5 Things You Should NEVER Do In Your Facebook and Instagram Ads

Normally, I’d tell you that “every Ad’s different” or “that might work for your audience, so go for it!” Normally, when it comes to advertising and creative marketing, I’m far more open minded… and if you don’t agree with my open mindedness, you’re dead to me.

But today’s a little different. I think there are some legitimate NEVERs when it comes to your Ads and I’m going to share them. If you disagree, I don’t know how you live with yourself being so wrong… or, leave a comment cause I’m curious why. 😊

#1 NEVER Make Your Ads Look/Feel Like Ads

Sounds strange, but think about the platform you’re on. Who scrolling through their feed wants to be hit with an Ad? The only thing that makes a Hulu Ad more annoying than a Facebook or Instagram Ad is that you can’t scroll past a Hulu Ad. That said, it also makes it harder for people to engage with or care about social media Ads. So, if your Ad looks like an Ad and quacks like an Ad, you better believe people will treat it like one… as in, ignore it.

#2 NEVER Be Overly Product Focused

This kinda ties into #1 in that, it looks and feels like an Ad… translation: SKIP. Now, even though you’re (hopefully) targeting people interested in that type of product, when you run a product Ad you’re immediately trying to close a deal and they know nothing about you. You might get curious clicks, but curious clicks don’t often lead to sales clicks. Product heavy Ads to cold audiences is like the used car salesman who’s opening your door before you’ve even put it in park… back off! I’m scrollin’ heeyaa! Sell people on themselves! Be pain-point focused, be life focused. Then, when a social media scroller feels like you, your BRAND actually “gets them,” that’s when they’re more likely to be interested in your product.

#3 NEVER List Specs or Dimensions

If you’re getting granular with your product… or even your service… with specs, dimensions, facts, figures, numbers, etc. then you’re COMPLETELY missing the purpose of the platform you’re on. You’re completely misunderstanding your audience. Leave this stuff for Landing Pages or Product Descriptions, after you KNOW they’re interested in the product. Otherwise, you’re putting the cart way before the horse… and carts don’t chase dangling carrots…

#4 NEVER Tell Them to BUY NOW!

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Remember when I said I was open minded? There’s one exception to this “NEVER” and that’s the very bottom of your funnel… even then, it’s suspect AF. Why? Because no one wants to be told or yelled at to purchase something. Your big fat “75% OFF!” discount gives you no right to demand that someone “BUY NOW!” even if “WE ONLY HAVE 2 LEFT IN STOCK! DON’T MISS OUT!” You have to be pretty confident that the person you’re targeting cares so deeply about not missing out on your product or service that berating them like this is going to be the difference between action and inaction.

Here’s the thing though, we don’t think about it this way. We don’t think about how someone’s going to see this Ad (see Fido’s Dead). Which goes back to #1… this kind of verbiage shows you’re writing an Ad for YOU, not your audience. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a resourceful tool in Facebook and Instagram Advertising… when done right. Discounts are a resourceful tool in Social Media Advertising… when done right. But “BUY NOW!” just plain sucks… and, it’s rude.

#5 NEVER Assume…

So often with “Ads,” advertisers want to write Ads AT someone. The thing is, it just comes natural… but really, it’s an old-school advertising mindset. You love walking through the park with your dog. That’s why you and your pooch need the miracle leash! “But I have 2 dogs…” “The park’s too far, we usually just walk around the neighborhood…” or, more bluntly, “No I don’t.”

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Ads written to an arbitrary “you” assume things about the person reading it… but everyone’s different. Plus, Facebook’s evil policy bots see “you,” “your,” and “you’re” as kin to Satan. Wouldn’t it be better to tell a relatable story about someone who fits your audience’s basic profile? That way, they don’t feel like you’re talking AT or ABOUT them, but instead, showing them the possibilities vicariously through someone kinda like them? Assuming makes an Ass out of U and… nope, just U.

Disagree? Tell me why.

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sean hughes

head copywriter