Facebook Ad is one of the best ways to buy traffic online. With Facebook Ads, you can send direct traffic to a WhatsApp chat. All you need to do is ensure you have selected WhatsApp messaging in your ad settings. However, when you send traffic to a WhatsApp group from Facebook ads, you get this error message – “to receive messages in WhatsApp, you must set it as the destination of your ad.” In this post, I’ll show you how to fix this and send traffic to a WhatsApp group from a Facebook ad.
However, before we go further, let’s get some things right.
Facebook vs WhatsApp Relationship
Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 (February). Ever since then, there has been great synergy between both platforms.
For example, you can now cross-post or cross-promote on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
In addition, you can send traffic from a Facebook ad to a direct WhatsApp chat. Also, you can promote a WhatsApp business catalog on Facebook too.
In a nutshell, Facebook is like a holding company to WhatsApp.
Learn More: When Facebook Ad Is Stuck In Review, Fix it
Standard Facebook Ad Traffic To WhatsApp
On Facebook ads, you can send direct traffic to a WhatsApp chat. This can be done either through the Traffic or Engagement campaign goal.
The Problem With Sending Traffic to WhatsApp Group
The major problem with sending traffic to WhatsApp from Facebook ads is that you cannot send traffic to a WhatsApp group with the Group chat link.
You’ll get the “to receive messages in WhatsApp, you must set it as the destination of your ad.” error.
Also, if you have selected WhatsApp messaging as your delivery or conversion, or campaign objective, there will be no space to add any (group chat) link.
How To Fix the “to receive messages in WhatsApp, you must set it as the destination of your ad.” Error
First, ensure that you do not select WhatsApp messaging as your delivery or conversion.
Instead, go to your campaign setting and choose “traffic” as your goal.
Now, go copy the link to your desired WhatsApp group chat and go to any link shortener tool like Bitly to shorten the URL.
Copy the new URL and paste it into the “Website URL” space in your Facebook ad.
The “to receive messages in WhatsApp, you must set it as the destination of your ad.” error should then vanish.
Now, you have successfully placed the link to your WhatsApp group chat from Facebook ads.
With this trick, you can send traffic directly to a WhatsApp group to grow it.
The Facebook ad algorithm can detect and read a bare WhatsApp group URL, hence the need to change the URL with a link Shortener tool.
For some reason, Facebook would recommend a WhatsApp messaging ad if you want to direct traffic to a group chat.
But do not do it.
Instead, stick to the “traffic” objective, change the WhatsApp group chat URL, and paste the new URL in the appropriate place.
This method should clear off this error – “to receive messages in WhatsApp, you must set it as the destination of your ad.”
Try this and let me know if it works for you in the comment box.
In the meantime, you can learn more about how to set up a successful Facebook ad, learn how to use the Advantage Campaign budget in Facebook ads, and the difference between Link Clicks and Landing Pageviews objectives in Facebook ads.