Facebook Advertising is a waste of money? Nonsense!! @facebookads

There is a new viral video presenting so-called facts about how using Facebook Ads to advertise your page is a waste of money. If you haven’t seen it, here it is: Facebook Fraud.

I won’t even comment on the lack of statistical significance of an example provided with only a handful of data points, or about some other “facts” that mainly highlighted poor leverage of the platform’s capabilities for targeting and optimization. I will just comment on the simple issue of…. What are you doing to optimize the execution of your Facebook Ads?

Facebook Advertising can be a waste of money if….

  • You are blindly creating and running Facebook Ads without proper understanding of which segments of the population on Facebook are truly responding to your message. And by responding I don’t mean just clicking on your ads, I mean helping you reach the objectives you set out to achieve. For example.. app installs, web site conversions, engagement, etc, while minimizing your marketing investment.
  • You are selecting the “Promote your Post” option on your page without selecting proper criteria for ad reach.
  • You are optimizing for CTR, not for highest result at lowest amount of investment
  • Your Facebook Marketing Tactical plan looks like this:

Innefective facebook Ads Execution

Facebook Advertising can be extremely effective if….

  • You start small, creating ads targeting the population within Facebook that you hypothesize is going to be more interested in your offer.
  • You test your hypothesis and verify which segments are in fact providing the highest number of results at a lower investment
  • You drill down into the metrics per country, per age, per gender to understand what is working and what is not working
  • You then refine your ads to target the segments that are working per ad
  • You increase the size of your investment only when the ads have been refined to give you optimal results.
  • Your Facebook Marketing Tactical plan looks like a version of this:

Effective Facebook Ads Execution

And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example… (see chart below). We are looking at the ad effectiveness per country (highest results at lowest investment) and the darker the blue color, the higher the effectiveness of each ad. With this information ads can be refined to optimize execution.

  • CampaignX for example could be optimized by either running only Ad1 or to have Ad1 take a higher % of the budget than Ads2 through Ad5.
  • CampaignY should be ran in Australia as it is more effective than in the other countries

ad effectiveness by country

And another example…. let’s look at Ad effectiveness per gender and age. While these campaigns are targeting almost all age groups, we can clearly see that only specific segments have high effectiveness.  Performance can be optimized by refining the ads to target only those segments where they are being successful:

  • Campaign4 can be optimized by refining Ad6 to focus on Males 13-17 (assuming this is a relevant segment for the business)
  • Campaign5 can be optimized by refining Ad4 to target primarily females 25-34 and 18-24.

facebook Ads Effectiveness per Gender and Ageage


So without going as far as saying that Facebook is a perfect platform for marketing execution, the main challenge comes from a lack of analytical tools that would easily allow users to make these decisions. And without proper analysis, you are in essence flying blind and wasting money.

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