Top 5 Beginner Mistakes With Facebook Ads

I’ve mentioned in the previous post that we’ve switched completely from pops and doing Facebook now (with a mix of AdWords) and that I want to share the main beginner mistakes we made and have seen others make.

Having had good experience in display and pops made me optimistic about switching to Facebook when seeing the former starting to fall in performance. Yet it wasn’t that easy… It’s a very different playground to say the least.

The main mistakes were less related to the campaigns per se but much more about the frame of mind we went in with. You can test different strategies for running campaigns, you have them given to you by Facebook itself, you have them on STM Forum, in FB groups, everywhere.

Some are better than others but you can easily identify and test. When it comes to preparing yourself and your business for running FB campaigns, there’s less clear advice… so here are the top 5 mistakes that I found many people make when starting to run Facebook Ads.

1. Not setting up a business manager

Starting off the list is using a personal ad account instead of setting up a business manager under your company. This puts you in the bucket of “not really a business” on Facebook’s radar and it also makes it much harder for you to properly manage media buyers, ad accounts, pages, etc.

Set up a business manager before running any campaign to have centralized control over all your Facebook Ads activities.

2. Not reading FB’s policy in detail

For all the affiliates who complain about getting banned by Facebook, a surprisingly low number actually go in depth through Facebook’s advertising policy. You should read everything that has to do with compliance, then take their quiz in the Blueprint to see if you understand their points correctly.

Even after you do this, whenever you have a borderline ad you want to put online, go back and read their policies. Keep in mind it changes rather often so you should look up FB’s policy every couple of months and make sure everyone who is responsible for approving ads on your team understands this. It’s your responsibility to stay up to date! You don’t want to lose ad accounts for silly mistakes.

3. Expecting compliance to be black and white.

Less people are in this category but still a lot of people forget that Facebook’s policy is enforced by a few automated checks and then manual reviews – neither are perfect. It’s unfortunate but that’s reality: something approved one time can get disapproved another.

We’ve personally had the experience where the exact same ad in different campaigns launched at the same time got disapproved in only one instance.

When duplicating the ad from an approved version it also got approved. This is 100% the exact same creative uploaded from the same file. This is something you have to expect and deal with your own way but don’t expect things to be as clear as you wish them to be.

4. Expecting bug free tools

As big as Facebook is, and as good as their tools look in screenshots, when actually using them, they are very often buggy. Facebook’s motto is “done is better than perfect” and this is sometimes the same as “done means it doesn’t work as intended”, especially when it comes to new tools.

If you have multiple ad accounts under your business manager, you will also see different versions of the same tool, with different bugs. Fortunately most bugs have to do with performance of the UI, so most often things either take a long time or have to be done over again when your browser tab crashes.

You should have multiple browsers installed (some might be more stable than others), save your changes often and don’t do things in a rush.

5. Thinking Facebook cares about you

Facebook’s too big to care about a small advertiser – and spending $1,000 still means you are small to them. This brings me to the topic of getting a Facebook Rep.

There’s no clear threshold for Facebook to give you a rep but there is such a thing as a partner manager that helps you more hands on with your campaigns.

I managed to speak to a partner manager and she told me that someone in her position deals only with partners that run campaigns with budgets of $100k and over.

The harsh reality is that while Facebook is trying to improve their customer support, spending $1k per day with them won’t get you the premium support a traffic source like Go2Mobi would offer you for that daily spend. You will be lucky to ever be able to speak to someone.

Small tip: If you need to contact support, try Live Chat if it’s available for you here  – it beats the hell out of filling in forms and getting canned answers.

This is not a joke – We had a charge declined by our credit card company so Facebook suspended that payment method. I filled in FB’s standard form, got a canned response instantly which didn’t answer the question so I replied… 9 days later I got this reply…


When clicking the suggested link, I got redirected to the exact same form I had already filled in. Let that sink in. I waited 9 days to be told to start over.

It’s annoying and you have to prepare for this. What is fast for Facebook is very slow for the average small business owner, including affiliates. You have to work with them on their terms – they hold the power and you have to be aware of that when advertising with them.

Bonus: Not presenting yourself like a real business

This is certainly not least important and it’s harder to fix but really – if you don’t act like a real business, your relationship will be rough. If you are just “an affiliate doing stuff” you won’t make any friends on Facebook.

Even if you start small, you have to present yourself like a business. You are not “running affiliate campaigns”, you are “running campaigns as a subcontractor”. There’s a subtle difference there which should help you position yourself for the long term.


If you had other mistakes you’ve made or have questions about starting off on Facebook, leave me your thoughts in the comments.

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Emanuel Cinca, aka Manu

My story starts in Lipova, Romania, a town of about 10,000 inhabitants, where I was born in a working class family. Growing up in a family that had a shaky financial base and relied solely on month to month wages, and sometimes on short term loans from friends, I knew that I a) didn’t want to get a regular job EVER, and b) I want to have true financial independence.

Fast forward to my high school days, I got admitted into the number one high school of Arad county, “Moise Nicoara” National College. Don’t ask me why they call it a college, that’s just the translation from Romanian. I had a passion for technology and computers, so it seemed natural that I wanted to get into the so called informatics class.

The 4 years here taught me that:

1. Where you come from has little to no impact on your ability to learn, your skills and their value

2. Being number one high school is overrated

3. In the standard educational system, you are not allowed to excel at something, until you have proven to be above average at everything else.

4. Grades are an extremely flawed measurement of someone’s skills

5. I know myself better than anyone else, so I should make my decisions, not anyone else, and I should be OK with the consequences.

These learnings will be reflected in some of my posts here.

After high school, I quit University after 2 months in… TWICE! One time I quit Computers and Information Technology, and the second time I quit Business Administration.

During these years I also developed a passion for poker. I was a content producer at the world’s biggest online poker school for 2 years, and I wrote a book with a Maths professor from Nottingham and TT, who also blogs here. The book is called The Education of a Modern Poker Player.

I moved to Vienna in 2013, at TT’s initiative, and had several failed ventures together, all leading up to what is now Adefy.

I have a keen interest in psychology and in data, which makes performance marketing such a great industry for me. I blog about these topics, sometimes adding education, personal development, and management to the mix.

Interested in: Psychology. Marketing. Management. Investing. Startups. Entrepreneurship.

Hobbies: Reading. Fitness. Football. Travelling.

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