Why are Social Media Conversions so Low?

Why are Social Media Conversions so Low?

With all the furore around the use of social media platforms for advertising businesses (and political aims), it might be a bit frustrating to learn that social media marketing strategies represent a mere 1.08 percent of e-commerce website visits that result in purchases. So let’s discuss why social media conversions are so low.

You should not be put off by social media conversion rates, though – the problem is people expect more from social media than it is ever likely to deliver.

Buying Mode

Most people expect that when they boost a post or carry out a marketing campaign on a social media channel that they are going to receive a deluge of custom they never had before. This is rarely the case for one simple reason – when an advert appears in the timeline of a social media user, the chances of catching them at the right time, just when they are ready to buy, is incredibly slim.

Instead, most of us use social media to build brand awareness, in conjunction with additional strategies to ensure your brand is getting in front of the right consumers. The positive effect of this may not be demonstrated in your social conversion rates, but actually in your direct traffic or organic brand search.

Therefore, it is imperative to ensure you set-up social campaigns in your analytical tools properly like you would with a PPC campaign, so that you can recognise a specific campaign and monitor people’s interaction with your site – they may be really impressed with your advert and the offer contained therein, however, if they get to the site and don’t buy straight away, you can at least track them to see whether they come back and target them through remarketing.

Don’t Be Shy

You may have the most unbelievable offer known to mankind, but if you don’t have a clear call-to-action or instruction to the reader, it may go overlooked and fail to encourage a sale.

A call to action should be clear – Buy Now (or Shop Now if you don’t want to appear too pushy!) is a simple instruction that lets the user know that the offer is available to purchase immediately.

Feel free to be creative with your instruction though – this can be triggered with imagery, linked text or a button. Bear in mind that your social ads will appear in people’s timelines as they are scrolling through the daily feed they choose to follow. Therefore, in order to stimulate a sale, the offer needs to grab their attention immediately.

Considered Purchases

Expensive items may take more than one interaction to stimulate a sale anyway. If the value perception of the offer is high enough, this might not matter. However, in cases where the purchase is going to need to be discussed with a partner, perhaps, it would be sensible to expect immediate conversions to be far lower.

But this may not always be applicable – you may be expecting your social media marketing to do more than it possibly can.

For example, if the advert is for a high-value garden furniture set at £1,000 – it is likely to the viewer will need to discuss this with a partner as they need to discuss a) the price and b) whether it is to both people’s taste.


By engaging one out of every five minutes spent online, social media takes up a significant portion of internet users’ behaviour. Nearly 2.1 billion people have social media accounts and some of these active users access social media platforms more than once a day.

The issue is catching people at the right time, when they are more likely to consider making a purchase – for example, if you are targeting parents, don’t target their social feeds between the hours of 5pm and 8pm as they likely are traveling home from work, cooking dinner and putting the kids to bed etc. Targeting this group after 8.30 pm onward is likely yot yield better results.

In most cases, the brand awareness built by social media impacts early in the customer journey to the online purchase process, in rather qualitative attributes. Depending on industry and country, social media impact might also happen later on the customer journey.

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