Facebook has almost 2 billion users on whom they’re constantly collecting data. With every update, post, check-in, comment, and like, Facebook stores information. Because of this, Facebook has essentially become a marketer’s library, where you can find your customers and present offers that resonate with them.

But with that giant database of information, and the advanced features available to choose from, it’s easy to make mistakes. If you’re not getting the click-throughs and conversions you were expecting, there are some common issues you may be having.

1. You’re Choosing the Wrong Objective

Upon creating your campaign, you’re required to choose an objective, which you may not have put much thought into. However, the objective you choose actually pre-populates specific features and presets that Facebook feels will help you reach that objective.

By selecting the wrong objective, you could be missing out on other features that would help your campaign.

facebook objective ads

For example, if you choose the “Brand Awareness” objective, it allows you to select a call-to-action (CTA) button like “Learn More” on your ad. But choosing the “Reach” objective shows you a completely different set of CTA buttons to choose from, omitting the “Request a Time” button.

Hover over the info icon on each objective to get additional details and review Facebook’s Ad Guide to explore how each objective is unique.

facebook ads strategy

You’re Not Reaching the Right Audience

While it is true that Facebook has an incredible amount of data for you to use to create an audience, it doesn’t mean it’s 100% accurate. When we like certain content, check in at places, or share someone’s post, Facebook makes assumptions about what interests us, which then become a factor in creating your audience.

But how accurate are those interests? To get an idea, take a look at your own ad preferences. These are the topics that Facebook thinks you’re interested in, and chances are, many marketers are using that information to present ads to you.

If you see some that look out of place, that’s because Facebook doesn’t know us as well as we know ourselves. This means you could be targeting an audience that Facebook thinks is interested in a topic, but in reality isn’t.

Your Audience is Too Broad

Targeting too wide of an audience means there’s a large amount of competition among other marketers to reach those individuals. This typically means you’ll pay more per click, and likely experience fewer impressions and a lower conversion rate. Furthermore, it makes it difficult to ensure your audience is interested in your ad.

However, there are certain circumstances where a large and less focused audience is ok, like when your objective is to increase brand awareness and not to drive conversions. But even in this case, you should still try and filter out segments that are way outside of your target demographic.

Your Audience is Too Narrow

On the other hand, targeting an audience that’s too small will likely limit your results. We know that topic and interest targeting isn’t 100% accurate, so marketers need to be careful not to target a large chunk of people that isn’t a fit for their offer. If that pool is already small to begin with, your ads won’t gain much traction.

Your Competitors are Undercutting Your Offer

It’s simple to spy on your competitor’s Facebook offers using a tool like AdEspresso, or look for competitor’s offers on Google by searching the keywords they’re targeting. With this knowledge, it’s easy for competitors to offer their audience a slightly more attractive offer. If they see that you’re running a 10% off promotion, they may create a campaign offering 15% off.

You’re Not Retargeting

One of the most effective advertising methods is to target the individuals who have already taken an action to demonstrate an interest in your business, also known as retargeting. Running Facebook retargeting ads allows you to filter out anyone who’s not interested in your offer and focus on people who are.

Without taking advantage of retargeting, you could be wasting advertising dollars on an audience that is never going to convert.

You’re Not Using Video

Video is becoming a necessity, especially on Facebook. Scrolling through your news feed, you’ll notice that a large portion of posts are videos. If one of your goals is to ensure your ad blends in seamlessly with the rest of the organic content, a non-video static image may stick out like a sore thumb.

You’re Using Generic Stock Photos

Potential buyers are usually on Facebook because they’re seeking entertainment. As they’re scrolling through videos and updates from family members, a cheesy corporate stock photo will appear very out-of-place. It immediately tells the user they’re looking at an ad, which can affect their response to the offer.

Your Call-to-Action Isn’t Enticing

Even though Facebook presents predefined CTAs to choose from, it doesn’t mean your ad copy can’t include one. One reason your ad may not be getting a solid amount of click throughs is because your CTA isn’t enticing.

Which of the two ads below includs a more “clickworthy” CTA?

facebook ad cta badfacebook ad cta

The first ad references some stats that may be useful to the reader, but the marketer misses a key opportunity to encourage an action. The second ad speaks to a clear CTA that’s actionable and communicates urgency.

Your Copy Isn’t User-Focused

Take a critical read-through of the copy on your ad and look for words like “our,” “we,” “us,” and “I.” Subconsciously, readers resonate more with content that speaks to their needs and applies to their own challenges. Rewrite your ad copy using user-focused words like you and your. The more directly you can speak to your audience, the more likely they’ll be to take action on your ad.

You’re Asking Too Much

Every buyer goes through a series of stages leading up to a purchase, known as the buyer’s journey. This includes the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages.

Marketers that neglect to align their ads with their audience’s status in the buyer’s journey will likely see poor performance. Skipping the first two stages and expecting users to convert on a decision-type offer is unrealistic.

Take a look at the two ads below.

semrush facebook ads

marketo facebook ads

The first is a prime example of an advertiser that asks too much from their audience too early. There’s very little information on who the company is and what they do, so of course the advertiser is going to see poor conversions.

On the other hand, the second example asks the reader for something smaller-an eBook download. This allows the user to first become aware of their problem before being presented with solutions.

You’re Not Using a Custom Landing Page

Have you ever clicked a link, (whether within a search engine results page, social media post, or ad), only to have to go looking for the offer you were promised? Frustrating, right?

This creates a poor user experience. People expect to see the same terminology, CTA, and imagery on the site they land as they saw on the ad they just clicked through. If you’re driving your customers to your homepage, you’re probably not carrying over those same elements.

Using your homepage as your destination URL also affects your Relevance Score, which is a rating between 1 and 10 that identifies how well Facebook users are interacting with your ad. If Facebook notices that people are clicking the ad and quickly bouncing, you’ll be granted a low Relevance Score and thus experience fewer impressions.

Creating custom landing pages for your campaigns allows you to control the distractions on the page, provide a clear conversion opportunity, match the ad copy to the landing page copy, and achieve a higher Relevance Score.

You’re Not Spending Enough

While running campaigns on Facebook is typically more affordable than other social media platforms like LinkedIn, you may be experiencing poor performance if your budget is too low. A strong indicator that you’re not spending enough is low or declining impressions as Facebook underdelivers your ad.

If you’re using manual bidding, consider increasing your maximum cost-per-click. If you’re using automatic bidding, increase your budget and monitor your impressions.

You’re Not Split Testing

Split testing should be an effort you’re implementing across all your marketing and advertising campaigns, but it’s particularly useful on Facebook. Split testing allows you to run multiple ad sets with slight differences between them, which are served at random to your audience.

conversions facebook ads

This allows you to determine which is more effective, see what’s working faster, and improve your campaigns.


Once you find the sweet spot in your ad strategy in terms of targeting the right audience, crafting effective copy, and communicating a valuable offer, Facebook advertising can help you find prospective customers and turn them into long-term buyers. Be sure to create goals, analyze your performance each week, and pull meaningful data to apply to other campaigns.