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7 Reasons Your Social Media Advertising Isn’t Working

The key to social media advertising lies in your ability to engage audiences.For businesses expanding their marketing efforts to social media, there are some tricky ad barriers that can work against your campaigns, and keep you from seeing the clicks or leads you intend.

If you’re not generating the company buzz you’d hoped to with social media, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we highlight 7 common reasons paid social media ads fall short, and what your business can do to overcome these challenges. In most cases, the key to social media advertising success lies with you and your ability to engage consumers meaningfully.

1.) You Don’t Understand Your Target Consumer

Your paid social media ad campaigns will go nowhere if you don’t reach your intended audiences correctly. Successful campaigns are built from more than a compelling offer or selling point; they’ve got to be directed for ideal, target personas. Social advertising doesn’t work on the broad scale. Businesses developing social media campaigns must understand their audiences, and set targeting effectively to reach these consumers.

Are you trying to reach customers based on geographical location, who can visit your store or vendor locations? Or are you marketing your products and services nationwide, to serve niche audience groups based on interest?

Understanding your target audience, what they use social media for and what types of content they enjoy are key to successful social media advertising. Try using narrow targeting tools to reach your desired audience, based on parameters such as:

  • Location
  • Browsing activity
  • Preferred social media sites
  • Posting and viewing activity (when is the best time to advertise?)
  • Involved organizations, such as occupation, industry circles and interest groups
  • Education

2.) Your Images Don’t Make Sense

Another reason your social media ads may be falling flat is poor use of imagery. If the pictures, logos or graphics you use in your advertising campaigns don’t connect with what you’re offering, you ads will fail to generate engagement, or even worse, lose credibility with your audience.

Generally, web content with related images generate 94% more views than those without; this applies to blog content, social media posts and tailored advertisements alike. If your current social media ad campaigns aren’t bringing in the business you’d hoped for, make sure you’re not only using powerful imagery in your ads, but also using them correctly.

3.) Your CTAs Don’t Engage Intended Audiences

How well you format CTAs can make all the difference in your ad campaigns.Well designed and placed calls-to-action are essential parts of anything a growing business does online. An effective call-to-action can entice viewers with special offers, or convert eligible leads into sales-ready contacts; this rings true for paid social media ads, just as it does for your web pages.

If your social media ads are coming up short in clicks and engagement, the problem may be in the way you format ad CTAs. Passive wording, poor placement and bad imagery can turn qualified visitors away from your company, and end up costing you valuable sales down the line. Make sure your social media CTAs are action-oriented, and use a blend of powerful imagery and clear wording to encourage viewers, to encourage higher click through rate.

4.) Your Ads Lack Incentive

One reason your ads might not be connecting with social media viewers is lack of incentive. If you don’t give valid, enticing reason for audiences to visit your website or learn more about your offers, you’ll never generate the buzz you need for growth.

To reverse the effects of low-incentive advertisements, find a way to design your ads for urgency; use imagery, special offers and strong wording that make it impossible for viewers to ignore your ads.

Social media advertising tools allow businesses to create multiple variations of the same advertisement, and view performance for each version based on clicks. Tools such as these make it easy for companies to see which of their social media advertisements provide the most consumer incentives.

5.) You’re Posting Ads With Bad Timing

Beyond poor CTA designs or targeting, there’s a chance your social media ads aren’t generating interaction because users aren’t online when you advertise. Timing your social advertisements can make all the difference in generating leads on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Of course, advertising on social media during prime advertising times (generally, during weekdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) costs more than advertising over other periods, such as the weekend… but this is for good reason. Advertising during these times costs more because it’s worth more. This is when the potential for clicks and fresh leads are greatest.

6.) You’re Not Using Analytic Tools

No matter how good you think your social media ads are, you can’t know for certain how engaging they are without using analytics to their full potential. By this, we mean more than looking at click-through numbers and conversions.

The best way to use social media analytics tools is to cross-reference data on your campaigns, and use this information to build the best ads possible for your intended audiences. The built-in tools created by these websites make it easy for businesses to fine-tune their ad campaigns based on performance in:

  • Ad variation groups
  • Different social media platforms
  • Ad hosting times
  • Click-through rate
  • Various CTAs

7.) Your Content Isn’t Worthwhile

Ultimately, audiences won’t become engaged with your content or respond to future advertisements if your content itself is poor. Your target consumers, who want to find a solution for some need, interest or service, will turn to businesses they recognize and respect to fill these needs.

Sales-ready users won’t click on your social media ads if they don’t regard your company, content or offers higher than others. The best way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry, and thus generate greater ad conversion on social media, is by producing consistent, high-quality content and offers. If you want to generate new leads for your business using social media advertising, you’ll need to make sure your ads are worth clicking in the first place.


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Alex Dunn

Alex Dunn

Alex is a University of South Florida mass communications graduate and Video/Media Specialist at Bluleadz. He is a big movie nerd, loves (possibly dangerous) concerts and enjoys taunting co-workers with a camera. He's probably seen The Royal Tenenbaums 14 times by now.