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  • Writer's pictureDigital Marketing Hub

Advertising On Social Media

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Social Media Advertising

Do you wonder when it really makes sense to use advertising on social media and where you can best advertise? This question requires answers to the following 5 issues.

1. What do I want to achieve with an advertisement?

2. Are social media the best means for this?

3. which platform can I use to advertise best?

4. What costs should I consider?

5. When is advertising on social media not a good idea?

Objectives of an advertisement

As a company you can have different goals that you can realize with social media advertisements. These are the most important ones:

  • Increase brand awareness with a certain audience

  • Make known what you do and promote offers

  • Obtain new fans or followers

  • Realize more newsletter subscribers

  • Generate leads, for example via:

  • The download of an eBook/PDF

  • The download of an app

  • Making a test

  • Completing a contact form

  • Participating in a competition

  • Sales: stimulating a purchase

  • Testing two or more designs or versions of a product

If your objective is one of the above, then social media can help you.

Is advertising on social media the right means?

Advertising on social media can certainly help you realize the goals mentioned above. You can read more about social media strategy here.

Because social media are just hip and happening, you may be tempted to stare blindly at

this. But of course there are more roads leading to Rome. Sometimes there are other methods that are faster, better or more effective. This way you can realize the aforementioned goals in other ways:

Brand recognition can be achieved through various mass media. The advantage of social media is that you can target very well. But perhaps that is not so necessary for your

purpose and you want to reach all adults in a certain area, regardless of age, gender or interests. A local company can easily meet its objectives with a local newspaper, website or radio station.

New followers, fans or friends can be realized inexpensively and with little effort by arranging all your communication tools in such a way that people also take note of the value offered by some social media platforms.

Most people now know that if you want help quickly with a train problem in the Netherlands, you would do well to head to NS's Twitter account.

Achieving more subscribers to your newsletter can be less cumbersome and often cheaper by entering into a sophisticated partnership with a party that already has many subscribers and for whom your information and offer is complementary.

Obtaining leads is done in a sustainable and inexpensive way if you set up easily findable web pages on your site and make it very attractive to download something, leave data behind or participate in a competition.

If you offer courses or training, for example, you can invite people to attend a free webinar or live training.

Sales via your website could also be realized very well with Adwords. The big advantage of Adwords is that you reach people who have filled in a specific search question that matches your advertisement if it is right. With the right tone and offer, you have a big chance to win them over.

With social media your ad is in the picture when people are doing something different and then it is a lot harder to entice them to click.

You can achieve all these goals by advertising on social media, but a thorough exploration of other possibilities can result in savings and higher returns. So use the knowledge you have from your customers and especially your creativity!

Where can you best advertise?

Ah, I could write a book about it here. But you can also make a lot of choices and considerations in a short specification. These are the main platforms for ads:


Facebook ads are suitable for messages aimed at consumers, but also at business decision-makers.

A prerequisite for a successful advertisement on Facebook is that the experience of your advertisement matches the reason why people look on their timeline: to keep up to date with everything and everyone they love. You can do that by sharing positive, even entertaining messages and by offering practical value that matches the interests and wishes of the people who will see your advertisement.

Facebook is superior in very targeted advertising at relatively low prices, especially if you match people's taste. Do you want to approach women between 30 and 45 who are in a relationship, find Linda Charm, live in Paris and love sailing? Then you will not find that group so good anywhere else.


Advertising on Twitter is relatively new. The tricky thing about Twitter is that your sponsored tweet rushes through someone's timeline, because the tempo of tweets is usually higher than that of messages on Facebook.

The advantage is that you can address the followers of specific tweets. Does someone often tweet about a specific hobby, type of food or movies and do you have something relevant to offer? Good chance that the followers of that tweet also like that and show an interest in your message.

In addition, Twitter also offers the possibility to show people with specific interests at specific locations. Both Twitter and Facebook allow you to approach people who have visited your website with a targeted follow-up message.


Everyone associates LinkedIn with business to business (B2B) marketing and that is also obvious. But people are also members of groups that address more private interests, so you

do not have to limit it to business target groups.

The nice thing about LinkedIn is that you can also show your advertisement to the members of a LinkedIn group. Then you realize a relatively high visibility with a limited budget. The disadvantage of LinkedIn is that you pay a relatively large amount for a click here. But if you know exactly what you want to get out of your ads on LinkedIn , then that does not have to be a problem at all.

YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Spotify

Many companies focus on social media on the big three. But the other platforms also offer increasing opportunities.

If your target group likes a specific type of movie, then you can refine on it with a targeted text ad (via Google Adwords ) or via three types of video commercials. On YouTube you can select people selectively based on gender, location, interests and age.

Pinterest offers more and more advertising options. The buy button is now added in many countries - ideal if you have a web store, your target group is women and you offer something that tempts impulse purchases, for example.

Advertising on Instagram is now relatively easy if you have a Facebook business page. Via the advertising function on Facebook or via the Power Editor you can create advertisements for Instagram.

Also, Spotify gives you the chance to talk to specific people who listen to a certain Spotify list. If you know the music preference of your potential customers or if you want to reach people during a specific time, that's a great opportunity!

The costs of social advertising

The costs of advertising on social media vary widely. In most cases you can indicate a budget per day and/or for the duration of a campaign. That way you know that you never go over your budget.

On Facebook and Twitter you can already realize a click for low amounts, sometimes even for a few cents per click. With Twitter you pay for every interaction, so even if someone marks your Tweet as a favourite. The return of such a favoured tweet is difficult to measure, but you pay for it.

LinkedIn ads cost at least € 2 per click. The costs for a campaign can increase considerably, but if you know exactly who you can reach through which selection and you know you have the right offer for them, a LinkedIn campaign is a good idea.

You only pay on YouTube if your video commercial has either been viewed completely or watched for at least 30 seconds.

With the text ads via Google Adwords you pay either per click or per 1000 impressions.

So you see that the costs of advertising on social media can vary greatly. Even if you only have a few dollars available per month, you can still achieve results.

To avoid disappointments, it is wise not to let your budget depend on the costs that a click or view costs you.

Rather argue the other way around: what can an advertisement on Facebook or LinkedIn give you when you look at the goal you have? What will 1000 new newsletter subscribers deliver to you soon?

If you know how many of your current newsletter subscribers make a purchase with you and what that purchase will give you, you can check what you can have for 1000 new subscribers. You can also do such a calculation on the recruitment of leads for your site via social media or for the profit that each sale brings you.

Based on these calculations, you know what the return on an advertisement can be and what budget you should make available. In addition, look at the specific characteristics and possibilities of each social platform and you will know which platform you can use and what amount to work with.

5. When is advertising on social media not a good idea?

Of course everyone has to make their own choices and considerations. But normally the ROI of an advertisement is an important factor: what do you want it to deliver? If you do not have those objectives clear, you cannot determine afterwards whether a campaign was a success and whether you paid a realistic amount for the results.

Social media ads are often more successful if you know a lot about your target audience. What are their characteristics and their buying motives? If you cannot give a detailed answer to that, you run the risk that your advertisement does not yield much.

A target group such as 'HRM managers' is on the vague side. However, if you have something for HRM managers from IT companies that are struggling with a specific issue, your ad will appeal more. 'Women between 20 and 35' is also too vague. Then ask yourself whether these women are single, have/have no children and, above all, what their interests are. What sports and hobbies do they have, which magazines do they read, what are their favourite TV programs?

if you test different variants of ads from the start and take the time to monitor how each ad scores, your ads are more likely to succeed You can think of variants in which you compare different things:

  • Men versus women

  • Mobile view vs. display on laptop / desktop

  • Two or three ad titles

  • Differently formulated calls to action

  • Two or three images

  • Different colours or with/without coloured border

Do not go overboard, you want to keep the big picture in mind. Consider what you really want to know and what could really make a difference to your target group and your offer and make a specific choice from the different variations you test.

Hopefully, the above questions will provide you with sufficient guidance to determine whether advertising on social media is suitable for the objectives of your company.

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