You read everywhere that social campaigns would lead to positive ROI. You were told your campaigns would drive insane traffic and generate top-quality leads and customers for your business.

It was almost a guarantee…

So…why isn’t any of that happening?

There are a host of reasons why social campaigns don’t convert, and any number of them could be affecting yours.

What we see most often with failed campaigns is that they’ve been rushed out of the planning phase in order to start generating ROI as quickly as possible. Big mistake.

The planning phase is the most important part of the campaign. It’s there that you make sure you’re:

  • Targeting the right audience beyond demographics
  • Nailing your messaging
  • Getting your landing pages to load at lightning speed
  • Solving common objections
  • Getting your CTAs right

And only then should it even be considered for publishing.

Let’s have a closer look at some of these reasons why your social campaigns aren’t converting.

Your Targeting is All Over the Place

If you’re trying to target everyone, you’re targeting no one.

Trying to reach a large number of people will be a waste of marketing spend. Generalised targeting will lead people to scroll past your campaigns, or worse, wondering “why is this showing up on my feed?”.

You don’t want that.

Yes, social campaigns will allow you to target your audience based on basic demographics, like their age and gender. But that’s barely scratching the surface.

While those are certainly helpful data points, your targeting will deliver much better results when segmented properly.

Think of it this way: a man won’t read The Sunday Times because he’s a 58-year-old male. That doesn’t make any sense. He’ll read it because he wants to be well-informed and have news to look at during his morning coffee.

Want to nail your targeting? Here are some of the characteristics of your audience you’ll want to consider:

  • Interests
  • Number of children
  • Ethnic affinity
  • Education levels
  • Home ownership and type of home
  • Political beliefs
  • Life events (such as anniversaries and birthdays)
  • Buyer profiles (such as gamers, foodies, or coupon lovers)
  • The type of device they use

As much as filtering your audience to a high degree means targeting fewer people, that’s what you should be doing. The chance of those highly-targeted people becoming warm leads is a lot higher than if you blindly aim towards a bunch of people and cross your fingers.

Your Messaging Misses the Mark

Accurate targeting also depends on reliable messaging. Your filters could be inch-perfect, but people still won’t convert if the words in your campaign don’t resonate with them.

The right messaging is about finding what your customers are saying, in their own words, and using that information. There’s no one better than your own customer to tell what he or she wants to read.

That’s why talking to your customers, listening to their objections, and reading their unfiltered comments is so important: so you can use their own words to swipe snippets of copy that resonate.

Take a look at the following Instagram ad from Talkspace:

Talkspace is a confidential and affordable online therapy service offering one-on-one meetings with a licensed therapist.

As with any type of online service, their audience has different questions and desires in relation to what’s being offered. The only way to develop powerful messaging around those feelings is by listening to customers and prospects, and maybe borrowing a quote or two.

Here’s a handy example:

For the above ad, Talkspace’s marketing team could have found that prospects may be looking for an accessible, yet trustworthy online therapy platform that’s available 24/7.

Still, they may be scared that they won’t be able to get help for their specific problem, and maybe even that Talkspace isn’t legitimate.

The ad taps into those feelings by:

  • Humanising the offer. It features a friendly picture of a licensed therapist who works for the platform.
  • Featuring a quote from the same therapist, reassuring prospects that Talkspace is meant for ALL people.
  • Reinforcing that support is available anytime in their caption.

The messaging of your campaigns should latch onto the beliefs, desires, and fears of your audience.

Your Landing Pages Take Too Long to Load

Imagine spending hours developing a winning social campaign, working hard to get the click, then finally getting it, but as soon as a prospect lands on the page…

Five seconds go by.

Then five more.

And suddenly your prospect has disappeared…

It may sound like an absurdly short time, but you know it well: clicking back is easier than waiting for a slow page to load.

If a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 53% of website visits will be abandoned. Scary stuff. That means you should shape your entire website–including page loading speed–around the demanding nature of modern customers.

If that’s not enough to convince you, a slow landing page speed also gets the side-eye from Google’s algorithm.

There are several ways you can increase your pages’ loading speeds. Some of them from Moz:

  • Don’t upload images that are larger than they need to be.
  • Reduce redirects.
  • Optimise your code: reduce or remove unnecessary commas, spaces, and other characters.
  • Decrease the size of your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files by using file-compressing applications like Gzip.

Your Campaigns Don’t Solve Objections

Dive into the comment section of any social ad and, most of the time, you’ll find a handful of comments with questions like:

“Is shipping free?”
“Is it vegan?”
“Is it safe?”

And so on.

This is marketing gold. By being aware of the most frequent questions your customers and soon-to-be customers have, you’ll be able to remove several roadblocks before they become a problem.

The longer your prospects spend scratching their heads wondering if they should purchase your product, the longer they’ll have to check out your competition or finding reasons not to. Read that again.

If you can’t get your hands on enough objections through email replies or social media comments, here’s another strategy: go to your customer support team or your sales team. They’re the people who handle objections on a daily basis whether that’s through direct calls or customer tickets.

More than anyone, they know about your audience’s real problems.

Buried CTAs (or Too Many CTAs)

Take a look at how Walmart has gone crazy with the CTAs below.

A lot is said about buried CTAs. But have you ever entered a website and got confused as to where you should land your eyes?

“The more, the merrier” is nonsense here. There is such a thing as too many CTAs. I don’t know about you, but Walmart has given me a headache.

If visitors are as confused as I am and your store isn’t Walmart, they’ll probably do their online shopping somewhere else.

Now, the other side of the spectrum.

Which of the CTAs below are you more inclined to click on?

The CTA on the right is central, bold and visible. It makes you want to read the full story.

CTAs should beg to be clicked. They should stand out on the page with contrasting colours. They should be large enough, but not exaggerated. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but here’s a final example:

Closing Thoughts

It’s true that consistently creating and publishing social campaigns will result in high visibility. Yet, that visibility will only lead to conversions if you’re saying the right things to the right people. Are you?

To make your social campaigns work, start by avoiding the mistakes above, and you’ll get closer and closer to the ROI you were promised.