In this second part of our Marketing for Results series, we're talking about how to get started with Facebook Ads.

As a small business owner, you’ve heard how Facebook is the social media platform to be on if you want to grow your influence, audience, and revenue. However, many business owners are at a loss when it comes to knowing how to use Facebook effectively — especially as it regards to paid advertising on Facebook.

Facebook ads can be a powerful tool to get your company in front of the right audiences who are ready to make a purchasing decision about your brand. And yet, there are a number of misconceptions about Facebook ads that lead business owners to forego social advertising altogether. In this article, let’s debunk some of the biggest misconceptions about Facebook advertising.

You must have a huge ads budget

One of the biggest objections business owners have when it comes to Facebook ads centers around the budget. Usually, this issue stems from a two-fold problem: They’ve invested in ads with zero financial return, or they’re hesitant to try ads because they believe that in order to get traction, they need thousands (or even tens of thousands) in the ads budget per month to get any traction.

The truth is: Facebook ads can be an effective tool for as little as $5 per day. What matters more than your overall budget is

  • the quality of your creative assets
  • your ad targeting
  • and the objective you choose for your ad sets.

Before jumping to increase your budget, analyze the other elements of your ad and make changes there first.

You may have heard of “boosting posts” and are wondering what’s the difference between boosting posts on Facebook and advertising? Boosted posts are indeed a form of paid advertising, but they are simpler Facebook Ads:

  1. They don’t require Ad Manager to create ads.
  2. And you can boost posts you’ve already made in your news feed.

You must have a large audience to get started

We’ll start with the fact here: You don’t have to have a huge Facebook following in order to run ads. In fact, if growing your audience is an important metric for your business, you can run ads specifically to generate Facebook page likes.

While there are some ad objectives that require a certain number of net views or engagements in order to be most effective (e.g., creating a 1% lookalike audience) in general, the number of Facebook page likes doesn’t impact the effectiveness of your Facebook ads.

Ad retargeting is the only effective way to use ads

Ad retargeting is the use of tracking code (think “browser cookies,” or in the case of Facebook, Pixel data) that you add to your site or sales pages to collect and track information about the viewer and their action on the page. When you retarget your Pixel data in an ad, you show a specific ad to a potential customer that reflects the action they took on your site so they can be moved through your pipeline with highly-targeted ads.

While ad retargeting is generally always a good idea, generating ads for cold traffic is a solid method of using Facebook ads (as long as your audience targeting is specific and effective). What’s more important than using ad retargeting as a whole is diversifying your retargeting ad sets.

For example, say people navigate to your site to log in to a portal, but also visit to check when you’re open and learn more about a specific product offering. You don’t want to set up a retargeting ad to show the same ad to these same people who are in different stages within your sales cycle. Instead, diversify your ad creative and ad sets so that different actions taken on your site will trigger a different ad to be shown to your audience members.

You have to pay for expensive custom photos

This misconception is in line with others like you must have pictures of babies, puppies, or smiling stock photos in your ads. In truth, the type of media creative you use in your ads should be reflective of and resonate with your audience.

Some businesses will be able to effectively use stock photos (which Facebook now has a stock photo library for you to access right within Ads Manager), while your business might benefit from more branded photos. Whichever route you take, make sure that your visual branding is strong, consistent, and sends a clear message. (For more information about creating a strong visual brand, check out our in-depth article.)

Facebook also has video and slideshow templates built into ad manager so you can make your ads more impressive and stand out in today’s crowded news feeds.

Facebook ads are too complicated to learn

Besides budget, the belief that creating Facebook ads is a task for highly-trained social media managers is something that keeps many business owners from trying their hand at Facebook ads. The truth is: Facebook advertising isn’t as complicated as it may seem, and the average user can learn how to use Facebook ads tools.

One tip for learning the ins and outs of Facebook ads is using Facebook Blueprint. Facebook Blueprint is Facebook’s free learning platform to teach you best practices on using the platform —- including Facebook ads. On the platform, you can access training on how to use Facebook and Instagram organically and with paid options.

Using Facebook ads isn’t just for a special group of trained social media managers — small business owners can use Facebook ads to grow their audience, influence, and revenue. However, before diving into ads, you want to make sure you have a cohesive, straightforward brand that users can identify and one they find actionable. If you are ready to grow a brand that shines on social media and beyond, our Harvest Media team specializes in building brands that help tell your business’s unique story. Contact us to learn more.