Why Are My Facebook Ads Not Showing?

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Editor’s Note:

Does your business advertise via Facebook? Have you been having problems with your Facebook ads not showing? If yes, then you have come to the right place. Carry out a search for “why Facebook ads not showing,” today and you will realize that this is a problem that confronts hundreds of people on a daily basis. If you are in this situation, then I am here to help you. My name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a digital marketing firm. My company specializes in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Remarketing. I decided to write this article because there are a lot of people who get stuck when creating Facebook ads. It’s a situation that used to happen to me often. I used to wonder why my Facebook ads were not showing. In this article, I am going to:

  1. Show you why Facebook Ads are important
  2. Give you reasons and solutions for this frustrating issue

Why advertise on Facebook?

Facebook is unparalleled in terms of reach.

Facebook ads are something I do on a daily basis, so you can be sure that I know what I’m talking about in this article. In the world of digital marketing, the biggest names are Facebook and Google. It all has to do with numbers. With a monthly active user base of more than 2.45 billion, Facebook commands the social media arena. The platform’s users come from different demographics and are spread around the globe. Whatever business you are involved in, chances are high that you will be able to find your target audience on Facebook. Google, on the other hand, commands the world of search. At present, Google processes over 40000 searches per second! I have previously written an article in which I compare Facebook and Google from an advertising point of view. Feel free to check it out to find out what’s best for your brand. The following are some of the reasons why businesses should consider advertising on Facebook:

  • The platform has an unparalleled reach, as already noted above.
  • Facebook’s monthly active user base continues to grow (in spite of what you may have heard from doomsday prophets).
  • You can learn to create Facebook Ads on your own. You just need to be a little patient. And if you are one of those people that simply does not have the time, don’t hesitate to give me a shout and I will handle everything on your behalf.
  • It’s very easy to choose your target audience when advertising on Facebook. It’s even easier to refine this target audience. At the end of the day, you will have ads that are precisely targeted at the right people. This gives you a higher CTR than would be the case when advertising on other platforms.
  • Advertising on Facebook tends to be cheaper than on other platforms (including Google).

Reasons why your Facebook ads may not be showing

There are several reasons why your Facebook Ads may not be showing. I will go over them in this section while illustrating my points with examples. A lot of them are very obvious, so I am not going to spend much time on them. I will just mention and explain them a bit:

1. Your ad has been disapproved due to content violations

If you encounter problems with your Facebook ads being disapproved, then this could be the reason. The good news is that should this ever happen to you, then Facebook will notify you via email. They will also state the reason(s) for the disapproval. Your status in Ads Manager also notifies you if any of your ads have been disapproved.

Why Facebook disapproves ads

Ignoring Facebook’s Advertising Policies is usually the major reason why many people end up having their ads rejected. If your ad has been disapproved, then the following could be the reasons why:

  • There is adult content in your ad
  • Your ad features prohibited content, such as drugs
  • Your ad sells weapons
  • You have violent content in your ad
  • The ad is trying to sell fake documents, i.e., degrees

2. You have reached your account spending limit

This is another obvious reason why your Facebook ads may not be showing. How Facebook Ads works is that you assign a maximum amount of money that you wish to spend on each campaign or account. You can also set daily or lifetime budgets for your Facebook ads. Once you have exhausted your daily budget, your ads will stop showing.

Let’s assume that you have created an ad for baby shower products. You can set the maximum amount to be spent at $300 per day. Now, if you have an ad for which you have set the maximum bid at $3, then your ad will be shown around 100 times. After that, your ad will not show any more because you will have exhausted your budgeted spending amount. You can check whether or not you have reached your spending limit for the month through the statistics area under “Status.”

How much should I spend on Facebook Ads?

This is a question that I get a lot from people. Truth is, there is no definite answer. It’s all going to depend on how deep your pockets are. If you are a big player, then, by all means, spend as much as you can to get the results that you are looking for. I am not saying here that you should just throw money away. What I am saying is you should spend as much as is possible while making sure that your campaigns are, at the very least, breaking even.

3. Your image has 20% or more text

This is another reason why your Facebook Ads may be banned. To be fair, this reason is not that obvious. However, when you are creating the ad and have uploaded the image, Facebook should tell you if you have this problem. But why does Facebook care about this?

The 20% rule

The 20% rule from Facebook is premised on the assumption that a text to image ratio of 20% or more on an ad renders the ad low quality. Ads that do not adhere to this rule may not be shown. They may also receive penalties in auctions, making your campaigns less competitive. Note that image text only refers to text on the image itself and does not include such things as body text.

4. Your ad is not relevant

This also tends to be another obvious reason why your ad may not be showing. One of the indicators that your ad is not relevant is when you have a very low click-through-rate (CTR). Facebook actually uses your ad’s CTR to see if people are engaging with your ads. Facebook wants to show relevant ads to users and they want people to keep coming back. If you get leads, Facebook makes money. When people are interested in your ads, it shows Facebook that the ad is relevant.

5. Your ad’s quality sucks

Some people fall foul of Facebook through the creation of ads that suck in one way or the other. If you create low quality ads, then it’s highly likely that you will get penalized by Facebook, which contributes to the ads not showing problem. Facebook identifies the following as low quality ads:

  • Engagement bait: These are ads that try to push people into taking some action, such as liking, sharing and commenting.
  • Withholding information: Some people try to create suspense for their ads by withholding information. This is designed to bait people into clicking on a link or taking some other action. An example would be something like: “This amazing trick will help you lose weight.” In fact, withholding information is something that you see across the Internet on a daily basis. However, Facebook considers it a sign of a low quality ad.
  • Your language is sensational: This point is more or less related to the ones that we have just gone over above. Some people are tempted to sensationalize their ads in a bid to boost their CTR. Doing this can, however, get you penalized by Facebook.

6. Your bids are too low

Don’t make your bids too low

Don’t make your bids too low.

You must remember that Facebook is a bidding platform. Therefore, whatever ad you are going to put out there is probably going to have to fight with others from your competitors. When creating your ad, you will get to a section called “Optimization & Delivery.”

When I started off doing Facebook ads for my own company, Planet Marketing, I was making bids that were as low as 50 cents. I thought I was going to get away with it! That could probably have happened in some parts of Planet Earth, but not in Southern California where I live. So, when I launched my ads, everything got approved. Everything went through. After a while, when my ads were not showing; I would just double my bids to something like a dollar. I was still not getting anything!

Experiment with your bids

The thing that you need to do is experiment with your bids. It’s very unlikely that you are going to hit the sweet spot right off the bat. Hey, we have all been through the grinder in this regard! Don’t hesitate to play around with your bids till you have reached an optimum level that works great for your company.

What are your competitors’ bids?

Be aware of what your competitors are bidding for Facebook ads targeting the same keywords. Your own bidding should remain in this range. Otherwise, they will outbid you and your ads will not show. Also note that some target audiences on Facebook are more expensive than others.As an example, it’s more expensive to target women who are pregnant than kids who are in high school. Pregnant women have more money to spend than 18 year olds, meaning more advertisers are going to be interested in pitching to them. That, in turn, tends to raise the bids you need to make to have your ads shown.

What should I bid?

How much should I spend on Facebook ads?

The amount that you need to place as your bids is going to be different depending on the level of competition for the keywords that you are targeting. One of my clients owns a golf course. I recently ran a campaign for them targeting baby showers. When doing Facebook ads for this client, I started getting some clicks when I raised my bids to $10 per click. I really started getting leads when I raised the bids to about $15. Now, remember, this is just for the baby showers campaign. Most other stuff, you are not going to be bidding this high. As you can see in the above screenshot, a single lead actually cost $14.14 for the baby shower ad. It would be a waste of time, therefore, to place a maximum bid of $3. Your ads will not show!

Place the correct bid, whatever your Campaign Objectives

Facebook offers you 13 types of campaign objectives. For the baby showers campaign that I gave in the above example, I was using the Lead Generation campaign objective. My point here is, all of the 13 campaign objectives that are offered by Facebook have the “Optimization & Delivery” section. So you need to make sure that your bid is high enough so that you can compete in the marketplace. If it’s too low, your ads will not show. Or maybe they will just show some impressions and then they will go away!

7. Your target audience is too small

Make sure that your target audience is not too low.

This is another not-so-obvious reason why your Facebook Ads may not be showing. Going back to my baby shower example, you can see above that I had put a radius of 12 miles around the golf course for delivery of my ads. The golf course has rental rooms, which they rent out for various occasions, such as baby showers, milestone birthdays, weddings, etc.

Once you have gone through your detailed targeting and the locations area, make sure that your target audience is big enough to shows some ads in. You can see in the above screenshot that the potential reach for this particular ad is 27,000 people. However, based on the settings that I have chosen, my estimated daily results stand at between 1.1K and 3.2k people in terms of reach. This translates to less than 10 potential leads per day. In reality, we actually did get about five leads a day, so the estimate provided by Facebook was not too far off the mark.   

So, let me reiterate that your target audience needs to be big enough. Otherwise, your Facebook ads are not going to show and you are not going to get any leads. I always try to be as conservative as possible. None of my clients has an endless supply of money.

8. Ad Fatigue

This is the final of the not so obvious reasons why your Facebook ads may not be showing. Facebook doesn’t like showing the same ad over and over again to the same people. So, if you look at your statistics, you may see an initial ramp up in your ads. Then, all of a sudden, their performance will drastically drop. Your Facebook ads will just stop showing.

How to deal with ad fatigue

Create duplicate ads to deal with ad fatigue.

The way to deal with ad fatigue is to create competitor ads. Doing so is simple enough. What you need to do is go into your ads manager. In the Ads tab, select “Quick Duplicate” under “Duplicate.” Next, it’s a simple matter of changing the wording, image or something else in the duplicate ad. Then you need to run it.

This way, you will have an alternate ad for your target keywords. This reduces the issue of ad fatigue. You can create as many duplicate ads as you wish. This gives your ads diversity and slows down the process of ad fatigue that has the potential to adversely affect the performance of your Facebook ads.


Those are some of the reasons why your Facebook ads may not be showing. The three last ones are sort of hidden. You may spend hours trying to figure out why your ads are not showing. Besides the obvious one, those are the three reasons that you should most consider. Your bids may be too low, or your audience may be too small. Ads that may initially show may also have tapered off because they have gone through Facebook’s ad fatigue.

If you learned something in this video, feel free to subscribe to the Planet Marketing newsletter. For those of you who want to take your Facebook advertising to another level and you really want to learn from someone who has a lot of experience, consider looking into my DIY Facebook Ads Marketing Course. Use the course to accelerate your learning so that you don’t stumble all over the place trying to create ads.

Some people prefer that I do their Facebook Ads marketing on their behalf. That’s way simpler. If that is what you want, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I will handle the process of creating and managing your Facebook Ads on behalf of your business. This is something that I do on a daily basis, so you will know that your campaigns are in safe hands!

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