Data Driven Business

10 years ago
6 Misconceptions About Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is more important than ever in 2014.  If you want your business to succeed on Facebook this year, you’re going to have to start taking advertising seriously.  However, there are still some big misconceptions around Facebook advertising that need addressing.  We’ve taken on 6 of the biggest misconceptions in turn, to hopefully leave you a little more confident in embarking on Facebook advertising this year.

Misconception 1: It doesn’t work

This misconception will generally be derived from a mismanaged campaign or a low-budget attempt that never really got off the ground, or one of the many industry articles that regularly declare that Facebook advertising is a useless tactic for brands.

Facebook advertising does work, provided you do it properly.  Use the full range of targeting options, and constantly optimise your campaigns.  Of course, a bit of know-how often helps, so consider getting an agency involved if you’re struggling.

Misconception 2: You can’t track return on investment

The age-old myth about social media is that you can’t track your return on investment fully.  With Facebook adverts, this is especially untrue.  Facebook now provides conversion pixels for your site to allow you to track sales and leads from your Facebook advertising on your website, as well as providing full reporting on advertising contribution to engagement and new page likes.

Facebook’s reporting system has improved a lot over the past 6 months, and allows you to segment everything to see which adverts are working.  Combing this data with Google Analytics, or your own analytics platform allows you to fully track ROI end to end from Facebook advertising.

Misconception 3: You can only boost your post to your extended network

Facebook tries to lead you down the path of boosting your post to your extended network only, but you can be much more advanced than this by using Power Editor.  In Power Editor you can choose to boost one of your current posts in to the news feeds of other relevant users by using the full arsenal of targeting options that aren’t available on that pesky ‘boost post’ button. 


This allows you to be much cleverer in terms of your overall targeting, reducing wasted impressions and capturing a new audience with your engaging content.

Misconception 4: Acquiring page likes costs next to nothing

This is a misconception that raises its head a lot, and is a constant bug-bear of agency-side Facebook advertisers.  Because there are so many companies selling cut-price fans that are often automated likes, marketers assume that acquiring new quality fans is cheap and easy.

However, at Datify, we believe that paying a little extra for the best quality fans is good practice – we’re not saying spend a fortune, but if a fan acquisition campaign comes in at $0.25 per fan rather than $0.20 that’s ok, provided you’re getting the right people who may convert and generate a higher ROI.

Misconception 5: It’s better to target a really wide audience

We still see too many brands and agencies using blanketing tactics by targeting just on demographic information.  The appeal of targeting 18-40 year old females for instance is that you get a large audience to hit with your advert.  The desire to target in this way comes from old-school media buying techniques where the bigger audience you could target the better.

On Facebook, unless you have a truly incredible brand, it is better to make your audience a little smaller, but more relevant, by targeting based on precise interests, broad categories or custom audiences.  This allows you to achieve lower cost per acquisition numbers, and a higher quality audience.

Misconception 6: Targeting friends of fans is a really strong targeting set

About 2 years ago, targeting based on friends of fans (or into your extended network) was all the rage.   Now, however, this is recognized as a tactic that causes a lot of wastage.  Take me for instance; I’m friends with my parents and an older generation of relatives, as well as younger members of the family, and friends from all walks of life.  This diverse set of people can’t be completely relevant to show your advert to just because they’re my friends and I like your brand.

You need to use the other targeting options alongside friends of fans for increased relevance.  This does give you a smaller targeting set, but it cuts out a lot of wasted impressions, and therefore increases your relevance and lowers your cost per acquisition considerably.

Don’t Believe The Myths

There are a great number of Facebook advertising myths and misconceptions, but these are the 6 that we encounter the most.  Hopefully this clears up a few grey areas for advertisers, and gives you more confidence in growing your Facebook audience, driving website conversions, and boosting your reach as part of your marketing strategy.

By: Ben Harper, co-founder, Datify
Originally published at

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