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Making Paid Ads Work – Our Guide to Advertising Online

Implementing paid ad strategies on Social Media can be a good way to reach more of the right people, provided that you have an intimate understanding of how each platform works. Many business owners and even inexperienced marketers shy away from going through the paid route as soon as they fail to see results.

Because every platform treats ads a little differently, it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all guide that will guarantee success every time. However, we have boiled down our years of experience into these three basic points. These recommendations will not be able to provide you with the specifics, but it should serve as a rough framework from which you should base your strategy for adding paid advertisements in your social media marketing strategy.

1. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience could mean a lot of different things. Every article talking about any type of marketing will tell you to study your audience. This is even more important if you’re doing paid advertisements on social media.

This is because every platform will have some form of hyper-targeting, which will allow you to target certain segments of the user base using basic demographics such as age, gender, geographical location, interests, etc. Not only will you be able to tailor your message, but you can also choose the demographics of the people who will see your ad, making for cost-efficient and measurable campaigns.

2. Know Your Goals

Goal-setting is a skill that every marketer should master regardless of field, but it is even more important for social media. While other types of marketers will be content to wait for actual effects on the bottom line, social media marketers have to understand and plan for metrics such as:

  • Volume – measures the size of the conversations about you. Different social media platforms may have different names for this, but it generally measures how much people are talking about a topic that you may have created through a campaign. This is the metric that marketers gun for when they try to come up with clever hashtags in hopes of seeing it on the trending board of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Reach – measures how many people have seen your ads, but does not tell you whether or not they took action upon seeing it. Reach is an important metric because it helps you contextualize the other metrics. For example, if you are trying to measure your engagement rate (more on this below), you can divide the number of clicks, retweets, replies, or favorites of your posts by Reach.
  • Engagement – measures how many people are interacting with your campaign’s ads. It comes in different forms across social media platforms, but the most common indicators of engagement are likes, shares, and comments.

3. Understand How It Helps You

Because social media metrics do not tell you exactly how much the campaign affects your bottom line, many business owners often find it hard to justify spending on paid ads. Sometimes going viral doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in your profits. In cases such as these, it can be helpful to take a deep dive into your metrics and see what’s actually driving the numbers up.

For example, if your skyrocketing engagement is not translating to increased revenue, then you should look at the nature of conversations that are happening around your product. If the conversations tend to be negative, then you may need to tweak your messaging.


Paying for ads on social media is a good way to reach more people in a cost-efficient way. For one, people online are typically more engaged, and you can make your ads to be as dynamic as a social media platform allows. The trick is to know exactly how a platform works and understand how your users interact with it to get the best possible results.

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