Home » Not that Dress Again! Avoiding the Pitfalls of Social Advertising

Not that Dress Again! Avoiding the Pitfalls of Social Advertising

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Global Head of Content , Emarsys

“Wait, why am I seeing ads for that dress I just bought? And it’s on sale! What the heck? I won’t be shopping there anymore.”

Sound familiar? Using social advertising to target your existing customers as part of your marketing campaigns drives sales and results, but if done incorrectly you could be doing serious damage to your brand. To create the best experience, your social advertising needs to be in sync with your other channels and campaigns. If done correctly, social advertising will exponentially increase the overall impact and ROI of your marketing efforts.

Are you making the most of what Facebook, Google and Twitter have to offer, to target the right customers at the right time? Many marketers still aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities. Well here’s a little secret, it’s not difficult to implement, and you can do it yourself, starting right now with data you already have.

On average, Facebook users check their accounts up to 15 times per day. Why not engage with your customers where they are? You already have your website visitors, subscribers, purchasers, high lifetime-value customers, and don’t forget your loyalty program members. You have the data. It’s time to act on it.

Facebook Custom Audiences, Google Customer Match, and Twitter Audience Manager are extremely powerful tools, especially if you use them to their full potential. Advertising on social media can be used for:

Pre-targeting: Create a brand awareness campaign targeted at specific customer segments prior to an exclusive sale. You already know who you’re going to send your sale email to, so why not run a few teaser ads prior to the sale in their Facebook Feed? This will ensure a higher click-through rate on your emails when you send them. send them.

Re-targeting: Create specific Social Ads segments based on the level of engagement with your emails, such as subscribers who have:

  • Never opened.
  • Opened but didn’t click.
  • Opened frequently but didn’t click.
  • Opened, clicked but didn’t convert.

Doing this will help increase your campaign reach using social platforms, while keeping your advertising costs to a minimum. Someone might have not clicked on your email simply because they were just too busy when you sent it. Using Social Ads in this way will ensure that you’re expanding the number of opportunities your customers have to respond to your campaign.

Reactivation campaigns: We all have those loyal customers who just stop opening their emails one day. Perhaps you said something to upset them, or maybe they changed email address and didn’t tell you? Try sending compelling social ads to subscribers who haven’t opened emails in a while, or worse, unsubscribed. Include an offer to get them back to the website and update their contact details or re-subscribe.

Cart and browse abandonment ads: These targeted ads will usually be less expensive than regular ads. Recognizing that you have a pre-existing relationship with the individual, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other platforms reward you with cheaper rates because they want their users to have a good experience on their platform. Think of it like calling someone you already know vs. cold-calling a stranger.

These people know and like you; you’re not trying to get a new customer, you’re targeting existing customers. You know the person, you know your relationship with them, you know what they’ve purchased. Using social ads, you can group customers into segments to do very sophisticated targeting that people will respond to.

For example, you can target an ad to a custom audience who bought a particular item, let’s say that red dress. You don’t want to target them with ads showing the red dress they just purchased. Instead, target that group with accessories or items related to the dress they bought to encourage another purchase. Perhaps you sell an amazing pair of shoes, or products by the same designer that could get the customer back on your site and shopping again.

Targeting a social advertising campaign at your existing customers is relatively easy. All it will cost you is the time it takes to create your audiences, and the price of the ads themselves.

Keep in mind that your audiences have to be updated and refreshed constantly. If you don’t keep this information up to date, you can start to create a bad customer experience. Your customers might start to see old ads, ads that aren’t relevant anymore, or the same ads over and over. After all, there’s nothing worse than seeing an ad with a discount for a dress you just bought!

Social advertising can be extremely targeted and highly effective. However, while it packs a lot of power, it does take a lot of time to ensure a customer experience that will engage shoppers and increase sales.

We can help you with your Social Advertising strategy. Our Social Ads tool is designed for the campaign strategies mentioned in this article, and overcomes some of the risks involved in Social Advertising. To learn more about Emarsys Social Ads, book a demo today.


Savvy marketers must stay up-to-date with new social media trends that will help them succeed. Be sure to check out our five predictions for social media in 2017.