What's the first thing you do in the morning? While I might lie to a stranger and say I brush my teeth first, I'm going to let you in on a secret: I check Facebook.

At a glance I see my friends and family's birthdays, the top news stories of the morning, and perhaps a puppy meme or two. Over the last several years, logging in to Facebook each morning has become a daily ritual. And let me tell you, I am not alone in that ritual. With 1.45 billion people logging in to Facebook on a daily basis, there's a significant chance that you too spend some time on the platform each day. Facebook is more than a platform for social connections; it's a marketer’s jackpot. 

Facebook is in many ways a gigantic database. It collects swaths of data that are accessible for marketers to serve great content, products, and services to users who are a good fit. By using Facebook data responsibly and strategically, Facebook advertising is an excellent supplement to any marketer’s inbound strategy. If you're new to Facebook advertising or if you're a seasoned professional looking to boost your outreach, below are three mistakes to avoid so you can get the most out of your Facebook ads.

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1. Viewing Likes, Comments, and Shares as Your Primary Success Metric

“About ten years ago, we would all be looking to measure engagement, likes, shares, comments, reach, video views. You want those, but don’t stop there.”

- Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert & Social Media Influencer

Having a measurable goal when Facebook advertising is the foundation for meaningful returns. If lead gen, purchases, or conversions are your objective, create ads that align with those purposes. It's not enough to track proxy metrics such as likes, comments, and shares. A like is not the same thing as a lead. There are many different types of Facebook ads, which we cover extensively in the new Facebook Advertising learning track, so make sure you're using the right ads in ways that align with your marketing goals.

likes are not leads


2. Analyzing Cost-Per-Lead as a Post-Campaign Result

“Measuring success isn’t as simple as counting how many leads you generated from the ad. When you’re spending money on a campaign, a new metric comes into play: cost-per-lead.”

- Lindsay Kolowich, Sr. Marketing Manager, HubSpot

How much is a lead worth to you? If you can't answer that question and you're currently using Facebook ads or thinking about using Facebook ads, you'll need to define that metric first. Your cost-per-lead metric will help you to really understand if your ad campaign is working, and you can't do that if you don't know how much each lead is worth to you.

To find that out, establish a baseline by calculating your cost-per-lead as it stands right now. Once you've established your cost-per-lead, you'll be empowered to determine what types of ads complement your marketing strategy and budget.

It’s important to note that the cost for different types of campaigns will vary greatly, especially depending on what type of lead you’re generating. Take the time to figure out what type of strategy, ad, and budget is best for your marketing needs and resources.


3. Optimizing Ads for Desktop Only

“It’s very important that you’re giving mobile users a good experience on Facebook at every stage.”  

- Lindsay Kolowich, Sr. Marketing Manager, HubSpot

Here’s a scenario: You're a marketer working on a paid ad, sitting in your office with a laptop or a desktop monitor creating a Facebook advertisement. You find the perfect image or video, and you create some witty copy to get your audiences to convert on your ad. You set everything up through the Facebook Ads Manager, push it live, and you move on to the next task on your long marketing to-do list.

But wait, you didn't check to make sure your ad is both desktop and mobile friendly! And if it isn’t, you're going to stifle your outreach.

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As many marketers create their materials on a computer and not on a mobile phone, it's imperative that you check your ads on a number of devices. If you're not ensuring that your ads are responsive, you need to make sure your ads are optimized for mobile from today forward.


Because 80% of social media usage is mobile! Don't forfeit audience engagement because your ads look sloppy on mobile devices.

80 mobile


The Big Takeaway

Facebook advertising is an awesome marketing tactic to drive your bottom line, but silly mistakes can dramatically undermine your efforts and cost you time, money, and audiences. By keeping these three mistakes top-of-mind when building your Facebook ads, you'll set yourself up for success. 

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Originally published Jun 4, 2018 11:00:00 AM, updated June 04 2018