The Social Media Advertising Checklist: Your Guide to Success

image for the social media advertising checklist

Getting your posts seen without social media advertising can be difficult. Nowadays, social media platforms are a free-for-all, with all types of content being uploaded and competing with one another. It’s therefore no surprise that digital advertising has become a key budget for businesses.

However, complex algorithms have made it even harder for businesses to cut through the white noise. If you are putting your money behind a social media ad, you need to think logically and stylistically about copy, images, and the overall purpose of your ad to make it stand out, rather than blend in.

There’s also a wealth of information that you need to know before setting up a social media ad. That’s why we have collated a checklist of the key points you should consider to help make your digital ad a success.

a mobile with facebook logins open with social media spelt on scrabble tiles
Collating a checklist for social media will help you deliver targeted ads to the right audience. (Image Credit: William Iven)

What do I need to know about social media advertising?

Social media advertising is a great tool to raise awareness, attract new customers and generate leads – if it is done right. 

Often, businesses who use social media ads operate and schedule on an ad-hoc basis as they are fairly easy to set up on-the-go. However, there is a lot more to social media ads than a nice image and some keyword-focused text. 

With paid-for social media marketing, there are a wide variety of formats, types and platforms to think about. However, before you start, you need to know the do’s, the don’ts, and everything in between. 

Here we have created the following social media advertising checklist – to help you get started and get it right, everytime.

a laptop open on facebook reading to begin a social media checklist
Social media advertising is a great tool to raise awareness of your brand, attract new customers and generate leads that will bring conversions to your site. (Image Credit: Will Francis)

Research ad types

The world of digital advertising can seem a little daunting at first. There are hundreds of different ways you can get your ad seen. But before you start designing or even thinking about your ad – you should know what you’re working with. We are lucky to have so many methods to choose from when it comes to social media advertising. From a business perspective: it gives us close access to a long list of hard-to-reach audiences and provides us with data on their response rates. This means we can find out what works and what doesn’t and use this information to improve our online advertising practices. Here’s a brief rundown of what kind of ads you can create at your fingertips on each core social media platform:
  • Facebook: photo ads, video ads, story ads, carousel ads, slideshow ads, collection ads, messenger ads, playable ads;
  • Instagram: photo ads, video ads, story ads, carousel ads, collection ads, ads in explore, IGTV ads;
  • Twitter: Twitter ads;
  • Snapchat: Snap ads, story ads, collection ads, filter ads, Snapchat commercials;
  • TikTik: photo ads, video ads, brand collaborations.
After familiarising yourself with each ad type and their requirements, you will be able to better visualise what direction you want your ad to go in. The next step is who you want your ad to appeal to.
social media buttons to press for easy access to social platforms
Every social media has a wide range of methods of advertising that you can avail of (Image Credit: Norwood Themes)

Know your audience

It is important to recognise that you cannot advertise to everyone. There are no cutting corners, as some people tend to believe if they make a social media ad as general as possible, that it will appeal to a broader audience. This is not the case. Instead, taking the time to understand a niche audience is key.

For social media ads, the platforms you use are highly relevant to the audience you will target. For example, if you’re aiming an ad towards teenagers, TikTok and Snapchat would be the prime places to look. If you’re targeting millennials, Instagram and Twitter are most effective. For parents or people over 30 – Facebook would be your best bet.

If you think about the people you know (friends, family, colleagues) and what their preferred platforms are, this is another good indicator to help you make a decision. 

Consider every format

From mobile to desktop, it matters how your ad looks and fits in with your chosen platform. 

For example, with Instagram, the feed takes up the majority of a user’s screen, therefore it would be beneficial to create an ad which favours eye-catching images or videos, rather than a text-heavy graphic or long caption.

However, each platform has different requirements. While something wordy may not suit Instagram, it would fit better in LinkedIn. This reinstates why there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to social ads. Therefore, we advise you take the time to understand each platform and follow the audience you are trying to reach.

Another top tip would be to educate yourself on the dimensions needed for each ad and create your own cheat sheet. This will be a handy, time-saving tool to refer to rather than scouring the internet all over again.

a marketer holding a phone with an Instagram grid open, browsing it
Digital ads allow you to easily tailor, save and alter your audience targeting settings for future use, making it much easier for marketers to utilise. (Image Credit: Georgia de Lotz)

Sincerity over spam

Although we know social media ads are an effective tool, it is important to limit any spam-like language. Users do not appreciate blatant ads and will make the conscious decision to unfollow businesses that hound their audience with promotional messages. 

That’s why it is recommended that you try to effortlessly blend your ad with your usual organic, unpaid content. If you take this approach when creating your ad, people will be more susceptible to believing it is there to provide them with sincere information, rather than extract a sale out of them.

Try taking a step back and looking at what you already post day-to-day and use this as a starting point. The more implicit the advertising message, the better.

Save your audiences

The good thing about digital ads is that they allow you to easily tailor, save and alter your audience targeting settings for future use. 

It is best that you start out broad with your audience targeting and then begin to streamline your search. Marketing with social media is not an overnight solution; therefore, you will need to be prepared for a trial and error situation until you find out what works and who is responding to them. 

Once you have exacted your demographics, it is extremely handy to save these for future use. This means you will have a fully adapted list of audiences to aim your ad at, making the process much more seamless.

By ticking off each step in this checklist, you will be able to achieve seamless, successful social media advertising that people will respond to. By building your knowledge on each of these aspects, you will not only resonate with your chosen audience but generate leads as well as boost your confidence with the process each time. 

If you want to go further with your online presence, ProfileTree offers a range of social media marketing services. If you want to enquire or simply ask for advice, contact us today.

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