Social Ads Not Working? You’re Probably Making These 5 Mistakes

Social Ads Not Working? You’re Probably Making These 5 Mistakes

What does it take to create ads that pause fingers and slow down users’ endless scrolling?

While advertising on social media may seem easy enough, crafting an effective campaign goes way beyond clicking “Boost” and just hoping for stellar results. Frankly, a whole lotta work goes into makin' platforms like Facebook and Instagram cooperate and yield results.

If you’re on the fence about social ads, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Check yourself for these common mistakes and get the low-down on how to fix ‘em:

1) Just Wingin’ it the Whole Time

Contrary to what these social media platforms may like you to think, crafting effective social ads takes a lot more than just clicking a few buttons.

Waaaaaay before your ads go live, a good amount of time and effort needs to go into establishing a detailed strategy. Picking your objectives and target audience all willy-nilly isn’t going to cut it if you want to launch an ad campaign that actually generates results.

A solid social advertising strategy is the living blueprint that guides you throughout the process of building a campaign. It starts with defining your goals, objectives, and target audience, but also includes decisions about your budget and KPIs, your approach to the ad design, how you plan to monitor and optimize your campaigns, and so much more.

social media planning and strategy

Also, note that we call it a living blueprint. Rather than being set in stone, your social ad strategy should be flexible and capable of changing and improving as new insights come in or when policy changes occur. Facebook’s recent crackdown on the demographics available for targeting, for example, would’ve required a huge shift in strategy as the social, political, employment, real estate, and religious restrictions make it harder to target who you want.

The team overseeing your social advertising needs to be able to accurately interpret the latest data and proactively adjust a campaign when needed. This is why having someone with experience and expertise in your corner is critical.

If social ads aren’t your main jam, there’s a good chance your media spend will be wasted. You can avoid that by partnering with PH3 and working alongside people with a track record of successful social campaigns. For instance, the social advertising strategy we implemented for Dorado Beach Real Estate was a win all around. In just one year, we were able to increase reach by a whopping 518%, engagement by 60%, followers by 18%, and website traffic by 59%.

2) Being Inconsistently Consistent

Beyond strategy, consistency can’t be emphasized enough. That may seem to contradict our earlier point about being flexible, but the two concepts actually go hand in hand.

Adapting your strategy based on new information is an essential part of keeping your efforts optimized and relevant. After all, you don’t want to keep doing something when the data is clearly telling you it’s not working. The reality is, though, that constantly switching things up skews your results and makes it nearly impossible to draw accurate insights.

Comparing campaigns with different objectives, media spends, durations, etc. is like trying to compare apples to oranges. If you sporadically spend large amounts on random blitzes and then go back to minimal or zero spending, it becomes incredibly hard to identify what elements of the campaign worked and what didn’t.

Instead, aim to keep timeframes and media spend the same for specific objectives so you can focus on the variables that you are changing to compare results. Be strategic and purposeful when testing various creative and messaging options. Ultimately, consistency is the key to gaining the valuable insights you need to optimize and improve results over time.

3) Thinking No Creative is No Problem

While creative may seem like just the cherry on top, it’s undoubtedly a vital pillar of your ad strategy. Successfully getting your ad in front of your ideal user is only part of the mission. Making sure what they see (i.e. the creative that shows up on their feed) makes a memorable impression is just as significant. Why? Because of how easy it is to skip and scroll.

Long gone are the days when everyone just had to sit through an ad. Users on Facebook or Instagram will scroll or tap past uninteresting ads with no remorse or hesitation, meaning brands like yours have only seconds to make an impression.

The only way to “slow the scroll,” then, is with eye-catching and engaging creative. This goes beyond just having an attractive image or clip. It’s how the ad is edited, what messages are included, the placement of certain texts and graphics, and more.

creative social post examples

At the end of the day, your goal should always be to have high-quality creative that appeals to your target audience. And not just because it pays off in results, but because it can literally cost you to put out low-quality ads. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have algorithms that will rate your ad’s “perceived quality compared to ads competing for the same audience,”  making it so higher quality ads will beat out others and be shown to more users.

There’s no doubt that creative can affect your performance, so resist the temptation to churn out low-quality designs and content. If you need some extra support to bring your creative ideas to life, PH3’s designers are here for you. Learn more about what it’s like to work with us here.

4) Letting Facebook Manager Manage You

With robust features and capabilities, Facebook Ads Manager is one of the best tools for social media advertising. Used by advertisers on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Ads Manager is an all-in-one tool you can leverage to create, manage, and track your ad campaigns.

Jam-packed with cool capabilities related to objective-setting, detailed targeting, placements, and more, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. Of course, Facebook knows this. It’s why they included beginner-friendly features like “Guided Creation” or “Automatic Placements” that oh-so-helpfully walk you through launching an ad campaign.

Don't get lulled into the laziness of following the helpful prompts without some know-how. Because of the countless options and features, we’ve found that businesses often just stick with what they know. Once they’ve figured out the easiest way to run an ad, they end up adopting a “set it and forget it” mentality, only to wonder why their campaigns don’t perform well afterward.

In short, developing an organizational and proactive process for using Facebook Ads Manager is often overlooked. It’s essential to understand the differences between various objectives, audiences, and placements offered, as well as how to select the options that align with your strategy.

Don’t let Facebook Ads Manager fool you into being a passive user. Take back control by having someone proactively manage your ads. Driven by experience and strategy, we can help you implement a process that allows for purposeful campaigns, better insights, and optimizations that improve results over time.

5) Forgetting the Test and Optimize Stage

When it comes to social media advertising, never forget that social media is constantly evolving. From changes in the algorithms and audiences to developments in privacy and tracking, keeping up with it all can be a challenge in and of itself.

To avoid being left in the dust by those constant updates, you need to regularly test and optimize your ads. The last thing you want to do is launch an ad and then immediately be “done” with it.

social media testing and optimizing

Time should be allotted to monitor and draw insights from your campaigns. Strategically test ads to understand how the ever-changing landscape affects your performance and optimize it based on your findings. While this will take time, it’s also one of the best ways to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Not too keen on going through a steep learning curve? Speed through lessons by working with a creative agency. Our experience with diverse markets and business sizes lets us regularly test, optimize, and uncover new insights. We then apply that knowledge throughout our work with clients, meaning the whole roster stays ahead and at the top of the game.

Social Ads that Don’t Suck

Navigate the maze of social advertising with some of the best guides around. Whether you need experts to walk you through it or just want a team to bounce ideas off of, PH3 Agency + Brewery’s got the solution for you. Let's get talking.