Who Clicks Through, And What Prompts Them To Do So?
We all want to live in a world where animals no longer suffer — and animals do suffer, by the billions on factory farms across the globe. One of the newest tools in this fight is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and other platforms claim almost three in five (57%) people across the world as members. These sites offer a tremendous opportunity to reach and engage individuals who will respond to messages promoting animal welfare.
In this study, Mercy For Animals (MFA) used part of its own social media budget to test the effectiveness of various ads on different demographic groups. Rather than rely on subject recall, the experiment measured actual behavior. To minimize confounding effects, the ads were targeted to avoid users who had already demonstrated an interest in MFA. Researchers used click-through rates (CTR) to measure the effectiveness of ads about animals, the environment, health, and social norms. They also looked at three other measures to gauge the performance of the ads: Reach counted the number of unique viewers for each ad; Impressions tallied the number of times an ad was seen; and Results quantified how often a click led to a desired outcome.
Results showed that while advertisements featuring animals had the smallest Reach and fewest Impressions, they drew more than twice as many clicks as other types of ads. They earned a CTR of over 3%, compared with 1.1-1.5% for the other subjects. Animal ads also had the best Results score. Pigs captured the most clicks on the animal ads compared with cows, chickens, and fishes. Among the environmental ads, climate change gained the most attention compared with land or water use or deforestation. Amongst the health messages, chronic disease had the highest CTR, followed by obesity, pathogenic or antibiotic contamination. Women and older users were more likely to click any of the ads compared with men and younger users.
Methods used in this study can be particularly valuable to animal advocates. Unlike survey responses, which may not represent the subject’s actual feelings or behavior, a click on an ad is a direct indicator of someone’s interest in a message. This type of social media research allows for testing specific ads on defined audiences. The outcomes can provide clear, actionable data on what really works.