Effective Social Media AdsIt’s important for businesses to promote themselves, whether through brand awareness, sales, content marketing or other effective methods. While many companies understand that it’s important to advertise, they might not understand what this strategy fully entails, and possibly miss performing important steps in the process toward achieving their goals. Currently, many companies are utilizing social media to further their brand, but by not having a clear idea of what they are trying to accomplish or how to go about it, time and money are likely being wasted. Below, Active Web Group’s Social Media professionals provide valuable insights to illustrate the right way to approach advertising on the Social Media platforms. Not only will this knowledge save time and money, but effective Social Media advertising will also accomplish your business’ primary goal- to further your brand.

Improve My Advertising

Here’s Where Many Companies Go Wrong.

Can Your Business Relate?

Lacking a Clear Goal

It is pointless and a waste of money to advertise just for the sake of advertising. An effective ad always has a clear message, promoting awareness and/or persuasive action. Without a measurable goal, the ad’s quality will suffer, as will the metrics, which are key elements in successful long-term campaigns (explained below).

Overcomplicating the Message

When advertising on social media, understanding the consumer’s perspective is key. Like many other digital marketing efforts, social media provides a platform for users to find and digest information quickly because everything is instant. Most online visitors will have diminished attention spans so the message has to be made in five seconds or less, the time a visitor makes the decision to stay on a site or to leave. Therefore it’s absolutely essential to convey your message as quickly and simply as possible.

Social media users scroll their timelines in search of content from those feeds that they subscribe to (friends, family, entertainment, news, etc.) because these outlets are what pique their interests. These consumers are not, however, present for the sake of viewing your ad(s) so make sure your ad grabs attention, conveys a message, and either leaves a lasting impression, or drives an action (depending on the type of ad).

Not Testing

No ad is perfect, and it’s virtually impossible for someone to create a highly successful ad the first time around. No matter how successful or experienced the content developers may be, it’s vital to test different ideas and versions of each idea for optimal results. It might sound like a lot of work, but something as simple as changing one word can make the difference between success and failure.

Not Adapting to Data

Beyond their initial intention, ads may offer secondary benefit as they also provide or collect valuable information that can be used for your on-going marketing efforts. Based on the results, you can alter your content for consistent improvement. This could have to do with simple factors such as:

  • Timing
  • Design
  • Verbiage
  • Calls-to-Action
  • Among many, many others

Ineffective Targeting

Effective targeting might seem obvious, but many businesses neglect just how important this step is. Estimating your target audience is not enough, extensive research is imperative. If your ad misses its mark, you will waste valuable time and money.

Why Advertise on Social Media?

There are risks to consider when using any media outlet. Social Media success requires an initial understanding of who is the ad’s target audience. For many (including professionals), targeting is the largest hurdle to overcome when creating a series of advertisements. Social Media (Facebook specifically) can make this highly critical step much easier by allowing the advertiser to target by demographic features such including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Religion
  • Political Views
  • Leisurely Interests

With such specific fields and advanced algorithms at their disposal, Facebook is able to leverage information and accurately present your ad to prospects most likely to be interested in its content. Other than the specific fields of measures, Facebook also targets prospects more efficiently as you’re able to choose different ads, based on your goals. Facebook also captures advanced and ultra-specific analytics that help measure results with precise detail. This ensures little to no ad-spend is wasted in the process. Can billboards or television ads promise the same results?

Types of Ads



These are great for gaining traction and exposure for your brand, which is ideal for newer pages. Awareness ads work best when reaching a local public, rather than focusing more on demographics, which eventually becomes inevitable. Awareness ads consist of:

  • Brand Awareness

Promotes your content to increase your brand’s message, which is ideal for leaving an impression on potential customers

  • Reach

Maximizes impressions/exposure – the broader the message, the better results you will receive


Consideration ads are typically used more for better-established pages. Running ads of this caliber are most advantageous when your brand has a defined Content Marketing Strategy and Buyer Personas established. Consideration ads consist of:

  • Traffic

Excellent for driving to a non-Facebook destination, such as your website

  • Engagement

Very broad when discussing social media in general, so Facebook took the liberty of breaking down this ad-type into 3 sub-categories

  • Post Engagement

Increases post likes/comments/shares – great method for creating viral content

  • Page Likes

Promotes your page to those likely interested – very important for starting your page

  • Event Responses

Promotes an event – good for targeting local

  • App Installs

Promotes your app

  • Video Views

Promotes video content

  • Lead Generation

Generate leads – perfect for businesses looking to gather information and encourage signups.

Facebook has also added a great new feature that allows you to split test your ads. Take advantage by making subtle changes such as copy, colors, calls-to-action, etc. to determine the most effective ad for your objective.


Conversion ads help achieve the bottom line, which for many businesses is sales. Conversion ads consist of:

  • Conversions

After installing a tracking pixel, content is promoted and follows users, giving more insight as to how they responded to your ad beyond just conversions

  • Product Catalog Sales

Creates ads featuring products from your catalog

  • Store Visits

Promotes awareness for brick-and-mortars with store directions


Since Facebook purchased Instagram, you can link accounts and run similar ads on each platform simultaneously. Only interested in Instagram advertising? You can remove Facebook from the placement section of your ad to run your ad on Instagram only.


Website Clicks or Conversions

Promotes tweets where advertiser pays per link click – Ideal for driving website traffic and sales


Increases followers – great for new pages


Increases awareness for your brand’s message – advertiser pays per impression

Tweet Engagement

Promotes content to users most likely to engage – ideal for increasing quality prospects


Sponsored Content

Helps build brand awareness; best suited for B2B or recruiting efforts


Target prospects and sends personalized messages

Text Ads

Drives traffic to your website for increased conversions

Ads Aren’t Enough!

While advertising on social media is undoubtedly important, we must include that advertising is only one piece of the puzzle. In conjunction with a well-executed branding and content strategy, ads can boost reach, engagement and sales, but only if the aforementioned as been completed.

Organic Content

A steady balance of organic content maintains the attention of your audience and shows your brand is up-to-date. Ads are typically meant to boost the effect of your organic content as well as increase sales and website exposure. The larger you organic reach is, the farther your free daily organic content will extend your brand.

The 80/20 rule is a system of guidelines to follow in which 80% of the content you post is informative such as blogs, news about your company, branded content, relevant articles, etc. while the other 20% is content relating to leads and sales. If your promotional content is too heavy, your audience might be turned off to the idea of your brand, as they want to be taught and entertained, rather than sold.


One HUGE misconception businesses have on follower counts occurs within the numbers. People assume success has been achieved when they see a large number of followers or subscribers, but fail to consider the value of each individual follower. Not all followers are created equal!
500 quality followers who will engage and eventually purchase is far more valuable than 5000 followers who are only following for a follow-back. If a follower isn’t paying attention to your content or buying, then they aren’t valuable. When assessing the importance of followers, consider why you have a social media presence in the first place.

Active Web Group is a full-service digital marketing agency that uses social media to produce success by connecting brands with their intended audiences. Looking to increase your social media presence and revenue? Get a FREE Social Media Marketing Analysis Now or contact Active Web Group at (800)978-3417 today!