Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

Sometimes the Facebook campaign doesn’t work the way you want it to work. No wonder, there are extremely many options in delivery, design, placement, guidelines or even payment of ads.

If you’re lucky, Facebook will point out a problem pretty directly and clearly. For example, if ads are not approved. But there are also enough other cases, especially for beginners also much too much to consider and sometimes "only" everything is just too expensive.

Let us start at this point for beginners in the Facebook& Instagram Marketing An overview to create what are the most common problems with ads and campaigns. Of course without any claim to completeness. Please note that just problems like "my ads are too expensive" are usually based on several problems at the same time.

1. General problems with the campaign

  • Wrong target chosen. The campaign does not do what it is supposed to and completely falls short of the actual goal such as traffic or interactions. If you don’t choose the right target in the setup, Facebook will optimize the whole campaign on it. -> Create a new campaign.
  • Campaign was stopped. In most cases it is because you are reaching your spending limit. Note that you define a limit in the account (within the payment options) as well as in the campaign. -> Increase the limit or set a new payment method.
  • Campaign type and your goal do not match. You actually want clicks, but use a reach campaign? Notice yourself, or? -> First define your target, then follow the recommendations in the ad manager. Two targets? Make it several campaigns with different ads.
  • Post type and target do not match. Especially if you are promoting organic posts on your site this can happen. Generally the post type should fit the target, even if you don’t place an ad. But if you want traffic, for example, and use an image post with link in the text m, there will not be much out of it. -> First select the target in the Ad Manager and then follow the format recommendations from Facebook.
  • Campaign is not delivered. Also falls into the category where there can be 100 causes. Unfortunately you have to go through this post completely. -> If Facebook doesn’t give you a hint, check once your target audience (see below), as well as the bidding strategy. This is a good start.
  • Campaign gets more expensive over time. As a rule, the frequency (the number of times users see your ads) slowly increases, and thus at some point the performance decreases. -> Use new ad media, update and reset campaign. Do not run a campaign for weeks/months.
  • Campaign becomes more expensive over time. If the target group is too small (see below), the campaign will eventually be exhausted. -> Adjust target group.
  • Same campaign activated again and suddenly worse performance. It can also be that the performance is influenced by the environment. That means others are bidding on the same target group. -> Just because the campaign cost x€ this week, you should not expect it to be the same next week.
  • Facebook Ads are costing you too much Campaign deactivates too quickly, because the price was too high. Then Facebook has no chance to optimize this campaign. Facebook itself says that it will pay off after 50 events (clicks, conversions… ). -> Reactivate campaign and give Facebook a little more time.
  • Target page is not optimized for smartphones / very slow. Most of the ads are played on mobile. If your website does not work well on smartphones, this will have a negative impact on your campaign. (Yes, Facebook checks this automatically!)> Optimize website. If that doesn’t work at all, then see if instant expierence (Canvas) is an option.
  • Bad website. If you don’t optimize your website for conversions and make it user-friendly, Facebook can optimize ads for conversion no matter how good they are, nothing will happen for you. -> Optimize website. If that doesn’t work at all, then see if instant expierence (canvas) comes into question.
  • Like Ads switched. You should rather refrain from this. Take a look at the Facebook algorithm or even the Instagram algorithm and then consider whether you want to spend money on lots of followers or use the money directly to run regular ads and increase the reach of your posts. -> Don’t do Like Ads ;)

2. Target groups, placements and everything in the ad set

  • Target group too small. Targeting is great, but if at some point your target audience is only a few thousand people, your campaign will not be delivered and will be more expensive because Facebook has little room to maneuver. -> As a beginner, you can go by the indicator (links in Ad Manager) within the ads.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Facebook Ads cost too much because your Have multiple campaigns/ad sets with similar audiences. Then there will be overlaps in the auction, which means that you will drive your price up yourself. -> Check target group overlap. With target audiences saved, it’s easy to do in Business Manager.
  • Wrong placement. For beginners the automatic placement is not so bad at all. Only when you know a little better you should adjust them. -> View and edit placements.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Strange likes and comments. People often complain that there are "fake likes" and "fake comments" under ads and that this is all for naught after all. This is not true. As a rule, you do not have a reasonable targeting set then. Do not use the "Boost Button" on the page, here you only make suggestions and no exclusions. -> In the Ad Manager set your target group to Germany (explicitly to people who live here) and the language to German and the problem is solved.
  • Jobs& Targeting. Facebook thinks you’re advertising a post because of a few keywords, limiting your targeting options. -> If it’s not a post: adjust wording, repost it. Usually goes faster than the contradiction. If it is a job: accept that you don’t have all the options. You can’t discriminate when advertising for jobs says the law, Facebook is just implementing that.
  • Too many targeting restrictions. You can define a lot of factors in your targeting, if these are all mandatory elements, your target group will be very small. For example, "Interest in AllFacebook AND Futurebiz AND Thomashutter …"> Less combination, so that the target group does not have to fulfill everything but only one criterion. (Using the example then "Interested in AllFacebook OR Futurebiz …)

Beginner Tips:

  • Defining better target groups. Target audiences are really important, definitely put some more thought into it. (Where are my customers? = Location Targeting. Who is my customer? What are the characteristics? Younger? Older? Interests? What language is spoken? – You can try it out very well with Audience Insights. The Relevance Score gives you a good indication.
  • Use "LookALike Audience. Especially if you have problems with too small target groups, this is worth a try. With LookALike Audiences you create a target group on a database (pixel, upload, interactions) that is similar, but not the same, to the existing target group.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Use your most active followers as a basis for new audiences. Matches the LookALike tip. You can use the interactions of your page and create new audiences from them. How you create this LookALike based on interactions, we explain here.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Delivery InsightsWith the "Delivery Insights" you can see how well your ads are performing in the Facebook auction system. This will help you analyze and better understand all the points mentioned here.
  • Continuous optimization. Start the campaign once with X€ behind it and then wonder at the end why it was not so good is not a good tactic. Depending on your budget you should check it daily or continuously. No time for it? Create automatic rules for Facebook Ads that send you a notification.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Install pixel. The Facebook Pixel helps you in so many places. Start with the optimization on the conversion, instead of clicks up to Custom Audiences. This article explains the Facebook Pixel.
  • Test new formats. You can’t run only link post ads forever. Also test new things! Either a new placement like a Facebook Story Ad or Instagram Story Ad or even an Instant Expierence.

3. Problems with the ad itself

  • Your ad is not appealing. Then Facebook is really not to blame. -> Invest more time in the design of the ads.
  • Only one ad set. Result in Facebook having no room for optimization. Everyone must see this single ad no matter how bad it is not. -> Always use multiple motifs and texts.
  • The ad theme is not approved. In most cases this is a violation of Facebook’s guidelines. In the notification of Facebook you can object to it. Mostly helps only a little> It is quicker if you change the motif and set it again.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Too much text in the image. Facebook does not like text in the image. There used to be a 20% rules, this is now much more dynamic. -> Remember: if you have a lot of text in the image, it will affect your performance very negatively. Details can be found here.
  • Instant Expierence Editor does not work properly. Problems often occur when you copy text and its formatting into the editor. -> Remove entire element, re-paste and insert without formatting.

Beginner tips:

  • New material. New themes. Facebook offers you free access to several million stock photos. Try something new.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Material suitable for placement. Make sure that your material fits to the placement, otherwise it will be with the performance nix. In case of doubt deactivate a placement.
  • Look at Relevance Score. You can see this in the evaluation of your ads. In principle, a quick indicator of how "good" the ad and the setup is. (Details about Relevance Score here)
  • Study Ads Guide. The Ads Guide is your little bible. It tells you everything about the specifications for Facebook Ads.
  • Better texting. The text of an ad is also important. Use different variants here as well. Of course pay attention to short texts, use call-to-actions if necessary, etc… here are some tips.
  • Test multiple images. You have the option in Ads Manager to put a lot of images, use it! It is only one click and even if you have thought about the motive for hours, maybe the target group likes a different motive.

4. Pay, bids and measuring success

  • Manual bidding does not work. If you give manual bids this is quite justified as an advanced user. If you are a beginner, you may encounter problems here, for example, if you place a bid that is too low. -> Choose another bidding strategy.
  • Too many Facebook invoices. You will receive an invoice for every 30€ and your accounting department will find this really bad. -> This will be sorted out quickly, your credit limit will increase quickly.
  • Account locked due to missing payment. If you again the credit card payment did not work out Facebook will stop everything. -> Have Facebook approved by credit card provider. Stimulate payment again. If you are afraid because of an important campaign, then simply deposit a second means of payment.

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

  • Money is not spent completely. Usually it is a mix of problems. Often the target group is too small/bad and/or the material is inappropriate. -> You can try to change your bidding strategy, for example to "Lowest cost" but without a cap. But then make sure that your goal is still met.
  • The numbers of Facebook do not agree with Google.This is a longer story, we come there on 19 reasons -> You can read the details here.

5. Facebook Ads Manager is broken

When nothing likes it anymore? Is it perhaps also the Ad Manager. You can check the status here:

Problems with facebook& instagram ads: the most common mistakes and their solution

If nothing works: Get help. Try it with a professional who can really do it, before you decide for yourself that Facebook& Instagram Ads bring nix. There are workshops and also conferences, from us and from others.

As I said, this list is not exhaustive. For advanced users, there are definitely other solutions for the various points, and of course there are often other causes as well. Help us with pleasure the list with tips& Tricks to expand.

PS: If you have questions or problems and write this in the comments, give as many details as possible. Something like … "My campaign is not running, Facebook is dumb. What can I do?" … just can’t really be answered.

PS2: Check the Facebook help first! Then ask … we are not the Facebook Support.

(Article published in May 2019 and updated several times. Comments remain)

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