Digital Advertising, Social Media Management

Social Media Advertising for Businesses: How to Advertise on Social Media

By Just Digital Team
Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising: what is it and should your business be doing it? Should your business be advertising on social media?

Let’s start by answering the first question. What is social media marketing/advertising?

When it comes to social media, there’s two sides:

  1. Organic Content – The first is posting content. Your posts have to be creative and engaging in order to gain a big following on social media.
  2. Paid Ads – You also have the option to pay to show your ad or your content on social media feeds.

It’s important for businesses to have a presence on social media, whether it be through organic posting or paid ads. However, the best thing to do is include both organic and paid content in your social media marketing strategy.

Social media marketing VS. Social media advertising

It’s easy to mix up social media marketing with social media advertising, but they are different things. Social media marketing is an all-encompassing term that means using social platforms to connect with your audience, build your brand, drive website traffic, and make sales. It includes social media advertising, which is paying for ads (rather than organic/free efforts) to achieve the same thing on social platforms.

Some things to think about when considering both:

Organic social media marketing…

  • can be really time intensive because you’re always producing new content
  • requires you to constantly come up with new things to post, which can get exhausting
  • has a short shelf life, as most posts probably only show up in users’ feeds for about 24 hours
  • isn’t for all business owners, as it isn’t enjoyable for everyone and many simply don’t have the resources available to allocate to those efforts.
organic social media marketing
Organic Social Media Marketing

However, organic social media marketing is still a fantastic way to build an audience and a loyal following – you just need to know what you’re getting into.

If you want learn more about social media marketing, you can visit our previous blog all about it here.

Social media advertising…

  • is simply a pay to play game. You pay to show up on people’s search results, but you’re using the exact same ad to show to potentially millions of people.
social media advertising
Social Media Advertising

Personally, social media advertising is one of my favorite ways to market because I only have to create a really good ad once. In fact, we’ve had ads that have been running for 2-3 years and are still producing predictable results.

This ad can be a very simple video commercial that you do. It can be highly produced with great video equipment, great video camera, great script, and actors; OR it can just be a simple cell phone video posted on social media, and then you pay to show it to the right people.

Should your business be advertising? The answer depends on the business that you’re running, but it’s really important to understand how social media works.

For now, we’re going to be focusing on social media advertising and how to do it.

Social media ads have a far greater potential return for the amount of time and effort you have to spend on social channels.

Every social media platform works a little bit different, and you don’t actually have to be on every social media platform available. That’s exhausting and useless.

You have to be able to choose the right platform to advertise on. Start by knowing which platform your market uses the most, or you could just choose the most popular and most used social channels.

The biggest ones are Facebook and Instagram.


Facebook statistic


Instagram statistic

Based on the statistics above, Facebook and Instagram are the two biggest social media platforms. Both platforms also have a really good program for you to advertise on.

However, if you’re interested in exploring your options and finding out more about the other platforms, here’s a quick overview:

Social media platforms

social media advertising platforms


  • Where is your target audience located?
  • What is the age group and gender of your target market?
  • What is their average income?
  • What are their hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc.?
  • What industry do they work in?

Try to answer these questions and fit them with the description in the infographic above.

Now that you’re more familiar with the different social media platforms, it’s time you know the benefits of social media advertising.

Benefits of social media advertising

Social media advertising has made the market bigger than ever before. There are many merits to advertising on social media. Brands are given more opportunities than ever before to reach and engage with audiences on the other side of the globe.

social media popularity

Other benefits include:

  • Increased brand recognition – Social media advertising can increase brand recognition by reaching people that your posts wouldn’t normally show up to. You can constantly be visible to your target market via your ads. The more familiar your audience becomes with your brand, the higher the possibility of them turning to you rather than your competitors when they need the product you offer.
  • Improved conversion rates – Social media ads can be incredibly targeted. Rather than sending out your well-thought-out, quality content to a group of people that aren’t necessarily interested, you can choose exactly who to speak to. Whether it’s teenagers who like country music or 45 year olds who live in Denver, you can reach the people who are actually interested in your business. Targeted social media ads will bring you better leads, and an increase in conversion rates.
  • Reduced marketing costs – Social media advertising won’t cost you as much as traditional advertising methods. You have complete control over how much (or little) you spend, you’re not locked in to any contracts, and all you need to create one is a device and an internet connection.

Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of social media advertising, here’s how to go about it.

How to create a successful social media advertising strategy

The primary purpose of social media is all about connecting people with each other. It’s people consuming content for entertainment, or engaging with their friends and family, staying up to date.

So, people aren’t really there looking to buy products. This is why you need to know what makes for a great social media ad in order to get results.

Great social media advertising is entertaining and engaging to your target audience.

Successful social media advertising speaks to where your audience is at when they’re scrolling through their feed. Mindset is a huge factor here.

If you were creating a billboard on a highway, you would be advertising to someone who is in their car, on their way to work or home, with nothing to do but listen to the radio and look out the window as they drive.

Compare that to someone laying on the couch, flicking through their social feed to be entertained and connect with their friends. They’re not going to be looking for the same thing as the driver. You’ll need to entertain and engage them to do any good.

Remember that social media is social. Connect with a human, as a human, and advertising will go well for you.

Social media advertising is great for content. You can offer free stuff that’s easy to download so someone doesn’t have to think too much about, like a report, webinar, or digital assets. Users will often give our their contact information in exchange for something valuable, allowing you to start building an email list.

Social media is good for impulse buys, low-cost products, or products that your audience is considering already.

It’s also good for remarketing. Let’s talk about how remarketing enables you to do this:

Target better leads with social media ads and increase your conversions

social media ads

So, you’re scrolling through Amazon or a different e-commerce site looking for something like a coffee pot, and all of a sudden you start seeing ads for coffee pots and coffee gear everywhere. They pop up on the websites you visit and your social media feeds.

Has this ever happened to you? I’m sure it has.

Well my friend, you’ve been remarketed.

Remarketing or retargeting is a type of online advertising that only targets people who have visited your website or have previously bought from your site. You can gain a more in depth understanding of retargeting and remarketing by watching this video.

Remarketing/retargeting is extremely useful because it singles out the people who have already expressed an interest in your product or service. You can try to get them to finish the checkout process, suggest a different product that may be of interest, and show them specific offers geared to them.

Compare that level of engagement with an organic social media post that speaks to a broad audience in general terms, because there’s no way of just showing the content to a specific person. It’s clear that advertising is far superior when it comes to getting users to take action.

Speak with a social media ads expert

speak with a social media ads expert

In a nutshell, social media advertising is likely something your business should be doing. It’s really simple to set up if you have a creative and interesting ad.

When I advise people on creating social media ad campaigns, I tell them to really think about the kind of message they want to deliver through their ads.

What is the message that you want to get across to people? How do you make it entertaining and fun? Those are the ads that are going to sell and have the best longevity.

Again, it can even be a very simple and quick cell phone video that gets your message to the right audience.

If you still feel confused and need a little bit more help, you can always speak with a social media ads expert like us. Feel free to ask for help, our team is always willing to be your growth partners.


Social media advertising is a quick and simple way to get better leads and better results. It’s not rocket science, you just need to know where to find your audience and what makes them tick.

Do you have questions about social media advertising? Tell us how you’re using social media advertising for your business. Leave a comment down below and let’s talk about it.

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