Social Ads Not Really Driving Conversions

For the most part, those social ads that brands are paying for on social media aren’t moving the needle on sales revenue. A recent survey of U.S. internet users found that Snapchat and Twitter, in particular, had single digit response rates, and 45% said they haven’t purchased anything based on ads on social media.

“By and large, social networks haven’t cracked the code for social commerce just yet,” writes Rimma Kats in eMarketer. “One main reason? In many cases, consumers aren’t very interested in buying something while they’re on a social platform.”

This is just my speculation, but another reason could be the way social ads follow you around from place to place like a lost puppy…even ads for products you recently bought elsewhere. Facebook ads fared the best — 16% of the people surveyed say they’ve made a purchase based on an ad on that platform.

It’s tough to get to the bottom of all of this; our customers are multichannel consumers, and any good strategy takes that into account. Maybe those social ads push people to buy on another channel? Hard to know.

What we do know is this: not all ads are created equal. Some are disliked much more intensely than others. And while pop-ups and mobile ads are the least liked, Facebook ads are still generally seen as a nuisance, according to a Hubspot survey:

The data shows that magazine and print ads, followed closely by billboard ads, are the least likely to turn off viewers.

No wonder then, that some leading agency execs are saying pffft to digital ads as the pendulum swings back to print. Print ads still engage in ways that digital just can’t, proving time and again that print is well worth the investment.