20 indispensable Facebook Ads do's and don'ts you need to know

Unlike seo and sea, paid social (or paid advertising via social channels) does not require a specific search query in order to reach your target audience. The targeting options is exactly where the magic of FB ads lies. This, together with a huge amount of users and an algorithm that enables you to find who best matches your offer, partly makes it up for the high CPAs, since you only pay to reach the customers that are most likely to be interested in your product. The challenge, on the other side, is understanding this audience, in order to provide the right data to the algorithm and ensure that your creatives stand out from the incredibly large number of posts.

Where does the magic of targeting come from

Like it or not, Facebook knows us better than our friends do. And it’s all information about ourselves that we granted it free access to, from our personal data to what we like and what we don’t. Everything we did since we first scrolled through the terms and conditions, liking, following, commenting, and blindly accepting everything that crossed our path through the years, helped Facebook collect data to build one of the most sophisticated and precise user personas ever. Looking at the bright side of it, if you have to see advertisements, they might as well be something that you could actually be interested in. Because if there is anything more annoying than being submerged with products, is being submerged with products we will never want to buy.Β 

It can sound intrusive, but it definitely is a true gem for advertisers.Β 

Facebook ads platform gives us the opportunity to target the specific niche based on demographic factors, behavior, shopping habits, interests, and more. For example, did you know that if you are operating in the States, you can segment people based on their annual income?Β 

On the downsides, we count high CPAs and an oversaturated market. This leaves very little space and fierce competition that will make even the giants struggle.

β€œBrands can pop up from nowhere overnight and you can advertise on Facebook.Β  Suddenly, there’s a brand that you’ve never heard of that’s pushing ads and you’re like, where did they come from? So ultimately, we weren’t selling anything.”

– Matt Knapp, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, in an interview to Mi3.

Think before you start:

  • If you don’t have one already, set up a FB business account.
  • Install your Facebook pixel, adding this small piece of code on your website will allow you to track your conversions, retarget visitors, and create lookalike audiences. You can read Facebook’s guide here.
  • Define the Campaign objectives
  • Identify the target audience you want to reach (age, gender, interests, existing mailing lists, etc…)

1. Saved target group

These are target groups that you create yourself based on interests and demographic data (age, gender, interests).

2. Custom target group

You can upload a list yourself (e.g. your mailing list), or retarget users. In the first case, the more information on the list the easier it will be for the algorithm to find who you are looking for. When retargeting users, Facebook allows you to reach people who interacted with your website, Facebook, or Instagram page.

3. Lookalikes

You create these groups based on your custom target groups. The power of paid social lies in how well you create the audiences. This means that if you give the algorithm a target group, it will create a new one, similar to the one you provided.Β 

  • What is the message of the campaign?
  • Write the copies for your ads, compelling titles and descriptions that fit both the goal and the audience, include your USPs
  • Have the creatives you want to use ready, and make sure the visuals suit the different types of ads. (You can check the size requirements for every placement here)
  • Define an ad type (carousel, single image or video, instant experience, all these options are something you can and should experiment with!) and the placement of the campaign (FB or Instagram? Feed or stories?)
  • Determine your bidding strategy and budget, how much are you willing to spend for each sale or lead?

Do’s πŸ‘πŸ½

  • Always make a schematic representation to keep an overview of what you are doing.
  • Have one lookalike audience based on customers. From there, you can segment it by most valuable customers, customers in the past 3 months, etc.
  • For the saved target groups, try to ensure that there are around 100,000 people in your target group.
  • Use emojis to stand out more, but do not exaggerate or you will end up looking childish.
  • See which posts from your own social channels are performing best and use them in the ads.
  • Double-check your copies for typos.
  • If you are operating in an industry subject to restrictions (alcohol, politics, etc.) always check the advertising policies.
  • If you get kicked out by Facebook for a policy violation (it happens πŸ˜‰) always request a review request. They are often approved and your ads will be live again.
  • Creatives picturing people usually attract a lot of attention.
  • Make enough variations (copies, visuals, type of ads) so that you can test and see what works best.
  • Get the Facebook pixel helper extension and occasionally check whether the pixel is still correctly set on the website.
  • Use a strong call to action.
  • Use visuals that stand out, but fit the brand.

Don’ts πŸ‘ŽπŸΌ

Other than campaign killers such as putting the campaigns live and never looking at them again, there are some things you should always keep an eye on:

  • Facebook audience expansion. This needs to be always disabled. It will mess up your targeting and will add people to your audience that you have no control over.
  • If your lookalike audience is based on leads, Facebook will look for people who can potentially become a lead, not necessarily a customer.
  • When working with traffic campaigns, be aware that what you will get to your website is often not the most valuable traffic
  • If there is too much text in your visuals, chances are the ads are going to get disapproved, stick to no more than 20% text.
  • Do not use poor quality visuals. Never.
  • To keep it simple and readable, do not include more than 1 message in your ad.


Facebook stays the world’s largest social network and even if we are convinced that in terms of media diversity everyone should be experimenting more, as of now Facebook remains one of the places every brand wants and needs to be.
We hope this short do’s and don’ts will help you get up and started and, who knows, become one of the spotlight takers Knapp was referring to earlier.Β 

Would you like to know more about how to improve your paid social strategy? Get in touch!