Facebook Ad Fails | 5 Fixes

Facebook Ads Don’t Work

Facebook Ads seem really complicated and indeed they can be. BUT there’s only 5 reasons your Facebook Ad fails, and once you understand them all you can fine tune your campaigns and get get out of Facebook Ad fail jail.

Facebook Ad Fails One: The Offer

Your offer needs to be enough to make people break away from what they’re really on Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp/Messenger for (stalking their ex, checking out the pooches in the Cool Dog Group, thinking of a reason not to go to their cousin’s birthday, and watching cooking videos – or is that just me?)

Remember Social Media isn’t predominantly a sales platform so your offer HAS to be irresistible.

Do people want your product or service?

The amount of people who have something they love making but don’t test if there’s a market for before trying to make it into a business is staggering.

Some hobbies are best left as hobbies. Sometimes it’s enough to make cute things for your friends and not try to earn a living from it.

No matter how good your marketing is you can’t sell something people don’t want at ANY price.

Unless you are Wish.

They don’t know they need it  ~yet~ so they need to be educated first.

This is where you need a funnel structure. A healthy dose of awareness activity showing the problem and positioning your brand as the solution.

This takes TIME and also needs good content and a great understanding of your audience and their position in the sales journey.

Don’t structre your ads as a “buy now” campaign to people who still need convincing.

It’s too expensive or complicated.

This can be part of point two, so don’t get too excited –  you could just be targeting the wrong people. BUT if you aren’t; You may not be communicating clearly what the offering IS or the value it contains.

Price =/= Value

Show them testimonials, why your team is the best, demonstrate you align with their beliefs and show up for them.

If they ARE in the consideration phase and doing research to compare providers, give them an emotional reason to choose you.

Don’t assume they know the value of your product or services. Don’t assume they understand your industry jargon. Keep it simple, but make sure there’s enough information to set you apart.

In general brands need to spend more time thinking about the offer they’re going to market with if they don’t want to fall into the Facebook Ad fails trap.

Facebook Ad Fails Two: The Audience & Budget

Audience is so important. It actually should have been number one….

If you can’t get in your audiences heads you won’t be effective in persuading them. And if you don’t know which part of the sales journey they belong to you won’t send them the right messages.

Get specific – there’s so many advertisers targeting the same audiences you want to that you have to outbid them or outperform them. Go beyond broad demographics.

Sure you can bid higher to win the auction, but the better your ad conveys what the audience want, the less you’ll have to.

Look at people who might be more financially able to spend on your product or service at this time and will see it as a “must have”, not a “nice to have”.

Other things to consider:

    • Are you speaking to their pain points or specific benefits?
    • Are your ads making them feel negative or judged and this is putting them off, not inspiring them to buy?
    • Have you excluded people who’ve already converted? Exclusions are SO IMPORTANT.
    • Have you allocated enough budget for the size of your audience?

Tips to explore:

    • Use this same client database as an audience to base a Lookalike Custom Audience
    • Consider sending more prospecting campaigns – Video Views/Engagement before asking for anything in return
    • Try using a page post with high engagement as an ad to give you social proof
    • Speaking to the emotions of your audience


Budget can be tricky, but SUPER important.

I debated making it it’s own section, but budget can’t be separated from the audience, so here it is.

The size of your audience is directly related to how much money you need to reach them with the required frequency.

And FYI the optimal frequency is probably higher than you think.

If you have a large budget and a small audience you can overwhelm your audience, and with a large audience and a small budget you might not reach enough to be effective.

Budget also depends on your objectives. Top of Funnel (TOFU) brand awareness, reach, video views, traffic and engagement activity are fairly cheap to run.

Retargeting audiences are smaller than prospecting audiences so can require a smaller budget per segment.

Conversions require a larger budget – or at least larger bids to work.

So you see audience and budget are inseparable and must be thought through as a whole before you start building out your campaigns or you’ll end up experiencing Facebook Ad fails.

Facebook Ad Fails Three: The Creative

Say your offer and your audience are perfect, but your campaigns are still struggling. Your images or videos might not be getting the attention your ad needs to work.

They MUST stop the scroll and ideally, look like content rather than an ad.

People will stop scrolling on images of faces and people (Do I know that person? Whose baby is that?) so mix in some imagery that could be a photo their friends posted.

Creative needs to spark an emotional response in the audience and be relatable.

It also needs to sit natively on the platform it’s being served on. If you’re using Stories as a placement make vertical creative. Newsfeed? Square. Messenger? Landscape. This is important to avoid the “dad dancing” effect (as I call it)

And just because you CAN use more than 20% text in your ads now, doesn’t mean you should. If people know it’s an ad they will generally just scroll past, and unless your product has some brand awareness already they’ll never know who’s ad it was.

If you are using product shots (in anything other than catalogue ads) consider putting your product in the hands of a model or influencer so it’s more dynamic. Or use UGC (with permission)

Will your audience and objective be best served by video, static images, carousels? Find out!

It’s not always the “best” creative that sells, so split testing creative is essential to a profitable campaign, and keep you clear of Facebook Ad fails.

Facebook Ad Fails Four: Copy

Have you explained clearly? Confused people wander off…

Have you outlined what will happen in the next step when they click your ad? Is the call to action clear?

Copywriting for Facebook Ads is a skill in itself. You have three visible lines of text, a headline and a link description (on some placements) which mean you have to be strategic in how you structure your copy.

There’s many theories about long form and short form ad copy, but for me short has always worked best. People don’t mind clicking to find out more, but in my experience they don’t want to read a long ad.

Your copy needs to get the reader’s attention, engage them, and encourage and explain the next step (click, download, sign up etc.)

I use as few words as possible to get my message across, which includes re-writing sentences and editing phrasing so it’s as lean as it can be while still making sense and being persuasive.

Split testing copy is also essential! And what works at one time won’t work forever and won’t work on everyone.

Some copy needs to be seasonal, and each audience segment should have copy written to their specific needs and in their native lingo.

For example; if people are thinking of putting extra expenses off for the rest of the year to save for Christmas – could your messaging be “book before 2020 and save!” or can your product or services be a gift for a loved one? This will need it’s own copy.

Facebook Ad Fails Five: Objective & Placements

These guys are related as not all objectives have all placements. Objective is what you’re asking Facebook FOR and Placements are where your ad is DELIVERED.


Something I see alllllllll the time is people using the wrong campaign objective. I recently wrote about his in detail, so I’ll just skip to the end.

Don’t run an engagement campaign and expect direct sales. That’s not what it’s for.

Facebook will optimise to deliver your ads to people who’ll complete the goal you selected. Engagement goes to likers, commenters and sharers. Traffic goes to clickers. Lead Gen ads go to people most like to fill in your form and so on.

You need to choose the objective that aligns to your purpose.


Placements also have an impact on the effectiveness of your campaign. Check your metrics broken down by placement and switch off any that are ineffective to push more budget to the good ones.

Also to consider, are you contacting people how they want to talk to you?

Say you’re running a Messenger campaign that’s not performing:

    • Do people need more information before they let you into their inbox?
    • Have trends changed or do privacy concerns in your audience mean people don’t want to message with a business?
    • Are they sick of talking to Messenger Bots and think they won’t be speaking to a human?

Generally speaking with a new client and a new campaign I’ll start with auto placements and see what the data tells me after some time has passed.

This is of course, assuming you have creative to fit all the placements – otherwise I don’t run ads at all on any placements I don’t have suitable creative for.

Stay Out Of Fail Jail

There’s no end to the split testing you can do with your campaigns – but you need to make sure it’s done one variable at a time so you can work out which variable made the impact. This is the science part.

Pulling It All Together

To recap – this is how I suggest you approach your campaigns to avoid Facebook Ad fails:

    1. Decide on a suitable offer.
    2. Determine who it’s for and get specific so you can speak to their emotions.
    3. Which objective supports this?
    4. What size is this audience? Does it need to be broken down further?
    5. Do you have the budget to reach them with enough frequency to be effective?
    6. Next layer your variations in targeting at Ad Set level and duplicate your ads to split test targeting.
    7. Start with auto placements if you have the creative.
    8. Once you find an audience that works for you, change up the creative and copy to work out which is the most effective.
    9. Split test and optimise EVERYTHING but once your ad is running only make small adjustments at a time.
    10. Leave it long enough and spend enough to get good data – don’t quit after 2 days.

Back To You

What do you think? Is this how you do it? Was this helpful to you? Let me know!

Deceptive Objective | Facebook Ad Objectives Explained

Facebook Ad Objectives Explained

Some people genuinely believe Facebook Ads don’t work, and one of the things that often helped them reach this conclusion is choosing the wrong Ad Objectives.

Facebook WANTS your ads to succeed.


They need advertisers to keep spending money using their platform, and we wouldn’t continue to do so if we didn’t get results there.

So what’s going wrong?

There’s 5 major things that can tank your campaigns, and one of them I see time and time again is using the wrong objective.

There are 8 main Facebook Ad Objectives, across 3 categories.

And it matters which ones you choose for your campaigns!

Facebook is incredibly powerful (you don’t think Trump got elected on his dazzling personality, do you?!) mainly because it knows so much about us.

Not just what we like and dislike, but how we behave online.

Which websites we visit, how likely we are to subscribe to a newsletter, add something to a cart, download an ebook, or fill out a Lead Form.

It knows what events we said we were going to, and which ones we actually went to…

If you want to know what Facebook knows about you (ie. what’s there for advertisers to target you with) tap this link.

Now, Facebook has all this info, but it doesn’t know how to apply it to your campaign properly unless you explain clearly what you’re looking for, and you do that by defining an objective.

Don’t choose engagement as an objective if you actually want sales.


Facebook will optimise its ad serving to people who are most likely to perform the action you asked for.

So if you ask for engagement, it’ll serve your ads to people most like to comment, react, share or save your post – and they might not be the same people as the ones who’ll buy from you!

Of course you can re-target them later, but that’s not what this article is about.

You need to choose the objective that best aligns with your desired outcome!

There’s 3 main categories of campaign objectives to choose from. Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.

There’s no coincidence thee three categories align to the 3 basic phases of a sales funnel.

Let’s look at them more closely.


Awareness contains the two objectives Reach and Brand Awareness.


A very useful campaign objective IMO because it allows you to set the reach and frequency of your campaign.

If you want your audience to see your ad once a day, you can set it to a reach of one per day. If you want your ad to be served to your audience twice a week you can select a rech of two per seven days.

This give you a great control over delivery in a frequency sense, which can be very powerful.

However, as it is purely optimised for reach, you aren’t asking Facebook to find you people who’ll engage, click or buy – so these ads will have little action taken, and are more of a display type.

Brand Awareness

This isn’t one of those ad objectives I personally use. It also optimises for awareness, but this time in what’s called Ad Recall Lift.

Facebook describes it as:

“We’ll serve your ads to maximize the total number of people who will remember seeing your ads. To help us improve delivery optimization, we may survey a small section of your audience.”

Example of Facebook Brand Lift

So basically, they’ll try to show that more people remember your brand after seeing an ad, because they remember the ad.

If you’ve seen Facebook Surveys in your newsfeed it’s because that brand has been using the Brand Awareness objective in a recent campaign.


There’s many different ways to approach the consideration phase of the user journey, and I guess that’s why this category has the most different types of ad objectives. Objectives here include: Traffic, Engagement, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Gen and Messages.


The Traffic ad objective is designed to send people from Facebook to your website, Facebook event or landing page.

You can either choose to opitimise this objective further by selecting Link Clicks or Landing Page Views.

Link Clicks optimises for people who’ll click the link in your ad.

Landing Page Views optimises for people who’ll likely land on your destination url.

What’s the difference?

Not everyone who clicks will land. Generally this will depend on the speed at which your landing page loads, but also factors in behaviours – these are people who will likely ONLY click and not land. Landing Page Views are likely to land on your page, but then not necessarily perform any other actions.

Buying traffic to your website is a great way to get people to understand more about your brand, offering or product and to build retargeting pools for later use.


Engagement ad objectives are further broken down into 3 sub-categories; Post Engagement, Page Likes and Event Responses.

Post Engagement

This is I guess the ‘truest’ form of Engagement type. Your campaign will find people who are most likely to engage with your ad.

So anyone who’s likely to comment, react, share or save your post will be considered as long as they match your broader targeting.

This audience may not be likely to click through to your site (as with Landing Page Views), or to remember your brand (as with Brand Awareness) as you’ve not asked Facebook for these actions – merely to task them to find the people most likely to engage.

Page Likes

Arguably the most pointless of the Engagement ad types, as they will be served to people most likely to like your page.

SInce most pages have a low engagement rate, the people who currently like your page may not even be seeing your posts, so collecting more of them is not really the best use of your ad budget.

If you do want to grow your page’s following I’d suggest running Video Views or Post Engagement ads and inviting the people who engage to like your page and growing it that way – but at the end of the day these are vanity metrics and don’t really affect your businesses bottom line.

Event Responses

In my opinion, in the wrong group and events should have their own category – but since they appear here, this is where I’ll explain them.

You need to have a published event on Facebook to use the Event Responses objective, and they’ll be served to people most likely to respond to your event. Not respond ‘going’, it could just be ‘interested’.

These are an excellent way to boost interest in your upcoming business event but have some limitations in placements in that they can only be served on Facebook newsfeed and Marketplace and not any of the other Facebook Ad placements (such as Stories, Instagram newsfeed etc.)

If you strategy is to grow your page engagement or following, the Engagement ad objective is fairly effective, and can also work well as part of a wider strategy as you can re-target people who’ve engaged with your page or event with a different ad objective in a subsequent campaign.

App Installs

This ad objective is only relevant to you if you’re advertising an app. If you are, check out some info on Blueprint.

If you need someone to help you with this type of campaigns, check they’ve done it before – its a bit different so you’ll want someone with this specific experience.

The rest of us probably won’t ever use this ad objective, so we’ll move on.

Video Views

There could probably be a whole article about this ad objective!

Video Views are served to those most likely to watch your video. Currently you can choose to use the 2-Second Continuous Video Views or ThruPlay.

2-Second Continuous Video Views

This is optimised to serve to people most likely to view 2 seconds of your video. How do they work it out?

Here’s what Facebook’s documentation on it says:

“The metric counts when your video was played for 2 continuous seconds or more. Most 2-second continuous video views will have at least 50% of the video pixels in view. In some cases, such as when part of the screen is obscured by a system or app overlay (due to user behavior like sharing, saving or receiving a notification) less than 50% of a video’s pixels may be in view.”

Doesn’t seem like much, huh? 2 seconds of a potentially obstructed “view”.


ThruPlay is a bit more meaty.

“ThruPlay allows advertisers to optimize and choose to pay only for ads that are played to completion, or for at least 15 seconds.”

Either way you optimise your ad delivery, Video Views are a way to get your content SEEN.

If you have a great how-to video with a CTA these work well, but I tend to find unless the video content is really compelling this objective works as top of funnel (TOFU) activity only.

The same people who’ll passively watch a video aren’t necessarily the same people who’ll click for more info or buy something straight away, but this makes it an excellent way to cheaply get people to find out more about your product or service – and quite cheaply too!

This is especially true when you use placements where video consumption is standard, like Facebook Video Feed, Facebook, Instagram & Messenger Stories (providing you have vertical creative) and Audience Network Rewarded video.

Try using the Video Views ad objective to a cold audience and then re-targeting to people who’ve watched 75% or 95% of the video.

I’d suggest also looking at your view-through rates by exporting your ad metrics to see where you might be able to make content production optimisations.

Lead Generation

Lead Generation is one of those ad objectives that only works under certain circumstances, but when it does it works well.

Lead Gen is best for services or high price items like houses/property as people can’t buy them online, but will submit their details for a call (or email) back with more information.

The leads are gathered on Facebook and closed offline.

They work similarly to a contact form on your website but are optimised for people who are likely to complete and submit them.

There’s a couple of things you need to know about Lead Gen ads:

      • You need a privacy policy on your website that you can link to your ads
      • You need to create a form
      • The submitted leads need to be downloaded daily or you’ll need an integration to get them sent to you in real time (like Zapier)

To run a successful Lead Gen campaign you need to have someone committed to contacting the leads in a reasonable amount of time that can answer their questions and close the sale.

Not all businesses are capable of doing this at any kind of scale so this objective might not be at all suitable for your business.


The last of the Ad Objectives in the consideration category is Messages.

Some businesses rely heavily on Messenger!

Sometimes it makes no sense at all, because all the information is provided elsewhere, but people are drawn to message the brand – and since this is the way they prefer to interact with these brands you may as well lean in.

Of course, a lot of the heavy lifting of these campaigns can be done by a chatbot, which can be put together pretty easily on a platform like MobileMonkey.

With the Messages objective you can decide between Messenger or WhatsApp as a message service and optimise for Replies or Leads.

There’s no real info about how Facebook determines if someone  is merely replying or if they are a genuine lead so I’d recommend split testing these if you’re using them in a campaign.

You can build out some automation and there’s also templates you can customise (a little) so you can add images and video to your responses.

Some audiences prefer Messenger to the phone, some couldn’t think of anything worse than messaging a business – know your audience enough to determine if this objective will work for you.

From these consideration category Ad Objectives, I most often use Video Views (but more as TOFU) , Traffic and Engagement for my campaigns and the others less often or not at all.


I’m going to outline the Ad Objectives around Conversions – but this assumes you have your Pixel setup correctly and enough data to allow Facebook to make it work.

People try Conversion campaigns and they don’t work because they aren’t set up properly, or simply haven’t collected enough data points to serve the ad to the right people.

People also don’t tend to give them enough budget and enough time to do their thing. There’s SO MUCH DATA, it takes a while for Facebook to find you what you’re looking for.

Then you need enough of the conversion to be sustainable. Once you get that then you can think about bringing down the cost per conversion, or giving the campaign more budget.

Another thing that makes conversion ads fail – bad creative. It’s worth split testing and finding some winning creative in your consideration phase before slapping up any old thing on a Conversion campaign.

In the Conversion Ad Objectives, you can choose from Conversions, Catalogue Sales and Store Traffic.


Choose the conversions point you want to achieve and Facebook will serve the ad the those most likely to perform that conversion.

You can go straight for purchases, or you can use a conversion point earlier in the sales process like an Add To Cart or Initiate Checkout to build up data.

Having said that, not everyone who’ll add to a cart will checkout…ever.

Initiate checkout is good if you have an automated abandoned cart email and you don’t have enough pixel fires to go for Purchase conversions off the bat.

This is the most common and customisable conversion type so I’ll only briefly touch on the other two ad objectives in this category.

Catalogue Sales

This is one of the ad objectives you’d consider if you have an ecommerce site. it’s not suitable for service businesses.

You need to have your Catalogue set up in your Ads Manager to be able to run this ad objective. This ad objective works dynamically.

There’s further reading on this objective here.

Store Conversions

If you have physical locations you might consider this ads objective. It takes a bit of setting up, so you’ll need to have locations enabled and an Offline Events Set to run this type of campaign.

You can read more about this ad type here.

In Summary

So folks, that’s a bit of info for you about the different types of Ad Objectives available to you when you use Facebook Advertising.

Remember it’s important to tell Facebook what you’re actually looking for so it can help you achieve the results you need.

If you want sales or leads, you’re really best off selecting the corresponding Ad Objectives (Conversions and Lead Generation) so Facebook knows what to look for in the interests and behaviours of the people the ad is being served to.

I hope this helps you to set up more effective Facebook Ad campaigns!

Let me know if you found this useful and tell me what ad objectives you use and why in the comments.

Grill The Marketer | Perth Marketing Event

Grill The Marketer, a Perth Marketing Event Like No Other

Your marketing questions answered. Live.

Are you sick of the same old marketing events?

So are we.

So we are bringing you something different!

No scripts. No sales pitches. No PowerPoint slides.

Just you getting your questions answered.

Clay & Carma will let you grill them and of course – there’ll be booze. And nibbles.

Melissa Bowen, Director of My Hustle Co-working space (our sponsor for this event) will be our MC, wrangling the crowd and making sure everything is in order on the night.

Cost: $20 + BF (includes selected beverage on arrival and grazing table)
Date: July 29th
Location: Percy Flint. 211 South Terrace, South Fremantle, 6162
Time: 5.45pm

See you there!

Want to make sure we answer your specific question?

Pre-send it to hey@themarketer.news and join us!

Grill The Marketer is a concept that came about from discussions with marketing event attendees who really just wanted their questions answered without the fluff and agenda.

We hope you can make it!

Who is The Marketer?

The Marketer

Carma & Clayton founded The Marketer when they wanted to talk about marketing campaigns from an Australian (and especially Perth) perspective.

We are both experienced digital marketers who run their own businesses and decided to choose collaboration over competition to bring The Marketer to life.

Carma Levene (That’s me)

Experienced Social Media Marketer, Trainer & Strategist at The Social Chameleon.

I love to problem solve. With previous business management experience I understand my clients challenges and can support them to make Social Media work it’s hardest to bring them actual business outcomes.

I’ve been featured as a subject matter expert in Facebook Advertising on Social Media Examiner and Social Media Stategy on Socialbakers (among others) and have shared my experience guest lecturing at TAFE Metro, UWA and ECU to the next generation of marketers.

Clayton Smith

Digital Marketing Specialist & owner of Perth based agency Smith Social.

No matter the medium, I love great marketing. Whether it’s an amazing and engaging email sequence, a stunning logo or a brilliant billboard, creative and inventive marketing makes me want to run out and get my hair braided.   ​

Cause that’s what it’s all about.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for the first Grill The Marketer!

Facebook Avatar Stickers – a first look

Facebook announced Avatar Stickers last year, and now they’re HERE!

Edited to add:

Obviously the Facebook Avatars have had a wider roll-out to Australia and the US as I’ve had countless messages from people trying to set theirs up.

So I’ve added some info to help you.

Step one:

Grab your phone or tablet (not a desktop or laptop)

Step two:

Go to the top right corner menu and press the down arrow which will open Facebook’s main menu as shown in the screenshot below:

Facebook Avatar Main Menu

Step three:

Got down to “See More” and the following menu will open:

Facebook Avatar Menu

Step four:

Choose “Avatar” and follow the prompts!

This is the original post from June 17th, 2019.


Facebook Avatar Stickers are here, and by here I mean LIVE in Australia – to some users.

Since they’re still rolling out for a lot of people I thought I’d share a bit about it and show you mine.

I had this prompt show up in my newsfeed:

Introducing Facebook Avatars

So, of course I had to try it!

If you don’t get the prompt, try adding a comment to a post and press the sticker button to expand the sticker menu. You’ll get the search icon on the left, then your most recent stickers, then a lady waving (at least mine is a lady waving circled below. If you’re a man this could be a man? Not sure…)

If you tap that lady waving icon, you’ll be prompted to make your Facebook Avatar Sticker.


It takes you through the process of setting up your avatar so it looks like you.

Loading your avatar...

You first choose your skin tone (so for me that’s the second whitest) but there’s quite a few options.

choosing a skin colour

Next you choose your hairstyle and colour

Hair style

Then face shape.

Next – the eyes! First a shape, then a colour, and then eye makeup.

My eyes are green and there’s a couple to choose from as you can see above.

Then it’s onto the all-important eyebrows!

Choose a shape and then a colour to best match your own (or the ones you draw on every day, lol)

The next one is glasses.

There’s quite a few shape options here for the bespectacled.

Now for the nose!

I found this the hardest one to match as the shading on top and bottom of the larger noses makes them look weird and huge. I went with a nose that’s most likely much smaller than my IRL nose so I didn’t get that shading effect.

Next is the lips:

Shape (above) and colour (below). There are quite a few lip colour options.

Next is facial hair and colour:

I’d say they’ll probably add way more options here as the product rolls out.

Then it was onto body type.

There’s not a lot of options here, and although the skin colours are quite inclusive, there’s no real body type options for anyone without the standard 2 arms and 2 legs. I’d suspect they add to these to be more inclusive.

Next you choose from the limited outfit choices.

There are a few options for hats to mix it up a bit more and also head coverings.

I chose not to add a hat.

And that’s it – you’re done! Admire yourself in Facebook Avatar sticker form. You’d imagine that as time goes on (assuming the Facebook Avatar Stickers are widely adopted) that companies would be able to sponsor clothing, hats etc. maybe even lipstick shades.

You can use these Facebook Avatar Stickers to comment on posts both in the newsfeed and on Messenger.

So far these are the options I have available.

Screenshots from Messenger.

The  above image also shows where the Facebook Avatar Stickers are accessed – show here as the waving avatar next to the clock face icon on the bottom menu on my phone whilst in Messenger (I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 8)

There’s a few options that cover the standard On My Way, Congratulations, OMG etc.

and then the ever-useful bachelorette sticker? Can’t really see myself using that one…

So that’s it – Facebook Avatar Stickers explored.

Do you have them yet? You might not as they roll out to different countries and profiles at different times.

Let me know what you think, is it a dumb gimmick that’s come too late behind Bitstrips, Snapchat and Bitmoji? A great new addition to Facebook’s features – or something else entirely?



Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material Bill 2019 | My Opinion as a Social Media Marketer

I’m a Social Media Marketer, and I have some thoughts about our new laws

I normally post about tips and advice for small businesses running their own Social Media channels, but this post is a bit different.

If you’re not interested in the new laws rushed through parliament last week regarding the removal of “Abhorrent Violent Material” then tune out now.

My Thoughts

In my opinion the new laws regarding “Abhorrent Violent Material” were too rushed, too broad and show a lack of understanding of the channels they set to police.

They demand that the offending material is removed quickly or fines and jail time are imposed on the host companies and their management.

There wasn’t consultation with the community who would be A) tasked with the removal of this content to gather information on how it’s done from a logistical standpoint, or B) the heads of the platforms used to distribute said content.

Not to mention that “quickly” is an incredibly vague and problematic value.

The NZ terror attack was removed from Facebook in a time frame I’d say was ‘quickly’. By their own statement:

“The first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended.”

For a platform that deals with content at an unfathomable scale I think that’s pretty quick.

Could it be improved? Probably. Can a law make them do it faster? Probably not.

I heard Atlassian’s Co-CEO Scott Farquhar’s statement and I pretty much agree with his sentiments;  The bill was rushed through, it’ll have an effect on more than social media sites (including in areas of privacy and free speech) and that although it’s a good idea to look at how to remove or stop altogether the posting of this type of content online it’s not dealing with the heart of the problem.

If I’m being political:

When mainstream media and our politicians do nothing to stem the flow of hate and misinformation available to the public it’s quite hypocritical that they want to lay blame at the broadcast of the atrocity but have said little about how they intend to address stopping actual atrocities.

In fact, I haven’t seen the footage on Facebook anywhere. The only places I’ve seen clips of the shooting (not that I’ve looked, admittedly) is on mainstream TV news – sure, only the bit where guns are being loaded into the boot of a car, but that’s more than I’ve seen anywhere on any social media channel (not just Facebook) and I’m online a LOT.

If the government actually wanted to help clean up social media and the internet at large they would hold discussions with the platforms, digital professionals and the community to seek greater understanding of how they operate and address concerns in a meaningful and practical way, not slam a law through so they can look like they’ve done something productive.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Let me know.

Workshop – Search & Social School | Fundamentals

Join us!

Wasting valuable time trying to make your SEO and Social Media work for your business?

Learn the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media – enroll in Search & Social School!

In our Search & Social: Fundamentals workshop, Reeva from Cutting Edge Digital will teach you the key SEO essentials to give you the confidence to tackle your own SEO.

I will show you how to optimise and manage your Social Media accounts and measure your results so you know exactly what’s working.

SEO with Reeva

  • What Is SEO
  • Keyword Research Strategies & Tools
  • On Page Optimisation Essentials
  • How to nail Google My Business
  • Google Analytics & Conversion Tracking

Social Media With Carma

  • What Social Media can do
  • Your audience and how to use it
  • Platforms – where are your fans?
  • Optimisation (Social SEO if you will…)
  • Content themes & posting formats
  • Metrics – how and what to measure
  • Tools & tips

Together We’ll Cover

  • How these two aspects of digital marketing work together to create cohesion for your brand
  • Why Social Media can help your search results
  • How to create efficiencies in your digital marketing
  • How you can save time and effort

What You’ll Get

  • The confidence to optimise your own website and social media
  • A working knowledge of SEO so you won’t be bamboozled by anyone again
  • A workbook that will guide you through optimising your website in your own time
  • Our list of essential tools and websites that will help you with your online marketing
  • A heap of new business besties and contacts
  • Plenty of tea, coffee, water, and snacks to keep you going
  • Loads of new ideas to start actively growing your business through SEO and social media

What You Need To Bring

  • Your laptop
  • Your mobile phone
  • A notebook if you’re a notetaker (we’ll have workbooks as well)
  • Your thirst for Digital Marketing greatness


Studio 64 Group, South Perth

  • Free on street parking (4 hours)
  • On-site childcare 
  • Close to the South Perth ferry and bus stops

See the available tickets hit the “buy tickets” button to go to Eventbrite.

Eventbrite - Search & Social School | Fundamentals

You can also see more info in the Facebook event.

*price includes booking fees and GST. If you require a tax invoice please don’t hesitate to ask.

Promote Your Event on Facebook

Promote Your Event on Facebook

This article (that I wrote) was originally published on Social Media Examiner.

Do you use Facebook Events to promote your events?

Wondering how to use Facebook ads with your Facebook event?

In this article, you’ll discover four audiences I use to successfully promote events on Facebook.

But first, you need to make sure your event is set up properly. If you’ve nailed this part – skip to number 5.

#1: Set Up Ticketing for Your Facebook Event

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets to your upcoming event, and there are a number of platforms that integrate with Facebook event pages for onsite ticket sales like Eventbrite.

If you’re using Eventbrite to host your ticket sales, you can integrate it into your Facebook event so people can buy tickets without leaving Facebook. It’s best to set up your Eventbrite event before you create your Facebook event, but it can also be done afterward.

Before you launch your Facebook event, make sure you add your Facebook pixel (and any other tracking) to Eventbrite to capture data you can use for retargeting. After you set up your event in Eventbrite, click the Manage tab and navigate to the Tracking Pixels section.

In Eventbrite, click the Manage tab and navigate to the Tracking Pixels section.

Next, click Facebook Pixel and enter your pixel ID and other details.

While you’re here, you can also add other tracking such as Google Analytics. You can never have too much data!

In Eventbrite, click Facebook Pixel and enter your pixel ID and other details.

Once your Eventbrite event is set up with all of the appropriate tracking, you can publish your event and add it to Facebook. Eventbrite will most likely prompt you to do this and guide you through the process.

Once your Eventbrite event is set up, publish it and add it to Facebook.

If it doesn’t, you can manually do it. On the Manage tab, click Invite & Promote and select Add to Facebook from the drop-down menu.

On the On the Eventbrite Manage tab, click Invite & Promote and select Add to Facebook from the drop-down menu.

Either way, you’ll need to select the event and choose the Facebook page to host the event. You must be an admin of the Facebook page you’re using to host the event.

In Eventbrite, select the event and choose the Facebook page to host the event.

Once you’ve done this, click Add to Facebook.

Click Add to Facebook in Eventbrite

Your event will now be added to your page and also appear as a post in the news feed. This is what the Facebook event will look like to you as an admin:

This is what the Facebook event page will look like to you as an admin.

If your page and event are eligible, your attendees will be able to use Facebook’s own checkout experience, as shown here. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets to your upcoming event!

#2: Add the Venue and Sponsors to the Facebook Event as Co-Hosts

Adding co-hosts to your Facebook event will allow them to post in the event itself. When you post content, users who’ve responded to your event will get a notification. This will keep the conversation in one place (making the most of the notifications) and allow the appropriate people to answer any queries about your event.

To add co-hosts’ profiles individually, you must be friends with the person, or you can add pages.

ALTTo add co-hosts profiles individually, you must be friends with the person, or you can add pages.

You can add co-hosts when you initially set up the event or after you’ve created it. To add a co-host to an existing eventclick Edit on the event page.

To add a co-host to an existing Facebook event, click Edit on the event page.

You or other stakeholders may want to display the event on your Facebook pages. This is easy to do, and it’s a good idea to add the event to any relevant pages so there are no duplicates.

If you’re an admin of the stakeholder pages to which you’d like to add the event, click the three dots button at the top of the event page and select Add to Page.

Click the three dots button at the top of the Facebook event page and select Add to Page.

In the drop-down menu that appears, choose your page.

If you aren’t an admin, you or your stakeholders can still add the event to your pages in a similar way. Go to the eventclick the three dots button, and select Add to Page. When prompted, choose a page from the list of available pages.

Go to the Facebook event, click the three dots button, and select Add to Page.

#3: Tips for Posting on the Facebook Event Page

The Facebook event page can be a busy place. You want to make the most of it because this is a captive audience of people either attending or considering attending your event.

But you also don’t want to overdo it and annoy your audience, so take advantage of the new ability to schedule posts to the Facebook event wall.

Schedule a post to the Facebook event wall.

To encourage people to attend, tell them what they can expect on the day (or night) of the event. For instance, if you’re running a seminar, share some information about the speakers.

You might also inform people about facilities and services available at your event. To illustrate, post parking information, a venue map, transport, dietary information, and payment methods.

#4: Get Your First 15 Facebook Event Attendees

You can pay to promote your event only if 15 people at minimum respond that they’re attending. So how do you get your first 15 attendees? Facebook will suggest people who are your friends who also like the host page as a first option.

But you can invite any of your friends. Do this sparingly, though, and only invite people you genuinely think would want to attend your event.

Facebook will suggest people to invite who are your friends who also like the host page as a first option.

You, your sponsors, the venue (if appropriate), and the speakers (if it’s a conference or seminar) should all share the event to your respective pages. Also share your event with any relevant Facebook groups, your customer database (be mindful to remain compliant with privacy laws in your region), and any lists of past attendees if this is a recurring event or your business has hosted similar events before.

If your event is interesting, well described, has good clear imagery, is held at a time and place people can easily commute to, and is a reasonable price, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting these first 15 “going” responses. Then you can use the power of Facebook ads to ramp up your event promotion!

#5: Create 4 Custom Audiences to Target With Facebook Ads

When you set up targeting for your Facebook campaign to drive ticket sales for your event, it’s important to split test the creative, copy, call to action, and so on, as well as the audiences themselves. Interest targeting will work in some cases, but your best and safest audience to get some purchase conversions is with four main custom audiences. Let’s walk through how to build them step by step.

Your Current Customers + Lookalikes

If your business is hosting an event, it’s likely highly relevant to your customers. Provided your customer data has been collected with permissions to be used for marketing (check your local laws if in doubt), you can upload the customer data to Facebook to create a custom audience.

To do this, open Business Manager and select Audiences in the Assets column.

Open Business Manager and select Audiences in the Assets column.

Once you’re in the Audiences section, click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

In the Audiences section of Business Manager, click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

Next, you’ll see a list of options on which you can base a custom audience. For this audience, choose Customer File so you can upload your customer data.

choose Customer File so you can upload your customer data to build your custom audience.

To create your audience, your options are to upload your customer database as a .csv file, cut and paste data from it, or import the data from your MailChimp account.

For this example, select Add Customers From Your Own File or Copy and Paste Data.

Select Add Customers From Your Own File or Copy and Paste Data.

Next, specify the origin of the dataupload your file, and give your audience a name. When you’re finished, click Next.

Specify the origin of the customer data, upload your file, and give your custom audience a name.

Facebook then maps the data to the available identifiers. In the image below, there are four mapped data fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone Number.

If everything looks okay, click Upload & Create and the list will start populating.

There are four mapped data fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone Number.

Facebook hashes the data so it can’t be hacked or stolen and used to identify your customers. You’ll see the message below if the upload is successful.

The next step is to create a lookalike audience. When you do this, Facebook will select an audience to target based on commonality with your current customers from the original database. When you see the page shown below, click Create a Lookalike Audience. You’re then prompted to choose a region and click Create.

Now you have your first custom audience and lookalike audience to use in your campaigns!

After you audience data is uploaded to Facebook, click Create a Lookalike Audience.

Previous Attendees + Lookalikes

If you’ve held this event before or it’s similar enough to a previous event that the same people will be interested, you can create a custom audience (and subsequent lookalike audience) of your previous attendees.

Follow the same steps outlined above, but this time, use your database of previous event attendees instead of your customers. Make sure you name this audience in an easily identifiable way, so you can compare their performance metrics later and not get confused.

Also create a lookalike audience. This audience will include people who have matching attributes to your previous attendees, which can be an effective way to target your campaign.

People Who’ve Engaged With Your Event + Lookalikes

It’s likely there are people who are interested in going to your event and have looked at your event page, but haven’t yet purchased tickets. Because they’ve indicated interest in your event by engaging with it, you can create a custom audience based on this engagement and use it in your campaign.

Start the process in the same way as the custom audience you built from your customer database. When you reach the How Do You Want to Create This Audience screen, select Engagement.

When you reach the How Do You Want to Create This Audience screen, select Engagement.

Next you see the options for creating a custom audience based on engagement. Choose the Event option.

Choose the Event option for your engagement custom audience.

Then you see the audience creation window. Here you can choose options for the level of engagement people have displayed in your Facebook eventselect a time frame for that engagement, and exclude anyone you don’t think is relevant from your audience.

Because Facebook will only let you use these audiences in campaigns if they’re large enough (you need 1,000 people to meet the criteria), you may need to experiment to find one that will match your needs.

If you have a large-scale event, you can make these conditions quite detailed. However, if you’re a smaller business with a more locally focused event, keep them fairly broad so enough people have performed the necessary engagement to be added to the audience.

You can create as many of these audiences as you like and choose which ones to use later once they’ve populated and have a size indicated.

For this example, create your audience based on people who responded “Going” or “Interested”, but exclude people who have already purchased tickets.

Create your custom audience based on people who responded "Going" or "Interested" but exclude people who have already purchased tickets.

Once you’ve created this custom audience, you’ll be prompted to also create the lookalike. As with the previous audience segments, it’s a good idea to do so and test this audience in your campaign.

People Who’ve Engaged With Your Facebook Page or Instagram Account

As with the above custom audience based on engagement with your Facebook event, you can also build audiences based on engagement with your Facebook page and Instagram business profile.

If you’ve been posting relevant and engaging content on your brand channels that align with the event theme, it’s likely people who’ve engaged with you will be open to hearing about your event.

As with the previous audience segment, start by going to Audiences to create a new custom audience. When you’re asked how you want to create this audience, choose Engagement again and then select Facebook Page.

Select Facebook Page for your engagement custom audience.

Now you need to specify the criteria people will need to meet to be included in this audience. Because this audience will include people who have engaged with your page but not the Facebook event page specifically, choose a relatively non-passive action such as engaged with a post, clicked a call-to-action button, sent a message, or saved a post. These are the more active interactions a user can have with your page.

As with the Facebook event engagement audience, you need to make sure the audience size is large enough to run. If you have a high level of engagement on your Facebook page, you can afford to be more specific about your criteria. If your engagement is lower, you’ll need to be broader.

You can, of course, create multiple audiences with different parameters and split test each one if you like.

Specify the criteria people will need to meet to be included in this page engagement custom audience.

Unlike the other custom audiences, I don’t use the lookalike option here. I don’t find that people who “look like” they engaged with your Facebook page have enough intent to purchase an event ticket. However, if you think this will work for your page, create the lookalike and add it to the mix!

Next you can build a similar engagement custom audience with your Instagram business profile. Note that you can’t create this type of custom audience for an Instagram personal profile. It needs to be an Instagram business profile that’s connected to your Facebook page and Business Manager account.

As with the Facebook audience, create a new custom audience based on engagement, but this time select the Instagram Business Profile option.

Create a new custom audience based on engagement and select the Instagram Business Profile option.

In the audience creation window, you can choose a specific time period and certain parameters of engagement with your business. Again, you need that magical minimum number before this audience can be used in a campaign. Depending on the level of engagement for your Instagram account, adjust the options accordingly.

Remember that this audience will only serve you if the content you post on your Instagram aligns with the core purpose of the event.

In the audience creation window, you can choose a specific time period and certain parameters of engagement with your business.

Always Exclude Purchasers

When running a Facebook campaign, it’s often more important whom you exclude from your targeting than include. To maintain a high relevance score and low negative feedback (which affect the cost of your campaigns), make sure the audience that sees your ads is open to the messages contained in them.

If someone has already purchased tickets to your event, serving them ads to get them to buy tickets is wasteful. So how do you exclude ticketholders? There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

First, you can pull an event database daily and create a custom audience as in the first example, but this time made up of people who already have tickets. Then when you build your ad targeting, select this audience to exclude. While this tactic is very accurate, it can be a bit time-consuming because you have to constantly create and amend your ad targeting.

The easier way is to use your website and pixel data. Using the URL displayed when a ticket purchase is completed (whether that’s a thank-you message, receipt, or confirmation pop-up), create a custom audience based on website traffic to exclude people who have already purchased a ticket.

When you create this custom audienceselect Website Traffic.

Create a Facebook custom audience based on website traffic

In the audience creation window, set the parameters of your audience based on website activity including pages viewed and time on page.

In the example below, once a purchase is processed, the user is sent a unique receipt URL, but all of the URLs “contain” the “/receipt/” parameter. If you have a specific landing page for the purchase confirmation, you would select URL Equals and paste the exact URL into the box.

Finally, name your audience and add a description if desired. Then click Create Audience.

In the audience creation window, set the parameters of your audience based on website activity including pages viewed and time on page.

And there you have it: four audiences to target and one to exclude. When you set up your campaigns, you can split test these audiences until you find the ones that have the lowest cost per action and scale them. Any non-performers can be stopped at any time, although I recommend giving them enough time to optimize (at least 3 days).

To manage this process (which looks like a lot of work, but is very quick once you get the hang of it), it’s helpful to create all of your audiences first and leave them overnight to populate before you create the ad campaign.

#6: Create Your Traffic/Conversion Funnel

Events are fun! People like attending them, so as a rule, they don’t need a particularly complicated sales funnel. But like any Facebook ad campaign, the people most likely to complete a purchase conversion are those who’ve already performed the preceding action.

For instance, if you’ve used custom audience targeting to attract traffic to your website with either Link Clicks or Landing Page Views objectives, you’ll get some sales right away, even from cold traffic.

Some people will be excited about your event and won’t hesitate to buy tickets. But events can be expensive to run, so you’ll likely need more than these organic ticketholders to make your event a success. This is where retargeting comes in as you move users down the funnel.

Keep your ticket sales funnel simple.

The audiences you’ve made that include your customers, people who’ve engaged with your Facebook event or social media channels, and people who’ve attended your previous events are all considered warm traffic. They know who you are and what your brand is about.

Many people in the lookalike audiences you created (and any interest targeting you may use) are potentially cold traffic. They haven’t heard of you, they don’t know what you’re about, and they’re less likely to attend a business event you’re hosting.

With event marketing, you often don’t have time to build traffic in a phased campaign approach like you would with other types of campaigns. So you need to keep your funnel simple and let the retargeting do the heavy lifting with the engaged audiences.

Once people have visited your website, found out more about the event, and demonstrated an interest in attending (in other words, have been warmed up), make sure you serve ads to them on Facebook and Instagram.

The most cost-effective way to do this is to run a Facebook ad campaign specifically for people who added tickets to their cart but didn’t check out. They’ve shown the highest intent to buy, and therefore are your lowest hanging fruit in the funnel. You can target this bucket of users with the Conversions objective.

Target this audience with the Conversions objective.

Simply target traffic that’s added to the cart (which you know from the Facebook pixel) and exclude the purchasers (as explained at the end of section #5 above). Then all you need to do is wait for it to optimize and see if it’s going to convert at an acceptable cost. If so, scale up the spend because more money in equals more money out.

If not, analyze the results. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and work out what stopped them, and either fix it or find a way around it.

Who else can you target with Conversions ads? Potentially your current customers and previous event attendees who will start at the middle of the funnel, bypassing the cold traffic stage.

What other objectives might you run? Engagement ads in the form of Event Responses. Remember how valuable the wall of your Facebook event page is? And if people engaged with your Facebook event, they’ll fall into your retargeting bucket.

Run engagement ads in the form of Event Responses.

And if your event has door sales available and your budget allows, run Reach objective ads to the local community that fit your event demographic.

There will always be people who don’t want to be locked in and prefer to buy tickets on the day of an event. If they’re aware your event is on, you still have a chance that they’ll attend. If you choose the Reach objective, you can easily cap the frequency and reach of the campaign to avoid annoying your audience.

Click here to find answers to 10 questions marketers ask about creating, promoting, and managing successful Facebook events.

What do you think? Do you use Facebook ads to drive ticket sales for your event? Have you created some of these custom audiences? What tips can you offer for promoting your event on Facebook? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.