Why your Social Media Ad Buys Don’t Convert.

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It seems like everyone falls for the same pitches from the Social Media sites about how they have the most targeted traffic and how they can get you the best media buy for your money and give you the best ROI.  The thing is that although they do have extremely targeted traffic and can narrow it down by female vs. male, geographic breakdown, interests and hobbies, age, relationship status, etc… that actually becomes somewhat irrelevant when it comes to selling a product as opposed to trying to turn a click into a lead or or a free trial or regular trial offer.

You have to remember that people don’t normally always just shop or spend money on random things, especially in a down or recovering economy.  They have to be convinced to shop and able to be put into a shopping mode, even shopaholics when they aren’t a shopping spree or need to get a shopping fix don’t shop because they see a social media ad, mainly because of what I am about to go into.

An ad, although effective in bringing them into your site or creating a click, doesn’t always drive a person into shopping or decision mode.  Ads can create an interest and get exposure but if they aren’t in shopping mode and your site cannot get someone to go into shopping mode then the chances are that you aren’t going to convert a product sale, especially unnecessary products or luxury items.  This always leads up to the question of “But the traffic is so targeted and is our demographic so I’m going to keep spending” and also keep losing “and just watch it’ll work.”. Again, even the shopaholic isn’t always easy to convert into a sale when they are not in shopping mode.

I hear this argument and this same statement made over and over and over.  Then when the first sale comes in ten ads later or the second or third sale come in I ask how much they spent in total to get them.  On actual product sales it has been rare that Merchants are turning a positive ROI.  The main reason is that although the Social Media sites can reach your target buyer and build you some amazing brand awareness and can easily drive a ton of traffic, the potential customers are not in shopping mode, they are in social mode, update their status mode and take a break from work, school or personal time mode. Sure they may love shopping and may end up buying from you in the future, but from a direct banner or ad buy on a Social Media site, unless you can take them from social mode to shopping mode, you’ll need to find another way to better convert them.

People on Social Media sites are in game playing mode or gossiping mode or quiz taking mode which is hard to pull them out of, especially when they are really hooked on their games, quizzes or reading their gossip columns and updates.  You are actually disrupting it and because shopping is not on their mind at the time.  Although you may get them curious, which causes the click, you have to remember that curiosity doesn’t always equal a sale, especially when they are not in shopping mode.  It does however get you the exposure you need to get your name and brand in front of them so that when you can reach them again while they are in shopping mode, it may be easier to convert the sale since you already had their interest one time before.

This can be done easily by designing a proper landing page when they land, getting them to sign up for your newsletter or just by not having them go to your site at all but to another page on the Social Media site; however those are topics for another post since this one is about why your Social Media Media Buys may not be converting.

If you can get people into shopping mode from Social Media mode with your landing page and ad, then you can probably make millions since social media sites have no shortage of traffic.   Unfortunately the success rate for large ROI ratios on full ticket product sales (not lead or free trial or regular trial offers) is very rare and if you do turn a profit it will probably be a fairly slim margin.  The real money is made from the repeat purchases and long term conversions instead of instant success from the click through.

If you want me to look over your Social Media campaigns and help to find out why they may not be converting and what you can do to help start to turn them profitable, feel free to write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me or leave a comment below.  If you found this post helpful or interesting, please also feel free to tweet it by using the tweet button above.

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2 thoughts on “Why your Social Media Ad Buys Don’t Convert.”

  1. Very interesting analysis – completely agree!

    I would even take it a step further. I used to follow the ads that appear on FriendOrFollow and/orTwitterholic (not sure) simply because it is essentially Twitter traffic – people go there while they’re on Twitter (or at least, while thinking of Twitter). It was interesting to see how often the ads changed – very frequently… meaning, they just didn’t work. At some point those in control seem to have given up and now it’s primarily AdSense. I believe this occurs precisely from the reason you describe – people aren’t in shopping mode.
    .-= Udi´s last blog ..Six Blogging Tips And Tricks =-.

    1. Hi Udi,

      Great to see you here. Yup, there are a ton of ways though that I have been able to use to market and turn a profit from Social Media buys. The problem is that it isn’t immediate but if the Client is patient and pays attention to the time scale on the plan they are always happy with the results as Social Media (at least in my opinion) done properly with an ad buy can be extremely profitable. Just not in the short run but for long term success.


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