The Mistake I made with Facebook Ads


Last week I talked about a horrible Facebook ad journey I took. This week I’m going to share how I actually made a mistake with Facebook ads. It’s not as easy as it looks!

For the past week or so I’ve been trying to create Facebook ads for a lady I work with (see picture above – that’s her!). It was a long learning curve and very new to me. I want to share with you what I learned and how to not make the same mistake I did!

Michelle has released a free 7 day fitness and diet challenge and I’m helping her promote it. We started using Facebook ads and I wrote the ad copy and audience targeting while she created the beautiful images.

Once you create an ad, Facebook has to approve it first. I’d made two ads but one of them kept being declined. I read and read through the Facebook Ad Guidelines but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong! We had no vulgar content, no mention of alcohol and we weren’t being rude. What was wrong? A bit further down I’ll show you the first 2 sentences of the ad I made.

I emailed Facebook and they sent a very nice reply. Read it below:

Thanks for writing in. I’m here to help.

Your ad wasn’t approved because it doesn’t follow our language policies. We’ve found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics (ex: age, gender, race).

Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don’t accept language like “Are you fat?”, “Wanna join me?” and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people.

Please make the necessary edits and recreate your posts. If it’s an ad created from the create flow, you can edit it in your ads manager.

My ad started like this:

“Can’t lose those last 2 pounds? Has the scale stopped moving? You need my FREE 7 day–” (etc.)

Aha, so I figured out what was wrong! You’re not allowed to mention any personal attributes to people. I thought this made it more difficult because for dieting and weight loss you want to evoke an EMOTIONAL response in people. But hey, it’s Facebook’s rules! I’ve changed the ad and hopefully it gets approved. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Have you ever tried using Facebook ads? How did it go?

Do you have any experience writing ad copy?

Have any suggestions for me of books I could read about writing ad copy?

Man, I wish University taught us this!

If you want more information about Facebook Ads, check out this blog here!


23 thoughts on “The Mistake I made with Facebook Ads

  1. Wow I didn’t know that Facebook have such strict rules. Well I think it would be hard to get people’s attention to go on a diet without emotional words. Would appreciate it if you could comment my latest blog posts. Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. FB is one of the worst i’ve used it’s true. but it’s also strict to benefit both the seller and buyer. You’re ads are great and have several key elements that attract a lot of attention.
    Namely: – using a number, – key word free, – personal.

    probably one of the best forms of advice i could give would be reading this hubspot blog:

    It is extensive and amazing at identifying 11 facebook ads success.
    My experience advice is to definitely run several campaigns at once and track them separately.
    If you can have them tracked all the way to checkout with google analytics would be optimal as impressions and click rate is actually a very bad statistic to monitor (and is what facebook gives you). You want to track clicks but also what % of those clicks convert… that allows you to determine if the ad is successful because it is clear and useful for the person clicking. Rather than just getting a 1% click rate and 1million impressions but no actual sales increase.
    Good luck! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks so much for your comment! I didn’t actually post the ad but just the image up there 🙂 thanks for the link! Sometimes the best way to learn is through examples.
      Facebook actually has website conversions as the measure which is reccomeded. You put a pixel on the thank you page when someone subscribes to your email and Facebook notes that as a conversion. We don’t use clicks/impressions – definitely useless unless your aim is awareness.


  3. Wow that’s really interesting!! I never knew that there was such a negative connotation to personal attributes. I would have totally written a similar ad, so i’ll keep that in mind if I need to write an ad in the future

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha thanks for that! I didn’t think an ad that has personal attributes would get a bad response. Obviously if it was extreme like ‘are you fat’ is bad but I thought mine was more subtle. Oh well haha

      Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a lot of information on the web about how to do the ads. I recommend looking into how to create targeted audiences using ads. You can target people who look at your website, people subscribed to your email or look-alike audiences (people similar to those who like your page). It’s scary but fascinating! Sure I’ll check out your blog 🙂


  4. Thank you for sharing your stories! Now I know Facebook’s commitment into ensuring their users feel comfortable and confident is absolutely their top priority. No wonder why Facebook has been the largest social media site in terms of users, online advertising and everything in between.

    Please have a look at my post at 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never made one before! Be sure to update us with how it all goes 🙂 I’m sure everyone would be interested as its a skill we will be sure to need in the future, especially with how fast social media is developing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes definitely! One thing I’m learning is not to put all your eggs in one basket – needing to try many different tactics to get subscribers not just a few. 🙂


  6. I’ve never been required to make a Facebook ad, or any ad for that matter, before so I wasn’t aware of these strict rules. But I’m glad that Facebook has implemented them because I think they’re really important – even if it does make our jobs as future marketers more difficult haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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