You hear from many people that advertising on social media is the way to go for your business. But how do you ensure you don’t waste your time or resources? One day, you get presented with a budget to “run some social ads,” but there are so many social channels that it might seem intimidating. Although it can become an advanced task, there are plenty of simple social media advertising strategies that can pay dividends. Let’s look at the basics:

The first step is identifying your objective. Do you want more people to know about your brand? Are you hoping to increase the size of your social media audience? Maybe you want to get additional traffic to your website or some additional product sales. Whatever the case, there is an ad category that will fit your needs.

The second step is determining your target audience and the messaging you will use to try and get them to engage with your ad. This will play a large role in helping you select which social media channels will be the most beneficial to you because each platform has a different audience and different targeting capabilities (we will discuss this later).

Finally, you have to decide your budget and how you will measure success. One of the scariest things about social advertising is that you are dropping real money on your campaigns. But if you establish a budget in advance and know what you are looking to achieve, you should not be afraid to jump in.

There is no shortage of options on which to advertise. The landscape is constantly changing with new technologies, features and formats. There is never going to be a “one size fits all” solution, and ultimately testing ideas will help you determine what works best for your business. To get started, we will focus on some of the most common channels that you should consider.


Facebook has more than 1.4 billion ­­– billion — users and records more than 900 million visits every day. It is by far the largest social network, which makes it the perfect advertising vehicle for businesses of all shapes and sizes. A great advantage to advertising on Facebook is the amount of targeting capabilities. You can reach an audience based on a consumer’s interests, online behavior and demographics, and using your actual business data at a more advanced level.


Facebook owns Instagram, which makes it easy to run ads on both networks and manage your campaigns in a single dashboard. Instagram is becoming more popular with advertisers because of its growth and increased number of users. Although you are creating the ads in the same space as your Facebook campaigns, it isn’t always best to use the same ad on both channels. Instagram is seen by advertisers and users as a more visual space where you can connect with customers through clever, attractive, creative ads. Food, fashion and lifestyle brands have enjoyed success with Instagram advertising because they generally have high-quality visuals, and many B2B brands also have done a great job by placing high-quality content in that space. Instagram users are generally younger than Facebook users.


Twitter’s ad platform is not as advanced as Facebook’s or Instagram’s, but it still is seen by many as a good advertising tool, especially for organic purposes.  Twitter allows advertisers to target customers based on categories similar to that on Facebook; they just aren’t as advanced. Basic demographic targeting is available along with some broad interests. One of Twitter’s big advantages is the ability to target keywords, phrases and #hashtags. This allows you as an advertiser to get ads in front of a specific audience that is engaging with the keywords you are using.

We just covered the basics, but there is no shortage of things you can do with social media advertising. Check back soon as we dive deeper into the specifics of the platforms above.