Did My Social Media Advert Work?

July 12, 2016

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There are lots of reports which state that spend on social media advertising is increasing year and year and it is fast becoming to go-to advertising channel. It’s easy to see why: easy to set up, cost efficient and a good opportunity to get creative. However, has your advert actually worked? Tricky question eh?

The answer is not a binary ‘yes its worked’ or ‘no its not’, it’s more complex than that. As I see it, there are three areas which you need to measure to see if your campaign has worked: advert performance, website performance and conversion.

Advert Performance:

  • Click Through Rate (CTR) is one of the most important metrics here. If your campaign has delivered a disappointing CTR, it may be for one of these reasons:

    • Audience definition: there seems to be some sort of issue between the audience and the advert – it is taking more people than you would like to generate clicks, so it may be that the audience is not relevant
    • Message: possibly the audience is right, but the message that you are communicating is not resonating with the audience
    • Positioning: different networks position their adverts in different places and some of these places deliver a strong click through rate than others

Website Performance:

  • There are three key metrics when looking at how your ad traffic is performing:

    • Bounce rate: This should normally be as low as possible, although it does depend on the content on the page – if you are just hoping for the user to see some information and take and off-line action (e.g. email, telephone), a high bounce rate is OK
    • Pages per visit: As with bounce rate, a good number depends on what you would like the visitor to do. However, if you have unengaging content, the visitor will soon exit and this number will be small
    • Time on site: Like the other two metrics, this is probably going to be slightly less favourable than it would be for a visitor from another source (traffic from adverts tend to be fairly speculative) – but you will have an idea of how long it would take someone to read all of your content and that should be your target


  • This is the biggest payback from the advert – the visitor completing the purchase, making the enquiry or achieving whatever your objective is
  • While this is the ultimate measurement of success, it is important to understand that this is the output of a lot of different variables from the advert and website
  • Linking these three sources of information is challenging, particularly on a budget, but if you are able to do so, this intelligence should make future campaigns even more successful

Do you measure success of your social media campaigns? If so, what does success look like for your campaigns?

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