Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Working

So you’ve spent a great deal of time and a decent investment on Facebook Ads. That’s great, as the Facebook Ads Manager platform is a fantastic medium for expanding your customer base and happens to be the first platform I’d suggest.

But is it working? 

If your efforts are proving futile and you’re finding that your Facebook ads aren’t working, there may be a few specific things to blame. Let’s dive into some of the leading mistakes that people make when it comes to their ads.

From here you should be able to determine if one of these easy slip ups is causing your set back. And don’t worry, I’m here to give you some actionable fixes too.


Mistake #1 – You don’t know what you’re advertising 

Advertising isn’t as simple as posting an ad and waiting for the dollar signs to roll in. In all actuality, it’s much, much more than that. And though the Facebook Ads platform has a rep for being simple and easy (which it is), a strategy is still required in order for your campaign to be successful. 

So to start, think about your goals. What do you want your ad campaign to achieve? An increase in sales? Email list sign ups? Digital downloads?

Great! From here, you need to choose the type of Facebook Ad Objective for your specific goal. They offer 6 broad objectives:

  1. Build brand awareness
  2. Promote your app
  3. Grow sales online
  4. Increase local sales
  5. Generate leads
  6. Retarget existing customers

Choose the one which best aligns with your goal. 


  • Sales increase → #3
  • Attract on foot visits to your shop → #4
  • Digital downloads → #5


Mistake #2 – Using a poorly designed ad

Once you’ve determined the ad objective that best aligns with your goal, you can design your advertisement. 

This is another spot where advertisers often slip up. As a rule of thumb, view your ad in the eyes of your customer. What type of design will most closely benefit your objective?

You’ll be presented with 6 design options:

  1. Photo ad
  2. Video ad
  3. Carousel (a series of scrollable images)
  4. Slideshows (automatically rotating images)
  5. Canvas
  6. Collections

You should once again consider your goal when deciding the type of ad to use. Think about who you’re targeting and what you want them to do. If you’re looking to increase sales, you may want to consider a carousel ad to display a variety of products aligning with your audience’s taste. 

If you’re trying to increase digital downloads, a video ad may be your best bet, where you can quickly explain how your download can help them.


Mistake #3 – Not niching enough

Niching down can be scary because it feels like you’re cutting out too many people and causing yourself to lose out on sales. However, the opposite is true. Niching down helps you gain sales and in advertising will help you get much more for your ad dollars.

Once you’ve chosen an objective through Ads Manager, you’ll be presented with options to custom tailor your audience and niche down based on everything from age and location to page likes and general interests. 

You can also choose to target recent website visitors. This can prove as a great nurturing feature, as those “warm” leads are already familiar with your brand. It’s easier to convert people who know your brand versus those who don’t. 

It’s like baking a cake from scratch vs using a box mix. A box mix is definitely simpler and less labor intensive, because the bones are already there.


Mistake #4 – Running too many ads 

When you first start advertising with Facebook, it can be tempting to go all out. The idea of increasing sales is just so sweet! However, it’s a great idea to start small. 

Starting small will allow you to tweak and edit your ads based on their success without first blowing your entire advertising budget. If you run wild right out of the gate, you could see your ad budget hit zero and have nothing to show for it. 

Start small, and build over time. Once you have measurable results, you can set future ads accordingly. This will help you maximize your ad spend and get the most bang for your buck.


Mistake #5 – Your ad is breaking rules

Possibly the easiest mistake to make of all: breaking an advertising rule. 

Facebook advertising comes with quite a comprehensive list of guidelines and rules. These are a must-follow, as breaking any singular guideline can result in a rejected ad. Too many violations, and your account could get shut down.

It’s worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with the entire list, but here is a small taste:

  • If your image includes on-photo text, that text can not take up more than 20% of the image. 
  • Images cannot be less than 600 pixels.
  • The image in your ad cannot include any sort of buttons or  misleading, “unclickable” icons.
  • Anything that includes or promotes gambling, drugs, alcohol, adult content, weapons, or any type of illegal activity is prohibited and/or restricted. 
  • The click-through on the ad must be relevant to the content. For example, the click-through link in ad for your website should take users to your website. 

These are just a small fraction of Facebook’s Advertising Policies. You’ll want to give the entire list a very good run-through before setting up your campaign to avoid any sort of account suspension or violation headache. 


Now that you know some of the leading Facebook ad mistakes, you’ll be better suited to get to work on launching your campaign. For strategizing and overall assistance, I can help. 


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Yours in success,

Sarah x