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June 15, 2023

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Social Media Advertising: Tips and Best Practices

This article will provide insights that can help take your advertising efforts to the next level.



Social Media Advertising: Tips and Best Practices

Social media platforms provide effective advertising opportunities to businesses trying to reach a wider audience, build brand awareness, and drive conversions.  And because of its effectiveness, it's no surprise that a lot of marketers and businesses run social media ad campaigns. In fact, social media recently passed paid search as the top advertising channel, growing 25% YoY and exceeding $137 billion in ad spend. This number is also expected to reach $207 billion in 2023. 

However, with so many businesses and advertisers vying for customers' attention on social media, getting noticed can be a challenging task. To achieve success, businesses must have a well-crafted social media advertising strategy in place. So in this article, we look at some practical tips and best practices for social media advertising. These tips will help you achieve your advertising goals and maximize the benefits of advertising on social media platforms. 

Whether your business is brand new to social media advertising or you are looking to optimize an existing campaign, this article will provide insights that can help take your advertising efforts to the next level.

Let’s get started. 

1. Define your target audience

A target audience is a specific group of people that a business intends to reach with its social marketing and advertising efforts. It is defined by a range of characteristics including demographics, behavior, interests, and geographic location. 

By identifying your target audience, you can create marketing campaigns that connect with those who are likely to be interested in your product or service. For example, a company selling beauty products may define its target audience as women over 25, who are interested in natural products and live in urban areas. Based on this target audience, the company can craft its marketing message to appeal to this specific group of customers, develop social media ads with their interests and location in mind, and create content or campaigns that align with their preferences.

Here are some tips on how to identify your target audience on social media:

Define your ideal customer: Take some time to create a detailed persona of your ideal customer. Consider demographics, characteristics, habits, behavior, interests, and values. Use this data to develop a comprehensive picture of your audience and their needs.

Analyze your existing customers: Look at who your existing customers are and what they have in common. A simple analysis of your customer database and social media followers, along with their demographics and interests will help you better understand who is already attracted to your product or service. 

Conduct market research: By using customer surveys, focus groups, interviews, and online analytics tools, you can better understand your target audience and market. 

Monitor your competitors: Analyze what your competitors are doing on social media to understand why their target audience is engaged with their content.

Utilize social media analytics: Use analytic tools to obtain data that will give insight into your audience's demographics, interests, location, and behavior. 

Social media platforms have custom tools to mine such information and can be utilized to further obtain valuable information for targeted advertisements. You can also use an advanced social media analytics tool like Iconosquare. With Iconosquare, you will be able to monitor your performance on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok. Try Iconosquare for free

By understanding your target audience on social media, you can craft custom-built content and ads that resonate with your ideal customers, increase engagement, and maximize your ad spend. 

2. Choose the right social media platform

Each social media platform has its strengths, weaknesses, features, reach, demographics, advertising options, and effectiveness depending on your business type, audience, and advertising goals. 

Here are some tips on how to choose the right social media platform for your business:

Understand each platform: Have a clear understanding of what each platform offers, including its features, reach, advertising options, and limitations. This will help identify which platforms align with your business's advertising goals.


  • Widest audience reach with 2.95 billion monthly active users
  • Highly targeted advertising options based on demographics, interests, and behaviors
  • Options to create a business page, promote offers, and increase brand awareness
  • Ideal for B2C and B2B businesses


  • Ideal for visually-driven businesses such as fashion, beauty, travel, food, and lifestyle
  • Visual content that drives high engagement
  • Reach younger demographic, mainly aged between 18 and 34


  • Ideal for those who are looking for short and snappy messages to promote their brand
  • High immediacy and engagement due to the real-time nature of the platform
  • Ideal for businesses that are keen on providing customer care support online


  • Ideal for B2B marketers, especially in technology, finance, and legal firm
  • Reach a high-caliber audience consisting of business professionals, decision-makers, and influencers.
  • Advertising options such as sponsored content to increase brand awareness and generate leads
  • useful for posting articles and blogs

Analyze the competition: Look at what social media platforms your competitors are currently active on. Take notes on their engagement rate and advertising strategies to gain insight into what platforms are most effective for similar businesses.

Consider your content: Evaluate the types of content you create and what type of media is the best fit for that content. For example, Twitter is ideal for short and engaging messages, Instagram is great for visual content, and LinkedIn is more suitable for professional content.

By applying these tips, you can select the right platforms that best suit your advertising goals and target audience. This will ensure that your brand messages reach your customers. 

3. Include elements of a solid social media ad 

A strong social media ad typically includes the following elements:

Eye-catching visuals: Visuals play a crucial role in setting your ads apart from others on social media. The visuals should be relevant to your brand and product and should appeal to your target audience. 

Here are some tips: 

  • Use high-quality images:  High-quality images play a significant role in the success of an ad. Use high-resolution images that look clean and crisp, even when viewed on different devices.
  • Keep it simple: Your visuals should convey a clear message that can be easily understood by your target audience. Avoid cluttering the visuals with too much text, graphics, or colors that may distract the audience from the main message.
  • Choose the right colors and fonts: Colors and fonts are an essential aspect of your visuals, as they create a particular mood or emotion in your audience. Choose colors that align with your brand and complement each other well. Also, use fonts that are easy to read and in line with your brand voice.
  • Incorporate your brand logo: Including your brand logo in the visuals helps to increase brand awareness and reinforce your brand's image.
  • Follow platform-specific image guidelines:  Each social media platform has specific image size and format guidelines, so make sure to follow these guidelines to ensure your visuals look great.
  • Consider using video: Video content has become increasingly popular on social media, so consider incorporating video into your visuals to increase engagement and grab your audience's attention. Product videos have also been proven to improve ad conversion rates. For example, a survey from Animoto also shows that 73% of U.S. adults are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video that explains it. 

By following these tips, you can create visuals that effectively communicate your brand's message and draw the attention of your target audience.

Clear and concise copy: The ad copy should be written clearly, with a concise headline and descriptions that are easy to understand. The copy should also speak to the needs and interests of your target audience and should highlight the benefits of your product or service.

Here is an example of an ad with an effective copy from HelloFresh. Their ad copy highlights all the benefits the customer will get from purchasing their summer special. They also create a sense of urgency with the phrase “This week only!”.

Call-to-action (CTA): Every social media ad should have a clear call-to-action that directs the audience toward the next step.

Here are some tips for creating effective call-to-action (CTA) for social media advertising ads:

  • Be clear and direct: When creating a CTA for your social media ad, be clear and direct with your audience. Also, note that personalized CTAs convert 42% more than generic CTAs.  So use clear action-oriented phrases such as "Shop Our Watches now” and "Download Our App," that leave no room for confusion.
  • Use power words: Power Verbs imply action and command attention. Therefore, include strong and compelling power words such as "Discover," "Join," "Try," and "Experience" to create a sense of urgency and emphasize what's in it for the audience.
  • Create a sense of urgency: The sense of urgency drives the audience to act fast. So include persuasive words such as "Limited Time Offer," "Last few items," and "Hurry", to increase the urgency that leads the audience to take immediate action.
  • Match CTA with a landing page: Make sure that the CTA on your ad is aligned with the landing page that the audience arrives on. If your ad is talking about a specific product, take them to the page that displays that product. 
  • A/B Test: A/B testing your CTA on different audiences can help you figure out which of them yields the most leads or clicks. Also experiment with the CTAs, placement on the Ad, and copy.

Targeting: The ad should be carefully targeted to reach the right audience. With most social media platforms, ad targeting options include audience demographics, location, interests, and behaviors.

Landing page: Once the audience clicks on the ad, they should be taken to a specific landing page that is relevant to the ad content and messaging. The landing page should also be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and clearly showcase the product or service being advertised.

4. Perform A/B tests

A/B testing is an essential tool if you want to run successful social media ad campaigns. Here are some reasons why:

Improves ad performance: A/B testing allows you to compare two variations of an ad, such as different headlines, images, or CTAs, to see which performs better. This data facilitates optimization and ultimately improves your ad campaign performance.

Allows you to optimize your budget: Running A/B tests on two diverse ad variations allows you to identify the one that resonates with your targeted audience. And with this knowledge, you can invest more in the performance-winning ad which will give you a higher ROI on your ad spend. 

Helps you refine your target audience: Testing several variations of the same ad helps to determine the audience segment that responds best to each ad variation. 

Validate assumptions: A/B testing enables businesses to test hypotheses and assumptions. Rather than taking a shot in the dark, A/B testing allows you to gather data on the effectiveness of your ad elements and refine them based on audience feedback.

Increases conversion rates: Testing different ad elements can help determine the highest converting ad; this can be an ad that generates more clicks, visits to your landing page, or more purchases. 

Overall, A/B testing provides valuable insight into which ad variations perform better, allowing for optimization and refining of your ad campaign elements and budget. With A/B testing, you can make informed decisions and ultimately generate more leads, higher conversion rates, and maximize return on ad spend.

5. Create custom audiences

There are several advantages to creating custom audiences when running social media ads. Here are a few:

Targeted advertising: With custom audiences, you can set your ads to be shown to specific groups of people based on their interactions with your brand. This increases the chances of your ads being seen by those who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

Increased ROI: Custom audiences can help improve the return on investment of your ads since you're targeting people who are already familiar with your brand. These individuals may be more likely to convert compared to cold audiences.

Better ad relevance: Custom audiences also help improve ad relevance, which can lead to better engagement and conversions. People are more likely to engage with ads that are relevant to them and their interests.

Improved retargeting: By creating custom audiences with data such as website visitors or past purchasers, you can retarget them with relevant ads. This can help bring people back to your site and increase the chances of conversion. Here are some tips for creating effective retargeted social media ads:

  • Define your retargeting objectives - Decide what action(s) you want people to take on your website, and create ads that encourage them to complete that action. This could be anything from making a purchase to filling out a form or subscribing to your newsletter.
  • Segment your audience - Divide your retargeting audience into different segments based on their actions on your website. For example, you can create segments for people who abandoned their cart, first-time visitors, or people who viewed a specific product page but did not purchase.
  • Use dynamic product ads - Use dynamic product ads to automatically show people the products they previously viewed on your website. This creates a personalized experience for the user and increases the chances of them completing a purchase.

Saved time and money: Creating custom audiences allows you to save time and money by only targeting those who are most likely to convert. Instead of targeting a broad audience, you can focus on specific segments, which can help reduce ad spend and improve efficiency.

6. Monitor and measure success

Tracking metrics and analytics allows you to see how your campaigns are performing and measure your progress toward your goals. By understanding the metrics that matter most to your objectives, you can determine whether your campaigns are effective and adjust your strategy if necessary.

Here is how you can track and measure the success of your social media advertising campaigns:

Determine your campaign objectives: Start by setting your campaign goals and objectives. For example, if your objective is to generate leads, you can track the number of leads generated from your ads.

Use data tracking tools: Use tracking tools such as Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics to track the performance of your ads. These tools can help you track conversions, website visits, page views, and other relevant metrics. 

Regularly monitor and analyze ad data: Doing this will offer you a clear picture of how your ads are performing. Look at the click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost-per-click (CPC), and other metrics relevant to your goals.

Compare performance across platforms: Compare the performance of your ads across different social media platforms to see which one is performing best. This can help you determine where to focus your advertising efforts.

Optimize your campaign: Use the data you get from your research to optimize your campaign. Some of the ways you can optimize your campaign are by adjusting the audience you target with the ad, optimizing your ad copy and creative, or adjusting your budget based on what's working.

By tracking and measuring your social media advertising campaign, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your ads and improve their performance. And with a social media marketing platform like Iconosquare, you will be able to monitor and optimize your ad campaigns. Learn more about Iconosquare

Additional social media advertising reading:


Social media platforms have a vast user base, making them a great way to reach a large audience quickly. And through social media advertising, businesses can advertise to thousands or even millions of people relevant to their brand in a matter of seconds.

Not only that, compared to traditional advertising, social media advertising can be less expensive. This makes it suitable for small businesses with a limited budget. Brands can also adjust their advertising budget based on the results of their ad campaign in real time, which increases efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

In summary, social media advertising is an important aspect of modern marketing. Therefore, every business today must consider social media advertising as an integral part of its marketing strategy to stay relevant in this digital age. In this article, we have seen key social media advertising tips and best practices that will help you run successful social media advertising campaigns.  

Also, check out the top 12 social media marketing skills marketers should have in 2023.

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.


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