Instagram Advanced Tips

August 25, 2023

Last update


08 MIN.

9 Proven Social Media Advertising Strategies

The beauty of social media advertising lies in its ability to target specific demographics - Businesses can strategically tailor their ads to reach the right audience!



9 Proven Social Media Advertising Strategies

Social media advertising allows businesses to connect with a vast audience across the globe. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can connect with your target audience, amplify your brand’s message, and drive meaningful engagement.

The beauty of social media advertising lies in its ability to target specific demographics. Businesses can strategically tailor their ads to reach the right audience by utilizing sophisticated algorithms and user data. It's like having a magic wand that directs your message to the people most likely to be interested in what you offer. Also, compared to traditional advertising methods like print or TV, social media advertising can be a more budget-friendly option. You can set your own ad spend, monitor your campaigns in real time, and tweak them as needed. This flexibility helps businesses maximize their marketing dollars and make every penny count.

However, the key to successfully promoting your brand through social media ads lies in using the right strategies. That's exactly what we'll be uncovering together.

From precise targeting to captivating content creation, we will explore proven social media advertising strategies that will allow you to boost your online presence

Let’s get started

Know Your Audience

The ability to connect with the right people, at the right time, and with the right message plays a pivotal role in driving engagement, conversions, and ultimately, achieving your marketing objectives. So before embarking on any social media advertising campaign, it is crucial to define your target audience

Start by considering demographic factors such as age, gender, location, and interests. Dig deeper by also analyzing psychographic elements such as lifestyle, values, and motivations. By creating detailed target audience personas, you gain a clearer understanding of who you are trying to reach, allowing for more effective messaging and targeting.

Social media platforms also provide a wealth of information about your target audience. Leverage the listening and monitoring capabilities of these platforms to gain insights into the needs, preferences, and pain points of your audience. Observe their discussions, engage in conversations, and pay attention to the type of content they share and engage with. This invaluable information can inform your content strategy and ensure that your messaging aligns with their interests and aspirations.

In addition to passive observation, actively seeking feedback through surveys and polls can provide invaluable insights into your target audience's desires and preferences. Pose targeted questions to understand their challenges, expectations, and opinions. Use the feedback to tailor your advertising campaigns to better meet their needs and desires.

By investing time and effort into understanding your target market's needs, preferences, and characteristics, you can create personalized and compelling social media campaigns that resonate with them on a deeper level

Remember, as the saying goes, "Knowledge is power," and knowing your audience empowers your social media advertising efforts.

Set Clear Goals

Having clear goals is like having a reliable compass that guides your every move. Without a well-defined direction, your efforts will be scattered and lack purpose. 

Before diving into social media advertising, it's essential to define specific and measurable objectives. Ask yourself: 

  • What do you want to achieve? 
  • Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive website traffic, boost sales, or enhance customer loyalty? 

Each objective requires different strategies and metrics to evaluate success. By having a clear purpose, you can align your efforts and measure progress effectively.

SMART Goal Framework:

When setting goals, it's essential to adhere to the SMART framework - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

Define your objectives with clarity, specifying the desired outcomes. Ensure they are measurable, enabling you to track progress and determine if you've met your targets. Goals should be realistic yet challenging, relevant to your business, and set within a specific time frame. The SMART framework keeps goals actionable and provides a clear roadmap for success.

Once you've set clear goals, break them down into smaller, actionable steps. For instance, if your goal is to increase website traffic, identify the specific strategies you will implement, such as optimizing content for search engines, scheduling regular social media posts, and running targeted ad campaigns. Breaking down goals simplifies the process, making it easier to implement your strategies and stay on track.

Choose the Right Platforms

Each social media platform offers unique opportunities and advantages. So it is vital to select the ones that align with your objectives and target audience. 

Before determining which platforms to prioritize, gain a deep understanding of your target audience. Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and behaviors. Are they predominantly active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other platforms? Conduct research, analyze customer profiles, and leverage social media analytics to identify the platforms where your audience spends the most time. By understanding your audience's preferences, you can hone in on the platforms that will provide the highest potential for engagement and conversion.

Each social media platform also offers unique features and capabilities that can significantly impact your advertising strategy. Consider how well these features align with your objectives. For instance, if visual content is essential to your brand's storytelling, platforms like Instagram or Pinterest may be ideal. If you prioritize professional networking or B2B interactions, LinkedIn might be your go-to choice. 

Another way you can decide which platform to focus your advertising efforts on is to look at what your competitors are doing. Conduct a competitor analysis to determine which platforms your competitors are utilizing successfully. Explore their social media advertising strategies, including the platforms they prioritize and the type of content they share. While it's crucial to differentiate yourself, analyzing your competitors' presence can provide valuable insights into which platforms are effective within your industry. Use this knowledge to refine your own platform selection and to identify potential opportunities or gaps that you can leverage to stand out. 

With Iconosquare’s listening feature, you can easily monitor your competitors on social media and compare your performance with yours. Try for free.

Create Compelling Content

Content is the beating heart of any advertisement. In a sea of advertising noise, your content is what helps you stand out and catch the attention of your audience on social media. Compelling and well-crafted content helps you capture those precious few seconds of a viewer's attention to make an impact. 

Here are some tips to help you level up your advertising content.

Craft a captivating hook: Grab attention from the get-go! Begin your ad with a bang—a captivating headline, an intriguing question, or a visually striking image or video. The goal is to pique curiosity and entice viewers to engage with your content further.

Tell a story: Humans love stories! Use storytelling techniques to evoke emotions and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Whether it's through a relatable customer testimonial, a behind-the-scenes glimpse, or a narrative that showcases how your product transforms lives, storytelling adds a personal touch that grabs attention and keeps viewers engaged.

Highlight unique value: Clearly communicate the unique value proposition of your product or service. Highlight what sets you apart from the competition and emphasize the benefits that customers will gain by choosing you. Use persuasive language and compelling visuals to make your message memorable.

Keep it concise: Attention spans on social media are short. Keep your content concise and easily digestible. Deliver key messages quickly and clearly, using concise copy and visuals that communicate your value proposition effectively.

Incorporate visual appeal: Visuals are powerful tools for capturing attention. Use high-quality images, eye-catching graphics, or compelling videos that align with your brand and target audience. Make sure your visuals are consistent with your messaging and evoke the desired emotional response.

Add a call to action (CTA): Don't forget to include a clear and compelling call to action. Tell viewers what you want them to do next—whether it's visiting your website, making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or engaging in some other desired action. Make it easy for them to take the next step.

Remember, crafting compelling social media advertising content takes practice and experimentation. Stay creative, be authentic, and keep refining your approach based on your audience's feedback and preferences. 

Select the appropriate ad formats based on your goals and platform capabilities

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you choose appropriate ad formats:

1. Define your goals: Start by clearly defining your advertising goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or promote a specific product or service? Understanding your objectives will guide you in selecting the most suitable ad format.

2. Know your platforms: Familiarize yourself with the capabilities and limitations of the platforms you'll be advertising on. Each platform has its own unique set of ad formats available, and understanding these nuances is essential in making informed decisions.

3. Match format to goal: Next, you’ll align your ad format with your goals. Here are a few examples:

  • Brand Awareness: Consider formats such as display/banner ads, video ads, or sponsored influencer content that can effectively showcase your brand and message to a wide audience.
  • Driving Traffic: Go for formats like carousel ads, interactive ads, or link ads that encourage viewers to click through to your website or landing page.
  • Lead Generation: Utilize lead generation forms, interactive ads, or sponsored posts to capture valuable user information and generate leads.
  • Product Promotion: Choose formats that allow for product demonstrations, such as video ads, product carousels, or shoppable ads.

4. Leverage platform-specific formats: Take advantage of unique ad formats offered by each platform. For example, Instagram's Stories ads, Twitter's promoted tweets, or LinkedIn's sponsored InMail. These formats are specifically designed to align with the platform's user experience and can be highly effective when used appropriately.

Remember, experimentation is key. Test different ad formats to see which ones resonate best with your audience and achieve your desired outcomes. 

Implement targeted advertising

The more specific your audience definition, the better you can tailor your ads. Consider factors such as demographics (age, gender, location), interests, behaviors, and preferences. 

Each social media platform also provides powerful insights and targeting options to help you reach your desired audience. Familiarize yourself with the targeting capabilities offered by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Take advantage of features such as custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

Custom audiences

A custom audience is a group of people who have interacted with your business in the past. You can use custom audiences to target your ads specifically to these individuals.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Identify your source: Decide what kind of custom audience you want to create. Is it based on your existing customer list, website visitors, or app users?
  • Gather your data: For example, if you're using email addresses, make sure you have a list of valid email addresses for your target audience. If it's website visitors, you'll want to ensure you have the necessary tracking code installed.
  • Upload your data: Head to the advertising platform you're using and follow their instructions for creating a custom audience. They'll guide you through the process of importing your data securely.
  • Let the magic happen: Once your custom audience is created, you can use it to target ads directly to those specific individuals. This enables you to reach people who are already familiar with your brand or who have shown interest in what you offer.

Using custom audiences allows you to laser-target your advertising efforts, reaching the right people at the right time. It's a powerful feature for increasing engagement and driving conversions.

Lookalike audiences

Unlike custom audiences, lookalike audiences are people who have not interacted with your brand before but are very similar to the people who have.

Using lookalike audiences helps you reach people who share similar characteristics to your existing customers or custom audiences.

Here's how you can use lookalike audiences to expand your reach:

Start with a seed audience: Choose a source audience that represents your ideal customers. It can be your existing customers, a custom audience you've created, or even a specific set of website visitors.

Upload your seed audience: Head to the platform you're using and upload your seed audience. 

The platform will analyze the data points of your seed audience, such as demographics, behaviors, and interests.

Let the magic happen (again!): The platform will use its algorithms to find people who aren't in your seed audience but share similar attributes. It's like finding a needle in a haystack, but the algorithm does the heavy lifting!

Refine and target: Once your lookalike audience is ready, you can target your ads to this group of people who resemble your ideal customers. This gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience that may have never heard about your business before.

Lookalike audiences are a fantastic way to expand your customer base and connect with new individuals who are likely to be interested in what you offer. 

Make use of conversion tracking

Conversion tracking is a method that helps you measure and analyze the actions people take on your website or landing page after seeing or interacting with your ads. It allows you to track specific actions, such as purchases, sign-ups, downloads, or any other valuable outcomes you want to measure.

Here are the advantages of conversion tracking:

  • Insightful data: Conversion tracking provides you with valuable data on the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. You can see which ads, keywords, or channels are bringing in the most conversions, enabling you to fine-tune your marketing strategy.
  • ROI optimization: By tracking conversions, you can measure the return on investment (ROI) of your advertising efforts. This valuable information helps you allocate your budget wisely by focusing on the campaigns that deliver the best results.
  • Campaign optimization: Conversion tracking allows you to optimize your campaigns based on real data. You can identify underperforming ads or keywords and make necessary adjustments to improve your conversion rates.

Here is how to use it:

1. Set up your tracking: Each advertising platform has its own conversion tracking setup process. You'll usually need to insert a tracking code or pixel provided by the platform onto your website or landing page. This code tracks when a conversion occurs.

2. Define your conversions: Determine which actions you want to track as conversions. It could be a completed purchase, a form submission, or even reaching a certain page on your website. This will depend on your business goals.

3. Analyze and optimize: Once your tracking is in place, regularly review your conversion data. Look for patterns, identify what's working, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns.

Conversion tracking helps you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions to increase your ROI. 

Run A/B testing and optimization

A/B testing is a technique for optimizing your social media ads. It allows you to compare different versions of an ad to see which one performs better. 


Let's dive into some best practices to make the most of A/B testing and optimize your social media ads:

  • Start with a clear objective: Define the goal of your A/B test. Whether it's increasing click-through rates, conversions, or engagement, having a specific objective will help you measure success accurately.
  • Test one variable at a time: To pinpoint what's making a difference, test only one element at a time. It could be the ad copy, visuals, call-to-action (CTA), or targeting options. Testing multiple elements simultaneously may muddle the results.
  • Create distinct variations: Each ad version should have a noticeable difference from others. For example, you could try different headlines, visuals, or CTAs. Make sure to keep the ad delivery settings consistent to ensure a fair comparison.
  • Split your audience evenly: When running A/B tests, split your audience into equal segments. This ensures that your test results are not skewed due to differences in audience composition.
  • Set a sufficient testing period: Allow enough time for your A/B test to gather meaningful data. The duration can vary depending on your campaign objectives and audience size. Longer testing periods help you account for daily and weekly trends.
  • Implement winning elements: Once you identify the winning version, implement the successful elements into your regular ads. Remember, continuous optimization is key to improving your social media ad performance over time.

By using A/B testing, you can refine and optimize your social media ads to achieve better results.

Monitor and measure ad performance

By tracking ad performance, you can assess how well your ads are resonating with your target audience. Understanding what works and what doesn't helps you make data-driven decisions to improve your future campaigns.

It also helps you determine the return on investment (ROI) of your advertising efforts. You can identify which ads generate the most conversions, clicks, or engagement, allowing you to allocate your budget effectively and maximize your ROI.

Each social media platform comes with an analytics dashboard that you can use to monitor the performance of your ads. You can also use a social media analytic tool like Iconosaqure to gain deeper insights into your advertising efforts and make data-driven optimizations. 

With Iconosquare you can get clear analytics for all of your social media profiles all in one single dashboard. If you run ads on multiple platforms, using Iconosqaure will help you save time. Try for free. 


Social media advertising offers immense potential for businesses to reach a wide audience. By implementing the strategies in this article, you can increase your online presence and achieve your marketing goals. Also, stay up-to-date with the latest trends and continue experimenting to stay ahead in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

Remember, connecting with your audience on social media is a dynamic and ongoing process. Embrace creativity, adaptability, and data-driven decision-making to maximize the effectiveness of your social media advertising campaigns.

the writer


Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.


Advanced analytics for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and TikTok. Peace of mind scheduling, time-saving reporting, and visual statistics for all your social media!

Iconosquare14-Day Free Trial

for weekly updates

Get your weekly dose of quality content in the form of blog articles, podcast episodes and expert tips and tricks. Why hesitate? Sign up now!

Thank you !
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Emily Marsh
Icon ESm2

Discover our podcast

Every week, Emily interviews top brands, renowned influencers, and hidden agencies with one goal in mind: to understand what happens backstage of their social media strategies.

Listen to esm2
Social Media Calendar

Social Media Calendar

Get your hands on our free, downloadable 2022 Social Media Calendar with over 250 trending dates, all preloaded and ready to use.

Download for Free
Customer stories

Customer stories

Read about how other business, agencies and entrepreneurs were able to level up their social media game with the help of powerful analytics and expert strategies.

Inspiration this way
YouTube tutorials

YouTube tutorials

Need a hand using the multiple features Iconosquare has to offer? Wondering how you can use them to maximize your perfromance on social media? Check out our tutorials on YouTube.

Best pratices

How do you perform on social media?

Find out in a minute using our audit.

How data-driven social media marketers get the job done