The Social Circus

EP71 – Meta Ads Mistakes

In this episode, Sarah discusses the top mistakes people make when running Meta ads and provides valuable insights on how to avoid them. She emphasizes the importance of understanding ad success benchmarks, testing ads organically before running paid campaigns, optimizing landing pages for mobile devices, defining the ideal customer, and conducting rigorous testing to improve ad performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand ad success benchmarks to set realistic expectations for your ads.
  • Test your offers and landing pages organically before running paid ads.
  • Optimize your landing pages for mobile devices to maximize conversions.
  • Define your ideal customer and tailor your ads to their specific problems.
  • Conduct rigorous testing of different variables in your ads to improve performance.



Welcome to episode 71 of The Social Circus! I’m your host, Sarah Thomson, and we’re now in week three of Meta Month. In this episode, I want to discuss the top mistakes that people make when running Meta ads. As a small business owner, it’s essential to spend your advertising budget wisely and avoid wasting money on ineffective ads. Meta will gladly take your money, whether your ad is successful or not. It’s up to you to understand why your ad may not be performing as expected. So let’s delve into the common mistakes and how to avoid them.


Mistake 1: Not Understanding Ad Success

Many people don’t understand what ad success looks like. They lack knowledge of the benchmarks and metrics they should be aiming for. It’s essential to have realistic expectations and know what to measure in terms of click-through rates, conversion rates, and other relevant data. To help with this, there is a document that provides benchmarks for Meta ads by the industry. Understanding these benchmarks allows you to assess whether your ad is underperforming or if there are other factors at play, such as issues with your landing page or sales page.

Most people think that if I haven’t made a sale, my ad isn’t working, and that is simply not true. It can be other factors for that.” – Sarah Thomson


Mistake 2: Not Testing Organically

Before running ads, many people fail to test their offer, product, or service organically. They skip the crucial step of gauging interest from their audience before investing in paid ads. Testing organically allows you to gather valuable feedback and determine if your offer resonates with your target audience. It’s important to have a significant number of visits to your landing page or sales page before making any judgments about its effectiveness.

If your page that you’re wanting to run an ad to has not had traffic through it of at least 100 visits, which is like an absolute minimum, you cannot then say, does this page work? Does it convert? Is the offer interesting to my audience?” – Sarah Thomson


Mistake 3: Neglecting Landing Page Optimisation

One common mistake is blaming the ad for poor performance when the issue lies with the landing page. It’s essential to test your landing page on mobile devices since a significant portion of Meta ad traffic comes from mobile users. Ensure that your landing page renders well and that buttons, images, and other elements are optimised for mobile viewing. Neglecting mobile optimisation can lead to low conversion rates and wasted ad spend.

Landing pages are often a big culprit for poor-performing ads, and people don’t think to look at those. They go straight to their ad and think about what isn’t working in my ad, and why is it not working?” – Sarah Thomson


Mistake 4: Poor Audience Definition

Understanding your ideal customer is a fundamental aspect of marketing. However, many people make the mistake of thinking their product or service is ideal for everyone. It’s essential to define your target audience and tailor your ads to their specific problems and needs. Trying to market to everyone leads to a diluted message that fails to resonate with anyone. Break your audience into logical groups and create ads that speak directly to their unique challenges.

It is never true that your product or service or offer is ideal for everyone. It is never true. What you need to know is for your ad, who is your audience? And your audience is always those people who are most likely to buy the product.” – Sarah Thomson


Mistake 5: Lack of Testing

Testing is a vital component of running successful ads, yet many people neglect it. To optimise your ads, you need to treat them like science experiments. Change one variable at a time and track the results. Testing different elements such as images, headlines, and call-to-action buttons allows you to identify what resonates best with your audience. Rigorous testing helps you refine your ads and improve their performance over time.

One of the biggest mistakes is that most people don’t do testing of their ads, and if they do, they do inadequate testing and they don’t also have those benchmark data to use.” – Sarah Thomson


Implications and Potential Impact

By avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can significantly improve the performance of their Meta ads. Understanding ad success benchmarks, testing organically, optimising landing pages, defining target audiences, and conducting rigorous testing all contribute to more effective advertising campaigns. These strategies can lead to higher click-through rates, improved conversion rates, and ultimately, increased sales and revenue.

The impact of implementing these best practices can be transformative for businesses. By aligning ads with the needs and preferences of their target audience, businesses can create more compelling and relevant messaging. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of attracting and converting potential customers. Additionally, optimising landing pages for mobile devices ensures a seamless user experience, leading to higher conversion rates.


Conclusion and Future Outlook

Running Meta ads successfully requires a strategic approach and a deep understanding of your audience and their needs. By avoiding the top mistakes discussed in this episode, businesses can maximise the effectiveness of their advertising efforts. It’s essential to set realistic expectations, test organically, optimise landing pages, define target audiences, and conduct thorough testing.

As the advertising landscape continues to evolve, businesses must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Meta Month has provided valuable insights into the world of Meta ads, and businesses should continue to educate themselves on the ever-changing advertising landscape. By staying informed and adapting their strategies accordingly, businesses can leverage Meta ads to drive growth and achieve their marketing objectives.

Thank you for joining me on this episode of The Social Circus. I hope you found this discussion on the top mistakes people make when running Meta ads insightful and informative. Stay tuned for next week’s episode, where I’ll be answering questions from the Blooming Biz Academy members about their common problems with Meta ads. Until then, happy advertising!



  • Test your concept organically before running paid ads to ensure it resonates with your audience.
  • Don’t overlook the importance of optimizing your landing pages for mobile devices.
  • Your ideal customer is not everyone; focus on targeting the audience most likely to buy.
  • Testing is crucial for improving ad performance; treat it like a science experiment.

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