Why Social Media Ads Work (and WHY people click on them)

A client of ours recently asked me “Why do you recommend using social media to drive new customers to my site”?  A legit question and like most things in the digital sphere, not a simple answer.  Many consumers today (and my client is a consumer too) feel that social media ads are taking over their feeds.  However, recent data shows that’s not stopping them from clicking.

Blue Fountain Media surveyed over 1,000 US customers between the ages of 18-55 to learn about their sentiments and buying behavior when it comes to ads on social media platforms.

According to the results of the survey, 75% of those polled think social ads are taking over their feeds – YET, 70% click and purchase.  How is this possible?  3 out of 4 surveyed say they recognize that there are more ads in their feeds yet nearly the same amount of people is clicking on them.

WHY?  The answer is fairly simple – it’s because they are the exact target the marketer is going for proving the theory that delivering the right ad to the right person at the right time WORKS!!

Here are some other key findings from the survey.

Where are Customers are Most Likely to Click On Ads?

When customers were asked where they’re most likely to click on ads, they responded:

  • Facebook (38%)
  • Instagram (​37%)
  • YouTube (​14%)
  • Twitter (5%)
  • Pinterest (4%
  • LinkedIn (2%)

Main feed ads are more effective than Stories ads, as 70% say they are more likely to click on ads in their main news feed.  Seems reasonable.  Most Facebook users stay glued to their in-feed and the “hook” is the scroll.  Placing ads affectively in the scroll fits the exercise the consumer is participating in.

What Do Customers Like About Ads?

With 70% of consumers clicking on social media ads, marketers must be doing something right.

When customers were asked how they feel about ads on social media, they responded:

  • 65% say they like when ads show them products that they wouldn’t have found otherwise.
  • 61% don’t mind ads that target them by demographic
  • 36% say discounts are the biggest motivation to click an ad and buy a product.
  • 31% like the presence of ads so they won’t have to pay for using social media.

How Effective is Influencer Marketing?

To no surprise, influencer marketing works.

According to the survey, 51% of customers will purchase from a celebrity or influencer endorsed brand.

Further, 8% said they will make a purchase even if they have no interest in the product.

However, 56% question the authenticity of a celebrity or influencer endorsement.

Biggest Turn-Offs?

When customers were asked what types of ads turn them off, they responded:

  • 28% say when they have no interest in the product
  • 27% say ads that use audio
  • 23% say similar ads that keep following them (retargeting).
  • 16% say it’s getting more ads than content from family and friends.
  • 6% say they hate that the more they buy – the more ads they get.



  • Social media works if targeted properly.
  • Facebook and Instagram work best
  • 60%+ say they don’ mind ads that target them demographically
  • Influencers impact the purchase of a product (but they better be real and credible)
  • The percentage of people “turned off” by social media ads is relatively low


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