7 Facebook Advertising Problems to Avoid

Facebook Advertising can be a very effective tool — as long as you know how to use it.

Are you making the most of Facebook Advertising — or are you falling prey to some of these seven problems?

Problem #1: Not keeping Up with Facebook  Advertising Changes

You may not realise just how frequently Facebook makes changes to its Advertising products and services, all in the interests of extracting as much revenue as possible.

For example, news has recently emerged that from August 2019 Facebook is reducing the number of text lines displayed in mobile advertising and shrinking the size of photos and videos. As Digiday reports:

Facebook ads placed in mobile will soon only show three lines of text, compared to the seven that could previously be viewed, although Facebook users will still be able to click to show more. And photos and videos will have a 4:5 aspect ratio, at most, compared to the previous 2:3. These upcoming changes were first revealed by Susan Wenograd, vp of marketing strategy at agency Aimclear, and confirmed by digital marketer David Herrmann. The new restrictions will start to be applied from August 19, according to Wenograd.

How much of your message is conveyed in the first three lines of your copy?

Since your advertising images will reportedly be cropped automatically if you don’t change them yourself, will that cause problems?

To borrow a phrase from the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.


Problem #2: Not Paying to Advertise on Facebook

Too many Kiwi businesses simply aren’t paying to advertise on Facebook. As a result, social media adspend in New Zealand is currently tracking at about half as much (on a percentage basis) as social media adspend elsewhere.

Why is this a problem?

Because on average 95% of your followers simply won’t see your unpaid posts on Facebook.

Today’s reality is simple: to get seen on Facebook you need to pay to advertise.


Problem #3: Targeting the Wrong Audience

One of the really, really cool things about Facebook Advertising is that you can really fine-tune your targeting and focus in on that audience with laser precision.

Unfortunately, that also means that if you choose the wrong audience for your Facebook advertising — for example, if you make assumptions about the types of people likely to buy your product but those assumptions turn out to be incorrect — then, unlike traditional advertising, there is no spillage. If you target a specific age group, then you will only get exposure to that age group on Facebook. So if older or younger people are actually more likely to buy your product, your Facebook advertising can either fail or just not live up to its potential.


Problem #4: Hard Sell Rather Than Conversation

Facebook has told us for years that they’re just NOT going to share posts that are self-promotional in nature. And yes, Facebook’s algorithms can easily tell the difference. In fact, according to Facebook’s latest update, Facebook’s algorithm will now “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people”.

Yeah, it’s all pretty clearly laid out: create posts that engage your followers and Facebook will share them. Those are also the sorts of posts that perform best when you pay to advertise as well.

Why should you pay to promote posts that aren’t directly trying to generate sales? Think of it this way: if you were standing in front of a prospective customer, you (hopefully) wouldn’t start a conversation with a blatant sales pitch. Instead, you’d ask a few questions, exchange some opinions and generally get to know that prospect before trying to close a sale.

Too many marketers forget that the medium is called “social”. That implies conversations, not monologues.


Problem #5: Not Setting a Bid Strategy

As MarketingLand notes: marketers often fail to consider a bid strategy when advertising on Facebook. By choosing the wrong strategy or neglecting a strategy altogether, they exhaust budget quickly and ad performance suffers.

There are six bid strategies available for Facebook ads. Each supports specific objectives and has unique benefits. Facebook sets bids for five of these strategies, including lowest cost, in which Facebook manages all bidding and reaches your lowest cost opportunities while spending budget.

What’s your bid strategy for Facebook Advertising?


Problem #6: Posting Boring Content

Does your advertising stand out on Facebook? Or does it just blend into the background, just another easily-avoided sales pitch amongst the hundreds of posts on your prospect’s newsfeed?

Yes, yes, we know, creativity is in the eye of the beholder. But because there have now been literally millions of ads on Facebook, the data analysts have been collecting, curating and analysing – and identifying the elements of successful Facebook ads. We’ve collated many of those examples in our “Mastering Facebook Ads” course (see details below). Turns out that it is rocket science, but there are plenty of astronauts out there identifying the nuggets of gold amongst the worthless asteroids.


Problem #7: Measuring the Wrong Things (or not measuring at all)

As Jeff Bullas points out: Arguably the most important part of your whole social marketing efforts is the ROI.

Did you achieve what you set out to do? And how do you measure that in the first place?

If you’re not following this step, then all your marketing efforts might as well go to waste.

Each step of the way, you need to be measuring and tracking the results so you know if a tactic is worth pursuing or not.

Suffering from one or more of those problems? Invented a few more of your own? It could be time to upskill yourself on the secrets of effective Facebook Advertising.

If you’d like to know more about Facebook Advertising, check out our online training course, “Mastering Facebook Ads”.


In this nine-part online training course, we will take you step-by-step through what you need to know to understand and master Facebook Advertising.

Lesson One: Getting Started

In this lesson we introduce you to the principles and practices of Facebook Advertising, and take you on a tour through Facebook Ads Manager (which is the tool that most of Facebook’s six million advertisers use to advertise on Facebook). We also discuss:

  • why you shouldn’t just boost your Facebook posts and expect to get effective results
  • the key differences between Google Adwords and Facebook Ads and why they matter to you
  • the limitations faced by New Zealand advertisers compared with our foreign counterparts
  • how (if you’re not careful) you can end up competing with yourself and drive up your Facebook advertising costs
  • an analysis of the New Zealand Facebook marketplace
  • why mobile is so important with Facebook (and why that matters to you)

Lesson Two: Setting Campaign Objectives

When you first start an advertising campaign on Facebook, you’ll be offered a range of possible objectives for your advertising. In this lesson, we deconstruct each of the offers on tap, consider how they might help or hinder your campaign and review:

  • the surprising importance of Awareness campaigns for your future success
  • why you shouldn’t just go straight after Conversion and Sales objectives
  • when, where and how you should trust Facebook to meet your objectives (and when you shouldn’t)

Lesson Three: Targeting

Facebook has such rich data about its users that you can use to laser-focus your advertising on the people that you most want to target. It’s both an asset and a liability, because if your targeting is based on assumptions, you might be advertising to exactly the wrong people. In this lesson, we explore:

  • the comprehensive sets of filters available to you to segment your audience
  • the enhanced capabilities that are NOT available to NZ businesses (and how you can compensate instead)
  • how you can reach out to your own customers and prospects through Facebook Custom Audiences
  • the surprising implications of Europe’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, introduced in May 2018) for New Zealand targeting on Facebook

Lesson Four: The Offer

All offers are not alike on Facebook. To understand what works on NZ’s most popular social network, we need to review some of the key elements of social shopping.  In this lesson, we review:

  • The 10 most important factors that consumers look for when deciding whether or not to buy from you (and how you can improve each aspect)
  • The five most attractive offers that you can make, to close a sale
  • The six factors that consumers are most likely to consider when comparison shopping
  • The most popular items that Kiwis are buying online these days
  • The four most-important offerings you can provide that will have consumers recommending you to their friends
  • The five most likely reasons why consumers abandon their shopping cart in the middle of a purchase

Lesson Five: Advertising Creative

By now, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that all advertising is not alike on Facebook. In Lesson Five, we review the ads that work (and those that don’t) on Facebook. Included in this lesson:

  • identifying the most effective types of visual elements for Facebook Ads
  • when and how you should use video in your Facebook Ads
  • determining the copy elements that will work best to meet your objectives
  • establishing an effective Call to Action
  • considering the most important components of the Landing Pages (where you send people after they click on your ads)

Lesson Six: Remarketing and the Facebook Pixel

Remarketing — adding a Facebook pixel to a website outside Facebook, so that Facebook can track the journeys of those who click on your ads — is the key to truly understanding and segmenting your prospects. In this lesson, we give you a solid understanding of the benefits of remarketing and share how you can:

  • use remarketing to truly customise your Facebook Ads for your visitors
  • reach out again to prospects who visited your website but didn’t buy
  • follow up with prospects who made an enquiry or downloaded an ebook but have yet to buy
  • avoid wasting money, by not advertising again to those who did buy
  • remarket to visitors who have already liked your Facebook page

Lesson Seven: Measuring the Performance

Facebook Advertising creates a LOT of data, and the sheer scale of the information can be overwhelming. In Lesson Seven, we show you how to focus in on the key metrics that matter, and how to interpret that information to guide your future activities. In particular, we recommend that you track:

  • who saw your Facebook Ads
  • who clicked on those ads
  • the percentage who then took the desired action
  • the comparative Costs Per Click and Costs Per Conversion (and how to evaluate the effectiveness of your ads as a result)
  • the Lifetime Value of your Facebook-generated customers

Lesson Eight: Testing

Testing should be an essential part of any Facebook Advertising campaign. In this lesson we explain how to set up robust testing procedures for your campaigns and what represents appropriate sample sizes for each test. We also discuss:

  • which elements you might test (and why)
  • how and why you should only test a single element at any time
  • how to determine which variant is working and which is not (hint: it can be more complex than you think)
  • how much data you need to determine the outcome of a test

Lesson Nine: Creating Effective Facebook Posts

Finally, we review the types of posts that you should consider promoting with Facebook Ads, accompanied by a wide range of examples, including:

  • Plenty of stories from local and international businesses who are using Facebook effectively
  • The hotel chain that has twice as many people talking about it as the chain has followers
  • The radio station that has truly mastered the art of Facebook
  • Examples of posts that really tug at the heartstrings
  • The Facebook page that had 247,756 Facebook likes but managed to get 775,600 people talking and 160,000 people sharing
  • Practical posts that get people sharing

This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney, longtime marketer and author of six books (including the top-selling book “Trade Me Success Secrets”, now in its Second Edition). Michael is also the creator of a number of other online courses and consults on many digital business initiatives.

This is an online course, conducted on a web-based e-learning software platform, enabling course participants to proceed at their own pace, accessing materials online. This particular eCourse provides content in a variety of multimedia forms, including videos, slideshows, flash-based presentations and PDF files. No special software is required to participate.

Course lessons will be provided in nine parts, for participants to access in accordance with their own timetables.


Feedback from previous Social Media Marketing online training course participants:

  • “this was the best professional development course I have done in many years” – Mark R, senior Agency Exec responsible for social media
  • “thought the information within was outstanding” – Ed P, General Manager
  • “What I loved was that I started with a fairly rudimentary understanding of social media but have learned a lot – including where to find more information as I need it.” – Fiona W, Marketing Manager
  • “I found it relevant, informative, topical, insightful and a bloody good read. It’s never evangelical, too techy, patronising, assumes that you know too much or too little about digital and has a warm sense of humour in the communication throughout which helped faciliate the learning process for me.” — Adrienne B, new media senior executive
  • “Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this course! It’s been extremely enlightening” — Shayne P, design agency director
  • “Rapt with what I have seen of the course” — Julia R, fashion editor
  • “I’m really enjoying the course – learning a lot – and I know the two friends I persuaded to join us are also loving it.” — Lavinia C, designer
  • “Am thoroughly enjoying the content!” – Kara B, magazine co-ordinator
  • “I completed the first lesson today and found it really interesting and love the interaction already! I am so looking forward to the second lesson already …” — Annette B, public relations director
  • “I was already engaging with social media and have been doing so for about 6 years or so. But, did I know how to use social media in a marketing and business sense? No, I simply did not. This course was a great way to show me how to do that.” — Sheryl K, online marketer

Any Business Owner or Manager, Marketing, Advertising, PR or Communications professional who, while they may have a fair knowledge of Facebook, realises that they need to know more about Facebook Advertising.


This course begins on Thursday 25 July, 2024.


This nine-part eCourse is available for $697+GST. However we offer a $100 Early Bird Discount for bookings received and payment made by midnight on Thursday 18 July, 2024. Pay only $597+GST for this course!

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here.

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to info@socialmedia.org.nz with details of your request.

(The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Courses in your transaction and on your credit card statement).


Your booking will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email info@socialmedia.org.nz).

On the first day of the course you will be supplied by email with login details and Course Notes for Lesson One.

Michael Carney Written by: