Facebook Ads – Answers to Common Questions

Facebook Ads

Table of Contents

Do Facebook Ads Work?

Facebook Ads work really well for a variety of businesses. Every year Facebook’s ad revenue continues to increase pretty significantly (source: martechtoday.com), because the ad platform works. Thousands, if not millions, of companies are advertising on Facebook because it’s a very effective platform to drive new customers and leads, across industries and business types. Through Facebook ads, advertisers can show ads across Facebook, Instagram and their display partner network. In my opinion, Facebook works really well, due to it’s targeting capabilities. Specifically, a few targeting mechanisms work really well on Facebook’s advertising platform.

Remarketing (targeting past site visitors)

I’ve tested remarketing across a variety of platforms (Google, AdRoll and others), and it seems (at least for me), that Facebook nearly always outperforms the competition. This doesn’t mean not to try the other platforms, as any smart marketer would try multiple channels to see which is the most effective, but in my experience, Facebook outperforms.

Look-a-like audiences

This is Facebook’s secret sauce, which works extremely well. Any advertiser can upload their most valuable audiences (customers, leads) and Facebook will create a digital persona and find users that are most likely to match your most valuable audience. I’ve tested look-a-like audiences on other platforms (like Google), and so far, Facebook’s algorithm outperforms Google. I’m not writing this to knock Google, Google is a very effective advertising platform, but when it comes to look-a-like audiences, Facebook holds the edge, in my opinion.


Facebook allows advertisers to upload a list of emails and target them across their network, so long as the email uploaded matches that of Facebook’s logged in users. This can be very effective as a means to upsell, cross-sell, or re-engage lapsed customers.

What is the Facebook Ads manager?

Facebook Ads manger is Facebook’s advertising platform, where advertisers can advertise their business across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook’s display network.

Where to buy Facebook Ads?

To advertise on Facebook, you have to open up a Facebook Ad Manager account. Through Facebook Ad manager, users can advertise across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook’s display network. Here’s a link to advertise on Facebook.

Can Facebook Ads be shared

Facebook Ads can be shared. I find this to be such an interesting component of Facebook ads. Regardless of company, industry, I nearly always see users sharing ads. I find this quite fascinating, but this is a nice added incentive and value that Facebook has. Through users sharing your ads, you’ll get added exposure to your message. A caveat, it’s not very frequent that this happens, but it does happen.

Can users comment on Facebook Ads?

Users can comment on Facebook ads. This is a really interesting component to Facebook ads, as users can leave comments, both positive and negative. As such, an advertiser should review the comments and respond appropriately. To see the comments, you have to preview the ad, and there is an option to see the ad, with post comments. See screenshot below of how to find this.

Review comments on Facebook Ads

Can Facebook ads link to a website?

This is a common misconception, Facebook ads aren’t about driving users to your Facebook page and gather likes, one of the most common uses is to drive users to the advertisers website, just like any other ad platform.

How can Facebook Ads help my business

Facebook Ads can help nearly any business out there, it’s a highly effective advertising platform where you can reach your potential customers with it’s various ad formats, ranging from images to videos, and targeting capabilities, which range from: targeting past site visitors, look-a-like audiences, demo/geo/interest targeting, and targeting users based on emails uploaded.

Within my Facebook blog posts, I go into detail on how businesses can effectively leverage Facebook to drive growth for their business.

Which Facebook Ads are most effective?

In my opinion, the ad format isn’t as important as the audience that an advertiser is going after. An advertiser could have the best ad in the world, but if it’s not to the right audience, it won’t do any good. Additionally, the ad format that works best will vary from company to company, but in my experience, banner ads outperform video ads. Also, I see banner ads that have the following components do really well:

  • Picture of a person looking at the user. This sounds silly, but it’s true, people connect with people, even within the ad format.
  • Social proof. Ads with a testimonial often do well, as it’s social proof of the product/service a business is offering.
  • Compelling offer. Ads with a compelling offer will nearly always outperform ads without an offer. Pretty basic, but a lot of marketers may miss this. Think of a compelling reason to click on the link and take action on your site, then put that in ad format.

What is the Facebook Ads pixel?

The Facebook Ads pixel, is Facebook’s tracking mechanism to understand how many users are clicking your ads and going to your website, and even more importantly, how many of those are taking action (leads, purchases, etc.). When using the Facebook Ads pixel, advertisers can leverage Facebook’s machine learning capabilities to find more users who are taking action on your site. For any advertiser, I strongly suggest to setup the Facebook ad pixel. Here’s a helpful article I wrote that goes into more detail on the power of the Facebook Ads pixel.

What is a Facebook Ad Set?

A Facebook ad set, is within a Facebook campaign, and it allows advertisers to group ad creative, to a specific audience that an advertiser is looking to reach.

What is reach within Facebook Ads?

Reach is a metric within the Facebook Ads platform which counts how many unique users an advertiser reached during the specified timeframe. This is different from impressions, which is how many times an ad was served. Impressions and reach will always be different, as an advertiser can serve more than one ad to the same user. This gets into frequency, if an advertiser reaches each user two different times, that’s a frequency of two. This is a metric I routinely review, if the frequency is too high (over six within a week), I recommend to pull back on budget as you may be hitting the same users too many times. Additionally, if the frequency is just one or two, your message may not fully sink in and you may want to increase budget or tighten the audience to increase the frequency to maximize the impact of your ads.

What are Facebook messenger ads?

Messenger ads are one of Facebook’s latest ad formats, where users can chat with an advertisers Facebook messenger within the ad format itself. This gives advertisers a direct line of communication to the user, without having to leave the Facebook site.

Facebook Ads or Google Ads in 2019?

I would strongly recommend to run both platforms, both are very effective on their own terms. With Google, advertisers can target users based on the exact searches they’re looking for, which can be extremely powerful. For example, if you’re a dentist and want to reach potential customers, an easy way to advertise is to target ads locally, to users who are searching terms like, “dentist near me”.

Facebook is also very powerful and effective, specifically through the audiences advertisers can reach. You can’t target based on Google searches, but Facebook has a strong audience profile where advertisers can target users based on age, demo, location, emails uploaded and interests. Additionally, by leveraging the Facebook pixel, advertisers can target past site visitors (remarketing) and create look-a-like audiences of users who have visited their site, signed up, or purchased. Google also offers remarketing, but in my experience, Facebook remarketing typically outperforms remarketing on the Google Display Network.

What are Facebook banner specs?

The banner specs for images promoted on Facebook is 1200 x 628. An important piece to this is to have little or no text within the banner ads. The reason is the images will be accompanied by a headline and description that’s uploaded with the image. If there is too much text within the image, Facebook will limit its reach.

What is Facebook Ads word limit?

Within Facebook’s banner ads, advertisers can upload up to 90 characters of text, 25 characters for a headline and 30 characters from a link description.

Do Facebook Ads work for local businesses?

Facebook Ads work well for local businesses, with Facebook you can target your town, as well as surrounding towns. Given Facebook’s reach and targeting mechanisms (age, gender, location, interests, custom audiences), I would strongly encourage local businesses to test Facebook Ads.

Do Facebook Ads show on Instagram?

Yes, Facebook ads can show on Instagram, in addition to Facebook.  A helpful report is to breakout performance by platform, what you may find is that one platform might out perform (i.e. Instagram might prove better performance than Facebook). When this happens, it’s a good idea to break out campaigns by platform.

Facebook Ads campaign structure, best practices

I recommend to break out your Facebook advertising account as follows:


Break out each campaign as it’s own customized audience you’re going after. In my experience, the audience you’re going after is the most important factor of success. Additionally, I prefer to run at least three Facebook ad campaigns:

  • Remarketing – targeting past site visitors
  • Look-a-like audiences – targeting users who are similar to your top customers. You can upload an email list of your top customers, and reach these users assuming the matched audience to Facebook’s users is big enough.
  • Interest based targeting – targeting users based on a persona uploaded (age, gender, interests, etc.).

Ad Set

Within each ad set you’ll have ads that align to each of the targeting, listed above.

  • For example, for remarketing, you’ll want a message that has a strong offer to encourage this user who is considering your products/services, to purchase.
  • For look-a-like audiences, or interest based targeting, you’ll want messaging that promotes your business and assumes they haven’t heard of your company.  This could also be a light ask within the ad, i.e. learn more.

Where is Facebook’s Ad Support?

Facebook offers great chat support for advertisers who need help setting up their advertising account. Click this link to go to Facebook resources. Upon click, you can navigate to a section where Facebook offers ad support, at the bottom of the page, see screenshot below.

Facebook Ad Support

Additional Facebook Resources

Below are several blog posts that might be helpful that I wrote on Facebook Ads.

Facebook Blog Posts

Facebook Ad Management

Facebook Ad Courses

Ben Lund

Ben Lund

Ben Lund is a 14+ year digital advertising vet who founded Rise Marketing Group. Outside of managing his agency, he offers advertising courses on SkillShare and routinely shares his best practices on DIYDigitalStrategy.com

Ben Lund

Ben Lund

Ben Lund is a 14+ year digital advertising vet who founded Rise Marketing Group. Outside of managing his agency, he offers advertising courses on SkillShare and routinely shares his best practices on DIYDigitalStrategy.com

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Need More Advertising Help?

While I am sharing a good amount of free information through DIY Digital Strategy, if you need more help, feel free to drop me a line on my contact page, as my agency Rise Marketing Group helps clients of all sizes.
Even if you’re not interested in full service advertising management, I would love to hear from you! Ping me a line at hello@diydigitalstrategy.com and I’ll be sure to follow-up to see how I can help.