9 traps of facebook marketing that causes Singapore business owners to burn time and money

When it comes to Facebook marketing, recent months has been nothing short of happening. In mid-2021, iOS 14.6 update dealt a massive blow to Facebook that cost them an estimated $10billion. Facebook was also under a lot of fire for privacy issues. Towards the end of the year, Facebook also announced the change of its name to Meta. I will be kidding if I say Facebook marketers and advertisers are not affected by all these. 


If you are on this page, you probably already know about the power of Facebook ads. You have experienced or seen other businesses get lots of customers from Facebook. Facebook is our favourite go-to for getting customers in Singapore. It still is.  

This article will show you how to continue reaping the most(and more) out of Facebook given the turbulent times! 


If you are like most marketers, you just go to Facebook ads library to check out your competitors’ ads and copy wholesale. At the very most, they make minor changes to the creatives. After a while, they found that it doesn’t work, especially after 10 other businesses also use similar ad angles. 

Similar ads promoting low interest rate of 1% in the same industry


You probably see your competitors’ ads on your Facebook newsfeed frequently, right? This is due to Facebook’s precise AI targeting. This means your target audience also end up seeing a lot of ads from you and your competitors, especially after they start clicking on one. Facebook targeting has become very efficient over the years. It is no wonder copycat ads do not work anymore!

 The very aim of ‘marketing’ is to stand out, not to blend in. When it comes to digital marketing, many marketers seem to have cast aside the fundamentals of marketing. There’s no shortcut around it. You have to first understand your target audience and find out what captures their attention. It usually revolves around these 5 things: their pain, goals, criteria, objections, obstacles. You can watch this video to learn more about the big 5 triggers. This is why we always do a deep dive before running any campaign. Arguably, the homework is more important than the campaign work itself. Stop using copycat ads 🙂 


iOS update

iOS update has stripped us, advertisers of our sight. We could no longer accurately track conversion data, and we do not know which ad and audience led to conversion & sales. We have to go blind and do guesswork again. It is like going back to newspaper advertising. You can imagine it is very traumatic. 


As a Facebook business partner, we had the good fortune of knowing about iOS update before it rolled around.                                                                                                   

As such, we have already taken precautionary measures to all our accounts to mitigate tracking issues. If you are running the account yourself, fret not. You can always visit this public resource page by Facebook to learn more about what you should do. The good news is that Facebook is getting better and better at countering the iOS problem, so you should constantly re-visit the page to implement their latest recommendations! 


Ad fatigue 

You may have gotten good results from Facebook in the past, but no longer. At least, that is the case with the handful of businesses we have come across. 

Due to the nature of Facebook ads, ad fatigue is a big issue. Unlike with Google ads, you are always showing your Facebook ads to roughly the same audience group.  

Due to Singapore’s small population size, you will saturate your audience fast. It doesn’t take long for Facebook to show your ads to 5mill people. 

The solution is not to have you pack your bag and go to another country. It is much simpler. You just have to keep refreshing your ads!


If you think you have maxed out your audience, you haven’t. Your prospects are just sick of the same old message that you are putting out. Due to the selective attention principle, they have subconsciously developed an “auto-filter” to ignore the same ads. 


Fortunately, ideating new ad angles don’t have to be difficult. In a “Facebook X Icecube” live event we did with Facebook, we unveiled our unique framework for conceiving many new ad ideas easily! You can check out the recording here. It is known as the 7x formula. In a nutshell, you can create emotional, logical ads and problem-aware or solution-aware ads. You can easily conceive 10 new original ads by following the video in the link above. If you need an agency to do all the heavy lifting for you, don’t forget to check out our Facebook marketing services!

 Stop fighting the robot

As the A.I in Facebook evolves, the ideal Facebook ads structure has changed. In other words, Facebook has gotten ‘smarter’. If you are still creating 20-30adsets now like the good old days, you are sabotaging Facebook’s machine learning efforts! Facebook’s best practice is to keep it simple now. Check out the video for an explanation.

Don’t bother posting on Facebook

Are you thinking about what to post on your Facebook page next week? Well, you can probably drop the thought.

This would have been a good move in 2012 when your post can reach as much as 16% of your fanbase. The figure dropped to 6.5% in 2014. Now, it is less than 2%. That’s not all. Only a further 5% or less of this measly 2% is going to pay attention to your post on their newsfeed. That is only about 0.1% of your fanbase. Shocking?

This is why we advise SMEs to determine what is their objective before hiring an agency. A social media management agency may not help you generate ROI like you expected. Check out this article for the different types of digital agencies in Singapore.

Facebook page organic reach to your fans per post


*Note: These are average figures. Your numbers will vary depending on the level of engagement on your page & post


Free bonus:

Get a 1-page Cheatsheet to Facebook advertising in 2022: Step-by-step guide

Click here to download

Be a geek

Since Google, Facebook and other digital advertising platforms came into the picture, marketing has largely evolved into more of geeky sports. It is a great thing for businesses because the data tells us what is working and what is not, allowing us to optimize the campaign for better results.

Moreover, the reports are fairly straightforward. You don’t need a data scientist to interpret them.

The trap here is in focusing on the wrong metrics. Most advertisers are overly concerned about Cost per Click and number of clicks they are getting. They pride themselves on getting clicks for as low as 10cents per click. When you probe deeper about sales results, they are not able to answer because there is none.

Here’s the thing. The most important metric in advertising is ROI. In fact, if you refer to the screenshot of an actual Facebook ads campaign below, the cost per click is a whopping $5.11 but it doesn’t bother us one bit. This is because the revenue generated is $14,240 as shown below, from an adspend of $3,685.82. The ROI is 3.86x!  This is not counting potential referrals and repeat business from the initial purchase. (Check out your ad budget estimation here as well)

The sad thing is that most businesses don’t even know how many leads are coming from their campaigns because they do not have tracking in place. It is as simple as installing pixel on the website and setting up custom conversion for the campaign. Without the fundamental data, it is like going into the battlefield with their eyes covered. Bullets fly everywhere.


Trust Facebook
In 2021 and beyond, Facebook ads has gotten even smarter. Their machine learning is quite something to marvel at. By setting the right objective, you can basically trust Facebook to find the right target audience to show your ads to. Manual targeting is becoming less important, particularly when running Facebook ads in Singapore(due to our small market size).

Yet we see advertisers spending so much time trying to get targeting right. Instead, what is going to have a bigger impact on your ROI would be conceiving the winning ads. Ads copywriting and ideation is something AI still cannot do(at the moment).  Check out the screenshot below. While targeting the same group of audience, one of the ads is getting in leads at about ¼ of the cost while generating more than 100 leads. The power of ads copywriting!


Lower Quality leads

By using lead ad forms and messenger ads, some businesses are receiving leads that are barely turning into customers. Watch this video for more information.

Scaling your ads

Perhaps your Facebook ads has started to work and you are getting some leads. You excitedly increase the budget of your campaign from $5/day to $50/day. The next thing you realize, your ads do not work as well as before. Clickthrough and conversion rate starts to nosedive and you wondered what happened. Well, thats Facebook’s mechanism.

When you increase your ad budget suddenly, ad frequency starts to increase drastically and effectiveness of ads decline. To get around this, instead duplicate your adset and tweak one of the variables- either ad image, copy, targeting or campaign objective.

Alternatively, don’t forget other ads platform as well.

Youtube ads are fantastic for getting huge reach at low prices. Google search ads are ideal for established industries with proven demand. Video, search and social are all huge in Singapore(check out our stats).

At the end of the day, don’t stop trying. Getting burnt on Facebook once doesn’t make it a useless platform.  Afterall, isn’t it the spirit of entrepreneurship to keep trying?  Having taken the time to educate yourself on the 9 traps above, you are better equipped to deal with Facebook than ever before. Like all other aspects of your business, once you find the right formula, Facebook will skyrocket your sales. Importantly, it provides the consistency and stability of business that all of us need. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity! Facebook ads is going to get more expensive over time. The best time to jumpstart your engine is now. Don’t want to spend time and money paying ‘tuition fees’ to Facebook? Check out our Facebook marketing services!

Free bonus:

Get a 1-page Cheatsheet to Facebook advertising in 2021: Step-by-step guide

Click here to download

Ted Chong

Ted is the director of Ice Cube Marketing. His insights on marketing has been featured in AsiaOne Business, Singapore Business Review , e27 and TechinAsia. He graduated with a 1st class honors degree in Business IT from NTU. While not planning campaigns for clients, he enjoys a good read on books related to psychology.



6 Responses

  1. Hi..
    I m a house agent.
    I need help in FB marketing for my biz. I specialize in HDB resale in North area.

    Will be able to assist?
    Wats ur charges like?
    Are u base in SG?
    Are we able to tok on phone?

    Henry Yap
    Hp. 8777 2927

    1. Hi Henry, Thanks for your enquiry. If you’re interested, please go through this page, https://icecube.asia/ to understand how we work and fill in the form & pre-intake survey if you would like to proceed. Thank you

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