Paid Social Media: How to Run a Successful Ad Campaign

Paid social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of any size to reach their customers. With social media advertising spend reaching $47.9 billion in 2021, there is no doubt that when applied correctly, it can yield fantastic results. Getting started with paid social media can be difficult for first-timers, which is why our social media marketing experts have put together a definitive guide on how to run a successful paid social ad campaign.

What is Paid Social Media?

Paid social media is a method of displaying ads or sponsored marketing posts on social media platforms, with targeting control to ensure they reach the desired audience. The four most common platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Each offers its own unique features that set them apart from competitors, so choosing the right one for your marketing is important.

Key benefits of using Paid Social

As with any marketing channel, Paid Social offers many benefits that other channels may not be able to.

Guaranteed reach

Reach is something that cannot be guaranteed with organic social media posting, and it lies solely in the hands of the platform’s algorithm. However, with paid social, you can ensure you reach your desired audiences as you will be paying for this goal to be achieved.

Targeting customers

Similar to Pay-Per-Click marketing, paid social ads can be targeted to a very specific audience of your choosing. Not only can you specify the age and gender of your audience, but also more specific behaviours and interests.

For example, the targeting below is for all genders aged 24 and above, within 21km of London, and the detailed targeting is for diners and people interested in Italian cuisine.

Retargeting power

Paid social allows you to retarget and re-engage with previous and current customers. This is especially beneficial if your organic social strategy isn’t reaching everyone you want it to, as the paid social ads will make up for this.

Tips for running a successful campaign


1. Prioritise your platforms

Understanding your desired audience will help you prioritise the platforms to advertise on. Other factors such as cost, the potential for driving traffic/lead generation, and targeting options, may also influence your decision.

For example, if you want to target people aged over 40, then platforms with younger demographics such as Twitter and Instagram may not be as preferable as one with an older demographic, such as Facebook.

2. Establish goals

You need to know exactly what you want to get out of your paid social ads before you run them. There are multiple goals you can pick from, such as brand awareness or driving leads and sales. This selection will then go on to influence the setup of the ad, as it may require different audience targeting and form of ad creative. A great example of this would be opening up the targeting area for brand awareness campaigns so that they can reach more people.

3. Be inspired by other ads

Undertaking thorough research of your competitor’s ads is key and will help you to determine what will be successful or not for your business. You may want to focus on video content, which is being heavily pushed on Instagram at present, and users appear to be engaging with more than the standard photo content.

You can look up businesses on the Facebook Ad Library to discover their active campaigns, or spend time browsing social media yourself.

4. Creatives, copy and targeting

The core part of any successful ad is the content itself, and its ability to persuade the viewer to complete the desired reaction – be that to click a link, purchase a product, or make a booking. Don’t forget: you have just a few seconds to make an impact and provide value to your audience, who are busy scrolling through their social feeds.

First, consider the ad creative itself. Should you opt for video, photo, gif, or a combination of them all? You can also upload the creative at different dimensions so they better fit a specific placement, for example, a carousel feed ad will need to be a square dimension while a story or Instagram Reels ad will need a 9:16 dimension.

The accompanying copy must also be powerful and persuasive. You may consider using a unique selling point.

5. Use data to improve and optimise

To determine whether or not a campaign was really successful, you must analyse the data. You can use the analytics tools on the platforms themselves, or third-party data performance platforms. Across these, you will be able to discover key performance indicators such as total cost, reach, impressions, clicks, engagement rates, and cost-per-click.

The data will also highlight areas for improvement, and where you can better optimise your ads to yield better results. For example, if you discover that a video ad is performing significantly better than a story ad placement, then you can reinvest the budget into the video ad to ensure a better return on investment.

Social media marketing agency topclick has the necessary expertise to help you grow steadily across a wide range of social media platforms, utilising the enormous reach available to target the customers you want to engage. Get in touch with us today for more information.