As an experienced social media strategist and an expert digital marketer, I have helped a lot of clients drive their business forward through social media marketing.  Usually, clients reach out to me because the ads they placed, particularly on Facebook, aren’t working.

I usually get emails and messages like this, ‘Hi Hilary, I am an owner of a small online business. I recently spent money on Facebook ads but they aren’t working.  No clicks, no conversions. I turned them off recently because I’ve wasted enough money. Can you tell we what I’ve been doing wrong?”


Does this sound familiar to you?

Do you feel the same way each time you check how your Facebook ads are performing and you are not satisfied by the results?

I totally understand where you are coming from. Because back when I was just a greenhorn in social media marketing, I thought that online advertising is a major risk not every business owner can afford to take. But guess what, I have been proven wrong.

Marketing is everything so the very first thing I tell clients who are struggling with Facebook advertising is: Don’t turn off your ads.

Yes, you shouldn’t turn off your ads even if you think they aren’t working.

What you need to do is look into the possible reasons why your ads aren’t delivering, and there are probably a million of them. Here are  some of the most common reasons why Facebook ads don’t perform as expected.

You chose the wrong Facebook advertising objective.

When you started your Facebook ad campaign, you should have had a clear goal  in mind.

The results of your Facebook ad campaign depends on the ad objective you chose.

For example, if you have a website, your objective is to take your audience from Facebook to your own platform.  It is not about making sales right on Facebook.

Your objective should be in line with your goal to ensure success. Be clear with your marketing goal from the outset so you’ll know what Facebook ad objective to use when creating your campaign.  Facebook will then provide for different features and presets basing on the objective you chose. To choose the wrong objective means missing out on the advertising platform’s amazing features.




You are targeting the wrong audience.

If your Facebook ads are performing miserably, it could be that you are targeting the wrong audience.

Remember, you need to reach out to people who actually care about what you are offering.

Therefore, you need to define the audience you want to reach. While it is true that Facebook is an intuitive platform – it can give advertisers an overview of users’ interests – you can’t expect 100% accuracy.

You know your target audience and you should be the one telling the platform which users it should present your ads to.

While we are discussing targeting, we should lightly touch on targeting errors. If you’ve chosen the right audience to reach out to and yet your Facebook ads are still underperforming, it could be that your audience is too broad or too narrow. And of course, we know that poor targeting translates to a low click-through-rate or CTR.

You cannot target an audience that’s too wide because that means you will be up to your neck in competition.  It will be very hard for you to reach the people who will click on your ad, no matter how good your copy is. So the best way to fix this error is to exclude audience segments that do not fit your target demographic. You don’t want to target a huge chunk of people who are not fit for whatever it is you are offering.

On the other hand, targeting an audience that’s too narrow will hurt your marketing campaign as well because your potential reach becomes so low that your results will be limited . if your audience size is too small, even with a revamped ad copy and a higher bid, you will still get low CTRs. Try fixing this issue by including some segments you have previously filtered or swap similar segments in order to expand your target audience.


Your Facebook ads are dull and boring.

Come to think of it, Facebook is an educational and entertainment tool, not just an advertising platform.

People use Facebook because they love the sharing of information and the entertainment it provides.

To make your ads more enticing to your target audience and potential buyers, make sure you don’t use a generic stock image because it will look really out-of-place in a Facebook feed populated by candid updates from your audience’s friends and family.

Facebook users are more discerning nowadays and they can immediately tell if what they’re being presented is an ad or not.

Too add value to your ad copy, try embedding a video so that it meshes seamlessly with other organic content being shared on Facebook.

It is also important to use words that are user-focused so beef up your ad copy with “you” and “your.”

Also, you need to include click-worthy call-to-action buttons.

To make your life easier, Facebook provides a set of CTAs depending on your chosen objective but it won’t hurt to experiment with different CTAs. When formulating your CTAs, keep this in mind: your messaging should be clear, compelling, and creates a sense of urgency.

Your budget is too low.

Many people may not agree with me but I always tell clients that if they want to harness the huge benefits of Facebook advertising, they have to be prepared to set aside an appropriate budget on their marketing campaigns.

Facebook has to be given ample time to present your ad to the right audience and that’s not something you can accomplish in a matter of days, weeks, or even a few months. Do top-tier companies ever stop advertising online or offline?

No. Not ever. They pour in loads of cash in their annual advertising budget to expand their reach.

If you are thinking of running a successful ad campaign on Facebook, you have to have the right budget on hand. If your budget is too low, the tendency is that your ads will perform poorly, as indicated by low CTRs or declining impressions. Consider increasing your budget, including the maximum CPC. Don’t forget to track and analyze ad impressions and clicks to evaluate your ad campaign’s performance.


Are you struggling with Facebook advertising?

Let my mentor Tim ( who taught me everything I know about Facebook Advertising) help you by going through a few important case studies of his own campaigns!  

Sign up for this FREE Traffic Webinar to learn more.



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Hilary De Freitas is a wife, mother, engineer and marketer. She is dedicated to helping mothers build a successful online business from their passions, so that they don't have to choose between career and family. Hilary has been involved in network marketing, affiliate marketing and digital marketing consulting for the past 10 years. Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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