Why You’re Social Media Ads Are Not Working

  • 17 Apr 2017
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As with other marketing activities, social media ads have to be carefully planned and executed to yield results. Just creating a couple of ads and hoping for the best won’t cut it. To win the social media game, smart businesses need to understand its rules and the people playing it. Each social media platform has a different audience, with different expectations for brands, and different purchasing behaviors.

For example, on Pinterest, you’ll find mostly women looking for their next DIY. A report by Pew Research found that out of all online adults in the U.S., 45% of women are on Pinterest, compared to 17% of men. On Instagram, you’ll find a younger generation, mostly composed of users aged 18-29, looking for social proof from their favorite influencers. Facebook takes the crown, with 79% of online adults in the U.S. Knowing this type of data is just half the battle.

There’s no generic “magic recipe,” to be successful in social media, but, by understanding the different platforms and their audience, and testing various efforts, the chances of succeeding will increase. So, don’t feel disappointed if your social media strategy hasn’t worked for you yet; it still can!

Learn from these 6 mistakes to improve your social media marketing.

1. A Disconnect Between the Ad and the Landing Page

No relevancy between ad and landing page

Are you advertising a little black dress and sending people to your homepage? Stop that ad, right now, because you’re losing money. Your ad and your landing page (the page where you’re sending people after they click on your ad) have to be correlated.

It’s simple: When advertising your latest t-shirts, take users to your shirts section. When advertising a sale, take people to the sale section of your site. Humans are lazy by nature. If visitors can’t find what they’re looking for in a fast and efficient manner, chances are, they will go someplace else.

2. You Don’t Know Your Audience

Anyone who has tried creating an ad knows that targeting options can be very extensive and confusing. Take Facebook, for example. You can target people based on demographics, age, gender, location, life events, financial behaviors, purchasing behaviors—you name it!

Some of the major mistakes businesses make are staying too generic (choosing the most basic options) or not exploring enough options. Go beyond the generic targeting and test various target options to see which ones work best. You may be surprised to discover a new target audience you hadn’t considered is working better than the rest.

Layer different targeting options to get more granular. For example, combine an interest in the gym with a purchasing behavior of clothing if you’re looking to sell active wear. Another great targeting option, which is many times neglected, would be life events.

For example, you may want to target someone with an anniversary event within 30 days if you’re selling products that can be used as romantic gifts. Don’t be scared to play with different options as long as you are properly measuring your efforts, which takes me to the next mistake.

3. Not Properly Tracking Performance

How are you supposed to know if your ads are working if you’re not tracking them? Making sure your tracking codes are working properly is vital to monitor and optimize the performance of all your campaigns.

Tracking Facebook Conversions
Install the Facebook tracking Pixel to track conversions coming from this social media platform. The Pixel base is the same for every page, but you can also install specific events, such as Add to Cart and Initiate Checkout to get more granular.

Tracking Pinterest Conversions
Pinterest has a tag that allows you to build audiences and get conversion insights. It’s a simple HTML code that’s inserted on a website.

Tracking Instagram Conversions
The Facebook tracking pixel also works for tracking Instagram conversions. Just make sure to separate Facebook and Instagram ads to measure how each platform performs.

4. You’re Not Being Real or Have No Personality

People can perceive if you’re being fake, even on social media! This report by Quicksprout shows that “38% of people find the use of slang to be irritating, and another 32% are annoyed when a brand tries to be funny—when they clearly are not.”

So, if you’re trying to use “hip” words like “on fleek” just to attract a younger audience, chances are, your followers are noticing, and they’re getting irritated.

In addition, another 34% of people find a lack of personality to be just as bad! So, leave the fake behind and embrace your true brand personality. Don’t be afraid to be bold and casual, and don’t over-think your social media strategy.

5. Not Testing Different Ad Variations

Have you tried everything possible and still haven’t gotten results? If you’re like many new business owners, chances are, you haven’t. Testing is key to finding something that works. Also, testing different ads gives your audience a chance to get exposure to your brand without seeing the same thing over and over again. Remember that almost 20% of people need to see a social post or ad 5-8 times before making a purchase.

Do A/B testing, changing all of the following: ad copy, calls to action, images, headlines, and targeting options.
A/B Split testing

Only change one thing at a time. In other words, if you’re testing the headline, leave everything else the same (image, ad copy, targeting, and calls to action). If you’re testing the image, only change the image, and so forth.

6. Not Using Re-marketing

As we mentioned before, most people have to see an ad multiple times before making a purchase. Re-marketing is ideal to increase exposure while getting even more targeted with ads. By creating custom audiences, you can target people who haven’t visited your site in a specific amount of time, are interested in specific products, or have abandoned their cart.

Once the audiences are set up, you can create ads that are specifically tailored to their last visit to your site. For example, create “come back” ads with a discount code to encourage visitors to come back to your website and make a purchase.

Social media can be really powerful and effective; you just have to try different things, track performance, be real, and understand your audience. With a bit of patience and some good practices, you’ll be on your way to driving sales with your improved marketing efforts.

Guest Post By:
Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses.

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