencies until I built a system for vetting ad experts. Finally, in November I was able to find an ad expert who could beat my results. I will never make that mistake again. Know how to run Facebook ads yourself.
2 - Being too romantic about Ad creative and Ad Copy (Use the data to make decisions)
As a small business owner and founder, it is so easy to micro-manage everything. I mean you started the thing right?! Early on, I spent so much time and energy obsessing over the Facebook ad campaigns. I kept worrying about what my customers would think or if the messaging was on brand enough.
I was creating Facebook ads like an artist when I should have been acting like a scientist. I remember getting upset if a certain video ad didn't perform well. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I think. It only matters what my customers think. Changing my perspective helped me let go of my obsession and brought better results.
Test different video ads, ad formats, and ad copy and let the data guide your decisions, not your emotions. If you say "I feel" like this isn't going to work or "I feel" like this is a better way to do it. You have lost. Be a scientist.
3- Running Facebook Ads too early in your business
Every business is unique and different. For my business, I waited until I had some early traction from organic efforts. It wasn't a lot but I had broken 6 figures without any advertising. This is not the easiest way to do it or the fastest, but it let me build up some authority and word of mouth before I started to spend money on marketing.
I probably spent too much time trying to build the brand without running Facebook ads. But, by building up a small audience and having customers. I had a decent understanding of what my customers liked, what they didn't like, and what type of content they would respond to.
You can spend way too much money on Facebook quickly! I wanted to be showing up in Google search engines, have third-party reviews of my products, and get my story out there.
My thought process was if someone sees a Facebook and then goes to Google, I need to show up.
Become a Facebook ad expert yourself and hire yourself out of that job
To recap, Facebook ad mistakes are going to happen. You should know enough to be able to hire and fire effectively. If you can't do that, I would not start spending on Facebook.
Don't be too romantic about the ads themselves, let your audience tell you what is working. Have a base of sales from organic methods and some traction before you waste money hiring an agency.
Have fun with it, learn from your customers and I hope you scale it to the moon.
Do you use Facebook ads in your business? Have you ever made a Facebook ad mistake? Please let me know in the comment section.