A person works through the steps to start advertising on social media.

Get Started with Advertising on Social Media Platforms

If you want to boost your business, advertising on social media is a must. Unlike the old-school approaches of newspaper ads or direct mailers, placing ads on social media allows you to hyper-target the specific demographic you want to reach.

All of the major social media networks have their own ad platforms. Here, we’ll explain how to get started advertising on each of them.

 


 

Facebook

As the world’s most widely used social media platform, Facebook is a vital advertising platform to reach millions of potential customers. Here’s how to get started advertising on Facebook.

 

Step 1: Create Your Facebook Ad

Go to your business’s Facebook Page and click the blue “Promote button” in the lower left.

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A screenshot of how a business owner would begin advertising on the social media platform, Facebook

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Choose an objective for your ad, such as driving traffic to your website or boosting a post.

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A screenshot of the goals a business owner might choose when advertising on Facebook

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In this example, we’re creating an ad to get more website visitors.

 

Step 2: Design Your Ad

Now choose an image (or multiple images for a carousel ad) and write copy for your ad.

A screenshot of how a business owner would begin creating an ad on the social media platform, Facebook

Choose a button label for your call to action (CTA), such as “Buy Now” or “See Menu.” Insert the URL for your business’s website, product page, or location you’d like to direct your audience to.

 

Step 3: Choose Your Audience, Budget, and Ad Placement

Define the audience you want to reach with your ad by specifying gender, age, location, and interests.

A screenshot of how a business owner would customize their target audience on Facebook

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Set a daily budget for your ad and the duration you’d like it to run. Then, choose where you’d like your ad to show up; you can choose from Facebook, Instagram, and/or Messenger.

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A screenshot of how to set an advertising budget on Facebook

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Finally, click the blue “Promote Now” button and get ready for new customers!

 


 

Instagram

Once you’re up and running with Facebook ads, it’s time to turn your attention to its sister company, Instagram. There are two ways to start running ads on that platform. First, you could follow the directions we gave above for Facebook, and when you get to Placements, choose Instagram only. Another way is to promote your business’s Instagram posts. Read on to learn how!

 

Step 1: Choose a Post to Promote

Sign into your business’s Instagram account on the mobile app and choose a feed post you’d like to promote to a wider audience. Tap the blue “Promote” button in the lower right.

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A screenshot of a sample post an owner might promote on Instagram

 

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Step 2: Decide Where Your Ad Should Point

Select where to send people who click on your ad. You can choose your Instagram profile, your website, or your direct messages.

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A screenshot of an option page on Instagram

 

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Step 3: Define Your Audience

Narrow down your audience by selecting the genders, age ranges, locations, and interests you’d like to target.

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A screenshot of how a business owner could reach an audience through the Instagram platform

 

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Step 4: Choose Your Budget

Select how much you’d like to spend per day and how long you’d like your ad to run for. Tap “Next,” review your ad to make sure everything looks good, and then tap “Create Promotion.” Your Instagram promotion is ready to go!

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A screenshot of working through the budget options on Instagram

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Twitter

Get ready to market your product or service in 140 characters or less on Twitter. Here’s how to get started.

 

Step 1: Create a Twitter Ads Account

Go to ads.twitter.com and click “Get Started.” Choose your country and time zone and click “Let’s Go.”

A screenshot of how to set up a Twitter ads account

 

Step 2: Create a Campaign

Choose your ad objective, such as video views, gain more Twitter followers, app installs, or website clicks.

A screenshot of how to create an advertising campaign on Twitter

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Name your campaign. Then, add a debit or credit card to fund your ads, set a daily ad budget, and choose the duration for your ad. Click “Next.”

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A screenshot of how a business owner would define their advertising objective on the social media platform

Target your audience by selecting your desired gender, age, location, language, devices, interests, etc.

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A screenshot of how to configure target demographic information

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Choose your desired ad placements, or where your ad will show up on Twitter.

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A screenshot of how to select ad placement options on Twitter

 

Step 3: Create Your Ad

Finally, under Creatives, select your Tweet you’d like to promote and the creative (such as an image) you want to use for your ad. Click “Next,” and you’re ready to advertise on Twitter!

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LinkedIn

If you own a business that caters to other businesses, LinkedIn is the perfect place to advertise. Here’s how to begin running ads on LinkedIn.

 

Step 1: Create a LinkedIn Ad Account

Sign into your LinkedIn Business account and go to www.linkedin.com/campaignmanager/new-advertiser to create your ad account. Paste in the URL of your company’s LinkedIn page, if you have one.

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A screenshot of the campaign manager available in LinkedIn

 

Step 2: Create a Campaign

Now you’ll create your first LinkedIn ad campaign. Choose an objective for your campaign, such as brand awareness, website visits, or lead generation.

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A screenshot of options available on LinkedIn for advertisers

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Then, narrow down your audience by choosing your desired attributes such as industries, education, job experience, degrees, interests, etc.

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A screenshot of how to define a target audience in the social media platform

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Choose your ad format, such as single image ads (which will show up in users’ LinkedIn newsfeeds) or conversation ads (which will be sent to your target audience via a LinkedIn private message).

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A screenshot of the ad format a business owner might choose

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Then, set your daily ad budget, your ad schedule (you can run it continuously or set a start and end date), and your bidding strategy (“Maximum Delivery” is recommended if you’re new to LinkedIn ads).

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A screenshot of how to work on advertising budget and schedule

 

Step 3: Create Your Ads

Finally, upload creative materials for your ads in the form of image or video and add relevant text, as well as a target URL (the website people will be sent to when they click on your ad). Your ad is ready!

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YouTube

As the biggest video platform on the internet, YouTube presents an amazing opportunity to reach millions of potential customers. Here’s how to get started running ads on YouTube.

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A screenshot of the first steps to take to create a YouTube ad account

 

Step 1: Sign into Google Ads

YouTube runs on Google’s ad platform, so you’ll need a Google Ads account. You can visit ads.google.com to sign up. Then, go to www.youtube.com/intl/en_us/ads/signup and click “Get Started.”

 

Step 2: Create a Campaign

From the Google Ads dashboard, click “New Campaign.” Then, select your ad objective such as sales, leads, brand awareness, or website traffic.

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A screenshot of the options for creating a new campaign

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On the next screen, you’ll select a campaign type. Choose “Video” to run ads on YouTube.

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A screenshot of the options available for a new campaign

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Click “Continue.” On the next screen, you can give your campaign a name, set a daily ad budget, and choose a bid strategy. If you’re just starting out, you might choose “Maximize conversions” for your bid strategy. This will maximize your return while staying within budget.

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A screenshot showing how you can customize ad details

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Then under Network, check the box for “YouTube Videos.” Select your location, languages, and ad group type, and narrow down your demographic based on gender, age, household income, and keywords related to your business.

A screenshot showing how you can select location, languages, and ad group type

 

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Step 3: Create Your Video Ad

Now it’s time to select the video you want to use for your ad. Paste in the URL of your YouTube video or click the link to upload it to YouTube if it’s not already uploaded to the site.

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A screenshot with prompts to upload a video to YouTube to use in an advertising campaign

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Once your video is selected, fill in a Headline (example: “The Finest Tamales You Can Buy!”), call to action (CTA) (example: “Buy Now!”), and the URL your ad should send people to, which will likely be your company’s website or product page.

A screenshot showing how to fill in the headline, call to action, and URL for an ad

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Finally, click “Create Campaign.” Your ad is ready for YouTube.

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Pinterest

Pinterest is the perfect place to reach more than 400 million potential customers. Here’s how to start promoting your Pins and reaching new customers.

 

Step 1: Claim Your Domain and Install the Pinterest Tag

Log in to your Pinterest Business account. Then, go to www.pinterest.com/business/hub and follow the instructions to claim your business’s website domain and install the Pinterest Tag. This will ensure you can claim any content on Pinterest that’s related to your business and track your Pinterest ad performance.

 

Step 2: Create a Pin

Click “Create” at the top of the screen, then “Create Pin.” Fill in the fields with the product you’d like to promote, adding an image, a title, a description of your product, and a link to your website. Click “Publish” to publish your pin.

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A screenshot showing a pin that can be promoted on Pinterest

 

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Step 3: Promote Your Pin

Go to your pin and click “Promote.”

A screenshot showing the Promote button on Pinterest

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Follow the prompts to choose an objective for your ad, such as brand awareness, website traffic, or conversions. Choose your placement and set a budget and duration for your ad. Then click “Launch.” Your ad is ready for Pinterest!

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TikTok

As the hottest social media platform right now, TikTok is a great space to reach a young demographic; 66 percent of its users are under 30. Here’s how to begin advertising on TikTok.

 

Step 1: Create a TikTok Ads Account

Go to ads.tiktok.com and click “Get Started.” Fill out the signup form with your contact information and verify your phone number or email address. Then click “Sign Up.”

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A screenshot showing the sign up page business owners can use to join TikTok Ads Manager

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On the next screen, fill in your business’s information and click “Register.” On the next screen, you’ll add your business name and select your industry. Then, add the URL to your company website (this is important, as this is where your ads will direct people) and choose how you want to pay, Automatic or Manual.

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A screenshot of TikTok's prompt for business owners to describe their business

 

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Step 2: Create an Ad Campaign

Now you’ll create your first ad campaign. Pick your objective: Do you want to maximize reach to boost brand awareness? Do you want more website traffic, app installs, or video views? Or do you want conversions AKA sales? Name your campaign and set a daily budget (minimum $50).

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A screenshot showing business owners how to select their advertising objective

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Create your ad group by filling in the prompts for settings, promotion type (website or app), placements (where your ad will show up), creative type, targeting (define your audience, such as women 18-34 who are interested in beauty & personal care), budgeting & schedule, and bidding & optimization (how much you are willing to pay per click).

A screenshot showing placement options

 

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Step 3: Upload Your Ad

Now it’s time to upload the creative for your ad. Note TikTok only accepts video ads. Select your video file (limit 500MB) and upload it; make sure it looks good in the preview. You can also click “Create” to use TikTok’s ad creation tools, such as uploading images to create a slideshow-style ad.

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A screenshot showing more customization options available on TikTok

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Add a title and text for your ad and a link for your ad to point users to, and you’re ready to start advertising on TikTok!

 


 

Snapchat

Snapchat can help you reach a huge audience of 18-to-24-year-old mobile users with video ads. Here’s how to get started with Snapchat ads.

 

Step 1: Set Up an Ad Account

Log in to your Snapchat account, go to ads.snapchat.com/instant-setup and fill in your business information.

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A screenshot of Snapchat's Ads Manager page

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Step 2: Design Your Ad

Pick your advertising goal: Do you want website traffic, to promote a local place, to promote calls & texts to a number, app installs, or app visits?

A screenshot that shows business owners how to select an advertising goal

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Use Snapchat’s ad design tool to upload a video or image and add text. You can also add an optional caption and your business’s logo.

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A screenshot that shows the options business owners have to design their ads

 

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Step 3: Pick a Target Audience and Budget

Once your ad is designed, narrow down your target demographic based on age, gender, and location and set your budget. Click “Publish,” and your Snapchat ad is good to go!

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A screenshot of the demographic options available in a Snapchat campaign

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NextDoor

If you have a local business, NextDoor can help you target potential customers in your area with your products or services. While NextDoor doesn’t have a traditional ad platform, it offers a great way to advertise for small businesses: Local Deals. Here’s how to create your first Local Deal on NextDoor.

 

Step 1: Create a Local Deal

Log in to your NextDoor Business account and click on the “Content” tab on the left menu, then click “Post Local Deal.”

A screenshot of how to get started posting a local deal

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Choose from four options: offering a fixed discount, a percent discount, a buy-one-get-one deal, or a custom deal.

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A screenshot of how to select one of four available deal options

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Pick one and follow the prompts to fill in details for your deal, including the amount of the discount, a description, duration, and whether the deal is in-person or online.

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A screenshot of how to customize a deal offering

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Click “Next” and add a photo to represent your service or product. You may choose a stock image or a photo of your actual business. Click “Next.”

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A screenshot of how to add a photo to the deal offering

 

Step 2: Choose Your Audience

Select the area you want to target; the price will go up or down according to the market size you select. Then click “Next.”

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A screenshot for selecting an audience who will view your advertising collateral on the social media platform

 

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Step 3: Pay for Your Ad

Add a payment option and click “Submit Order.” Your neighbors will now see your ad!

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A screenshot depicting the payment page

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