Social Media Advertising: How It Works + Tips for Success

 Social Media Advertising: How It Works + Tips for Success

Social media advertising has become one of the most effective ways to attract new customers, promote your brand, and grow your search engine rankings. 

However, it seems like a lot to grasp every time you think about how do we start? What platforms should I use? Should I use ads or just post content on Facebook? What keywords should I be targeting?

Social media advertising is the future of digital marketing but not everyone knows how it actually works or how to harness it to succeed.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of social media advertising, how it works and share some tips for success.

What is Social Media Advertising?

To reach target audiences, paid ad campaigns are done on social media platforms as a subset of digital marketing.

Paid reach is when you pay to promote your content instead of organic reach, where users come across your content naturally without you having to pay for it. 

You have a much higher probability of interacting with the correct people when you pay to get your material seen.

Since user attention is becoming a more valuable resource online, it is more challenging to get your message acknowledged. Advertising on social media has a significant impact since it enables you to reach your potential customers at every stage of the purchasing process. 

For instance, a B2C brand can execute a brand awareness campaign before launching a new product to generate buzz. Similarly, a B2B company can offer a premium product by re-engaging its audience through remarketing initiatives.

Which Social Media Advertising Platforms Are Most Widely Used?

Some of the preferred Social Media Advertising platforms include: 

  • Facebook 
  • YouTube 
  • Instagram 
  • LinkedIn

Additionally, these are also well-liked: TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Quora and Reddit.

How Does Social Media Advertising Work?

Ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites are a great way to reach a large and targeted audience. But how can you ensure they're reaching the people you want them to? 

These social media platforms work on audience targeting; each has its format, setting, and features. Some of the most common features that all social media platforms offer include the following:

Auction Style 

Like how Google advertisements operate, social advertisements work in an auction-style PPC model where an algorithm decides placements and charges based on factors including ad quality, maximum bid, and previous performance.

Campaign objective

Choosing an objective is the first step toward starting a campaign on most platforms. Social media sites will customize your ad targeting and setup based on the goals of your campaign.

The following are a few of the campaign goals that are accessible on social media platforms:

  • Sales
  • Leads 
  • Engagement
  • Traffic
  • Awareness
  • Conversion (product sales, website conversions, lead generation, app promotion)

After defining your components, you must decide how your ads will appear.


You may leverage each platform's user base to generate retargeting and similar audiences and, furthermore, target people based on their demographics, interests, and activities. 

To determine the audience you will likely reach out to, build test campaigns on multiple platforms. 

Most platforms give you a rough idea of how many people your campaign will reach. Adjust the characteristics as necessary to prevent your targeting from being overly specific or too general.


When someone sees your ad, their attention goes to the visual component (the picture or video), and then they move on to read more about what you're offering (the text). 

The thing about text is that it’s very easy for someone not to pay attention when they're just reading it—they can scroll down and see other things if they don't find your ad interesting enough right away! 

So it's vital to add aspects like:

  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Audio
  • Images
  • Color schemes
  • Creative copy

How Much Does It Cost?

It differs for each platform. All of these social media platforms allow you to set budgets based on your individual financial needs. Therefore, your options are somewhere between $5 and $50,000.

Let’s take a look at them individually.

Facebook Ads

For Facebook ad budgets, there is no absolute rule. Facebook ad costs vary depending on audience targeting, ad placement, campaign length, industry competition, season, region, and time of day.

However, one key lesson to remember: the best thing you can do to control Facebook ad expenditures is to pick the appropriate campaign aim. 

For instance, a campaign with a "impressions" aim often costs $1.85 per click, whereas one with a "conversions" objective typically costs $0.87 per click.

Instagram Ads

There’s no standard or average price for Instagram advertisements because they depend so much on various variables. Your target market, industry, and time of year can affect costs.

Setting up a draft campaign in Ads Manager and searching for the Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules is the best approach to assess your budget. This will indicate whether your budget settings are adequate to reach your target audience within a set time frame.

LinkedIn Ads

Your exact campaign objectives, target audience, and ad format selection will impact your LinkedIn ad's cost.

Every campaign begins with you submitting a bid that fits your financial constraints. To reach the same audience, you must compete with everyone else in an auction for LinkedIn ads. 

The price will increase in direct proportion to how popular the audience is. Optimizing your target audience is the best method for cutting costs.

Youtube Ads

A YouTube advertisement has no set price. As stated on the platform, "You're in charge of how much you spend."

Depending on how popular your target demographic or placement is, your actual expenses may even be lower than the maximum cost-per-click that you're ready to pay.

Tips to Elevate Your Social Media Advertising Strategies.

Companies of all sizes use social media to expand their online presence, attract followers, and engage with consumers. 

Even if you are an expert at something or just kicking off, there is always room for improvement. To improve your social media game and effectively sell your product or service, here are 5 simple strategies.

Identify Your Target Audience

You should understand your target audience well before implementing any marketing approach. 

To gauge an idea of what might be successful, start with some market research. For example, take your current customer data and use that to analyze who they are and what they are interested in and why they purchased your product. 

This will give an idea of what your customer base would look like. 

Furthermore, look at analytics from existing platforms and identify the customer pain points that you can solve. You can then use this information to decide who, what, and when to target. 

Once your advertisements run and generate data, use Google Analytics to gain more detailed information about who views and responds to your ads.This can help you make data driven decisions in identifying your audience. 

Be Consistent in What You Do

It's always a good idea to post information frequently. 

Making a content calendar for each channel is quite helpful.  This calendar will specify the type of content that should be posted over an extended period.

Regardless of the size of your company or the platform you are utilizing, be mindful of maintaining these elements consistently:

  • Brand image 
  • Corporate message
  • Posting routine
  • Hashtags 

Furthermore, if your company is just getting started on social media, quality often outweighs quantity. Don't overextend yourself. Instead of posting inconsistently on 5 networks, post quality material on 1-2 platforms you’ve chosen according to your target audience.

Create Intriguing Content

Users’ timelines are already flooded with a plethora of content and your business needs to stand out.

So what qualifies as good content? Although that term is arbitrary and varies from platform to platform, here are some pointers:


Creating content around anything deemed newsworthy is a wonderful idea. Timeliness, proximity, conflict and controversy, human interest, and relevance are the foundational elements of newsworthiness. For Example, you can share content about any upcoming event related to your niche product.


Static photos should have a distinct visual and not include many words (they should preferably go in the caption).

Gifs and videos grab the audience's attention and are more exciting to watch than still images.

Embrace your employees! Your audience will appreciate the opportunity to meet the people behind your products/services. It adds a touch of authenticity to your brand.

A positive approach would be to post videos introducing your employees and show behind-the-scenes workflow to build trust with your customers.


To engage the audience and establish a brand voice, use storytelling. 

It is a unique approach to communicating your point without coming off as a salesperson. You can explain the history and the mission of your brand in a way of a story to keep your audience engaged and interested in why you did what you have done.


Staying current with cultural and digital trends is crucial, but you should always ensure they complement your brand. For example, if you are from the IT sector you need to stay up to date about all the new inventions and developments and post about these to share it with your target audience. 

Experiment with different campaigns and engage with your audience

The effectiveness of your efforts can be greatly improved with a little amount of experimentation. 

Consider conducting small-scale experiments first rather than diving right into advertising.

So many different factors go into each given ad package, from formats to copy and beyond. 

Be ready to experiment a bit before you find what works for you best. Building a community and becoming more approachable may be accomplished through engaging with your followers. How to accomplish this includes:

  • Liking and responding to comments
  • Live broadcasting
  • Creating polls and quizzes

Hire a Specialist To Do It For You

Brands must decide "when" rather than "if" to launch social media advertising initiatives.

The best course of action is to hire a professional to do it for you. Your advertising expert can show to you how to bring in new clients, ask for referrals from your current clientele, and build relationships on social media. Employ an advertiser with experience in the market you serve. They'll be able to monitor market trends and offer details on competition.

Digitorm is an e-commerce marketing agency that offers Social Media Marketing services to elevate your brand presence on digital platforms and grow your visibility across major channels.

The Bottom Line

Creating a targeted and effective social media strategy will improve your performance online. Utilizing unique ways to interact with your audience will increase your reach. 

Most importantly, analyzing your metrics will help you determine whether or not you are on the right track. Social media is constantly evolving and with seemingly new trends every day, these tips will help you to craft your strategy and grow your audience.