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Social Media Advertising – Could it work for your business?

Date: 6 February 2017

UPDATED June 2017

It’s so easy to waste marketing spend on advertising that isn’t targeted well enough.

Adverts on social media, that appear in users’ newsfeeds, can be the most targeted and cost effective advertising you can do.

No single marketing method is the holy grail for success, but it really is something you should consider for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors.

Adverts don’t just have to be about your products/services, events and offers. They could be for job vacancies, renting space to other business owners and ebook downloads that drive traffic to your website and enable you to collect email addresses.

This diagram shows the most popular targeting options (you can advertise on Instagram and Snapchat too).

It’s possible to drill down to a huge number of very specific interests. Your targeting is dependent on what a person has put on their profile and/or their habits on that platform. The precision of targeting by location varies.

  • Facebook – postcode, town, county, radius of street level… (this platform has the most comprehensive location targeting)
  • Twitter – postcode and region
  • LinkedIn – some towns/cities (eg Brighton but not Eastbourne!)


For B2B clients, we have targeted prospects that follow specific Twitter accounts such as relevant trade associations and competitors. On LinkedIn it has been useful to target prospects with certain job titles and skills that work for companies of a certain size (by number of employees) in particular sectors. Another useful Facebook opportunity is to target “Small Business Owners” within the behaviours category. Your ad will be seen by owners of small business Facebook pages. The targeting is very extensive on Facebook so have a good look through – perhaps everyone with a relationship anniversary coming up in the next 60 to 90 days, Expats, or those likely to have a mortgage would be ideal for your campaign?

Facebook data comes mostly from how people have completed their profiles and those who have expressed an interest in, or like pages related to certain topics. Some data comes from Facebook’s Marketing Partners such as Axciom for the UK – this enables targeting based on offline demographic and behavioural information like homeownership or purchase history. UPDATE April 2018 – see this blog regarding Facebook axing partner categories

On Twitter and Facebook your targeting can also define who to exclude from the advert – such as competitors.

On LinkedIn your adverts are set up via your business page and shown in personal newsfeeds. On Facebook most small businesses will have their credit card details attached to the personal profile of the person that is the owner or administrator of their Facebook business page. (You need to have a personal profile in order to set up a business page on Facebook and LinkedIn.)

Our very first Facebook ad was several years ago for Sharnfold Farm & Shop near Hailsham. They wanted to attract visitors to a new unique festival event. We crafted a short piece of post text at the top (within character limits) and an eye catching image (that ideally has less than 10-20% of the image area with text on it). We selected a button saying ‘Learn More’ (there are other call to action options) and linked it to a specific page on their website. Finally we wrote a short headline and text under the image. We applied various targeting elements. We spent £50 and there were 484 click-throughs to their website. The advert was seen by 15,311 people. The festival was well attended!

In November 2016, a natural health centre in Crowborough spent £50 on a very niche advert targeting specific types of therapist to rent a room. There were 57 clicks to the website, plenty of phone calls and the room was rented.

In 2017 a client spent £150 on Facebook advertising to find new home care workers for their team in a particular geographic area. 6,718 relevant people people saw the ad, 262 clicked through to read the job description and they hired 20 people. The most cost-effective recruitment they had ever done.

Another client spent £250 on national Facebook advertising promoting quality raised ponds to homeowners, with Koi interests (amongst other criteria). They had 10,794 people click through to their website – that is just 23p per click.

The good news is that there is detailed reporting on your advert performance from each platform, as well as conversion measurement tools (via Google Analytics goals) that allow you to understand who took action on your site once they reached it.

Why not review your options for social media advertising?

More free marketing advice:

For more handy tips on social media marketing, please see our blog and browse our blog categories. If you don’t want to miss future blog posts about marketing and social media, please sign up to our email newsletter (see right hand column). You can also follow us on social media – Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Google+  You Tube  Instagram Snapchat.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Amazing social media marketing engagement tips with us.

    2. Great Post.!!!!
      Thanks for sharing this post with us it was really very informative and quite helpful for my small research.
      Thanks again.

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