Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Budgets

Team Pepper
Posted on 27/09/218 min read
Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Budgets

Table of Contents

  • Common Advertising Disasters
  • Social Media Advertising Tips
    • Know what you are gunning for 
    • Choose promotional posts wisely
    • Customize your audience
    • Pick the right ad format
    • Experiment with multiple starting points
    • Design for mobile
    • Keep track of the campaign
  • Understanding Social Media Advertising Costing
  • Key Takeaways
  • FAQs

Here are a few quick data points on social media consumption trends in India:

  1. There are 448 million social media users in India. On an average, they spend 17 hours per week online (Source: Statistica Reports).
  2. Millennials and Gen Z are the main contributors to social media usage. Millennials contribute to about 52% of the social media traffic while Gen Z contributes another 28%. (Source: Statistica Reports)

What this basically means is that social media is the way to go to acquire new customers, fast. However, it also means that unless your social media advertising is on point, what you will end up doing is spending a ton of money to be seen by the wrong people. Let’s see how we can go wrong with social media advertising.

Common Advertising Disasters

  1. Choosing the wrong mix of channels – who is more likely to buy from Zara’s latest collection? A twenty-three-year-old or a fifty-three-year-old? In which case, given millenials and Gen Z- your prospective audience spend more time on instagram than facebook, Instagram should be your primary channel.
  2. Advertising to the wrong crowd – you may be at the right place at the right time, but would it make a difference if you reach the wrong person? 
  3. Not getting your communication right – this is a tricky one but still important. Even established brands like Dove can make a Boo-boo.

So, what is the secret to getting the marketing or social media advertising sauce right? 

Know who you are looking for (are they business managers, HR professionals, or students?), where to find them (do your research; get the channel right), what to say to them (how is your product going to make their life easier?) and how to say it to them (as a friend, as an advisor, as an expert?).

While this is easier said than done, here are a few tips to start off on the right foot.

Social Media Advertising Tips

Know what you are gunning for 

Before you start your social media advertising campaigns, make sure that you define the business goal. Your business goal affects your targeting, your ad format, your spending, and pretty much everything else.

Choose promotional posts wisely

You may post, maybe, thrice a day or thrice a week based on your business needs.

However, some of the content is bound to do better than the rest. Use these as your promotional posts. Think of it this way – what resonates with your followers will also tend to resonate with other prospective customers. 

Pro tip: the promotion post should ideally have a key objective – driving customers to the website, increasing awareness or maybe even announcing a sale.     

Customize your audience

When it comes to social media advertising, the social media platforms allow you a ton of filters to customize the audience you serve ads to. Don’t limit yourself to one filter.

One must ask oneself – given the value of a final conversion, would I rather pay to reach 100k people and convert a 100 or reach 20k people and maybe convert 70? At the end of the day, the numbers have to make sense. 

Pick the right ad format

For social media advertising to bear desired results, it is essential to select the right format. Such a perfect ad format gives the biggest bang for your buck. While platforms give you multiple mediums to advertise with multiple formats – Stories, Reels, Carousel, Collection, Image, Video, and more, each of them has a different cost associated.

Further, the different ads work differently for different goals.

A basic image post is the cheapest and probably your best option when you are merely wanting to increase brand awareness. You could also use it to upsell products. If you are a personal care brand, customers who buy your body wash may also test out your deodorant.     

However, if you are an established brand in a growing industry, say organic foods or even healthy snacks, you should showcase a carousel ad to highlight the health factor of your products or a collection ad to showcase your products.

To summarize, choose your ad format based on the business goal.

Experiment with multiple starting points

Don’t you just hate having to watch the same TV ads again and again?

How many times can a customer force himself through a YouTube ad, before he decides that whatever the product, he isn’t buying it ever?  

While consumers don’t have an issue reliving the same instance from their favorite TV show multiple times, the same advertisement on a product they have already bought/not planning to purchase/thinking about purchasing isn’t going to do you much good.

However, in case the customer was interested, a different starting point on the same ad would either tell him or her one more little fact or remind him or her that he or she had thought about buying your product.

The result – he or she sees the same ad with different slides (think carousel) and eventually ends up buying.

Also, because we have been running different social media advertising campaigns with different audiences, not only are we able to find out which creative social media ads worked with which audience, but which didn’t so we can try something else.

Hence, try not to bore your prospective customers. Gen Z is not going to take it kindly.  

P.S: Don’t forget to retarget; sometimes, it gets tough to say no to something you really want multiple times.

Design for mobile  

Mobile advertising is the buzzword of the day. It is probably the best way to advertise on social media today. And at least 90% of your traffic sees your ad from their mobile device rather than a desktop. Your social media ads are more likely to fetch better revenues if you keep the images (and the site you direct them to!) mobile-friendly. According to an IAB report published in 2018, 65.1% of internet ad revenues came from mobile devices. IAB’s 2020 report further reveals that the mobile ad revenues rose 24% during the subsequent years (2019 and 2020).

Hence, your social media advertising campaign must focus on the niche mobile phone audience. Technology has advanced, and today you can create social media ads catering to mobile phone users and establish your brand to generate higher revenues.

Keep track of the campaign  

Different approaches work for diverse brands across various industries. Just like you start by choosing promotional posts based on what your followers like, keep optimizing your campaign based on social media analytics. It is easy to monitor conversions using Google Analytics, which gives you a ringside view of your website visitors. With Google Analytics you can determine which type of content your audience prefers, and which social media network they use the most. Additionally, you can find out where your visitors come from and how many leads convert. Figure out what is working, what is not, and proceed accordingly.

Understanding Social Media Advertising Costing

What you first need to understand is that advertising is a bidding process where brands compete with each other on a target result or a maximum budget. The same bids on different days can have different outcomes.

You can customize your social media campaign based on your available budget. There are various ways of payment you can use based on your campaign goals and other factors:

  • Cost per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per 1000 Impressions (CPM)
  • Cost per Conversion
  • Cost per Video View

Some of the factors which affect your final costing are:

  • Quality of your ad
  • Campaign objective
  • Competitor bidding
  • Audience type
  • Country, time and day
  • Ad placement

Over time, you can optimize your bids to suit your goals.

Generally, when you create your ad, the platform does suggest a recommended budget; you can choose to go with this or bid higher or lower based on the outcome desired (impressions, clicks) and the associated cost.

While this should give you a basic idea of how to go about your social media advertising, remember that these are just guidelines based on what has worked in the past. Depending on your brand and your customer, sometimes, you need to get innovative. 

While being innovative is tricky, it also has the chance to go viral if you get things right. 

Happy advertising!  

Key Takeaways

  • Know who you are looking for.
  • The promotion post should ideally have a key objective.
  • Mobile advertising is the buzzword of the day.
  • You can customize your social media campaign based on your budget. 
  • It is easy to monitor conversions using Google Analytics.
  • If your target audience is B2B, LinkedIn is your best bet. 
  • For B2C audiences, you can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


1. What are the most effective social media marketing strategies?

Social media advertising ideas include focusing on creating an unforgettable experience for customers. Most companies use chatbots, which help prevent a customer from waiting for too long without a proper response. The best way to advertise on social media is by creating an effective content marketing strategy. Becoming a member in forums and other online communities helps. And deploying brand advocates is an excellent social media advertising strategy.

2. Which social media platform is the best for social media advertising?

If your target audience is B2B, LinkedIn is your best bet. For B2C audiences, you can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to customers. However, you must identify your buyer’s persona before reaching out to the target audience. Whichever platform you choose, ensure that you use compelling content (text and visual) to drive more traffic towards your website.

3. What are the methods to optimize social media ad campaigns?

Always pay attention to the headline, and make it catchy enough to draw attention. Be aware of the audience you plan to target. All images need to be double-checked before getting published. Don’t forget to use CTAs in every instance, and ensure that the CTAs are relevant. Fix a budget and endeavor to stay within the budget until you complete the social media advertising campaign.   

4. Which social media platform is the most remunerative?

Snapchat tops the list with revenues touching $1 million per day (CNBC reports) for content created on their platform. Other popular social media platforms include TikTok (banned in some countries), YouTube (high revenue earner), Instagram, and Facebook.

5. How much can I spend on my social media advertising campaign?

The budget depends on the size of your business. For small companies, the recommended spending is around 7 to 8% of the revenue from marketing activities. The budget can increase in proportion to the increase in revenues, and typically for sales exceeding $5 million, the budget can go up to 20% of the sales figures.

6. Which social media platform has the widest target audience?

Facebook boasts of more than 2 billion active users worldwide. More than 60% of Facebook users are American and belong to the influential, decision-making age group of 25 to 54. This social media giant is excellent for lead generation, and what’s more, you can customize your social media page on FB to target niche audiences.

7. Which are the most popular social media platforms in 2021?

Instagram tops the list, and is a favorite of influencers, small businesses, and established brands alike. With over 1 billion users globally, Instagram remains a hot favorite for social media ads. Close behind are YouTube and Facebook, both popular among millennials, and baby boomers are also prominently present on both platforms. Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok are other social media platforms where users hang out frequently.