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  • Writer's pictureSummit Digital

7 Timeless Paid Social Media Advertising Tips

Anyone can market themselves on social media, right? Technically, yes. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn, and recent newcomer TikTok provide the opportunity for anyone looking to launch a paid social media campaign.

For many businesses, advertising on social media platforms becomes an afterthought. When you’re in the day-to-day of managing your operations, do you always have time to pull out your phone and check in on your campaign metrics or return-on-ad-spend (ROAS)?

Starting a campaign is easy, but managing it efficiently creates another set of challenges.

1: Advertise on Multiple Platforms

As the old saying goes, you should not put your eggs all in one basket with paid social media. Instead, you should harness the targeting capabilities of multiple platforms at once. You may not want to advertise your family restaurant on a business-focused property like LinkedIn, but you could take advantage of Facebook’s heavy community focus and Pinterest’s emphasis on user-created image boards based on personal interests. You can harness these platforms’ first-party data to reach people with online behavior that indicates they would have an interest in your business.

Advertising on multiple platforms with user bases that could be interested in your business ensures as many qualified eyes are seeing your ads as possible. This will help turn curious scrollers into leads and responsive audience members into conversions.

2: Make Sure Your Entire Digital Presence is Up to Date

Businesses experience different levels of success across the social media platforms they advertise on. For example, if your brand boasts ten thousand Instagram followers and only two hundred on Facebook, it would make sense to invest more time, energy, and resources into your Instagram presence.

If you are running social media ads, you are raising awareness for your business by increasing its visibility. Should a user not click your ad, they may search for your products or services later on a search engine or other social platform.

This is why you should make sure that every account, regardless of performance, remains up-to-date. Some ways you can easily accomplish this include:

  • Update contact information: Phone number, email address, social handles

  • Maintain accurate business information: Hours, address, etc.

  • Standardize branding - colors and logo placement on graphics, etc.

  • Stick to a regular posting schedule across all accounts to maintain consistency

3: Stick to Paid Social Media Platform Restrictions

Whether Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, or one of the many other platforms to choose from, every single one of them maintains a set of advertising guidelines that you are expected to follow. Failure to do so most often results in your ads being removed or rejected prior to launch.

Some common advertising restrictions that you will encounter across most platforms include:

Targeting Medically Sensitive Conditions (HIPAA)

Due to HIPAA privacy laws in the United States, you cannot knowingly target individuals based on medically sensitive information, such as cancer or mental illness diagnoses. However, in most cases, advertising a general medical service like an urgent care clinic or dental practice is usually acceptable.

Targeting Children Under 13 (COPPA)

Though social media is intended for adults, you have to assume that children do access these platforms to some degree. In most cases, you can target parents who have children under 13 but you cannot target children below this age directly.

Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Firearms

Legal commodities that could be considered “vices” like alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and firearms usually have heavy or complete restrictions placed on them for paid social campaigns. Depending on the states you are running your ads in, these restrictions may also vary. For example, cannabis and CBD products have far less legal regulations placed on them in California versus Idaho.

Because there may be some confusion or uncertainty about how products or services in these industries can be advertised to users, we recommend that you consult with an experienced paid social media advertiser before launching your campaign. The advertiser can review your creatives, messaging, and provide insights or recommendations to help increase your ads’ chances of achieving platform approval.

Ads Promoting Sexually Explicit Subject Matter

Similar to the categories above, ads promoting sexually explicit subject matter are often subject to heavy restrictions of platform rejection. Again, this would be another topic that you should consult with an experienced advertiser who can advise you on your creatives’ likelihood of approval and recommend changes to the campaign to make it more compliant with guidelines for your desired platforms.

4: Tailor Paid Social Media Creatives to the Right Platforms

Each social platform will require different dimensions for the creatives you use in your advertisements. Some provide general recommendations, others have firm requirements, but most offer a combination of both.

To illustrate this more clearly, here are some of Facebook’s 2021 recommendations and requirements for image ads:

  • JPG on PNG file type (recommendation)

  • Minimum 1080x1080 px resolution (recommendation)

  • 40 character headline, 30 character description, and 125 characters in the primary text (recommendation)

  • 30MB max file size (requirement)

  • Minimum image size: 600px wide by 600 px high (requirement)

5: Plan Your Budget Before Pressing “Play”

For most types of social ad campaigns, you can exercise full control over your budget. This means you will never have to risk overpaying for impressions. Instead, what you put into your campaigns is what you get out of them.

Plan your budget meticulously to ensure that each dollar is working for you, not against you. If you need assistance with planning an effective budget for paid social, you should consult with an advertiser who can apply their advanced platform knowledge to help determine the ideal expenditure to help you reach your business goals without negatively impacting your bottom line.

6: Determine the Platforms You Wish to Run Your Ads On

Though you may have an account for every single social media platform on the web, that does not mean you should run ads on each one. Depending on your industry, customers’ behavior, and your goals, you should place greater priority on platforms that can drive the most ROAS.

Here are some brief descriptions of some of the most popular platforms in 2021 and what kind of ads they might be best suited for:


The “gold-standard” of social media platforms. Facebook can seemingly do it all from a paid and organic perspective. From simple image ads to videos, shopping ads, and much more, you can reach narrowly targeted users harnessing the power of the platform’s first-party data.

Because Facebook is so large, most types of ads have a chance to succeed. However, because Facebook is used primarily by private individuals and community members, ads that are centered around entertaining content, consumer products, local businesses, nonprofit causes, and community events tend to prove particularly successful.


Facebook’s more visually appealing younger sibling, Instagram places an emphasis on photos and both short and long-form video content. Due to the visual nature of the platform, ads that promote consumer products or inspire community action stand a particular chance of success. Instagram’s shopping ads have also become increasingly more sophisticated over time, allowing users to quickly purchase goods that they see their favorite brands and influencers showcasing.


“The social media platform for business professionals,” would be how most users describe LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows for visual ads similar to those found on Facebook, but due to the professional emphasis on the platform, LinkedIn is best-suited for targeting B2B customers in an effort to convert them into leads.


Once considered the internet’s microblog, Twitter is now the world’s fastest-moving news hub. Here, message brevity and hard-hitting headlines will cut through the noise. Twitter proves a great revenue for promoting consumer products, inspiring advocacy for nonprofit causes, and generating clicks for promoted content.


“Here today, gone tomorrow” was the initial appeal of Snapchat. Messages sent between users would disappear into the ether after 24 hours. Fast forward a few years later, and you will see that Snapchat has evolved into a powerhouse of original short-form content. Dropping ads in between snackable pieces of content proves especially advantageous for advertisers that want to promote video creatives. Due to the younger user demographic on the platform, trendy consumer products tend to perform best on here.


The latest and greatest of the social giants. TikTok takes some spiritual cues from an older micro-vlogging app, Vine, and allows users to create and edit short-form videos that are shareable across the entire platform thanks to its For You page’s sophisticated algorithm. Though TikTok has recently expanded its appeal to more mature audiences, the platform is mostly still dominated by young adults. As such, short videos that appeal to this age group’s interests will often outperform other campaigns here.

Can’t Decide On Your Own?

Choosing the right platforms that will deliver the best performance for your budget can be another challenging aspect of managing a paid social media campaign. This is another area where an advertiser can help you determine the best targeting strategy, ad format, and budget expenditure within a specific platform or group of platforms to best support your goals.

7: Never “Set it and Forget it”

What do successful paid social advertisers do? They never press “play” on a campaign and then ignore it until it’s over. Instead, they monitor the campaign on a regular basis, analyze high and low-performing aspects, and develop an optimization strategy to correct any struggling areas.

To maximize ROAS for your paid social media campaigns, it requires a dedicated individual who can monitor performance and rectify any areas where it wanes.

If you want to learn more about how you can maximize paid social ROAS for your own business, let us help you take your campaign to its peak. View our Paid Social service page to learn more about what we do and contact us anytime if you’d like to learn more.

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