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What Is Social Media Advertising?

Definition of Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is the practice of online advertising on social networking channels. It is similar to paid search, with the exception that advertisers, not users, take the initiative – advertisers must “search” for users, rather than the other way around.

Definition of Social Media Advertising

Building Your Brand by Advertising on Social Media Sites

Since social networking has become such a popular online pastime for adult online users, businesses who advertise online have changed their strategies to target consumers where they spend their time, namely on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. In terms of ROI, more than 95 percent of social media managers say Facebook offers the best return, followed by Twitter and Instagram.

Social Media Platforms that Produce the Best ROI

Benefits of Social Media Advertising

One of the major benefits of social media advertising is that advertisers can take advantage of the users’ demographic information and target their ads appropriately.

Advertisers can target users with hundreds of parameters, from demographic data (such as age, gender, income, level of education, and marital status) to browsing preferences and social behavior. In addition, networks are offering advanced targeting options to increase personalization and relevance. Advance targeting includes:

  • Interest: Targeting people that have an interest in your industry, product, or your competitor
  • Behavioral/Connection: Targeting people wit a connection to your page, app, group, event, etc.
  • Custom or Tailored Audieces: Targeting by uploading your list of email addresses, phone numbers, users IDs, or usernames into the network and targeting them on Twitter or Facebook.
  • Look-alike: Acquire new customers by targeting people similar to your current users and customers.

How to Create Effective Social Media Advertising 

Listed below you’ll discover the six steps to creating an effective social media advertising campaign.

Step 1: Your Audience

Businesses who run successful social advertising campaigns know their ideal customers. This ensures that they’re targeting the right audience segments with the right messaging. Creating buyer personas for your ideal customers allows you to explore targeting options that will allow you to target your prospective customers with a high degree of granularity. This allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising budget, but also offers more relevant, targeted ads.

Step 2: Effective Headline

Be sure to write clear and informative headlines that articulate what your business or product is actually all about. You should aim to keep your headline short, sweet, and to the point. Facebook recommends that Ad headlines fall between 25-40 characters in length to maximize engagement, so your focus should be on creating something that is easily understood and value-oriented.

Example of Social Media Ad Using Effective Headline

Headlines in Social Media Advertising

Step 3: Creative Visuals

Social media platforms offer highly visual advertising formats that include some ad copy, which can be thought of as a combination of both. There are dozens of advertising formats available to today’s advertisers, allowing you to choose the format and advertising network that best suits the needs of your campaigns. Below is a great example of using creative visuals to grab the attention of the user.

Creative Images in Facebook Ads

Step 4: The Offer

An offer is anything you give your visitors in exchange for getting them to take the action that you want. This is usually a discount or coupon, a free trial, a free downloadable whitepaper etc. The ad below is a great example.

Social Media Advertising Examples with CTA

Step 5: Using Keywords

One of the most important aspects of a social media advertising campaign is keyword optimization. Develop and implement a comprehensive keyword strategy and use relevant keywords in your ad based on what people are searching to increase your CTR.

Step 6: Clear CTA

Your CTA (call-to-action) drives the user to take action, so it’s vitally important. A CTA should make it clear what value you’re offering your prospective customer, and it should also be relevant to your website/landing page.

Social Media Advertising Examples with CTA

Call-To-Action in Social Media Advertising

Check Out These Social Media Resources

Social Media Articles

Social Media Resource Guide

Social Media Infographics


Mary Shaw