Problems with Facebook & Instagram Ads: The most common errors and their solution

Sometimes the Facebook campaign doesn’t want what you’d like. No wonder, there are extremely many options in the delivery, in the design, in the placement, in the guidelines or in the payment of ads.

If you are lucky, Facebook knows directly and clearly on a problem. For example, if ads are not approved. But there are enough other cases, too much to pay attention to, especially for beginners and sometimes “just” everything is just too expensive.

We want to start at this point for beginners in Facebook & Instagram Marketing to create an overview of the most common problems with ads and campaigns. Of course, without claim to completeness. Please note that problems like “my ads are too expensive” are usually based on several problems at the same time.

1. General campaign issues

  • Wrong destination is chosen. The campaign does not do what it should and stays completely behind the actual goal, such as traffic or interactions. If you don’t choose the right target during setup, Facebook will optimize the entire campaign. -> Create a new campaign.
  • The campaign has been stopped. In most cases, this is because you have reached your spending limit. Note that you define a limit both in the account (within the payment options) and in the campaign. -> Increase limit or deposit new means of payment.
  • Campaign type and goal don’t match. You actually want clicks, but are you using a reach campaign? Do you notice it yourself? -> First define your goal, then follow the recommendations in the Ad Manager. Two goals? Use it to make several campaigns with different advertising media.
  • Post type and destination do not match. This can happen, especially if you advertise organic contributions to your site. In general, the post type should match the destination, even if you don’t place an ad. But if you want traffic, for example, and use a picture post with a link in the text, it won’t make much of it. -> First select the destination via the ad manager and follow the format recommendations from Facebook.
  • The campaign will not be delivered. Also falls into the category where there can be 100 causes. Unfortunately, you have to go through this post completely. -> If Facebook does not give you a hint, check your target group (see below) and the bid strategy. This is a good start.
  • The campaign becomes more expensive over time. As a rule, the frequency slowly increases (number of times users see your ads) and thus the performance decreases at some point. -> Use new advertising media, update the campaign and set a new one. Do not run a campaign for weeks/months.
  • The campaign becomes more expensive over time. If the target group is too small (see below), the campaign will eventually be exhausted. -> Adjust target group.
  • The same campaign reactivated and suddenly poor performance. It can also happen that performance is influenced by the environment. That means others bid on the same target group. -> Just because the campaign cost x € this week, you shouldn’t expect it to be the same next week.
  • Facebook ads cost too much because you deactivate your campaign too quickly because the price was too high. Then Facebook has no chance to optimize this campaign. Facebook itself says that it only took effect after 50 events (clicks, conversions …). -> Activate the campaign again and give Facebook a little more time.
  • A landing page is not optimized for smartphones / very slow. The majority of the ads are played on mobile devices. If your website doesn’t work well on smartphones, this will have a negative impact on your campaign. (Yes, Facebook checks this automatically!) -> Optimize website
  • Bad website. If you do not optimize your website for conversions and make it user-friendly, Facebook can optimize the ads for conversion as well; nothing will happen to you. -> Optimize website. 
  • Like Ads placed, you should refrain from that. Take a look at the Facebook algorithm or Instagram algorithm and then consider whether you want to spend money on many followers or not want to use the money directly to place normal ads and increase the reach of your posts. -> Don’t do Like Ads;)

2. Target groups, placements and everything in the ad set

  • Target group too small. Targeting is great, but if your target group only has a few thousand people at some point, your campaign will not be delivered and will be more expensive because Facebook has little scope. -> As a beginner you can use the indicator (links in the Ad Manager) within the ads.

  • Facebook ads cost too much because you have multiple campaigns/ad sets with similar target groups. Then there is overlap in the auction, which means you drive your price up yourself. -> Check target group overlap. With saved target groups, simply in the Business Manager.
  • Wrong placement. Automatic placement isn’t too bad for beginners. Only if you know your way around a bit better, you should adjust them. -> View and edit placements.
  • Funny likes and comments. It complained that there are “fake likes” and “fake comments” in advertisements and that none of this works. That is not right. As a rule, you did not set up reasonable targeting. Do not use the “Boost button” on the page, here you only make suggestions and no exclusions. 
  • Job Offers & Targeting. Facebook thinks you’re promoting a job because there are a few keywords, which limits your targeting options. -> If it is not a position: adjust wording, readjust. Usually goes faster than the contradiction. If it’s a job: accept that you don’t have all the options. You must not discriminate when advertising for job advertisements, says the legislator, Facebook only implements this.
  • Too many targeting restrictions. You can set a lot of factors in your targeting; if these are all mandatory elements, your target group will be very small. 

Also Read – Advantage & Disadvantage of Facebook Ads

Beginners tips:

  • Define better target groups. The target groups are really important, so do a few more thoughts. (Where are my customers? = Location targeting. Who is my customer? What are the characteristics? Younger? Older? Interests? Which language is spoken? – You can try it out very well with the Audience Insights.  The relevance score gives you a good indication.
  • Use “Look A Like Audience”. It is worth trying if you have problems with target groups that are too small. With Lookalike Audiences, you create a target group on a database (pixel, upload, interactions) that is similar, but not the same, to the existing target group.

  • Use your most active followers as the basis for new target groups. Fits the Look A Like tip. You can use the interactions on your side and create new target groups from it. We explain how you create this Look A Like based on interactions here.
  • Delivery Insights With the “Delivery Insights” you can see how well your ads are doing in the Facebook auction system. This helps you to analyze and understand all the points mentioned here.
  • Ongoing optimization. Once the campaign starts with X € behind it and then wondering why it was not so good is not a good tactic. Depending on your budget, you should check it daily or continuously. No time for that? Create automatic rules for Facebook Ads that send you a notification.
  • Install pixels. The Facebook Pixel helps you in so many places. I am starting with optimizing for conversion instead of clicks to custom audiences.
  • Test new formats. You can’t just post link post ads forever. Also, try something new! Either a new placement like a Facebook story ad or Instagram story ad or just an instant experience.

3. Problems with the advertisement itself

  • Your ad is not appealing. Then Facebook is really not to blame. -> invest more time in the design of the advertisements.
  • Only one advertising medium posted. As a result, Facebook has no room for optimization. Everyone must see this single ad, no matter how bad it doesn’t. -> Always uses multiple motifs and texts.
  • The creative is not approved. Then there is usually a violation of the guidelines of Facebook. You can object to this in the notification from Facebook. Usually helps only a little -> It is faster if you change the motif and reset it.

  • Too much text in the picture. Facebook doesn’t like the text in the picture. There used to be a 20% rule, but it is now much more dynamic. -> Remember: if you have a lot of text in the picture, this will have a very negative impact on your performance. 
  • Instant Experience Editor is not working properly. Problems often arise when your text and its formatting are copied into the editor. -> Remove the entire element, insert it again and insert it without formatting.

Beginners tips:

  • New material. New motifs. Facebook offers you free access to several million stock photos. Try something new.
  • Material suitable for placement. Make sure that your material fits the placement. Otherwise, it won’t work with the performance. If in doubt, deactivate a placement.
  • View relevance scoreYou can see this in the evaluation of your ads. In principle, a quick indicator of how “good” the display and the setup is. 
  • Better texting. The text of an advertisement is also important. Use different variants here too. Of course, pay attention to short texts, use call-to-actions if necessary, etc
  • Test several pictures. You have the option to upload a lot of images in the Ads Manager, use that! It is just a click, and even if you have spent hours thinking about the motif, the target group might like a different motif.

4. Payment, bids and success measurement

  • Manual bid doesn’t work. If you enter manual bids, this is quite justified as an advanced user. As a beginner, problems can arise where, for example, because you place a bid that is too low. -> Select another bid strategy.
  • Too many Facebook bills. You will receive an invoice for every € 30, and your bookkeeping will find it really bad. -> This settles quickly, your budget increases quickly.
  • Account blocked due to missing payment. If you failed to pay the credit card again, Facebook would stop everything. -> Have it approved by the credit card provider Facebook. Encourage payment again. If you are afraid of an important campaign and then just add a second form of payment.
  • Money is not spent entirely. Usually, it’s a mix of problems. The target group is often too small/bad and /, or the material is unsuitable. -> You can try changing your bid strategy, for example at “Lowest cost” but without a cap. But then make sure that your goal is still achieved.

If nothing works: get help. Try it with a professional who can really do it before you decide that Facebook & Instagram Ads are useless.

As I said, the list is not exhaustive. For advanced users, there are quite different solutions for different points, and of course, there are often other causes. Please help us to expand the list of tips & tricks.