Social Media Advertising-01

Consumers already spend an enormous amount of time using social media. The average person clocks in more than six hours online daily. So, doesn’t it make sense to reach your target audience where they’re spending most of their time?

Social media advertising—an $8.4 billion market—is ripe with benefits for businesses. It helps companies find new customers by using the information they’ve shared online. You can target relevant individuals before they even begin their search. The faster you reach them with targeted content, the more likely they’ll convert.

But with so many platforms offering a variety of social media advertising tools, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. We’ll help you cover some of the basics by guiding you through the right platform.

Facebook Advertising

It’s no surprise Facebook is first on our list. Not only does it have the largest audience with 1.49 billion monthly active users, but 92% of social marketers use the social network for advertising.

In order to get started with Facebook Ads, you need to have a Facebook Page. While there are several tools available for creating new ads, we recommend beginners to use the Facebook Ads Tool because it does a great job of walking you through all the key steps for setting up a new campaign.

social media analytics banner

Choose Your Objective

Facebook Ads are designed around objectives, which means the type of ad you run will be based on what you’d like to accomplish. For example, if you’re looking to use Facebook to drive traffic to your website, then you’ll want to select either “Send People to Your Website” or “Increase Conversions on Your Website” as your objective.

Target Your Audience

With more than 1.49 billion monthly active users, you’ll want to make sure your ads are targeted. Otherwise, it’s like yelling into a very loud and crowded room—ineffective. Facebook has several different targeting parameters to choose from, such as age, gender, location, purchase behavior, interests and more.

Enter Your Budget

Businesses pay 122% more per ad unit on Facebook than they did just a year ago, so think carefully before setting your budget. Enter an amount that you’re comfortable with spending on a daily or weekly basis.

Choose Where to Display Your Ad

Facebook Ads

Facebook currently offers two locations for ad placement:

  1. Desktop and mobile News Feeds
  2. Right-hand column

News Feed ads appear directly in users’ News Feeds, which makes them the boldest ads you can create on Facebook. They’re also some of the most customizable in the social media advertising space because News Feed ads allow you to adjust the body copy, image, headline, description and vanity URL.

Right-hand column ads appear on the right-hand side of most pages, like your Timeline and News Feed. These ads give you the ability to customize the headline, image, URL and description. They don’t offer as much text, but they’re usually less expensive than News Feed ads.

For a much more detailed look at Facebook Ads, check out our previous guides:

Twitter Advertising

Twitter Ad

With 316 million monthly active users, it’s likely that many of Twitter’s users are interested in what your business has to offer. But the network moves fast—500 million Tweets are sent daily—so the easiest way to make sure you stand out is by using Twitter Ads.

You’ll need a Twitter account to advertise on the platform. It’s best that you create a business account, since anyone who clicks through your ad will be taken to the profile that served it. If your personal account is linked to the ad, it won’t be very effective at converting customers to your product.

Choose Your Objective

To get started, visit and click “Create new campaign.” Just like Facebook, Twitter offers you several different objectives to choose from. Once you’ve selected your campaign type, Twitter will provide you with a customized workflow aligned to your campaign goals, complete with recommendations on the best ad format to use.

Target Your Audience

Targeting is a critical component of your advertising campaign no matter which platform you’re on. Like other platforms, Twitter offers some basic targeting options. For example, you can segment by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Behavior

What sets Twitter’s targeting apart from other platforms is the ability to target people by key phrases used in their Tweets. Just upload a list of relevant keywords, and whenever someone uses the keywords in Tweets or interactions, the users will be added to a group of people that will see your advertisement.

Enter Your Budget

You set your own daily budget for each campaign and Twitter will automatically stop showing your ad once your budget has been met. The pricing system is based on bidding—set the maximum amount you’re willing to spend per action. Twitter helps by giving you suggestions on what you should bid to optimize your campaign.

Create Your Ad

This is the hard part because Twitter Ads still follow the 140-character rule. If you want more bang for your buck, consider using a Twitter Card which gives you the option of adding an image, description or call-to-action to your Tweets.

Be careful: Twitter Cards take up 24 of your 140 characters. So, focus on brevity.

For additional tips and resources for Twitter Ads, take a look at our previous guides:

LinkedIn Advertising

If you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn is definitely a platform you want to consider for social media advertising. In 2014, 80.33% of B2B leads were through LinkedIn. In comparison, Twitter and Facebook accounted for 12.73% and 6.73% of leads, respectively.

Of course, before you can begin taking advantage of all that LinkedIn Ads has to offer, you’ll need to create a Company Page.

Choose a Campaign Type

When you use the LinkedIn Ads Creation Tool, you’ll need to decide whether you want to create an ad or sponsor content. The small ads visible on the right-hand side of your LinkedIn feed are what you’ll be running if you choose to create an ad. Keep in mind the image and text capabilities of these ads are pretty limited.

LinkedIn Ad

Should you go with sponsor content, you’ll have the ability to distribute your updates to a much larger audience on the LinkedIn network. Your sponsor content will appear right in user’s news stream, which is a great place to pick up additional engagement.

Target Your Audience

LinkedIn has come a long way, and its community is now made up of more than 380 million members across 200 countries. It’s more important than ever to ensure your content reaches the right people at the right time. In fact, your business depends on it.

The social network gives several targeting options to help you reach potential customers, like:

  • Company name
  • Company industry
  • Company size
  • Job titles
  • Job functions
  • Job seniority
  • Field of study
  • Skills

Enter Your Budget

LinkedIn’s self-service advertising allows you to set your own budget for campaigns. That said, there are a few minimum costs to advertise in Campaign Manager:

  • $10 daily budget: per campaign
  • $10 total budget: per campaign
  • $2 minimum bid: for CPC or CPM

For a much deeper look into setting up your LinkedIn Ads campaign, read our previous article A Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads.

Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest Promoted Pin

Promoted Pins are just like regular Pins except they’re seen by more people through targeted placement. Unfortunately, this ad unit is only available to certain businesses in the US, so you’ll have to sign up on the waitlist.

Once you’re given access, the steps are simple. Simply follow these steps:

  • Choose a goal for your campaign.
  • Create a campaign and budget.
  • Pick a Pin to promote.
  • Add terms to your Pin.
  • Target your Pin to a relevant audience.
  • Set up your bid.

There’s no minimum cost. The amount you pay will vary on your target audience and bid. Depending on your objective, you only pay when someone clicks or engages with your ad.

Instagram Advertising

Instagram Sponsored Ad

Instagram’s self-serve advertising platform is gradually rolling out and it will be combined in Facebook’s Power Editor. You won’t need an Instagram account—although it’s recommended that you do—but you will be required to have a Facebook Ads account.

If you’re unsure of whether you have access, follow these directions:

  1. Go to Power Editor and click the Manage Ads tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the icon that looks like a blue box with a checkmark in it on the left side of the page and click Create Campaign.
  3. Click on the drop-down next to Objective Clicks to Website.

If you see New Create ads for Instagram, then you should be able to start creating Instagram ads in Power Editor. Don’t have access? Don’t worry, it’s coming. Just follow these steps and check back in a few weeks.
If you do see the prompt, go back to the steps we outlined above in the Facebook section.

social media analytics banner

Create Your Social Media Advertising Strategy Today

As you can see, social media platforms offer you a wide variety of advertising tools and targeting options. Now it’s time for you to experiment with the different types of ad offerings. As you do, pay close attention to your analytics so you know which formats work best for your chosen objective. And keep a close watch on the networks you favor—new features are being released all the time.

When executed successfully, social media advertising should lead to more engagement on your social profiles. Try using a social media management tool to engage with your audience and maintain those newly-formed relationships.