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Published October 17th 2016

The Hidden Cost of User Drop-off in Social Media Advertising

Global spending on social media advertising is forecast to reach $29.9bn in 2016. And it’s rising fast, predicted to grow a further 20% in 2017 – reaching $36bn and representing 16% of all digital ad spending.

In this blog post we’ll explore a common – though seldom discussed – issue in social media advertising: user drop-off.

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The data we collect on our social media advertising campaigns here at Metia Group – through our Performance Benchmarking Index – tells us that between a third and a half of link clicks for B2B social media ads never make it to their intended destination.

Why do users drop-off?

This drop-off can occur for several reasons.

Users may have closed their browser window before the destination loaded, having not realised the ad they clicked would take them to an external web page. Or maybe they clicked an ad on their commute and a slow connection froze their browser.

Unfortunately, there’s no way for advertisers to know for certain as users that drop-off fall into the cracks between a social network’s tracking and their own website analytics.

Why is this important?

Because, if you’re bidding for link clicks, social networks will charge you for each click they generate – no matter how many users actually land on your site.

So it’s important to understand the likely impact of drop-off on a project before you start, and to mitigate against the risks – for example by ensuring your audience targeting is highly focused, and by being as explicit as possible in your content with regards to what you’re offering.

Your goal is to ensure you generate clicks from within your audience sweet-spot, from people who are genuinely interested in your content, and more likely to follow through on their click.


In response to user drop-off, most social networks are developing advertising mediums that keep users on site – and don’t require a click to an external web page.

Facebook Canvas is one attempt at this, allowing brands to tell their stories through videos and images from within network itself – reducing the need for users to leave the Facebook website or app. Expect similar functionality to launch across the other major networks.


Hidden challenges such as user drop-off are one of the reasons why we’ve created a guide explaining why social media advertising has become such an integral part of the B2B marketing mix, and how brands can harness it to add value to their bottom line.

The guide also shares best practice tips gathered by the social media advertising team at Metia Group, and offers insight from our Performance Benchmarking Index – a data collection benchmarking tool through which we track, measure and optimize all of our social media advertising campaigns.

You’ll learn what represents a good return from the main social networks, and what trends and pitfalls you need to be aware of before you start a campaign. And for those ready to get stuck in, we provide a practical six step guide to ensure your social media advertising campaigns drive measurable value for your business.

Download the guide here.

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