How to Advertise on Social Media – A Crash Course

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Social media advertising. You’ve heard of it, you may have even tried it, and you’ve definitely seen a lot of people talk about it. So, what is it and is it really worth the hype?

What’s social media advertising?

Social advertising is a smorgasbord of options that range from the fairly innate to getting famous people to advertise your products for you (known as Influencer Marketing). There is literally something for everyone because (unlike TV, Radio, Print and billboards) you’re able to speak directly to the people you want to speak to – not just shout into the void and hope you get someone’s attention.  The benefit here is better return on investment.

Facebook advertising

Facebook offers two main options:

Boosted posts: Boosted posts are Facebook’s powerhouse. They’ll put your content – words, pictures, video – into the newsfeed of the people you target. You can say anything you want and as much or as little as you like (pro tip: brevity is key, you only have 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention) and target people anywhere in the world.

Ads: These pop up on the right panel of a Facebook page. They’re a one -size fits all box that offers you an image and a few lines of text. They’re great for promoting your page or building brand awareness through consistency.


Instagram is owned by Facebook (surprise!) so if your Instagram account is connected to your Facebook page, you can run your ads across both platforms with the check of a box. This is a really cool function that lets you get videos and images on the feeds of the people you’ve targeted via Facebook, extending your reach.


Twitter’s promoted tweets are, well,  tweets that you pay for. They look and feel exactly like ordinary tweets but you can target the Twitter feed of your audience.  What it lacks, ultimately, is the flexibility of other social advertising options – you’re restricted to 140 characters and an image. It’s really not dynamic at all.

Why should you bother?

No matter the size of your budget or the size of your business, social media advertising gives you the opportunity to reach more people than you could have without it. Being able to choose who you advertise to – based on age, gender, location, hobbies and much more,  let’s you build relationships with people that want to hear from you.  This removes the shouting into the void mentality of television, the blanket advertising approach of newspapers and the insanely annoying chorus of radio advertising.

Perfecting social media advertising essentially puts the power of an advertising agency into your hands, allowing you to connect with anyone you choose and grow your business at a rate that’s comfortable for you.

Having an online presence that reflects your brand personality will help you stand out, make it easier for people to find you (and for people to recommend your business to a friend) and puts you where people already are: the heart of the conversation. This’ll help bring customers to you so you don’t have to go out looking for them.

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