[Consumer study] Social media ads effectiveness explained by people

The level of social media ads effectiveness comes down to several things, including:

  • Are we targeting the right consumers?
  • Is the ad engaging and drawing on the right emotions?
  • Does it have a clear call to action?

There are plenty of things we can measure regarding our own social media ads effectiveness – like the click-through rate, how many people see them, and more. But what are consumers saying about social media ads effectiveness? That’s what we asked them in this consumer study.

Social media ads give me the opportunity to discuss the products with other people that I trust.

The methodology

We completed the entire study of 100 respondents through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand consumers in seven hours.

We combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.

social media ads effectiveness summary

social media ads effectiveness overview


On the quantitative side, we asked:

  • Which of these do you use? (All answers, except “I don’t use social media,” advanced in the study.)
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Facebook
    • TikTok
    • YouTube
    • Pinterest
    • I don’t use social media
  • How likely are you to buy a product when you see it in a social media ad?
    • Very likely
    • Likely
    • Neutral
    • Less likely
    • Not likely

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • Please tell us why you are more or less likely to buy a product on social media.
  • Are you more likely to buy a product when you see it in an ad on social media and why?
  • How long does it take you to decide, and why?
  • If you have, what was the last product you bought through social media ads?

Read next: Not sure what to ask? Check out Voxpopme’s tried and tested open-ended questions for video research.

The results

Here’s a  quick highlight reel of reactions:

The quant results

Facebook is the most common social media site used by consumers in our study. Instagram is No. 2, followed by TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.

which are the most popular social media sites

Over half of respondents said they are likely or very likely to buy a product they saw in a social media ad.


purchase off social media ad

The qual results

Respondents recorded a quick asynchronous video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

The automatic sentiment analysis showed that 37 percent of all statements were positive, with 26 percent negative and 37 percent neutral.

sentiment analysis social media ads

Unlike the quant questions – which are self-reported answers – this sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses.

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.

social media theme explorer

At times, I also use the Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.

social media themes mentioned

The analysis

Next, I read through the transcripts of the responses. This is an easy way to read some more in-depth, skim ahead when applicable, and go back to previous answers in seconds.

These product advertisements usually include bloggers that I'm familiar with. They are also using the products. So now I know how the product is used.

Ads make an impact

Franz, 33, of New York, said he is more likely to buy items from ads – especially on Twitter.

“I am more likely to buy through Twitter because that’s where I view many things I like,” he said.

Robert, 65, of Merrimac, said he likes social media ads because they allow him to discuss the product with friends on social media platforms.

Germaine, 59, of Columbia, said social media ads work exceptionally well when the product is unique.

Bianca, 24, of New York, said it’s helpful when a known influencer demonstrates the product.

“We all go on social media, and it’s convenient,” said Roxanne, 25, of West Covina.

Ignoring ads

Some consumers mentioned that they ignore social media ads.

“Like if a company is spending money to advertise on Instagram of all places, it means maybe it’s not going to be a central product for me right away,” said Maurissa, 28, of Lompoc. “I’m pretty much like ignoring most ads on Instagram.”

Destiny, 38, of Lancaster, doesn’t trust social media ads. She bought something before from an ad, and it wasn’t the same item that she received.

“Never again,” she said.

Where to next?

Our study addressed the overarching topic of people’s general thoughts on social media ads and their effectiveness. As a next step, you might consider a study that asks consumers explicitly why a particular ad worked for them and why it led them to buy the product.

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!



What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?