Why Your Facebook Ads Don’t Perform Like AdWords (And Why They Never Will)


Why Your AdWords Tactics Suck on Facebook

Google (ABC, XYZ, or whatever they’re calling themselves these days) pulled in a $75 billion in revenue in 2015.

Not bad.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of that revenue came directly from AdWords; as much as 68% of their revenue in 2014.

(What? You mean self-driving cars aren’t profitable yet?!)

That single business unit is largely responsible with funding all that other crazy stuff they’re up to. And with a virtual monopoly, it’s a giant moat around their business that’s the envy of every competitor.

For years, search (both organic and paid) has been listed as the best performing digital channel for new customer acquisition.

There’s a reason.

Intent. People type in the exact words they’re looking for. Many of which, tend to focus on evaluating their options or choosing the right solution. That means these visitors are commonly already in the ‘bottom of the funnel’, and have made up their mind to act soon (if not now).

In other words, people use search when they want to buy something.

Now contrast that with social. Where years ago, it drove less than one percent of sales in one study.

But if you look at how people use it, that’s also unsurprising.

People don’t go to Facebook to shop. They go there to get away. To browse, laugh, communicate, and most importantly of all – procrastinate.

(Why do you think this article took me twice as long as usual to write?)

People most certainly don’t go to Facebook because you’re running a one-day sale on power tools.

In other words, while search is based on intent, social is serendipitous. People find stuff almost by accident, because they weren’t necessarily planning on finding that stuff in the first place.

This becomes a problem, when you try to shove a round peg in a square hole. When you try to use the same direct-response, intent-based advertising that kills on AdWords on Facebook, you’re met with… crickets.

Here’s what you should have been doing instead.

How to Structure Facebook Advertising Campaigns Instead

If peeps are in the ‘bottom of the funnel’ when they’re searching for a specific term, you can go straight for the hard sale.

No funny business. No lead nurturing foreplay required.


If they’re not looking for your widget in the first place, you’ve got some work to do. There’s no need awareness, so they have no idea who you are. Because of that, they probably don’t need your stupid thing.

And even if the timing was somehow, miraculously, fairy-book-style perfect and they did need your thing; they probably have no idea who you are. Which means they don’t trust you. Which means they ain’t giving you their credit card.

These peeps are gonna need some good old fashioned lead nurturing. You’re gonna need to wine-and-dine ‘em. Until they’re ready to… go.

That means your social (and especially, Facebook) campaigns need to align with these various critical steps, including:

  • Awareness: Use content promotion to get on potential prospect’s radar and get an understanding for what they’re interested in.
  • Lead Generation: Target this small, aware group of people with ready-made offers designed to get their permission to continually follow-up.
  • Conversions: Now that you’ve already done the hard work of grabbing their attention, building interest, trust, (and hopefully, some urgency), a simple sales offer should get them to convert.


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