5 Social Media Advertising Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid

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5 Social Media Advertising Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid

There’s no way around it: social media has changed the way small businesses advertise to customers. Today there are a number of social platforms that give entrepreneurs access to a whole range of tools for promoting their business. In fact taking advantage of these outlets is now one of the most important things that a small business owner can do.

This isn’t to say that running a good campaign is easy. On the contrary, SocialTimes recently looked at several social media advertising mistakes that even big businesses make. If you’re using social ads for your businesses, here are a few things you should avoid:

Casting too wide or too narrow of a net

You may have heard entrepreneurs say that their product is perfect for everyone ages eight to 80. Even if that may be true, programming your social media ads that way is a big mistake. Instead it’s better to target your audience based on interests and other data points. Additionally, if you did want to target everyone from 13 (eight-year-olds typically can’t create social accounts) to 80, you could create separate ads for each age group that would speak directly to them.

At the same time you don’t want to be overly specific with your targeting. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find your niche but you’ll need to know how your ads are performing with that group, which can become difficult if your sample size is too small. With that in mind, set your parameters a little wider and use A/B testing to give you a better idea of which campaigns are working for you.

Using bad images 

One big mistake advertisers make is trying to shoehorn a single ad across multiple social platforms. As a result the images used — which will play a huge part in getting people to click your ad — can look distorted or awkward if not tailored properly. Another thing to keep in mind is that using text on top of your images can be very effective in getting users’ attention. Just be sure to adhere to Facebook’s’ 20% text rule (only 20% of your image can be taken up by text) or your ad could be removed.

Not freshening up your campaign

No matter how brilliant your ad is, it will still get old after some time. As it grows stale the reaction you get from it will also diminish. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your campaigns and know when it’s time for a refresh. Once again it might also make sense to run an A/B test with your current ad versus a new idea before launching a full blown campaign.

Forgetting to put a call to action

Perhaps the most important thing you can include in an ad is a call to action that tells people exactly what they should do next. Are they buying something? Visiting your site for information? Always make it clear what the next step is.

Clickbaiting and only using homepage ads

Using clickbait tactics in your ads is not only annoying but also won’t win you an quality customers. In fact you could end up wasting money trying to retarget people who have no interest in your product and were merely tricked by an ad. Similarly, if you’re advertising a specific product in an ad, it might be a good idea to have the ad link to that item. This could potentially assist with conversions whereas being led to a homepage and having to search for the product could discourage shoppers.

Social media ads can give your small business a huge boost but only if they’re used properly. Whether out of laziness or just because they just don’t know any better, many entrepreneurs make mistakes that could amount to them wasting both time and money. By avoiding these common errors you can help ensure that your social campaigns are more effective at reaching new customers.


Nice article, really the points you shared should be kept in mind to avoid a negative reputation. There are various tools that helps you in making your advertising campaign through social media like Adcat.io, ClickPirates etc!
Check them out at http://betapage.co/

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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