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10 Beginner Mistakes & Misconceptions of Facebook Ads

What do Parenthood & Facebook Ads have in Common? 10 Mistakes & Misconceptions

Pretty strong, that is how I feel about my credentials for this article, not only as a Facebook Ads ninja but also as a proud new parent. The pride and joy of our life is our 1 year old daughter, Baby Gia, while the pride and our professional life is our ability to produce and publish effective Facebook Ad campaigns and sales funnels.

It was not too long ago, this past weekend actually, I was checking my Facebook Ads app on my phone every 15 minutes while overseeing mischievous Baby Gia. This turned into a vicious cycle of watching Baby Gia and monitoring ads, then I realized some similarities between the two. Parenthood and Facebook Ads can be summarized in one word; NURTURING!

Check out these 10 common mistakes and misconceptions that beginners make with Facebook Advertising as we add a dash of entertainment while making comparisons between parenthood and Facebook Ads!

1) Impulsive Buying – Overuse of Facebook “Boost Post”

You see a new toy or some cute clothes at a store and think to yourself, “GOTTA have that.” Budgeting time, money and resources while raising a child is very similar to budgeting your time, money and resources for advertising. Occasional impulse purchases is fun and satisfying but when impulse buying becomes a habit, “Houston, we have a problem.”

The impulse buy and “sexy” thing to do in Facebook Advertising is the “Boost Post”. It kills me that so many businesses, brands and even marketers are resorting to this tactic, mainly because the alternatives (Facebook Ad Manager/Power Editor) are not well known to them. If content is really worth promoting then certainly “Boost Post” has value but please employ this tactic with an overall strategy and plan in place, it WILL completely suck your advertising budget from underneath you and leave you with ZERO return on investment.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: The Facebook impulse buy is the “Boost Post” button. It is simple and “sexy”, the satisfaction is immediate however short lived. My recommendation is that at the very least, become familiar with the alternatives; 1) do a little bit of research and 2) follow and read some of the prominent Facebook advertisers, here are some of my favs;

2) Popularity Contest, Part 1: Too much Emphasis on Likes and Shares

The value of likes, comments and shares

Everybody loves a cute baby, right? Cute baby pictures and videos are a great way to keep family and friends informed and engaged with the development of your newborn. We all love those likes, shares and comments however the ultimate goal is to share the experience and add value to the lives of family and friends and keep them engaged.

Facebook Ads are great BUT too many of use measure the success (or failure) of any given Facebook post by likes, comments and shares. True, these metrics (likes, comments and shares) are a great measurement of engagement. Engagement sometimes comes at the risk of not focusing on the priorities like MAKING MONEY, instead we focus on popularity. Trust me when I say this, I have published hundreds of ads with ZERO engagement (likes, comments and shares) that have turned out to be EXTREMELY effective for lead generation.

If you are a marketer, advertiser, business owner or responsible for social media on a commercial level, I hope you would be in agreement the ultimate results are measured at the bottom line.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: Learn about and understand the different ad types available for Facebook Ads. When publishing an ad on Facebook, ensure that your objective matches the ad type (also known as campaign objective), see image below (circles are the ad types that historically have the best ROI for us) or click here for more info.


3) Popularity Contest, Part 2: Too Much Emphasis on Video Views

Similar to Likes, Comments and Share, the Facebook metric Video Views is a great way to measure how much your baby is loved throughout your social media network(s). As parents, most of us are very selective about our privacy settings to make sure videos of our babies are not public but we still love that others love our pride and joy!

The same applies to video views, and video view ads, for business purposes. Video views are a GREAT metric for measuring video engagement BUT it is not necessarily a measure of the effectiveness of a video view ad. Our focus is on viewership completion rates, we find that to be a much more effective metric (as do most Facebook experts).

The importance of Facebook video viewership

Underneath the hood are some EXTREMELY powerful video advertising capabilities, including the building of “custom audiences” of people that watch 3 seconds, 10 seconds and an entire video (plus other milestones). If you publish a video view ad to the wrong audience and subsequently display follow-up videos (or ads) you are completely defeating the purpose!

Video View Custom Audiences

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: Video view ads and the relatively new video view custom audience building tools are (trust me) THE MOST EFFECTIVE AD TOOLS ON FACEBOOK. Unfortunately, 99% of the people that read this article will either ignore video view ads OR not research thoroughly how to deploy video view ads. Read this video view custom audience article by Jon Loomer and/or find an expert that can help train/instruct you on how to do these (or hire someone to do video view ads for you).

4) Crawl Before You Walk, Walk Before You Run: Not Leveraging Website Click and Conversion Campaign Objective

The process of nurturing an infant of watching their first crawl and their first walk is exciting. We try to make sense of their every move and constantly predict the next move. Some moments we need to be more proactive in parenting and teaching than other moments, take for example teach a newborn to swim! You carefully introduce your child to water (pool, lake, etc.) and slowly nurture and teach and lead them towards different milestones, with the goal of converting them into understanding how to survive in water.

An AHA Moment – Digital marketers, sound familiar? Adding a link on a post is FAR different than publishing a Website Click or Website Conversion ad (trust me). Natively, Facebook measures post performance (and ad spend) for page posts and even when you click the “Boost Post” button by Page Post Engagement metrics and NOT website click or conversions metric (don’t believe me, try publishing a website click ad with an image or video post). Reporting the wrong metrics is a problem, A HUGE PROBLEM! If your goal is to induce website clicks and or conversions, you need to implement that as part of your strategy and measure accordingly.

Facebook Website Click Ads

Another common mistake here is click-through to an inappropriate page. If a user clicks a link about Topic A, and the page they land on is about Topic B, well that is a problem. One other thing very worthy of noting, click through a homepage is not recommended and usually results in poor performance.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: Read, study and learn the Facebook Ad platform (Manage Ads in the upper right hand corner of your Facebook desktop screen). Create a Website Click and/or Website Conversion ad. Click here for a description and tutorial.

5) Behavioral Analysis, What Every Action and Reaction Means: Not Understanding How to Interpret Data

Depending on who you ask, you may receive varying opinions on child behavior and development. A doctor may offer a different opinion than a psychologist and different than, say, a social worker. Who do you trust more? Well, truth be told my allegiance is to the doctor but our pediatrician has MANY children so we know they have a personal and professional stake in the conversation.

Analytics and marketing data, or BIG data, can share a story much greater (FAR GREATER) than any person’s opinion. In the hands of a skilled professional, Facebook Insights and Ad Reporting is so very powerful yet in the hands of the wrong person or even the right person looking at the wrong data it can be catastrophic. Much like trusting a professional with your newborn, you need to make sure that you consult with someone (or at least read, study and learn) that you offers your comfort. Click the image below for an excellent article on how to capture, report, analyze and interpret Facebook Ad data.

How to interpret Facebook Ad data

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: Okay, admittedly I am going to be a little vague on this one however you MUST start with making sure you dive into the Facebook Ad Manager and Power Editor reporting tools. I recommend you focus on the WHO (male/female and age), WHEN (time of day you get the best action) and WHERE (ad placements; Desktop, Mobile, Instagram, Right Hand Column and Audience Network) data. You can utilize the Facebook Ads app (#10) to monitor this information as well. Read, study and analyze the data carefully, you will likely not be able to make any revolutionary observations immediately but stick to it, in the long run analyzing and acting upon the data will offer a HUGE return!

6) Hitting a Home Run at your First Trip to the Plate: Timing Your Offer is Critical

Baby food, Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, yada yada yada, been there done that. How you introduce food to your child is a function of the child and not necessarily science, AGREE or DISAGREE?

So many people I discuss Facebook Advertising with want to hit a home run at the first plate appearance without regards for the bigger picture; “Mike, I published an ad for print material I had a lot of clicks but no sales” – SOUND FAMILIAR? Well, DUH, the people you were advertising to do not know you, do you really expect them to spend money with you? Would YOU spend money with them?

Seriously, back to the introductary paragraph, Facebook and social media marketing is all about building trust with people. If you are hitting them up with a one-time-offer on the first ad, well with the greatest amount of respect possible you should probably find a new profession.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: If you are an existing business, consider how you engage new prospects for your existing business and then extend that same approach in your Facebook Ads. If you are a new business, well you have a lot of work ahead of you but pay close attention to; 1) how may people window shop and buy on first visit, 2) how many people window shop and buy on subsequent visits and 3) how many people window shop and do not purchase. Once you understand typical behaviors of your customers then you will be much better prepared to make offers in your Facebook Ads.

7) Capture Every Movement & Moment: Not Understanding the Importance of Retargeting

A picture is worth a thousand words and some say a video is worth a thousand pictures. Capturing the moment requires special circumstances, equipment and the willingness and knowledge to know when to pull out the camera and snap away or film away.

Retargeting is the process of capturing a consumer into an audience. That audience is a pool of consumers that haven taken a prescribed action; 1) Click to Website and 2) Video View are great examples. Once a consumer has taken that first step and consumed a prescribed action, they are; 1) Captive and 2) Ready for Step 2, the next prescribed action. You display the step 2 action as a retargeted ad to an audience of consumers in a relevant audience. Many people call these “the silly ads that follow them around the internet.


Truth be told, most everyone I talk to and even many marketers I speak with throw the buzzword “retargeting” out there for discussion. Knowing and understanding retargeting and knowing HOW to implement a retargeting strategy are two entirely different things.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: The first thing you MUST do is install the Facebook Pixel. Do a Google search and you will find a million and one tutorials how to install the pixel, follow those directions OR ask your webmaster/webteam to install it for you. By having the pixel installed today, you will capture consumer behavior with respect to your website (where they land, where they visit, etc.) as well as video view behavior (how much time of each video they watch). You do not have to do anything with it yet, the good news is that once the pixel is installed it will capture consumer information and keep it available for 180 days!

8) One Size Fits All (NOT): Failure to Split or A/B Test Different Ads

Every baby grows at a different pace, every baby has a different body type, from chubby to thin and everything in between baby clothes are not one size fits all. The same applies to advertising, especially social media and Facebook advertising. It’s an accepted best practice in advertising to run multiple variations of the same ad and then monitoring the performance of the different variations, or “splits”, then making future decisions based upon measuring the performance of each ad.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: When you launch your next Facebook Ad (NOT BOOSTED POST, there is no way to split a boost), try creating two ads per ad set. Change something in the between the two splits (Headline, Description, Image, Anything) then monitor the performance over a 5-7 day period. You WILL be amazed!

9) Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Prematurely Ending a Campaign

AHA, this might be my favorite one yet! Obviously nobody throws their baby out with the bathwater so let’s just focus on the analogy here!

FIRST, every ad should begin with a strategy and objective (as mentioned above). Part of the strategy is defining how much you will spend for the campaign and the ad, then executing the plan. Small tweaks and adjustments to the ad are perfectly acceptable (and encouraged), if the data suggests that CPC is too high or CTR (click-through-rate) is too low then it’s best to make adjustments.

SECONDLY, if you started with a sound strategy but an ad is slow to gather momentum then DO NOT abandon the campaign or ad as a knee jerk reaction. I am guilty of this way too often but it takes discipline to hang in there and do battle!

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: My rule of thumb is if I have ZERO conversions, website clicks or a very low video view completion rate after $5 spent, then something is wrong. I will re-evaluate the campaign and the ad then make adjustments accordingly. I will try this 2 or 3 times and if I am not able to make progress towards my goal I will shut it down, the ad campaign is clearly a failure at that point. In your case, only experience will help you understand best what is an ad that is performing vs. an ad that is not but this recommendation is a great starting point!

10) 24/7 Supervision: Not Utilizing the Facebook Ads App

Not to recite the obvious but parenting is a full time job! The same can be said for advertising and spending resources (time and money) on Facebook Ads. The proper tools and equipment go a LONG way to providing peace of mind that your baby is safe and that your money is being spent wisely.

From remote monitoring devices to watch your newborn as they sleep to baby gates and fences to keep children out of hazardous areas, parents are constantly on the lookout to provide confidence that their loved one is safe. There is a MUST HAVE app available that will give peace of mind for your advertising dollars. The app is the Facebook Ads app, available for both Android (Play Store) and iPhone (App Store), never miss out on any signifcant changes to your ads, ever again!

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS – CALL TO ACTION: Android users click here for for the Facebook Ads app and iOS (iPhone and iPad) users click here to download Facebook Ads from the App Store.

Michael Lucy
Michael Lucy
Michael Lucy is an avid digital marketer with a deep-rooted passion for anything and everything involving technology. Michael has owned and operated 3V for nearly 8 years - AND - has now taken the knowledge and experience acquired over that period and has started an insurance and financial services brokerage (

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