facebook ads not working


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With nearly 3 billion users worldwide, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform on the planet. So it’s easy to understand why Facebook ads are in such high demand.

But getting them to work well for your business isn’t always straightforward.

We’ve been running Facebook ads for our clients since 2015 and we know what to check for once the ad is up and running but not working so well.

So let’s take a look at each of them in turn.

 – Targeting

Targeting is a vital part of getting your Facebook ads campaign up and running effectively.

For a start, when people see Facebook ads, there’s no ‘User Intent’ like there is with Google Ads.

Unlike Google ads, where people search for what they are looking for using keywords that trigger your ad to appear in the search results, Facebook ads appear in people’s newsfeeds.

In other words, these Facebook users haven’t asked to see these ads.

The ads show up in the Facebook newsfeed based on the data that Facebook holds about them. This data will be everything from their age, gender, location, likes and dislikes, through to interests, brands, shopping experiences and many more.

All of this goes into their targeting algorithms to make sure that you as an advertiser, have the best chance of putting your ad in front of those people who are most likely to be interested in your business.

One of the lesser known features of Facebook targeting is the custom audience facility that allows you to use things like you email lists to develop a lookalike audience – Facebook looks for other users with very similar profiles to your existing clients and shows your ads to them.

Show them to the wrong audience and you won’t get any interest at all. Worse still, is having ‘curiosity clicks’ – people who have no interest whatsoever in your services but click the ad anyway.

So what can you do to make sure your ads are being shown to the right people?

One of the first things to do is build out a profile of your ideal client. This is done using the traits and characteristics of the type of person that typifies your clientele.

You’ll need to consider things such as:

  • Age and Gender
  • Location
  • Who/What influences them
  • Language
  • Interests/Hobbies

Ideally, this will come quite easily to you, however, if you’re looking to break into a new niche, knowing exactly who your ideal customer is might not be so easy.

This is where Facebook offers a feature called ‘Audience Insights’ that, after inputting a few parameters will give you a number of Facebook pages that are most likely to be the most relevant to your target audience.

Now, let’s look at what else can be done to fix Facebook Ads that don’t work.

 – Creative

Facebook is both visual and text-based so you’ll need to get both aspects right in order to engage your intended audience.

The first rule of thumb is to make your ad as eye-catching and memorable as possible.

You need to get people to stop scrolling. There are a lot of ads and posts on Facebook, so why would someone stop on yours?

One of the best approaches to take is to have people in your images; especially smiling people.

And ideally, smiling people using your product or service.

It’s also important to keep the copy focused on how you solve the problem for the customer. You may be the best at what you do but people aren’t interested in you, only in what you can do for them.

 – Offer

The third aspect we’re going to look at is your offer.

Facebook is a highly transient platform – your audience needs no reason to move onto the next thing so you need to give them a reason to stay engaged.

If your offer is too complicated or too expensive, they’ll move on to the next post or ad.

So you need to make sure that what you are offering is something they are going to value but also something that will give you what you want, which is the chance to turn them into a customer.

And this is the important thing to remember. As a service provider, your goal here is to acquire a customer – not make a sale.

If that’s all you want to do, use Wowcher or Groupon. You might make a sale, but these are Wowcher / Groupon customers so you’re unlikely to see them again.

When you are promoting a service on Facebook, too many clinics take the view that, as they’re spending money on advertising, they promote their most expensive or complicated service and measure the success of the ad campaign by the amount of profit they made.

However the real success is how many customers test your service.

Don’t forget that the people who are seeing your advert have never heard of you. So they aren’t going to risk too much on their first visit.

So you need to make them a ‘no brainer’ offer.

Something like at 50% off their first treatment.

Note the use of the word ‘first’.

This allows them to come into the clinic, get a feel for the place, check out how they are treated and sample the treatment you are offering.

By the way, never do a ‘buy 2 treatments and the 3rd free’ in a Facebook ad. People don’t know if they even want one treatment with you and they certainly won’t spend the time trying to calculate the value of the discount. Save these types of offers for your existing clients.

Once you’ve wowed them and they can see the benefits of the treatment they’ve just had, you can ‘upsell’ them a full course.

And that’s the point where the profit is made. You don’t ‘sell’ them in the ad.


The final reason why your Facebook ads aren’t working is your CTA (Call To Action).

This is what you are asking the audience to do.

This has to be very simple and needs to relate to the offer. If your offer is to make a booking, the call to action has to be ‘Book Now’. If the offer is to learn more about your treatments, the CTA should be ‘Learn More’

It’s also very important what happens after they click the ‘Book Now’ / ‘Learn More’ button.

Your audience will be suspicious of Facebook ads. If they see a change in branding from the ad to the page that you’re sending them to, they’re less likely to continue.

Furthermore, use landing pages.

A landing page is a single page that relates only to the offer that you are promoting. There is no option for them to do anything other than what you want them to do.

So, let’s say you are running an ad for 50% off a skin peel. They click the ‘Get Offer’ button. The only thing they are interested in is how to get the 50% off skin peel offer.

So imagine what happens if after clicking on the ‘Get Offer’ button, they end up at the Home page of your website.

They now have to try and work out what to do.

They might start clicking around, taking a look at some before and after pictures.

They might look at some client reviews.

Most likely is they will end up clicking away from the site.

Once someone has clicked on the ‘Get Offer’ button, you need to restrict their options to one thing and that is for them to get the offer.

You can wow them with the before and after pictures and customer testimonials in the conformation emails – ONCE THEY’VE BOOKED IN FOR THE OFFER!

So, these are the 4 main things to work on to make sure your Facebook Ads work. Get on top of your targeting, creative, offer and call to action and you won’t go far wrong.