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Way back in 2005, Facebook pioneered a new kind of advertisement shaking up and transforming the landscape of marketing as we know it. While the first PPC ads were introduced in the late ‘90s, it was the dawn of a new era where advertisers were able to target users based on age, interests, and location.

This disruption to the industry made advertising to mass markets more accessible, with scalable budgets, results that are easier to track compared to traditional print, out-of-home (OOH), television, or radio. 

Setting up social ads is a relatively straightforward process (once you’re familiar with the process). And the precise targeting options offer a wealth of insightful data.

While the digital world is brimming with various social media platforms, this best practice guide focuses on Meta (Facebook, Instagram), TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These are the most common channels we use with our clients, and for good reason: they get results.


As with all marketing strategies, we want to deliver the most effective results. So with a small, cheesy nod to Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits, let’s Begin with the End in Mind®: results.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Your ads are a mixing pot of relevant, engaging content, combined with the right audience, on the right channels, and with enough budget to cut through the noise of the algorithm. 

For instance, here are the Facebook average click-through rates broken down by industry:

Facebook Ad Benchmarks: Traffic Objective
Business accounts

While most already know the difference between setting up a page as opposed to using a personal account to promote your company, it doesn’t hurt to explain why to anyone not in the know (no shame!).

Creating a page, and in particular when referring to Facebook and Instagram, managing it through the Meta Business Suite, allows you to collaborate with other team members on organic content and moderation, but also enables you to start running ads, as well as providing page insights on engagement, followers, and install tracking pixels for 1st party cookies on your website for retargeting.

Each social media platform has an equivalent business advertising platform, seen below:

Social media platforms and their associated advertising platforms

One of the best things about social media advertising is how scalable the budgets are. There’s usually a recommended minimum spend per day (which we can help advise) but generally speaking you could spend as little or as much as you’d like.

Your budget can be set either using a total budget or daily budget, and then managed based on bids:

  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Impressions (Cost Per Mille – which translates to ‘cost per thousand’)
  • LinkedIn – Delivered InMails (CPS)


LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. With 1.6 billion monthly active users on LinkedIn, there is no shortage of opportunities to get your business in front of new and existing customers alike. Of these 1.6 billion users, 65 million are decision-makers and 10 million are C-level executives.

As well as an impressive number of active monthly users, there are 67 million companies listed on LinkedIn. The platform is also available in 26 languages across 200 countries and regions, making it perfect for global business activities.

More than 1 billion LinkedIn members in 200 countries and regions worldwide
Why LinkedIn?

If you’re a B2B company looking to advertise, undoubtedly LinkedIn is where you want to be. You can target based on location, industry, skills, education and qualifications, seniority and so much more. There are 41,000 skills listed on LinkedIn, which is great for targeting. Helping to make sure that you are reaching the correct audience in a position to benefit your business.

While yes, technically professionals also use other platforms like Meta, X, and TikTok, they’re more likely to engage with something relevant to work while they’re active on LinkedIn.

Ad types:
  • Carousel
  • Conversion
  • Dynamic
  • Jobs
  • Lead gen
  • Message
  • Single image
  • Single job
  • Text
  • Video

LinkedIn’s best practice tips:

  • Write ad headlines that are under 150 characters. Concise headlines lead to more engagement.
  • Keep descriptive copy under 70 characters. Note that anything over 100 characters could be truncated on desktop.
  • Embed larger images instead of standard thumbnails. An image size of 1200 x 627 pixels is recommended. Content with larger visuals tend to get up to 38% higher CTR (click-through rates).
  • Feature a clear CTA (call to action), so your audience knows how to act on their interest.
  • Use Sponsored Content ad specs for more detailed information to guide your ad creation.
  • Be specific with ad targeting, but not so specific that you narrow your audience. Choose location and two other targeting criteria to start, and follow ad targeting best practices.

Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website, so you can track conversions and enable demographic reporting on your website visitors.

Brands ae most confident in LinkedIn, Instagram and Whatsapp


  • 3.030 billion monthly active users
  • 2.09 billion users log in to the app or site each day — a number that’s up 5% since 2023
  • Facebook ranks as the most-used social network in the world currently. In second place was YouTube, with a mere 2.4 billion monthly active users in comparison.
  • 56.3% of users identify as male, while 43.7% of users identify as female (please note: this data set did not account for non-binary users)
  • Millennials – over 49% of users are between the ages of 25 and 44
  • Only 33% of teenagers have an active Facebook account – down from 71% in 2014-2015.
  • The average Facebook Page has an average fan engagement of just 0.07%.
  • 81.8% of Facebook users only use a mobile phone. Only 1.5% use a laptop or desktop exclusively.
  • 58.5 minutes per day is the average daily use
  • 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off
  • The largest population on Facebook is from India with almost 330 million users followed by 180 million from the U.S.
Why Facebook?

The social media channel we all love to hate (with millennials still very much addicted). TikTok might be generating significant attention, but Facebook remains the world’s most popular social media platform by a considerable margin.

Since kicking MySpace to the curb way back in the early 00’s, Facebook has some 3.05 billion monthly active users, worldwide. And with that many users, that’s a huge, varied audience to advertise to.

Ad types:
  • Video
  • Image
  • Collection (formally known as product catalogue, customised for the individual)
  • Carousel
  • Instant experience (formally known as Canvas, full-screen, mobile optimised)
  • Lead generation ads
  • Offers
  • Post engagement (boost)
  • Event responses
  • Page likes
Facebook Ads Funnel
Best practice tips from Facebook business

Best practice optimisation tips, from the horse’s mouth:

  • Use vertical videos: Use a vertical or square aspect ratio. Most people hold their phones vertically, so you’ll cover more of their screen.
  • Avoid text on images: If you can, use the text/headline/link description boxes instead. If you have to use text on your image, try a smaller font and fewer words to lower the proportion of text to image. Our text overlay tool can help you get your ad approved. Learn more about text on images.
  • Shorten text: People on Facebook and Instagram scan quickly. In research conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association, it took 2-3 seconds for two out of three for people to see and cognitively recognise desktop ads compared to 0.4 seconds on mobile. Keep your text short, clear and concise to get your message across.
  • Add multiple images using the carousel format: Carousel allows you to show several images for people to scroll through at the same cost. It’s a great opportunity if you have lots of product or brand images. Get carousel tips.
  • Add movement: Ads with movement stand out in News Feed. When you make a Stories ad, you can use free templates that automatically animate your ad. You can also edit the colours, images and fonts. You could also try these free apps:

    • Hyperlapse – Create timelapse videos
    • Boomerang –  Loop videos
    • Canva
    • Legend – Animate text
    • Videoshop – Edit videos
    • Adobe PhotoShop Express – Edit photos
    • Adobe Spark – Build videos from templates with text, images, photos and narration
  • Use calls to action: A range of call-to-action (CTA) buttons are available for Facebook and Instagram ads. These buttons draw attention and encourage people to engage with your ad. Based on what you want people to do when they see your ad, experiment with the CTA buttons available for different ad objectives and formats. See which ones get your audience to take action.
  • Vertical video with audio has a 35% higher click-through rate on Facebook
  • Depending on the placement of the ad, the Facebook ad spent differs. The highest price is paid for Facebook ads placed in Stories.
  • Facebook ads that appear in Stories are the most expensive. Social media managers and brands spend around 45 USD for an ad.
  • The most popular type of Facebook post is photo across all industries.
  • The least popular type of post on Facebook, for all industries, is represented by Reels
  • The highest average CTR on Facebook is for the ads that appear in feed, with a value of 5.2%. The lowest average CTR on Facebook is for the ads displayed on the right hand column, reaching 0.01%.


  • 2 billion monthly active users
  • 500 million+ daily active users
  • 500 million+ stories uploaded daily
  • 4.2 billion post likes daily
  • According to available datasets for Instagram users worldwide, there were more male users (51.8%) than female (48.2%) as of January 2023. While the audience is close to an even split, the platform isn’t inherently better for reaching one demographic audience over another.
  • 60% of adult internet users have an Instagram account
  • 130 million users tap on the shop call to action to learn more about products, monthly!
  • 62.7% of Instagram users follow or research brands and products on the app.
  • Brafton reports that the CTR for feed ads on Instagram ranges between 0.22% and 0.88%. Meanwhile, Stories ads have a CTR between 0.33% and 0.54%.
  • User generated content has 4.5% higher conversion rate for brands using Instagram

Brands having up to 100k followers did see higher-than-average conversions compared to last year (1.1% vs. 0.3%). And those with fewer than 10k followers still boast the highest conversion rate (1.3%), but not as much of a lead as last year (2.6%). However, brands having between 500k and 1 million followers had similar conversion rates as past years (0.7%).

Instagram Conversions
Why Instagram?

Instagram and Facebook are connected. So it’s easier to target your audience based on Facebook data. All budgeting and scheduling tasks, the setup and creation of ads are done through Facebook. So you don’t need to start from scratch and learn about Instagram, once you’ve already used its sister platform for marketing and ads.”

Although Instagram is essentially the same platform as Facebook, the demographic differs slightly, as does their engagement. It is thought that Instagram users are more engaged with brands than any other social media platform.

If Influencers are part of your marketing strategy, Instagram is still a prominent platform to utilise them. That said, it’s not just about those with a big following. Nano influencers having 1,000-10,000 followers make up 65.39% of Instagram influencer accounts. Micro-influencers are the second most popular group making up 27.73% of influencer accounts

Ad types
Meta ads across facebook, instagram and stories


Tiktok offers a higher engagement rate at a lower cost vs its main competitor (META). The high engagement rate may be down to user experience where TikTok ads mimic in feed posts. Ads look more natural on TikTok than on other platforms, feeling less disruptive to their scrolling.

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, particularly popular with the younger demographic.

Despite what you may think, competition for ad space is relatively unsaturated in comparison to more traditional platforms (Facebook and Instagram).

However, when considering the way that TikTok is designed, it may be harder to attribute all of your purchases towards your paid efforts.

Ad types:
  • In-feed 
  • Video 
  • Image 
  • Spark 
  • Playable 
  • Shopping 
  • Carousel 
Examples of TikTok ads
TikTok Ad Best Practices

TikTok has stated that one of their top tip is “Don’t make ads, make TikToks”. In understanding what makes an engaging TikTok, you will be able to create ads that seamlessly integrate within the feeds of your target audience. Tiktok content is all about creativity and authenticity. Because of this, product reviews work really well as users get to experience your product in real time with real people rather than spending time creating a highly edited tv style ad.


  • 498 million monthly active users
  • Pinterest sees 1.16 billion monthly visits
  • 76% of Pinterest’s user base is female
  • The majority of Pinterest users (84 million) live in the US
  • Pinterest’s user base is majority women between 25-34. However, Gen Z makes up 42% of active monthly users.

Popular categories on Pinterest include home decor, DIY/crafting, food and drink, fashion, health, beauty, travel, parenting, gardening and weddings/events. If your brand relates to one or more of these categories, it’s especially worth exploring how Pinterest can help you achieve your business goals. Whether that is an increase in sales or general brand awareness.

If you are looking to advertise to parents, Pinterest is also a great option. 56% of parents on Pinterest say that the platform is their first choice for learning about parenting services and products. Parents are looking for services and products on the platform to make their lives easier/better. Providing a unique opportunity for brands within this sphere to test.

Ad types: 
  • Image pins
  • Video pins
  • Carousel pins
  • Shopping/Collection pins
  • Idea pins
Pinterest Ads Types

Best practice tips from Pinterest 

One of the most important tips for creating successful Pinterest ads is optimising pin descriptions so that the algorithm can determine the relevancy of your ad based on user searches. This is even more important when considering that 96% of Pinterest’s top searches are unbranded. Meaning that you can’t rely on your brand name alone to get the right eyes on your ads.

In terms of video ads, the recommended video ad length is 6 – 15 seconds. Much like other platforms, your ads should be understood without the need for sound. This also includes picking a cover image that perfectly illustrates the purpose of your ad. Helping to ensure that users are genuinely interested in finding out more about your brand/product/service.

As video ads auto-play on mobile devices, your ads will stand out more in comparison to the standard image ads.

Shopping ads are a great way to push specific products, linking directly to product pages. Standard shopping ads give you the ability to focus on selling a single product, while collection shopping ads allow you to promote a range of products under the umbrella of one ad.

According to Pinterest, idea ads are a multimedia canvas to share your ideas. When creating an idea ad, make sure that all of the text a user might need is also in the description. This may be items on a checklist, ingredients or types of products you offer to name a few examples.

Why Pinterest?

Pinterest is often overlooked when it comes to paid social. However, it has the potential to generate incredible results for your business. Users come to Pinterest for inspiration, creating boards that reflect their identity and interests. This search for inspiration means that users are already in a buying mindset. According to a 2021 study, Pinterest revealed that their users are 90% more likely to say that they are always in a buying mindset. Actively looking for new products and brands to incorporate into their lifestyle.

Pinterest’s cost per conversion is 2.3x more efficient than other platforms and a 2x higher return on ad spend (ROAS). This means that Pinterest’s advertising provides a more affordable way to meet your business goals through social advertising.

It’s not just paid content that generates sales on Pinterest. 85% of weekly users have bought a product after seeing pins from brands. This means that it might be worth developing organic content to support your paid efforts on the platform. 

Having an organic presence on the platforms you advertise on is always preferred. Not only does it help users find out more about you but it also further legitimises your brand. 

Pinterest Ads Types

Social media is a great way to create affordable advertising campaigns for any budget. If you’re thinking about dabbling with social media ads but aren’t sure where to begin, leave your details below and we will be in touch!

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