Social media ads are one of the fastest ways to grow your audience and generate sales, so if you want results quickly, social ads are the way to go about it.

Here we explain how social media ads work, and some top tips for getting the best ROI from your social ads spend.

What is social media advertising?

Just as the name suggests, social media advertising is paid for content you push out on platforms such as instagram, facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

The key difference between paid social media advertising versus content you upload to your channels organically, is that paid ads appear to audiences who represent your ideal demographic but don’t yet follow you, and not just those who already see your feed.

Types of social media ads

Social media advertising comes in a range of styles, from videos that display as a sponsored post to private chats that slide straight into a user’s DMs.

Some of the most common social media ad types include:

  • Photo ads – a photograph with a caption.
  • Video ads – a video with a caption.
  • Stories ads – photo, video, and plain text ads that disappear after 24 hours.
  • Carousel ads – a series of images you scroll through, each with a unique CTA or link.
  • Slideshow ads – a still image that refreshes every few seconds, usually on a loop.
  • Collection ads – a hero image displayed alongside a series of smaller thumbnails.
  • Messenger ads – an ad that displays as a direct message in your private message feed.

Tips for social media ads

Ready to set-up your first social media ad campaign? Here are a few tips to make sure your ads have the best shot at succeeding.

Start where you have the highest following

Like all marketing, success in social media advertising hinges on connecting with your target audience. If you’re not 100% sure who that is (or where to find them), start your ad campaign on the social platforms where you’ve generated the largest following. This is a good indication that consumers who represent your ideal customer are actively engaging with this platform.

Have a clear objective in mind

The only way to determine if your ad has been successful is if you have a clear goal to aim for. Spend some time thinking about why you want to advertise your business on social media. What is it you’re hoping to achieve?

The benefit of doing this is twofold:

  1. It will help you to shape your content around a clear and purposeful CTA.
  2. It will help you to make an informed decision about where to place your ads to achieve the result you’re seeking.

Keep it professional

Our final tip relates to the design of your ads. When it comes to social media, quality content is everything, so ads that don’t look the part aren’t going to cut the mustard. Furthermore, they could actually damage your brand. Your social ads should follow the same visual identity and tone of voice principles you’ve outlined in your brand guidelines. It’s this kind of consistency that succeeds in converting consumer trust and building a loyal brand following.

Serious about social media advertising?

For more tips on making social media ads work for you, or for support with designing your ads, identifying your target audience, or creating commercial video content, drop us an email at

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