The Most Common Facebook Advertising Mistakes That Cost You Money: An Exclusive Interview With Facebook Expert, Jon Loomer

Shweiki  had the pleasure of sitting down with Jon Loomer, a leader in Facebook marketing strategy and the author of an award-winning blog ( that’s a must-bookmark site for anyone advertising on Facebook, from the most novice to the most advanced.

Here Shweiki sits down with Loomer and digs into important, relevant and—in today’s world—must-understand topics like the key strategies to adapt when placing Facebook ads. In this exclusive interview, the expert provides insight into website custom audiences, managing cost-per-click versus auto-bidding, targeting and more.

Enjoy learning from the best…

Dave: Hello, everybody! I am here today with Jon Loomer, who’s one of the foremost experts on all things relating to Facebook. And today we are going to talk a little bit about mistakes people make when getting into Facebook advertising. How you doing today, Jon?

Jon: I am doing great. Thanks, Dave.

Dave: That’s great to hear. Before we get started, I would like to give the listeners a bit of a background on how you got started. Maybe tell your story and what got you into Facebook advertising, and we’ll go on to some more details after that.

Jon: I have a long story, so I’ll try to do the speed-dating version as quickly as possible. So my history is that I was never classically trained in marketing; I ended up in marketing things. I worked for the National Basketball Association, oversaw fantasy games for them, which ended up being all kinds of stuff, which is awesome. My first exposure to Facebook was back then, 2007. I ended up leaving the NBA. I was laid-off twice after that, during bad times in the economy and whatnot.

Basically, I was at a point where I didn’t want to move my family again; we kept moving. I didn’t want to commute. One of my motivations was our oldest son is a cancer survivor, so I want to see my kid grow up. I didn’t want to travel a lot. I want to coach my team’s baseball teams; we’re a big baseball family. So I didn’t know how to start a business, and I just created a site, and I just started writing and writing and writing. Made a lot of mistakes along the way.

Dave: And you literally knew nothing about Facebook before you got into it.

Jon: I knew about Facebook. I knew nothing about starting a business. So my exposure to Facebook goes back to, again, when I was at the NBA, 2007, we partnered with Facebook. This was before you could actually create your own app. We worked with Facebook to create an app for us. I was the first admin of a Facebook group for the NBA before there were pages. That was my first exposure to Facebook and Facebook for business, but I just fell in love with the platform. So that’s what I was most comfortable with, which is why, when I started writing… In the very beginning, I wrote about everything, but a lot of Facebook-related stuff. Eventually, I found my way just focusing more and more on Facebook and on Facebook for business, and Facebook advertising.

Dave: There’s definitely a lot to dig into. We’re constantly learning something new, almost every day. It’s overwhelming and that’s why it’s great to have people like you to sift through what’s most important and to really dig in to the details that are really going to move the needle for you. We personally learned a ton from you, starting meeting you at the CMWorld last year where you gave it all some presentation, and man, I just took that thing, rewatched it, vetted everything out, and we just went down line by line by line.

Jon: That’s awesome.

Dave: My world opened up. I’m like, “Oh my god, I did not realize you can do all of these things with Facebook.” And this is coming from somebody who had been digging into it for a couple of years. So you can tell you’ve done your homework on all of this. When you got started, what were some of the initial mistakes you made?

Jon: In the very beginning, understand that again, I wasn’t confident in myself starting a business, and I was the only one bringing in an income. Three boys, my wife volunteers all the time in the schools and I want to keep that going, so all the pressure’s on me, and I was scared to invest. Actually, I didn’t even create a page right away, because again, there was a lack of confidence. I saw a page for individuals as something that’s for celebrities. So I didn’t even to do that for several months, three or four months. Once I started doing that, I was spending the bare minimum on that. I was spending $1 a day on Facebook ads. Now, at least I was doing something. But my point was I was so scared to spend any money back then, because of all this pressure to make money that I was just spending the bare minimum. I wish I would’ve done more.

Most of my mistakes were less about Facebook and more about a business. I wasn’t spending enough just on Facebook Ads, but at my brand in general. I was not a designer, and I tried to do all the design on my site. It was awful. It’s funny to look back at it now. At first, I didn’t even have a premium theme. I did the free theme. It was like some neon green. I couldn’t even tell you. It was crazy. And I tried to create my own logo. A little to that, I didn’t have an email list for six months, so I understand, I completely understand businesses that are making mistakes in the early going. And I hope I can help them prevent them from making those mistakes, those same mistakes that I made.

Dave: Yeah, and that’s definitely what you speak to. That’s definitely the angle you take: like, this is what I’ve done, this is what I did wrong, and this is what I’m doing now. And I think that that’s just a phenomenal way to break it down to a layman education level in regards to Facebook all the way up to experts as well. What have you done differently? You mentioned you had some design issues, wanting to invest more. If you could go back in time, what would you have changed from on day one?

Jon: Yeah, some of this what I now apply whenever I start a new project. Now I immediately create email lists and have some sort opt-in email even if there’s not a lead gen freebie, just a way to opt-in. The fact that I didn’t have that for six months is so ridiculous. I would, as soon as possible, create something that is of value in exchange for an email address to escalate and build that email list more quickly.

Absolutely the investing — pay people who are trained to do things that you are not, especially anything for first impressions. People come to your site for the time, what does it look like? What kind of logo do you have? What kind of photography do you use? Does it look professional? If it doesn’t, your concept can be great, and it won’t matter in a lot of cases. So a lot of investment, making sure you’re using the right software, again, not cutting corners in doing patchwork, because I was doing all kinds of stuff there too. I think those are the base things.

Dave: When you started to change your look, did you go through some tools, any specific tools that you used? Did you just get some talented people to help you with the graphics look? Because you could be super smart in all this stuff, but you just don’t have the design eye. That’s coming from somebody like me. I might lack the super-smart part, but I also don’t have the design eye, and I definitely need to go through people like that. But there’s also some other tools that help you out with some look of Facebook pages like Pagemodo and some other things like that. Did you use anything specifically or was it more you just got with somebody who had more of a creative/graphic design eye?

Jon: I used Shortstack, for example. Actually, the Shortstack designer is the person who does all my design now. We share that person, because she’s so awesome. I was working closely with them; she’s been designing all my stuff for three years now. But even before that though, before I was working with her and I was using Shortstack, it’s still templates. It’s not good enough when you’re just using design templates. And the thing is, you can’t really trust your friends and people close to you to be honest about how your business looks and your site looks.

Dave: Or your mother.

Jon: Yeah, your mother. John Robinson, my business manager–luckily, I had him. Basically, what he did (unsolicited), he sent my site out to somebody else that he trusted who does not know me, and said, “Be brutally honest with your thoughts.” And he was brutally honest. It was awful. He made all these suggestions about what I should do, and that was really the start…the light bulb: I’ve got to invest in a premium theme, I’vegot to research and look into that. I’ve got to get a new logo. I reached out at that point to some people I knew to get a logo created. It wasn’t a service or anything like that.

I researched locally to find out who are the trusted photographers. I actually did an exchange of services, at that point. Again, I’m broke and hemorrhaging money. I was like “I needed professional photos done. I will give you, in exchange…”–I don’t know what I said–“some Facebook services.” In fact, I undervalued myself, but it was a great trade for me, because it was a huge upgrade in terms of… That was that serious look photo that I was using three years before. I had to redo it, but that was a big, big upgrade to what I was using. Before that, it was like I cropped my head out of a family picture kind of thing. It was ridiculous.

There weren’t a lot of tools, but one place I started in terms of tools was AWeber for my email list. I eventually upgraded that to a Infusionsoft, Infusionsoft or whatever you want to call it, which I’d been doing for a couple of years now. Just the design. I use Genesis Framework, first of all for my website, just the template, the theme. But I had some custom work done on it, make sure the colors are consistent with the logo and I had my designer look at it to make sure it’s right.

Dave: I think you made some great points. You could be the best in the world, but you don’t appear professional, you’re just going to come across as somebody who isn’t professional.

I think one point you slipped in there something that I think is something to point out that we’ve done as well: trade for services. When we started to do that for videos and different things like that, oh my god, when I saw what we could do with a video with somebody who was really good at it, our video views shot through the roof. One way to go about that, and for the listeners out there, think what you can do on a trade for that sort of stuff. Don’t go cheap on it. You don’t have to if you have something of value in return. Almost everybody does. I think that’s an awesome piece of advice. Make sure everything looks good and do it right and let the right people do it.

Dave: Exactly. I’m glad you brought that up. It’s something I wasn’t really thinking about when we were going to talk today about some mistakes, but that’s an awesome piece of advice that I think everybody really needs to heed and make sure that they follow.

Moving on here a little bit to some of the more technical aspects – targeting. I know a lot of people, Facebook comes down to value and I’m going to let you either validate this or not, but I think some of the biggest things are creating value and then getting that value offer to the right person, which comes down to targeting. So targeting is such a key thing. Can you talk about maybe some of the targeting mistakes that you made or the common mistakes that are being made in regards to that area?

Jon: Yes, the reason Facebook is so powerful is because you get over 1.5 billion people using it actively, feeding it a ton of data, and they’re there a lot. So they’re easy to reach. They’re there for you to be reached. It’s a matter of finding that person, that ideal audience.

There are several mistakes people make with targeting. The first that they do is, “I’m just going to target people based on interests.” It’s, again, in my Facebook marketing business, “I’m just going to target people who have interest in Social Media Examiner, any portal field,  and Facebook marketing, whatever, and sell my stuff to them.” Then I run that for a while, spend a bunch of money, it fails. I’m like, “Ah, Facebook Ads don’t work.” That’s the biggest mistake people make. Number one, they only target by interest, completely neglecting that they already have a built-in audience that they aren’t targeting. For example, if you have a fan base, you should be targeting those people too to sell your stuff or anything. If you have an email list, you should be uploading the custom audience and targeting those people. If you have website visitors–I sure hope you have website visitors–you should be using website custom audiences and targeting those people that visit your website. All these people will know who you are and are more likely to act.

The biggest mistake is not targeting people that are actually close to you in the first place. The second is not understanding that these users are at various stages of the funnel. And if all you do is try to sell something, don’t expect to be successful. You can have this large target audience of 100,000 people who can potentially buy from you. There’s probably 99.9% aren’t going to buy today no matter how good your ad is, especially if they don’t all know you. So the key is to send them down this funnel. It’s like first of all, a lot of those people don’t know you. So let’s warm them up with some really helpful content that solves a problem for them. So create that blog post, send them to your site. They’ve been to your site, so now you’re building up this website custom audience. We don’t stop there, first of all. You should probably keep promoting these blog posts. Some people will be ready to buy from you after one blog post, some people, it would be a hundred, some of them will never buy. The point is you want to continue to send that value to them.

But then we also want the email list or build the email list. Again, I wouldn’t be focused too much on targeting people who don’t know you with an offer, because an email address is valuable to us as marketers, but also as users. I don’t give my email address out to just anybody. I don’t want to be spammed and all that stuff by people I don’t know or care about. It’s a matter of now that they trust you, because you’ve been sending them to your site, they’ve been reading your content, they love, let’s target those same people with an offer, for a free offer in exchange for an email address. Those will be much more likely than someone who doesn’t know you.

So now they’re in that stage. And then when you’re all ready to sell, you’re selling to those groups. You’re selling to the people who have been to your website, people who like your page, people who have opted-in for something. At that point, you’re much more likely to sell. You can break it down even more that you got a product, you introduce it, you send it to your landing page. I’ve seen so often that that first time, they don’t buy. But if I have remarketing pixel on anyone who’s landed on that landing page, but didn’t buy, it’s just a matter of reminding them or getting them another angle, another reason that this is a good product. That’s where it’s most successful.

Dave: That falls into the website, one of your website custom audiences, correct?

Jon: Correct.

Dave: People who come back in our view. I know what you just said, just knowing my progression of learning here, a big part of all those custom audience, that was a lot to swallow. You’re speaking right on point with some of the listeners, and for other people, it’s like, “What is he talking about?” Let me just tell everybody out there, you can go to and he writes about all this stuff in detail. He shows you how to go over -everything. Right now, just so everyone knows how to spell his name, it’s J-O-N, L-O-O-M-E-R,, because there are probably 8 to 10, if not more of these website custom audiences that you can build where you can target directly, and not just push that boost button.

On that note, Jon, can you talk about the boost button and is it a value at all? Should people ever do it? Why do they even have that there? Is that for people who don’t want to dig into it and do it the right way? Or is it something that still works?

Jon: Well, it’s basically Facebook’s easy button. I like to describe it as the gateway drug to good stuff. Basically, they’ve got a ton of marketers, people who have pages, but a lot of people who have never ever had it before, and they want it, and it’s complicated. It really could be complicated. They want to make it as easy as possible. How do they do that? They drive the easy button, and they try to automate as much as they can for you. I’m not saying that can’t work at all, because Facebook’s targeting is so good, that when they automate this stuff, it can be pretty decent. But this is still top of the funnel stuff. So if you want to get more engagement for something, and you don’t have some of these built-in audiences we have, website traffic already or whatnot, this tends to be good for engagement, where Facebook is going to show it to people who are likely to engage.

But if you’re trying to promote something to build your email list or to sell something and you just hit the boost button, don’t expect that to be all that effective. Feel free to use it as your first time experimenting with Facebook Ads, but don’t lean on it forever, please.

Dave: Yeah, and if I’m not mistaken, a lot of these website custom audiences, you need to go to Power Editor to build them. Is that correct or is there other ways?

Jon: You don’t have to. You can go to the Ad Manager as well, just in Facebook. I’m glad you keep bringing it up, website custom audiences, because really, this should be your priority is building up that audience. That’s why it’s so important to create a plug with helpful content that’s not all about your product, that just answers people’s questions. When you share this content, sending them to your site, this is warming them up. They’re starting to gain trust and feel like you’re someone who knows what you’re talking about, and they’re gaining that respect and recognize what your brand is and what it’s all about. Then when you sell, you are selling to people who visited your site. You need to focus on building that audience, because that is the audience that’s going to ultimately buy.

Dave: Absolutely. It really makes perfect sense. If you slow down and you think about it, yeah, you want to spend your money on the people who have some sort of interest in you. How high that is, it’s hard to tell. But you might as well start there versus the masses and people that have no clue who you are. That’s something that we’ve learned, and I’m glad we dug into that, because that is just so vitally important, just to make your dollars go way further and more successful as well.

Jon: Absolutely. Honesty, I only target my website visitors now. My website traffic is at a point now where I don’t need to go beyond that. It’s a really valuable group of people.

Dave: Yeah, I think that’s the best way to start. Again, everyone, there are different layers and layers of this. You can learn a lot from Jon if you start following him.

Moving on to the next question here, what are some general frustrations that are overblown or maybe one way to ask this is do people concentrate on the wrong things? If they do, what are some of those wrong things?

Jon: The first one is the biggest, overblown complaint is Facebook changing the algorithm and organic reach and all that kind of stuff is the perception from some that Facebook is trying to screw marketers, force them to pay the expense of the quality of the newsfeed. First of all, it’s a matter of understanding how Facebook works, how the newsfeed works. And there is an algorithm, yes. And guess what? It works. In order to test is it working, the way the algorithm works is Facebook is attempting to show content to people what they are most likely to care about. Instead of it being just a firehose feed, which clearly doesn’t work that well, because Twitter’s not growing anymore, it does not grow anywhere close to the rate that Facebook is. Facebook continues to grow more than 10 years later.

And Facebook continues to tweak the algorithm to make sure that all this intelligence to determine what people want to see and what they don’t. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes it’s not perfect, but the key is they are active on Facebook. They remain more active on Facebook than anywhere else and they continue to grow. So that’s the test. You accept that. You accept that Facebook is growing. Because otherwise, if, for example, Facebook was screwing brands and not showing their content intentionally, even though it’s good content that people wanted to see, that would be at the expense of the user experience. Users would be upset. Users would use Facebook less often. And this will be bad for everybody.

Ultimately, what’s most important to the advertisers and to the brand is that users have a great experience, because the more that they are on Facebook, the more data that’s collected on them, the more people that you can reach through ads and organically, because they’re on Facebook. But the minute they start flying away because they don’t like the content anymore, you can’t reach them regardless.

Dave: That’s a great point.

Jon: Yeah, so I think that’s the biggest thing, just understanding your role. Some of the things are going to impact it. Look, we are brands. We are boring, in general. We can’t really expect people to want to see our content at a high, high rate. Now some brands do a great job, and they have great organic reach, because they were able to make it interesting. But also keep in mind, that’s why targeting is so important. If you target the wrong group to build a fan base, and then you create content, even good content that they don’t want to see, you can’t complain. It’s your fault. You build a bad fan base to start.

So I guess one of those mistakes, yes, is with that targeting, you’re building a bad fan base and they don’t respond to you, to your content. So yeah, I think organic reach is a big one that I can talk all day about. It’s not something that bothers me. If you chase an algorithm, you’re going to be frustrated. If you’re constantly like, “Oh, no, no, link shares get more reach, so I got to get more link shares. It used to be photo shares, so I got to create more photos.” No, that’s not the point. That’s actually one reason Facebook tweaks it so often is because every time they make a change, brands ruin it. They try to manipulate it. For the longest time, text updates get most reach. Do you see then, users, all of a sudden, feel like they had to make all these text updates? No, they didn’t. They just continue to make posts the way they normally do. Brands, though, would try to share links within text updates, and they’re ugly. It’s stupid. We ruined it, so now text updates are no longer preferable, because no one wants to respond to those. If you chase an algorithm, you’ll constantly be frustrated.

If you just focus on creating really good content that your audience will want to engage with, you’re not frustrated. It’s okay. None of these tweaks to algorithm really matter that much. It’s like, “Oh, good. I’m glad they did that.” Like the latest algorithm change was basically they’ll be watching if people are spending more time on a particular piece of content than others, that could mean that they enjoy it, even if they don’t like, comment, or share. So things like that, yeah, that makes sense.

Dave: I hear you.

Jon: The organic reach is a big one, but then it’s just like you talk about reach being a metric that I think is overblown. I don’t really care about. I care most that I’m reaching the right people, whether it’s 500 or 50,000, as long as it’s the right people, like I could have reached 50,000, but none of them really care about my stuff, or I’ll reach 500 and they’re all big time fans who all go to my site and buy stuff. So that’s really cool.

Dave: To make sure I’m understanding it and recap, it is true that the organic reach, in the past, you have 5000 fans, you put up a post, everybody would see it. It is true that that went down to the 5% to 8% percent or whatever, something like that. That is true. But what you’re saying is what’s not true that that makes Facebook not a viable platform. I remember thinking, a couple of years ago or a few years ago when that happened, being all well, what’s the point of being on Facebook? What’s the point of getting fans? What you’re saying is whoa, whoa, whoa, yes, that’s true. But no, it’s still important to do all these things because you can target to those people. And if you’re getting the right fans, it’s still an amazing, valuable advertising medium. When we say advertising, we mean distributing content and then slipping in a marketing message every now and then. Am I following you correctly on what we’re saying as far as a general frustration that gets overblown?

Jon: To a point. Now understand, reach was never 100%. People tried to act like all of a sudden, one day, you weren’t reaching 100%. The expectation that we ever reach 100% of our fans with a post is ridiculous. That assumes that 100% of your fans are online at that point. What percentage of our followers are we reaching with a tweet on Twitter? It’s like less than 1% and there’s no filtering going on there. So no, you are never reaching 100% of your fans. It’s just the filtering has changed. So that’s the first thing.

There’s been that algorithm, but there’s also more competition that we see than ever done before. Brands, there are more than ever. That influences things. Brands are creating more content than ever before. That impacts it. Here’s a big one that not enough people will think about. My page has been around for three and a half years. When someone liked my page three and a half years ago, they had n interest in my content. Do they still care about Facebook Ads? That doesn’t mean they unliked my page, they stopped getting my Facebook Ad. But especially for these pages that have been around for a while, this is a type of phenomena that we don’t give enough attention to that you have stale fan. If you build a big portion of your fan base two years ago, three years ago, four years ago, you can’t expect to reach many of those people because many of them probably just don’t care anymore.

Dave: I hear you, I hear you.

Jon: You’re right though, 5% to 8%, that’s still people who care. Facebook, if the algorithm is correct, and they’re doing it appropriately, they’re showing it to the 5% to 8% of people who care the most, and this includes, of course, there’s be a line around that time as well. As long as they’re showing it to the right people, that’s all I care about. I don’t mean to boast, but I’m still seeing 20%, 25%, 30%. I think a lot of people still are too.

Dave: Really?

Jon: It all depends on, and a lot of these metrics that come out are more focused around these brands that are huge, and a lot of these same issues we talked about too. They have a million, 2 million, 5 million fans, first thing is they’d been around for a long time, and second thing is you get a lot of casual fans, “Oh, yeah, I like that. I don’t want to hear from them, but yeah, I like Nike,” whatever it is. They don’t care if they see this stuff on the news.

Now I’m not denying that there are people who have big organic reach problem. I’m just saying there’s a lot of factors that contribute to it, part of it’s the age of the audience, part of it is how you built that audience in the first place, and we got to acknowledge mistakes, we all make them when we do it. If we’re focusing just on the cheapest like, sometimes, it’s not going to be quality. So all these things contribute. But end of the day, the main thing is are you reaching people who actually are going to engage with it in the first place. Now if you’re reaching 5% of people and they’re not really engaging with your stuff, you might want to start from scratch, because it sounds like you didn’t build a very good audience.

Dave: Got you. That makes senses. Let’s move on to budgeting mistakes. I know you mentioned earlier in the podcast here that you didn’t spend enough. You can speak to that more if you’d like or any other type of money matters that people aren’t spending the correct way or…? Because I know you’re going to start to spend a lot at the beginning or a little at the beginning. Can you talk a little bit about some mistakes people make there?

Jon: I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is the opposite of what I did. They don’t know what they’re doing. They’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a day before they know what they’re doing. They don’t even really know how to measure success. They’re running all this money, “Oh, it didn’t work. It’s not working or whatever.” My approach, what I recommend is that you spend, I’m not saying $1 a day like I did, but you’re spending a lower amount to figure and testing out what works, what doesn’t work, getting your sense of what you’re doing. Once you figure out what works, then escalating – escalating those things that are working and stopping those things that aren’t. Mainly, that’s one of the first, big mistakes that I see advertisers make.

Another is having a budget that is inconsistent with the audience size. I’ll hear often, “I can’t spend my budget, or I’m getting really high CPM,” or whatever it is, they might be using website customizers. Okay, you have this really relevant audience, these 5000 people, and they’re trying to spend $500 a day targeting those 5000 people. One of two things will happen in this case. First of all, you’re not going to spend your entire budget and the second will be Facebook will try to, and as a result, just be pounding those people. In order to pound those people, that means they have to outbid everybody to reach those people. So your CPM, the cost to reach them is going to go sky high which is going to make your advertising basically worthless because it’s going to be too expensive to reach them.

Those are two big mistakes. There’s so many issues with bidding and budgeting in general. Those are the two main ones.

Dave: What about the autobid function that Facebook offers? Do you personally hear internally where, actually, it just came up yesterday that we were talking about this, because we’re trying to engage… Just like everybody else, especially with a small business, sometimes, there’s a one- or two-person shop that’s trying to do all this stuff, and it’s hard to monitor. “Now I’m spending this. Slow down the bidding, speed up the bidding,” all that stuff, we’re trying to get the most bang for our buck through time spent. Our staff time, there’s value and money in that. We’re trying to figure that out. Can you speak a little bit about the autobid feature and if that’s something that people can trust?

Jon: By default, let’s say you’re running an ad set with the objective of clicks to website. In that case, by default, Facebook will optimize for website clicks. They’ll show it to people most likely to click your link and they will also bid, there will be an automated bid, also bid whatever is necessary to reach those people. In general, that actually is the best way to go, because first of all, Facebook is optimizing and they’re going to spend whatever is necessary to reach these optimal people… So out of let’s 100,000 people that you’re targeting, they’re going to focus on those 10,000 or so people who are most likely to click your link. That’s, first of all, a good thing.

But again, one of the pitfalls with the auto-bidding is, for that same example I just gave, if your bid is too high for your audience, that cost to reach them will go really high. You have to be aware of that, first of all.

Dave: Is there a way to be aware of that before you click on that auto? Does it tell you, hey, this is about what it’s going to cost?

Jon: No. Really, you just have to be conscious of it and have a threshold for hat you tend to expect and monitor it. I consider an average CPM, especially when you’re optimizing, to be about $5. It can be more depending on the audience you’re targeting, but especially if you have several ad sets going, and you have one that’s just way above everything else, it kind of give you a tip that you do. With that $5 rule of thumb, then we’re looking at, especially if you’re optimizing, to get an audience of about, we’ll say, 50,000 people, spending $5 to $10 a day, and having a CPM of that $5 to $10 area is about what you can expect.

Typically, when you’re optimizing, it tends to be best either for bigger audiences, so pay for Facebook to pick out the people most likely to perform the desired action or lower budgets with these medium-sized audiences.

On the flip side, let’s say, like with these website custom audiences, you have an audience of 500 people who visit this specific page to your site. In that case, it makes no sense to optimize, for a couple of reasons. First of all, if Facebook optimizes, of those 500 people, they’re going to focus on 50 or 100 or whatever. In reality, all of those people are equally likely to act, or at least they should be. Let’s say they visit a landing page but they didn’t buy. So we want to reach all of them. You don’t want to optimize in that case. You’ll want to use either CPM which is when you’re technically optimizing for impression. It’s not an action, but they’re going to show it to everybody.

CPM bidding is they’ll show it to everybody as many times as they can within your budget. Or there is unique reach which is showing it to everybody, as many people within your audience as possible, but no more than once per day. I would use those types of manual bidding when you have an extremely relevant and small audience, and you want to make sure you hit everybody. Honestly, if you get the highest 50,000, you usually don’t want to hit everybody in that case, as long as it’s 50,000 or more. The thing is when it comes to targeting my website visitors, we’re talking about a few hundred thousand people here, I’m not just talking to a single page, to promote a product or another blog post. I do have Facebook optimize in that case. It’s more when it’s the smallest of audiences.

The other manual bidding is the CPC, but really, CPC, you’re just bidding for engagement, in that case. Many people need to understand that. So many people come from the Google world doing CPC, thinking that’s the way you should do it, and thinking cost per click means cost per website click. But it doesn’t. It means cost per any click on your and you’re just optimizing for engagement in that case.

Dave: Got you. So to recap, your expert advice would be for people getting into it, because our heads were spinning on that which one did we do on this? We’re saying clicks to website is the best action to bid for when it’s a bigger audience, I guess we could call it less relevant than a highly relevant audience, like a website visitor. So for your smaller audiences that are a little bit or a lot more highly relevant audiences, you would go more to CPM and then for bigger audience that could possibly be less relevant, you might as well go with the clicks to website. Am I following you correctly on that?

Jon: So to be clear, clicks to website is just one of the ways Facebook can optimize. There’s close to 10 or so objectives that you can have Facebook optimize for, to basically autobid based on showing it to people most likely to perform that action. Clicks to website, that’s one example. In other words, if you have a large audience where it’s not that refined, and you want Facebook to focus on the person most likely to perform that desired action, using the autobid is going to be your best bet. If you got a really, really small, refined audience, the example I gave before is where the audience are people who have visited a landing page for your product but did not buy, these people should all be equally, likely to purchase, and you also don’t want Facebook to optimize. You want to hit everybody instead of just picking and choosing. That’s when you should use CPM or daily unique reach.

Dave: I hope everyone go back and listen to this part, because I can tell you how important that is. When you get to this level of understanding all of this, those are the details that are going to really separate what you were doing to take in the next steps. I want to encourage everybody, go back to the last minute and listen to that again, because that’s some gold right there, and I can’t emphasize that enough. Thanks for explaining all that, Jon.

All right, I guess, we’re just go to one of our last questions here. What are some mistakes made when building the audience? We talked a little bit about that. But do people mess up in any way? Are they building a wrong audience on accident when they think they’re building a correct audience? I don’t know if I’m asking that the right way.

Jon: Yes. No, absolutely. I think the approach that most brands take is I’ve got to build my fan base, it’s usually a fan base we’re talking about when it’s an audience, but it could be website customized, it could be anything, as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible. Part of it is that vanity number. Or they think that all fans, for example, are created equal, and that if you’ve got 100,000 instead of 1,000, then they’ll just be 100 times as many sales and everything else. But the truth is that it’s also the quality of those people. So if you’re focus is, for example, on running contests, and become a fan in exchange, because we run all these contests to get free stuff, or building your email list through your contest, the people you’re attracting then are the people who want free stuff. So when you write a sale to them, don’t expect them to buy. They just want the free stuff. But the other thing is is it even relevant to your product in the first place? If it’s completely irrelevant, forget about it. You can give away iPads all they want with that iPad.

But additionally, I think we really get too obsessed with when we run these ads, what is the cost for page click, or cost for website click or whatever it is, because the main thing is whether we’re attracting the right person in the first place. It’s the same thing when you’re building an email list and you’re talking about contest, did it cost $1 to build that, for each email address? Did it cost 30 cents? It doesn’t mean the 30 cents is better than the $1, because it depends on the quality of that person.

For example, the country you target makes a huge impact in the cost just to reach them. If you’re building your fans just by targeting India, you’re going to build a really, really cheap audience really , really quickly. I’m not going to say that there aren’t any customers in India, because I do have some customers form India, but you have to be aware of the potential for click farms and stuff like that too. Where is your core audience? Are they in India? If they are, go for it. But otherwise, don’t focus just on that cost, because you’re going to be building an audience that ultimately may not be responsive to you, may not buy from you, may not click that link down the road.

Dave: Got you. Well, Jon, I have learned a lot from you just from right now. I’ve been taking my notes and knowing where I want to go back to and relisten too. I know our audience as well has learned a ton from you. I definitely thank you for your time. I want to let people know how to follow you to learn more, because a lot of the stuff that we’ve talked about today, I’ve seen very long, extensive blog posts where you did into these details. So I want to let people know how to follow you for free. And then I also understand that you have a Power Hitters Club, an advanced training class, I just want to let everybody know how to sign up for those. So if you can let our listeners know, that’d be great.

Jon: Sure, just go to, that’s where you’re going to find my regular blog post and pretty much everything you need. But also, for the more advanced Facebook marketer, somebody who spends probably a couple thousand dollars or more per month, or if you want to be a Facebook marketer, the Power Hitters Club was made for you. If you go to, this includes weekly webinars just for that group. So that catches everybody up on what’s going in Facebook advertising right now, and there’s a Q&A session as well. We’ve got a private community in there, which is awesome. It’s not just that I’m in there answering questions which I am, but so many other advanced Facebook marketers too that can share their experience. They can help you. I’ve got a weekly blog post only for that group, and huge discounts, because I’m running workshops, so these 90-minute to two-hour live webinars every two months, and members get them for $20, while non-members pay 147. It’s a huge benefit to it. Again, that’s

Dave: Okay, and that’s J-O-N-L-O-O-M-E-R-dot-com, and click on PHC for the Power Hitters Club.

Jon: That’s right.

Dave: Jon, I appreciate your time. I look forward to continuing to learn from you and you have yourself an awesome rest of your week.

Jon: Thanks so much, Dave.

Dave: All right, take care.

Jon: You too, bye-bye.

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Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a Facebook marketing expert who specializes in Facebook advertising. Jon has been using Facebook for business purposes dating back to 2007 while with the NBA. He went on his own at the end of 2011 and his blog was named one of Social Media Examiner's Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2013-2015.

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