• 7 reasons why your social media ads are not working

7 reasons why your social media ads are not working

Words: Jessica Turner, Managing Director of Confab

During our nationwide lockdown, we have been assisting a small business client of ours run targeted social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to sell their products online and have seen amazing results, some of which include 32 online sales with an advert spend of just under R900! This startup business has been elated with their sales which have meant that during challenging business times, their trade has increased all thanks to online advertising done properly.

This got us thinking that during testing economic times such as these, it’s not only important for businesses to leverage online advertising, but to ensure they are doing it properly and so we were inspired to write this article with 7 reasons why your social media ads are not working and what you can do about it. 

1. You are ‘boosting’ posts

If you are guilty-as-charged of ‘boosting’ your social media posts rather than creating structured advertising campaigns, we will forgive you, but only if you quit this very, very bad habit immediately after reading this. Did you know that our team will not spend one cent on boosting posts on social media because that will be one cent flushed down the drain? Don’t get me wrong, we certainly do spend money on social media advertising, lots of it, but only through the adverts manager interface which allows us to create structured social media campaigns, the right way.

2. You are choosing the wrong objective

Like most things in life, having your end goal in mind is a great starting block, and social media advertising is no different. Do you want to generate sales? Then don’t optimise your ads for “likes,” do you want to generate leads? Then don’t optimise your ads for reach. This may sound like a simple equation, but many businesses are not seeing results from their social media ads for this very reason. To let you in on a secret of ours, our favourite objectives to optimise our clients campaigns for are: conversions (sales or leads on their website), website traffic and reach. You won’t catch us paying for likes in 2020 and neither should you! Find out more about why we don’t pay for likes.

3. You don’t have a Pixel code set up on your website

We like to think of your website as the epicentre of your digital marketing efforts and the central landing point that all your campaigns should ultimately point to. If you are serious about seeing results from your social media advertising campaigns, you need to ensure that your social platforms and your website are integrated, and we don’t mean just having links to your social profiles on your website. The best way to integrate your website and social media channels is by installing social media tracking codes often known as pixels. These let you track user activity between your adverts and your website. For example, without a pixel installed, we would be able to report on a campaign to a client and let them know how many people “clicked” on their advert, but we couldn’t report on what happened once the person arrived on their website. With a pixel installed, we could give a report to the client including how many website views they received and how many leads or sales were generated based on the advert. To take it a step further, we are then also able to report on return on investment from that particular advert.

4. You aren’t using advanced audience combinations

If you are not using custom audiences, lookalike audiences or advanced audience combinations, then we need to chat because you are missing out on what we would deem the best way to see advert success. Custom audiences let you target previous website visitors or upload email lists of clients and target these individuals via social media platforms whilst lookalike audiences (you guessed it) let you target people who look like your website visitors or those on your email list. Advanced audience combinations include combining custom audiences, lookalike audiences and a few of our other *secret* ingredient audience types to get the ultimate bang for your buck.

5. Your copywriting isn’t compelling and your artwork isn’t striking

Don’t kick your copy and artwork to the curb as you focus on aspects of your campaign that you feel are more important, because over the years we’ve come to realise that it’s these two aspects that can make or break your social media adverts. There’s an art to good copy and an obvious art to adding the right creative components to your campaign and so we would advise pouring extra time and attention into these two aspects and it will pay off.

6. Your customers are not getting a good landing page experience

Scenario: You’ve heeded our advice and integrated your website with your social media profiles using pixel tracking codes but still are not seeing the conversions you hoped for. 

Resolution: Ruthlessly scrutinise your landing page experience. What are your potential customers seeing once they’ve clicked from your advert to your website? Are they taken to an ambiguous page that has no relevance to the advert they’ve just seen? Are they taken to a page that has no “calls to action” for them to further interact with your business? Are they taken to a copy-heavy or ugly-looking page that makes them want to click the red “x” button on the top left of their internet window just as fast as they landed on it? Your landing page experience will directly impact your clicks-to-conversions ratio, so it’s worth investing in a good one.

7. Maximise your marketing mix

Finally, we strongly believe that a successful social media campaign must be undergirded by an overall marketing strategy that is well thought-out and strategically focused. If you are haphazardly boosting posts with no real method to your madness, now is the time to stop, take a step back and invest time in drawing up an overall marketing plan for your business. The best social media adverts are small parts of a greater picture. What are your overall marketing goals? What are the desired actions you want your customers to take? How do you want your business to interact with current and potential clients online? Map questions like these out, clearly define where you are and where you are going and then let your advertising strategy and campaign creation be an overflow from this.

To end things off, if you’ve been advertising on social media with no success, we want to encourage you with this: If at first you don’t succeed try and test again! It’s taken us a long time to perfect our own social media advertising tactics that ensure our clients see great results from their ads, and we have enjoyed many losses and wins along the way. One thing we would bet our bottom dollar on is that social media advertising (when done properly) works wonders for businesses, and we hope this has empowered you to work some of your own magic. 

Not up for the challenge? We are always happy to help. Book a meeting with us here to discuss your advertising strategy.