Social media advertising has revolutionised the face of marketing. More affordable than traditional out-of-home (OOH) advertising, television or radio, social ads are straightforward to set up (once you know what to do), highly targeted and provide a whole heap of insights.
While there are tons of social media channels these days, this best practice guide focuses on the big four: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These are the most common channels we use with our clients, and for good reason: they get results.
First, let’s look at the kinds of results you can expect. Of course, this will differ according to a number of variables, such as your budget, demographics and content.
For example, here's what you can expect from Facebook:
Often, the page you create for your business is a 'personal' account by default. This means you won't have access to all the insights and options as a business account. So converting the account is a crucial first step.
As well as 'unlocking' the advertising side, a business account also opens up reporting and communication streams. This includes followers being able to send DMs (direct messages) and:
- Follower demographics
- Engagement metrics
- App integrations
Each social media platform has an equivalent business advertising platform, seen below:
As with most platforms that allow advertising, there are a number ways to manage your spend: total budget, daily budget and setting bids based on clicks (CPC), impressions (CPM) and delivered InMails (CPS).
You can be as conservative or extravagant as you like. Hubspot has created a helpful calculator to give you an idea on spend and return for social media ads.
- 690m members
- 180m senior-level influencers
- 63m decision makers
- 10m C-level executives
- There are 675m monthly users
- 40% of those monthly users login daily
- 63m unique mobile users, monthly! (so make sure that ad is optimised)
- 57% of LinkedIn users identify as male
LinkedIn works best when you’re targeting professionals. While arguably professionals also use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s more likely that they’ve got their business and decision making hats on when they’re active on LinkedIn.
Not only this, but you can really zone in on those B2B segments, provided that users keep their profiles up to date.
- Lead gen
- Single image
- Single job
LinkedIn recommends the following best practice tips to maximise success when advertising across it’s channel:
- Write ad headlines that are under 150 characters. Concise headlines lead to more engagement.
- Keep descriptive copy under 70 characters. Note that anything over 100 characters could be truncated on desktop.
- Embed larger images instead of standard thumbnails. An image size of 1200 x 627 pixels is recommended. Content with larger visuals tend to get up to 38% higher CTR (click-through rates).
- Feature a clear CTA (call to action), so your audience knows how to act on their interest.
- Use Sponsored Content ad specs for more detailed information to guide your ad creation.
- Be specific with ad targeting, but not so specific that you narrow your audience. Choose location and two other targeting criteria to start, and follow ad targeting best practices.
- Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website, so you can track conversions and enable demographic reporting on your website visitors.
- 2.6 billion monthly active users
- 1.73 billion daily active users
- 60% of internet users have a Facebook profile: which breaks down further to 83% of women and 75% of men
- 96% of active users are most engaged via mobile devices
- 58.5 minutes per day is the average daily use
- 54% of users identify as female
- 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off
The social media channel we all love to hate (but we’re all addicted). Whether it’s nosing at people we used to know, laughing at memes or discovering new brands, Facebook is the reigning monarch of modern day social media (sorry MySpace!) with 60% of all internet users reported to have a profile.
This in theory provides the most varied reach. And with so many data captures along the way (in addition to what you fill in on your profile, a shout out here to page likes, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger), there’s potential for incredibly in-depth segmentation possibilities.
- Collection (formally known as product catalogue, customised for the individual)
- Instant experience (formally known as Canvas, full-screen, mobile optimised)
- Lead generation ads
- Post engagement (boost)
- Event responses
- Page likes
Here's what the Facebook business manager team themselves recommend to optimise your campaigns for success:
- Use vertical videos: Use a vertical or square aspect ratio. Most people hold their phones vertically, so you'll cover more of their screen.
- Avoid text on images: If you can, use the text/headline/link description boxes instead. If you have to use text on your image, try a smaller font and fewer words to lower the proportion of text to image. Our text overlay tool can help you get your ad approved. Learn more about text on images.
- Shorten text: People on Facebook and Instagram scan quickly. In research conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association, it took 2-3 seconds for two out of three for people to see and cognitively recognise desktop ads compared to 0.4 seconds on mobile. Keep your text short, clear and concise to get your message across.
- Add multiple images using the carousel format: Carousel allows you to show several images for people to scroll through at the same cost. It's a great opportunity if you have lots of product or brand images. Get carousel tips.
- Add movement: Ads with movement stand out in News Feed. When you make a Stories ad, you can use free templates that automatically animate your ad. You can also edit the colours, images and fonts. You could also try these free apps:
- Hyperlapse - Create timelapse videos
- Boomerang - Loop videos
- Legend - Animate text
- Videoshop - Edit videos
- Adobe PhotoShop Express - Edit photos
- Adobe Spark - Build videos from templates with text, images, photos and narration
- Use calls to action: A range of call-to-action (CTA) buttons are available for Facebook and Instagram ads. These buttons draw attention and encourage people to engage with your ad. Based on what you want people to do when they see your ad, experiment with the CTA buttons available for different ad objectives and formats. See which ones get your audience to take action.
- 1 billion+ monthly active users
- 500 million+ daily active users
- 500 million+ stories uploaded daily
- 4.2 billion post likes daily
- Apparently, 56.3% female (although this is interesting as this isn’t a formal data capture… hello data sharing)
- 60% of adult internet users have an Instagram account
- 130 million users tap on the shop call to action to learn more about products, monthly!
- User generated content has 4.5% higher conversion rate for brands using Instagram
“Instagram and Facebook are connected. So it’s easier to target your audience based on Facebook data. All budgeting and scheduling tasks, the setup and creation of ads are done through Facebook. So you don’t need to start from scratch and learn about Instagram, once you’ve already used its sister platform for marketing and ads.”
Although Instagram is essentially the same platform as Facebook, the demographic differs slightly, as does their engagement. It is thought that Instagram users are more engaged with brands than any other social media platform.
- 1.3 billion+ accounts
- 330 million monthly active users
- 152 million daily active users (42% of users)
- 500 million tweets daily
- Average session is 3.39 minutes
If your target demographic is mostly male, Twitter is a good place to advertise. According to Omnicore stats, 66% of its users are male, making up for 24% of all male internet users.
Not only this, but according to Kantar, 53% of Twitter users are likely to be early adopters, being the first to buy new products.
Twitter is also a good balance between the strictly business interaction of LinkedIn and the more personal uses of Facebook and Instagram.
- Reach (maximise your ad’s reach)
- Video views
- Pre-roll views (pair your ad with premium content)
- App installs
- Website clicks
- App re-engagements (get people to do something in particular with your app)
Best practice tips from Twitter business
#1 Choose an ad format that works for your campaign goals
Promoted Tweets: Create a regular Tweet with your account with text and/or images. With a Promoted Tweet, visibility is boosted to help your content reach more people.
Promoted Videos: Have a great video that you want to draw more attention to? Share it on Twitter, and then launch a Promoted Video campaign.
Pre-roll videos: Pre-roll videos are advertisements from one of our 200+ content partners that are played at the beginning of a video.
Website Cards: Image and video Website Cards enable your brand to share eye- catching creative that seamlessly drives to a landing page of your choice. Create a card and attach it to a Tweet to share with your audience.
App Cards: Twitter App Cards drives both app installations and engagement, and allows you to present your app and the supporting content in a rich and interesting way.
#2 Understand the creative guidelines for each format
#3 Embrace video best practices across multiple formats
Social media is a great way to create affordable advertising campaigns for any budget. If you’re thinking about dabbling with social media ads but aren’t sure where to begin, leave your details below and we will be in touch!