The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Advertising for Small Businesses

Social media advertising can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. But it can be tricky to know where to start. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of social media advertising and show you how to get the most out of your ad campaigns.

We’ll also give you some tips for targeting your ads and measuring their success. So whether you’re just getting started with social media advertising or you’re looking for ways to improve your campaigns, this guide will help you get there.

What is social media advertising?

Social media advertising is the process of creating and placing ads on social media platforms to reach a wide range of potential customers. The most popular social media platform for social media advertising include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. However, ad campaigns will vary dramatically between each advertising platform.

How much do social media ads cost?

The cost of social media advertising varies depending on the social media platform you use, the type of ad you create, and your targeting options. For example, Facebook ads can range from £0.40 per click to about £1.75 per click, (the average cost per click is £0.78 (Hubspot), while LinkedIn ads tend to cost between £1.75 and £4.50 per click.

How can I maximize my advertising budget?

Social media advertising is essential to reaching your desired audience quickly. Organic reach can be difficult. Naturally, it’s difficult to shift the social strategy organically in favour of real money. We must know the possibilities of the different choices. In this guide, we show you how you can utilize social media advertising in a variety of ways.

media, social media, apps

Popular social media networks

Regardless of social network advertisements, you may find it helpful to understand how different platforms work with the same audience. So you want a company with an ideal customer base. You must also look into social networking platforms that perform well and where organic posts get more interaction from your intended audience.


instagram, logo, photo

Instagram advertising can help businesses with visual appealing product lines to attract consumers. This can increase the effectiveness of organic content in the marketing department but Instagram ads can link directly to your website, making for quick and easy navigation and promoting your site.

Instagram ads are popular amongst large and smaller companies and are used mainly for eCommerce websites. As Instagram can be a popular tool among people aged 17 to 44, you can get the most results targeting young users.

With Instagram ads, you are likely targeting the right audience using the same options as Facebook and the audience will vary by demographics, activity and interest, among others.


Because Snapchat is more popular among the younger millennial population, Snapchat advertising should be more enjoyable & casual. Snapchat ads can help increase the sales of your product by increasing traffic from your website. Instant creation allows for quick creation of ads while Advanced creation aims at promoting more detailed ads.

Snapchat is offering various advertisements, including snap advertising. This is a picture or video that lasts 3 minutes. Its Full Screen is shown before or in conjunction with other content and stories. These advertisements appear as branded tiles in the Discover Feed for the user.


TikTok, a relatively new platform, offers huge potential at reaching younger audiences. Most of TikTok’ s advertising focuses on advertisements for products on its website. The ads show a fullscreen nine-second video, reminiscent of organic TikTok content.

The shopping option below any video brings the customer directly to the product website. Another advertising option for TikTok includes a brand takeover campaign where you display your ads when you open the app, and a brand hashtag challenge, which encourages people to use their hashtags in the video and videos trending by filtering and trending dance.

tiktok, facebook, social network


Facebook – The biggest online community making Facebook advertising very popular. Using demographics from 25 to 34, brands will quickly find their target audiences through Facebook. Brands can target customers by location, interest, hobbies, occupation etc.

It’s also a very visually-oriented website that provides it with a highly reliable advertising option. Facebook offers a variety of Facebook ads such as picture ads, video ads, story ads, carousel advertising, messages, and so on. All these techniques can increase sales, increase traffic to your website and increase conversion rates.


Twitter is a popular social platform for users since 2006 and the Twitter ads have gained more use. Mostly used for reading the news or talking to influencers. Twitter offers two different ad options:

Promote: This option lets you select a tweet on your Twitter timeline which will be promoted to the target audience and Twitter will promote your tweet to your specified audience.

Twitter Advertising: This objective advertising system allows a user to start marketing on their own according to a business goal.


LinkedIn has a broad professional user base and can target users according to employment histories or qualifications. LinkedIn advertising therefore primarily targets a B2B audience. LinkedIn provides the option for users to follow you personally and directly.

tiktok, mobile, smartphone

Types of social media ads

Because content marketing is constantly changing there are many options to advertise in social media. Your advertising type depends on your preferred media, your campaign objective and the target market your audience wants.

Stories Ads

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter also have story advertisements which can also take pictures or videos. This ad is shown on full screen and displays for one or more hours, according to the ad type and platform.

On Facebook, a picture will appear after six seconds, and a video can last up to 15 seconds. Instagram Stories ads have a duration of up to 100 minutes for photographs or videos. The advertising sometimes allows users to navigate to the advertiser’s website.

Stories ad views are available within 24 hours that advertisers can use in advertising products and services.

Static image ads

Photos are commonly employed by social networks for the sake of providing a visual representation of a product or service. Some people prefer visuals over text, so they will probably prefer photograph ads.

Photo adverts are available in many forms including “shop now” buttons which bring visitors directly to the website and facilitate easy checkout. Ensure that your photo ads are consistent with your SEO and are compatible with your organic content.

Video ads

Video ads have a similar appeal as photo ads. Most people watch short videos so you can keep people interested in your videos for short periods. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can make short videos which can be viewed by anyone and interact instantly when they scroll through a feed.

Messenger ads

Messenger ads appear in chats on Messenger and not on user’s news feeds. This is a personal conversation that a customer can have on Instagram and Messenger. These are primarily intended to start automated conversations with potential customers.

macbook, laptop, ipad

Advantages of social media advertising

Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to reach out to customers on various platforms. By targeting a specific audience and using relevant keywords, you can create ads that are more likely to be seen by people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Additionally, social media advertising allows you to track the success of your campaigns and make necessary adjustments based on the data collected. For these reasons, social advertising should be an important part of any social media strategy.

Track and shape success

The Facebook and Twitter channels feature integrated statistics to help identify which areas should be improved. You can then compare your ads to your traffic statistics. Do not forget to monitor your competitors — does it run advertisements? What is your place? Is this an advert on Twitter? Instagram advertisement? Could this be a LinkedIn advertisement? Do these people show a high degree of interest? Research as many ways as you can for a better chance at your first advertisement.


Increasing the audience for social media ads. In June 2017 Facebook had 2 billion people logged in every minute, with 1 billion of them coming every single day. As of January 2018, 45% of women used Twitter, and 56% used Facebook. So, whatever your target audience is, you can reach them using these channels.


Social platforms provide data for content marketers such as demographic and psychographic information. It gives you full control over what people see in your ads, free or paid ads, creating your audience, making the greatest use of the money and time and driving proper visitors to your site. Filters are also available to help with targeting clients with social media.


Paid Social Media – Media uses pay per click (PPC) format like Google Adwords which gives you complete Ad budget control and pays only for the actions the user performs. This is just one of the digital advantages.

You can never underestimate the costs of advertising – you set your target. Set a ‘lifetime Budget’ that lists how much you can spend on your advertising and you can be confident about it.

clock, money, growth

Save time

Once the ads are fine-tuned you could start them up and let them run. This means you’ll have fewer hours to devote to internet advertising and concentrate on other areas of your business. However, we must keep improving and monitoring them as it helps us to remain successful in future years.

Increase brand awareness

Social media adverts complement all types of social media activities and vice versa. Keeping a clear brand identity is key. A prospective customer may wish to see your social activity organically before deciding to buy from you. Make sure everything you post is reflective of your brand.

How to start with social media advertising?

It can be hard when you are starting to develop your marketing strategies. If you can do this, then there is plenty more confidence.

Understand your audience

success, curve, hand

In the context of any marketing strategy, you need to be aware of your target audience. Use existing customer data to get insight into what works best for your business. It helps you identify who you need to target, where and how. So once you start running the ads, you gain a deeper understanding of how the audience sees the ads.

Establish some general goals

What is the goal of a social ad? You can never set goals for yourself but you need to find specific measurements before you begin. However, most people generally determine what campaigns are intended to achieve based on a primary goal (e.g. build brand awareness, lead generation, conversions).

Look at benchmarks

How long it takes to spend on a social ad will vary according to the industry you are in and the audience. It’s always nice to start with a good reference to get an idea of your budget before you begin.

Choose one channel to start

There are many social media channels available to businesses today, and it can be difficult to decide which one to focus on. However, if you are looking for an effective way to generate leads and drive website traffic, then Advertising on Facebook is a great option.

Facebook offers highly engaging content, which makes it an ideal platform for promoting your business. In addition, Facebook ads allow you to target a specific audience, making it easier to reach your target market. When combined with other marketing strategies, advertising on Facebook can be a powerful tool for generating leads and driving website traffic.

If this isn’t for you, select an appropriate social media channel and stick with it. Understand how paid advertising works before moving to another platform.

Social media advertising tips

It can differ depending on the platforms, but these general suggestions will help with your success across different platforms.

Keep mobile devices in mind

This is certainly something we’re going to ignore, but it should still be stressed that we should remember our mobiles. Most social media websites have mobile access. Formatted ads can work with smartphones as well as tablets using image specifications.

Have a mobile mentality when thinking about the offers and when distributing the ads you offer. If your target audience is young urban professionals, marketing a pdf book on LinkedIn may not be logical for morning commuter days. It could be more useful to run social media ads in which the user sees the advertisement.

More than half of all web traffic now originates from a mobile device, with 55 per cent coming in through phones. This is because many people – 92% to be exact- go online using their phone at least some time during an average day and it has become closer competition for what we do on our computers as well: More than 60%.

Lean on your organic data

Chances are that when we’re looking at advertising on social media, your organic marketing strategy is working. When this happens you can use your performance organically to guide your marketing budget.

Over time, you’ll gain valuable insights from your advertising data; however, until then, look into audience insights, top-performing posts, low-performing posts and engagement metrics to know what segment of your customer you want to target. It is possible to use native analytics within a social media platform to extract data from this information.

Use multiple campaign types

The pay-per-click offers a variety of objectives to choose from based on the products the company sells. You can target your site visitors with low-cost offers. You can also create multiple campaigns and combine various objectives to form an effective strategy using multiple goals. It gives you the best of each platform. Dynamic ads are a good option if you’re unsure what format to follow.

A/B test

The A/B testing process is a simple and effective way to measure the success of your marketing campaign. You can split audiences up into two groups, and show them different versions of an ad. This way you can see whichever one performs better and can be implemented as policy!


Overall, advertising on social media can be a great way to generate leads and drive website traffic. However, it is important to keep mobile devices in mind, as well as to understand how paid advertising works before moving to another platform. Additionally, remember to lean on your organic data and use multiple campaign types to form an effective strategy. Finally, don’t forget to A/B test! By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to success with social media advertising.

About us

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Harnessing the power of social media to build your business is no easy task, which is why Bee Social Marketing are here for you. We can manage all aspects from posting on Facebook pages or Twitter accounts right down through crafting targeted content that will resonate with potential customers in an engaging way–we know how it’s done!

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