The Three Biggest Facebook Ad Mistakes to Avoid in Account Setup


With the holiday’s around the corner, perfecting your Facebook advertising strategy is more crucial than ever. But before you start worrying about making the right ad copy or creative content, you need to make sure your account is set up right.

Whether you’re a digital marketing guru or just starting out, across the board, these are the three biggest mistakes we see in ad account setup:

1. Not Excluding Your Retargeting Campaigns From Your Prospecting Campaigns

Prospecting and Remarketing

When you set up your Facebook ad account, you want to have a very clearly distinguished funnel. This means keeping your prospecting campaigns and remarketing campaigns completely separate.

Don’t know the difference between the two?

  • Prospecting: Cool traffic. These are people who haven’t been to your website, haven’t engaged with your Facebook or Instagram account, and have not purchased from you before.
  • Remarketing: Warm traffic. Consider this the opposite of what we just described above. Your remarketing audience is all about people who have engaged with you in some capacity.

Now that you know the difference, here’s why you should keep these campaigns different …

The biggest Facebook mistake is not excluding lower funnel traffic from prospecting campaigns audiences.

Because Facebook is really smart and knows that people in those audiences have either engaged with you before or been to your website – Facebook will go after that lowest hanging fruit first.

Even though we want Facebook to do this overall, with prospecting, it can absolutely mislead you.

Imagine you’re running your prospecting campaign and your ad account is at a 3x ROAS (woohoo!). You might think you’re driving new customers to your site. But if you’re not excluding previous visitors, past customers, and re-engagement audiences

In reality, you’re actually targeting a warm audience. So, your ad campaign results aren’t a true reflection of how many new customers you’re acquiring.

The success metrics, ROAS targets, and price you’re willing to pay to acquire a new customer should be completely different from that of a warm or existing customer.

This is why it’s so important to keep your prospecting campaigns completely separate from your remarketing campaigns so you can accurately measure the performance of your funnels.

Speaking of performance, if you’re interested in more than just fixing account-setup mistakes, let’s connect on the Hire Us page!

2. Not Attributing Channels Separately Within Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook attribution

Let’s say you’re running a Snapchat ad campaign. A Snapchat user sees your ad for the first time on the platform, swipes up to go to your site, then later receives a retargeting ad on Facebook and finally purchases.

As a result, both social channels will get credit and you’ll end up seeing the purchase value show up on both your Snapchat ad campaign results (because that’s where the first ad came in) and on Facebook (because it’s retargeting your website traffic).

When in reality, the Snapchat ad appeared in front of a cold audience.

How do you avoid this?

On Facebook, exclude all other social media campaigns you’re running from your Facebook retargeting campaign.

Do this by excluding the URLs of traffic coming through other sources with proper UTM tagging all of your channels. However, keep in mind that attribution is generally a tricky problem to solve.

3. Not Setting Separate Success Metrics For Different Products In Your Marketing Funnel

marketing funnel

If you have a broad product catalog, you’re bound to have different cost of goods (COGS) for each product.

Yet — despite having different margins for differently priced products — some advertisers still set a universal ROAS target for all their products to hit.

Wrong! Not all ROAS is created equal. ROAS has to be based on the cogs of each product to determine what success metrics you need for Facebook return on ad spend.

Even more than that, ROAS and COGS must be aligned in order to be profitable as a business.

Otherwise, you’re trapped in a false reality of thinking you’re winning when all those purchases may have been coming through on lower margin products.

When you’re setting up your Facebook ad account, clearly distinguish your different product funnels. You’ll also need different success metrics, depending on the COGS for each product.

Some of you may need to take this advice with a grain of salt – if you’re only selling one product or if your COGS are the same across the board. In that case, you don't have to worry about this confusion (yet).

Common Facebook Ad Mistakes – Solved.

Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of Facebook ad campaigns, deep dive into your account setup and optimize.

Need help setting up your Facebook ad account correctly in the meantime?

Let’s connect on the Hire Us page to find out if we’d be a smart fit.


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