Social Media Ads: Best Practices and Examples

Cassandra King
Former Head of Content & Community
Published28 Dec, 2022
8 Tips to Advertise on Social Media (with Examples) - Superside

Social media advertising makes up a significant part of a brand’s digital marketing ad spend. With over 2.9 billion monthly active users on Facebook, over 2 billion on Instagram, and over 1 billion on TikTok, there’s a massive audience to tap into and convert.


When utilized to maximum effect, social media ads make an enormous difference to marketing potential, leads and sales. To make sure your ads not only stand out in the face of endless social media clutter but get actionable attention, it’s critical to focus on creating the best social media content possible.

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8 Best Practice Tips for Social Media

How to Make a Social Media Graphic

Clever TikTok Ads

Creative Instagram Ads

Effective Facebook Ads

Lead-Generating LinkedIn Ads

Making the Most of Your Social Media Marketing

8 Best Practice Tips for Social Media

Social media is one of the most diverse branches of marketing. With shifting digital landscapes, changing algorithms and different platforms, it can be difficult to know where to start and whether you’re going in the right direction with your creative ads. 

In this fast-moving landscape, it’s necessary to keep up with the latest social trends.

Following these social media best practice tips will help you create effective ads that outperform competitors.

1. Make information visually appealing

On social media, you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention. Infographics and imagery are more effective mediums to quickly convey information as opposed to paragraphs of copy.

Each social media platform has its own sweet spot between video advertising, moving images, and static pictures. Just to make things more difficult, each social platform regularly changes its algorithm to keep up with trends. 

To have a successful advertising campaign, it’s important that you stay ahead of these trends. What we’ve found is that the smart bet for most campaigns is to keep things visually appealing and low on copy.

Ignore the finer details and just focus on catching the eye of your audience with an effectively designed ad.

Takeaway tip: Convey key information using eye-catching design, not plain copy

2. Be consistent with your brand image

Part of a good social media strategy involves the building of brand awareness. To create conversions and sales from social media, a user needs to:

  1. See your brand

  2. Understand what it offers

  3. Begin to recognize your brand

  4. Build trust and make a purchase

Getting consumers to the point where recognition occurs immediately relies heavily on consistency. Choosing images that are aligned with your brand’s visuals is a great way to make sure any new audience member will begin to recognize your brand if (and when) they see more of your social media ads.

Consistent branding is best accomplished when the same fonts, colors, and images are used within your ad creative.

Takeaway tip: When creating content, maintain brand consistency on different platforms (but tailor the content for each individual platform, of course!)

3. Cater to The right social audience

Users all have their preferred choice of social media through which to scroll: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or LinkedIn to name the big six. When it comes to graphic design in social media, it’s important to design your ad for the specific platform to make it most effective.

The simplest way to choose the right platform is to find out where your audience spends time and go there. This not only means you’ll be getting more effective reach, but it also means you’ll likely get organic, meaningful engagement.

For example, if you’re running a professional suit-and-tie business firm, strong LinkedIn marketing content may be a better bet than dropping videos on TikTok.

If you’re starting a business and targeting young adults, Instagram will give you your best reach. According to data, the Gen Z and millennial audiences collectively spend more time on Instagram in 2022 over other social media platforms. You’re not limited to one platform, but your ad budget is better allocated to where your audience is most active.

Takeaway tip: Look to your target audience demographics for guidance on which social media platform(s) to utilize.

4. Set clear goals

A critical element to using social media ads is making sure they perform. But you won’t know if your ads are successful if you don’t define what you’re aiming to achieve. Whether it’s to increase sales or encourage engagement, the goal for your socials should align with the marketing strategy and the company’s overall goals.

Takeaway tip: Set goals for your social ads before you begin to create them.


5. Plan and schedule your ads

Creating content the moment before you need to post said content is not only stressful on your designers, but it also limits how effective your ads can be.

Putting a media content schedule together means you can focus on creating high-quality content that tactfully ties into the rest of your brand and marketing campaigns.

A good plan makes the process of executing your social ads much smoother. It makes tracking more accurate too, as you will have a strong design based on clear objectives for each advert.

Takeaway tip: Create a content schedule. This will both save time and help you maintain consistency in your ads.

6.  Monitor social ad performance

Monitoring and analyzing your ad performance allows you to learn what works and what needs to be tweaked for the next campaign. Tracking can be done using various metrics, such as:

  • Overall reach

  • Click-through rate

  • Conversions

  • Engagement (including comments, shares, likes, and follows)

Tracking your social media ads and keeping an eye on engagement can also give you key insights via customer feedback.

Takeaway tip: Monitor and take note of comments that users post - they can provide valuable insight.

7. Drive your ad to a relevant landing page

Even though a landing page won’t be the first touchpoint a user will have with your brand, it is an important creative asset for a social media ad strategy.

Prospective customers will be directed from your ad on social media to your landing page; which is where you can convey contextual messaging and a clear call-to-action to guide them further.

However, if you’re looking to make a sale, the social ad can take the user directly to the product page.

Takeaway tip: If you don’t have one already, you can simply create a landing page. The graphic design in your social media and your landing page will maintain consistency in your branding.

8. Curate the call-to-action

Without a call-to-action (CTA), your customer isn’t given the next step, making it difficult for them to know what to do. Something as simple as a button or some copy guiding the user to a link in your bio gives them the required information to proceed.

It’s important to keep your CTA simple, catchy, and relevant. Most importantly, it should encourage action.

“Buy Today” creates a sense of time pressure. “Read More” works for a blog post or to direct users to long-form content. ”Sign Up Now” is effective for subscriptions and newsletters.

Take-away tip: Write a few CTAs before you publish an ad. Test them to find the best, most engaging one for your audience.

How to Make a Social Media Graphic

There are no set rules to social graphics in terms of musts or must-nots (Facebook used to have an 80/20 rule, where no more than 20% of your design could display copy, but this has since fallen away).

However, before you begin designing, choose the social platform on which you want to advertise. From there, look at the specs and best practices, and combine those with what you know your audience would stop to see.


Clever TikTok Ads

In 2021, the number of TikTok users surpassed Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat. There’s a growing audience and the secret to TikTok marketing lies in creativity.

Brands that do well on TikTok focus on creating content for the customer, not for the sales. Shopify, Adobe, Red Bull, Duolingo, and Home Depot all use the platform to create shareable content.

Here’s what some of these businesses did to capitalize on the extremely powerful TikTok market.

Shopify

Instead of simply marketing their services, Shopify creates content about entrepreneurs: common struggles that business owners face and advice for entrepreneurs, for example.

They put customers at the center of their content by motivating people to start their own businesses, establishing a relationship with a potential customer before they even need the product.

Adobe

Adobe, the creative software service, does a great job at connecting directly with its users by showcasing the software with inspiration rather than sales content.

Adobe posts short-form tutorials to inspire creators to try something new. It highlights how its service works in an organic, creative way that offers users quality content in the ad.

Red Bull

Red Bull has approached TikTok marketing in a unique way. Instead of using one account for its entire audience base, Red Bull takes a localized approach to create content that will resonate with specific users.

With a number of different verified Red Bull accounts, like RedBullCanada and RedBullBike, the company can create content for separate audiences. This strategy can further be optimized with the help of a TikTok marketing agency.

This allows Red Bull to take on a hyper-focused marketing approach while still reaching a broad audience.


Creative Instagram Ads

Instagram offers a few different ways for brands to market to people: in user feeds, on the Explore page and through Stories. Analyze your target audience and look into which approach is best suited to your business.

Using bright colors, witty copy and current internet trends is a great way to make a social media graphic that users would want to share with others.

Two companies that have nailed bright advertising with topical trends are Elementor and Lego:

Elementor

Elementor, a domain-hosting and web-building software company, aces this advert with bold color, simple design and relevant content.

Source: Elementor, Instagram

LEGO

At the time of release of their ad, LEGO adopted its own take on the then-popular internet trend: “It’s always wyd, never {insert pop culture reference}”. LEGO leverages the trend as the key element in the ad, with a brick-styled background that brings in their strong, recognizable design.

Source: Lego, Instagram

Effective Facebook Ads

Like Instagram, the best practice for Facebook advertising is to cut through the clutter with clever designs that would stop people mid-scroll.

Project Repat

Not all adverts need to have a monumental budget behind them. Sometimes, especially on Facebook, ads that have an authentic feel can stand out. This ad by Project Repat features a simple image showing exactly what the product is, with a strong driver of action in the caption copy.

It’s worthwhile noting that the simple approach depends on the company and the product; every social ad should be designed in a way that fits the brand.


Slack

Slack’s design in this ad is effective for several reasons. It is visually engaging with bold, outstanding colors set against negative space. The ad headline is simple, strong and offers a solution to a pain point many employees face.

Lead-Generating LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn has a more niche social media audience than Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Using LinkedIn for marketing is a great way to generate leads, network with other professionals, create business-to-business partnerships and foster influencer relationships.

Using qualitative information and takeaways is an excellent way to direct new prospects to your business.

Zipwhip

Zipwhip’s bold use of color, stand-out information, and clear call-to-action make this ad effective in cutting through the clutter.

WiX

WiX’s LinkedIn ad is striking and clear. Many ads focus on the design and fall short in telling users exactly what the product or service does. This is where this ad is so effective: it tells the audience exactly what it is offering and relies on that offering to drive traffic, rather than the design.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS played to their audience with this creative LinkedIn ad. It uses a witty play on words, complimentary colors, and a simple eye-catching graphic consistent withits brand. It conveys what is needed and offers a service feature in the caption copy without relying on a hard sell.

Making the Most of Your Social Media Marketing

While you build your business, it can be difficult to focus on trying to create high-performing adverts. To get the best results from your social media ads, it’s worthwhile considering external social media creative services. With original designs, your ad campaigns and dedicated marketing efforts will have the right curated content to get the best return on your ad spend.


Cassandra King
Cassandra KingFormer Head of Content & Community

Cassandra King is the former Head of Content & Community at Superside. She’s a road trip aficionado, advocate for all things glitter, and can usually be found with a camera (or snacks) in hand. Find her on IG @casssandra.king.

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