3 Small Facebook Targeting Mistakes Having BIG Impacts On Your Campaigns

Natalya, July 10, 2018

If you’re reading this, you’ve most-likely moved passed the convenient, (and sometimes still helpful) “boost” button and have ventured into the back end of Facebook’s advertising platform.

Congratulations. The whole world has just opened up to you!

A bit overwhelming? Yeah, I totally understand.

From choosing the right ad type to the ad construction, the sheer amount of options you have to choose from can be confusing at best. Despite the platform’s fairly intuitive UI, it is still easy to make some small mistakes that could have BIG consequences.

Lucky for you we have identified three of the most common mistakes people make when setting up their Facebook ads, so you can avoid them and *hopefully* go on to take over the Facebook world!

#1: Focusing More on “Interests” Than On “Behaviors.”

The number of hyper-specific interests Facebook Targeting offers can be enticing. Creating a “customer persona” or “avatar” is easy when you can think about not only what the person likes, but the shampoo they use, the coffee they poured into their Etsy-shop mug, and even the type of toilet paper they buy for their second-floor bathroom. However, there is one big flaw in interest-level advertising. Interests are not always the most reliable data source.

We can easily demonstrate this point with a small exercise. Be sure you are logged into Facebook, then click THIS LINK→ https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences/edit/

This is what Facebook thinks you’re interested in. How many of these are accurate? Yeah, that ’s what I thought. While Facebook is fantastic at tracking our interactions, it doesn’t always seem to hit our true interests. Even worse, if you work in an industry like me, your searches can be more client-focused than personally-focused making your interests, and the ads you are delivered completely irrelevant!

While interests can still be a useful way to expand your audience pool and reach valuable potential customers, the surefire way to reach the people you want is through behavioral targeting.

Behaviors get to the core of what you do, not just what you like. 18-yr old Mikey can “like” the Rolex Facebook Page, but has he ever really bought a Rolex? That’s the difference between “interests” and “behaviors.”

I’m not going to list out all of the incredible “behaviors” options Facebook offers; you can just browse them yourself! Go to the “saved audience” screen and under “detailed targeting” choose the “browse” option and get ready to be blown away.

Pro Tip: Do this every time you build an audience just to see what new options that may be available or even to help you think outside of the usual box.

 

#2: Not Selecting “Living In” When Specifying Location

This is a tiny mistake that I see even the best Facebook Advertisers make. When creating a new audience, there is a small drop-down menu to the left of the map that allows you to choose to target “everyone in this location” or just “people living in” this location. Go back and forth between these options, and most likely you will see a drastic adjustment in your audience size, especially if you are advertising in a big city and/or vacation destination.

Where choosing “everybody in this location” can work for events, restaurants, local attractions, etc. there are many instances where NOT specifying this can greatly hinder your campaign and improperly allocate your spend. Imagine delivering lead generation ads for a local dentist in Atlanta to a tourist visiting from New York! Many times people don’t research before filling out that handy Lead Form, and before you know it, the campaign that brought in 30 leads in one day only yielded around 10 viable candidates. Yikes! The client’s money was wasted and even worse, they were inundated with bad leads causing them to question your marketing skills.

 

#3: Focusing on Affluent Interests Rather Than Affluent Zip Codes

Getting to that perfect affluent audience that is ready to spend seemingly any amount of money is the “white whale” of Facebook advertising. Arguments persist over whether you should target high-income levels and exclude lower income levels, or just target people who like and like to purchase luxury goods. Where these tactics can be effective in hitting those audiences, as you saw above, interests and even behaviors are not always accurate, and if you’ve ever worked with a high-dollar service client, you know that it takes one lower-income lead to spoil the whole pot.

Rather than trusting Facebook, take matters into your own hands. The cool thing about this is that Facebook allows you to target areas by typing in zip codes! http://www.city-data.com/ will show you median income by zip code.

Still advertising for that Dentist in Atlanta? Head to City Data and find the highest income zips in the client’s neighborhood and target only to people “living in” those zip codes. Depending on the area, this tactic can work on its own, or be combined with any of the afore-mentioned Affluent tactics. You’ll be surprised how quickly your leads improve!

The usability of the Facebook ads platform makes it easy for anyone to run ads themselves, but as you saw above, there are a lot of little tricks you need to know to have truly consistently successful campaigns.

If you’d like to request a Facebook Ads audit and get feedback from us about ways to improve your campaign or if you’re a business owner that doesn’t have the time to comb through all of these tiny ad complexities, no sweat! Just follow THIS LINK, we’d be happy to set up a call.

Happy Advertising!

 

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