3 Reasons Why Social Ads Fail | Travel Research Online


3 Reasons Why Social Ads Fail


Are you ready to give up on social ads?

Maybe you don’t feel like your ads are generating any interest. Well, you’re not alone; 62 Percent of Small Business Owners Say Facebook Ads Miss Their Targets.

Stop wasting your time and effort creating ads that fail!

But wait… why even look at this if social ads fail so often? Here’s the deal: out of all of the B2C companies using social media, 97% of them use Facebook! It matters! It works! Let’s explore 3 steps to get you on the road to fail-proof ads today.


1. Audiences Matter – Talk to the Right People

The first step to successful ads is nailing your audience! Sure, the easy way is to simply target by age, location, and some other simple demographics.

But what many marketers don’t realize is that there’s way more opportunities to make sure you’re talking to the right people.

For example, let’s say you’re considering marketing a tour to the Holy Lands. Start by doing some research into people who typically travel to this area by checking:

  1. Destination visitor stats. Is there a particular age visitor that eclipses all other ages?
  2. Your own past traveler stats. What other common interests do these group travelers share?
  3. Reach out to people who have traveled to this region to better understand their reasons for choosing the destination.

The next step is to build an avatar of the perfect client. Ask yourself these questions:



If you’re talking to the wrong people, your ad simply won’t perform!


2. Words Matter – Say What they Want to Hear

Have you bought a new computer lately? My last experience was with a salesperson who talked about how amazing a particular laptop was for gaming! Hmmm… I don’t game and probably don’t fit the demographic of the average gamer. I left that store as soon as possible.


Your audience is the same. They want to feel like you’re talking directly to them personally. But how do you accomplish this? When you understand your audience, you’ll know the questions they’re most likely to ask. You’ll know their pain points, sentiment, and buying habits. Then you can then address those questions in the text of your ad or in your video designed for the ad.

When you know the main reasons a traveler picks a destination or style of travel, you’ll be able to address these key points. Yep, it all boils down to creating the most comprehensive avatar you can!

What else besides words will grab the attention of people as they’re scrolling thru their feeds?

  • Emoji. Check out some unique Emoji by using tools like EmojiPedia, IconEmoji or i2Symbol.
  • # (hashtags). Research # to determine which ones perform best for you own avatar audience. How about checking some of your suppliers posts to see what # they use.
  • Call to Action (CTA). Make sure it’s easy for people to know what step you want them to take next. You can have a call to action right in your ad text as well as select a CTA button when setting up your ad.
  • Most important is a hook! By this I mean some wording that makes it impossible for people to ignore your offer or content. Wording that creates demand and positions your offer as irresistible. That being said, we don’t want to be spammy as people will see right thru the spam and scroll to get away as quickly as possible.

The bottom line is that your ad needs grab their attention (Emoji), be searchable by topic (hashtag), and sound like it’s from a friend in the know. Whew! That’s a tall order and a reason why many social ads don’t work.

Then the big question: How is a savvy marketer to know what’s going to appeal to their avatar or audience?


3. Science Matters – Testing and Analytics Work

Let’s say you really don’t know much about your avatar. This is where it gets interesting! This is where the science of advertising comes into play. You can:

  1. Create a couple of different ads with different copy and graphics, then split test
    1. Split testing, also called A/B testing, is available on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter with some manual analytics, LinkedIn and Google (it’s built right in). Here’s how to test what will stop your fans from scrolling.
  2. Create multiple versions of the copy, graphics, videos, headlines, calls to action and set up Dynamic Creative ads on Facebook and Instagram.
  3. Optimize delivery of your ads with these tactics.

Here’s what I learned when I dug into the science of my own analytics.



Speaking of science, you’ll want to dive into your own social analytic sites to understand the reports and measurement metrics. You may be surprised at the granular details available. For example, many marketers simply look only at the reach and engagement numbers. But hiding in plain site are details that tell you:

  1. Details about your existing audiences: job titles, interests, and other pages they follow. This is relevant when updating an audience for a specific campaign. Details and navigation here.
  2. What time viewers are most likely to click a link in your ad. This will help you schedule your ads to maximize your link clicks thereby boosting your SEO.
  3. What time your viewers typically engage by liking, commenting, and sharing. Filter by hour, day, week, or month. Additional filtering by action: post shares, post comments, unique new users, and a variety of other metrics. This will help you maximize your brand awareness.


Figure 1 – Navigation: Ads Manager < Analytics < Overview < Activity < active users.


Armed with this data you can then assess which ads are helping or hurting your strategy. The next step is to tweak your ads to improve your results. Here’s some common tweaks.



Lastly, the subtle art and science of social ads involves never giving up! There are always changes to the ads platforms, adjustments you can make and the ever-changing sentiments of travelers to help guide you to the best ad campaigns for your business.


Catherine Heeg, International speaker & trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.

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