We’re hiring! Hallam is one of the best places to work in the UK —Join us

Facebook advertising – advantages & disadvantages

Posted on 12/05/2020 by Kieran S-Lawler

Extend the reach of your company visibility with Facebook Advertising. Take a look at how it works, how to get started, and the advantages and disadvantages over other online advertising techniques.

In the competitive social media landscape, Facebook advertising offers an opportunity for brands to get their messages to the right people, in a fun and interactive way. This is particularly valuable with the increasing number of restrictions that are being placed on organic content.

What is Facebook Advertising?

Facebook advertising allows you to reach people based on location, age, gender, interests, job title, upcoming life events and more, with regular updates on how well your ads are performing.

Advertising on Facebook allows you to tailor your campaigns to specific goals, which include the different levels of the marketing funnel, as seen below:

Facebook Advertising Marketing Objectives
Facebook Advertising Marketing Objectives

If you choose to advertise on Facebook, you will have the option to place your ads in seven areas across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger. Placements depend on your chosen objective and include:

  • Feeds
  • Stories
  • In-stream
  • Search
  • Messages
  • In-article
  • Apps
Facebook Advertising Placements
Facebook Advertising Placements

There are two methods to choosing your placements:

Automatic placements: This recommended default option will allow Facebook’s delivery system to allocate budget across multiple placements based on where your ads are likely to perform best.

Manual placements: Manually choose your placements. There are six placements on offer and each has different areas. Your ads may not be eligible for all of them, dependent on your advertising objective. This section will allow you to be much more targeted, and give you the option to choose which platforms, devices, and operating systems your ads appear on. For example, if you just wanted to show your ads on Instagram stories, for users using iOS devices only, this makes it possible.

Manual Placement Options
Manual Placement Options

Not sure  of the differences between Facebook Boost and Ads Manager?

I’ve recorded a quick 3 minutes video explaining the difference between these two promotional techniques, and when is the best time to be using Facebook Boots vs Ads Manager

Advantages of Facebook Advertising

Wide Customer Reach

Facebook continues to be the number one social network when it comes to reach, with over 2.6 billion monthly active users, and with no sign of slowing down. If you’re looking to reach the masses with your messaging, then Facebook is the best place to do this, especially with its diversity of ages and demographics.

Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2020
Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2020 | Source: Statista 2020

Ads Manager also allows you to remarket to users who have visited your website, by installing Facebook Pixel code to your website. There is also a range of Custom Audiences for you to take advantage of, allowing you to reach users who are already familiar with your brand. You can find out more about Custom Audiences here.

A/B Testing (Split Testing)

Facebook Ads Manager allows you to split test your ads to different custom audiences, locations, age segments and many more, all within a single campaign. Not only does this provide valuable data as to what creative works best, but you can also narrow this down to what creative works best for each of your target demographics.

We have written a guide how to run A/B split tests on Facebook.

Top tip: If you want to see what ads your competitors currently have running. Follow these three simple steps:

  1. Go to your competitors Facebook page using a desktop computer.
  2. Scroll down and look out for the Page transparency section on the right-hand side.
  3. Click the ‘See More’ button.
How to find your competitors ads
Facebook Page Transparency Lets You View Competitor Ads

Lead Generation

Lead ads on Facebook make it much simpler for potential customers to submit information to you, no matter what their device. Customers can request information about products or services, or even schedule appointments, through a lead ad form that appears natively in your feed. The most effective part of this tool is the fact that customers do not have to leave Facebook to submit the form.

Link the data generated in Facebook’s instant forms with Zapier allowing you to send the information straight to your sales and marketing team automatically.

Facebook In-Platform Lead Generation Form Setup
Facebook In-Platform Lead Generation Form Setup


Immersive ad-sets like Facebook’s instant experience ads mean that users can be instantly transported to an app-like brand experience. The full-screen interactive concept allows brands to tell a story that delivers on engagement, whilst providing an opportunity to showcase content marketing pieces that may otherwise be lost on a website.

Get Creative With Facebook Advertising Instant Experiences
Get Creative With Facebook Advertising Instant Experiences

Conversion Measurement

Creating a Facebook pixel allows you to track actions users take after viewing your ads across multiple devices. Adding a Facebook Pixel to the pages on your site where conversions occur will let you see who converts on your website as a result of viewing your Facebook ads.

To implement a pixel, simply navigate to the Facebook Pixel tab in Ads Manager and click “Create a Pixel”. Follow the instructions on screen, then add the Facebook Pixel base code to every page on your website, send instructions directly to your development team, or integrate the process with Google Tag Manager.


In addition to its varied targeting options, Facebook is also one of the most cost-effective advertising channels. If you have a low budget, you can have your ad up and running from as little as £1 a day (depending on the objective of your ad), compared to platforms like LinkedIn where advertising costs can average at £5-£6 per day.

What is the average CPC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn?
What is the average CPC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn? | Source: Falcon.io

We have written a guide to how to improve your Facebook relevance score for cheaper Facebook ads.


A reassuring feature of Facebook advertising is that you have complete visibility and control of your Facebook ads and budget. Monitor your success on Facebook, so you know exactly how much you’re spending and the results you have gained from your campaigns.

You can also use the data provided in Facebook Insights to analyse your performance of your paid posts against your organic posts, in order for you to make strategic targeting decisions for future ads. You can access your Facebook Ads Manager here.

Disadvantages of Facebook Advertising

You can’t advertise everything

Some sectors simply aren’t allowed to advertise on Facebook. This is to ensure that people using Facebook enjoy a safe user experience. Before adverts appear on Facebook they go through a strict review process, which in some instances can take up to 24 hours. So if you’re thinking of advertising your dodgy offerings, think again.

You can learn more about Facebook’s Advertising Policies here.

The 20% Rule

In the past, if your Facebook advert had more than 20% of the image covered with text, it wouldn’t be approved. While Facebook has relaxed this policy in recent years, it’s still best practice to use less than 20% text in your image.

Think about using scroll stopping and impactful images to capture the attention of your audience, adding text to the copy sections where it’s meant to be. Facebook will make you aware of this, and prompt you to change your creative.

Facebook will prompt you if your advert has too much text in the image
Facebook prompt for when your Ad has too much text In the image

Facebooks A/B Test isn’t as good as an expert

Although Facebook advertising does have a helpful area to allow you to split test your ads, in our experience manual optimisation gives you the best return on investment. Check out our guide for 5 Easy Ways to A/B Split Test Facebook Ads.

Don't be drawn in by the temptation of an easy split test
Don’t be drawn in by the temptation of an ‘easy’ split test


The increasing number of businesses using Facebook advertising means the likelihood of your advert standing out vastly diminishes. Catching people’s attention and getting your ad noticed amongst updates from their friends can be difficult, and requires creative ad-sets which can come at an additional resource cost.

Have you learned something new, and want to sharpen up  your social media planning?

Download your social media content calendar

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If you need help with your Social Media Advertising don't hesitate to contact us.

Enjoy this article?

Subscribe for weekly insights

Facebook advertising – advantages & disadvantages

Let’s thrive together

Get in touch to take the first step.

Contact us