Paid Social Media Made Easy, Part 1: Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest




Social Media is a critical component to growing a business but not everyone knows how to navigate the space.  According to a study by Social Media Examiner, 97% of markers are currently using social media but 85% of them aren’t sure what social media tools are best to use for their business.   This post is the first of a multi-part series that explores the various channels available and how they can be used to promote your brand. When used correctly, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for driving website traffic, building brand awareness, and increasing conversion rates.



With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social channel available. This is great news for business owners because many of their target audiences are already users and Facebook offers granular targeting capabilities to reach them. This audience in particular is important for driving sales because 60% of consumers view a business’ Facebook Page prior to making a purchase.


Before getting started with a paid campaign, marketers should test creative and posts organically with their existing audience.  It’s a good idea to test out different images, links, and text length to find the sweet spot of what drives user engagement. Only the best performing posts should be used in a paid campaign.


Facebook is constantly increasing their offerings and creating tools to ensure you’re hitting your key performance indicators (KPIs).  One way they do this is by offering their easy to use dashboard that lets you select a campaign based on your goals.


There are a number of ad types available on Facebook depending on what you want to accomplish.  Some of the more popular ones include:


Page Post Engagement: These are just promoted posts that go to a larger, targeted audience outside of your fans.


Page Like: You can promote your business’ fan page to achieve more likes. By achieving likes, you can communicate offers and relevant content down the road.


Click To Website: Drive users to specific landing pages on your website to build traffic. This can be monitored with the help of a tracking pixel.


Website Conversions: This type of ad uses a tracking pixel to see if a user who clicked through completes a specific behavior like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.


Other types of ads include: App Install and Engagement, event response, offer claim, video views, and local business awareness.


If you have a B2B company, you’re going to want to pay close attention to Linkedin.  This serves as a great platform for connecting businesses to leads and future employees. It hosts nearly 93 million professionals each month and typically has an older (30-64), more affluent audience.   The reason Linkedin is so powerful is because you can target based on user’s profile information.


As with Facebook, it’s important to keep an eye on ad performance and continually refresh creative messaging when CTRs fall.  For each ad campaign, you are allowed to have 3 variations so make sure you use them.   Average CTRs for Linkedin are around 0.025% so adjust targeting and creative accordingly to reach that goal.


Linkedin ads can be served on either their Self-Service Platform or through their premium ad products.


Self-Service Platform


This is the easiest way to get started and you can reach a highly targeted audience for as little as $10 a day.  You can reach your segment based on company, job title, job function, seniority, school, skills, groups, age, gender and much more.


Display Ads: The most common ads are display ads purchased on a pay-per-click model and appear in the user’s inbox as well as the perimeter of the homepage. These can have 20-second videos, images, or text and be highly targeted to your audience.  According to the site, having an image can drive 20% more clicks.


Sponsored Content: These are just promoted updates that are served to your user’s news feed. These are purchased on a cost-per-click or CPM basis.


Premium Ad Products


Premium Display Ads: These are larger ads (such as leaderboards or skyscraper units) and appear in more prominent placements on Linkedin.


Sponsored InMail: Send emails to a specific audience. Each user is only allowed to receive 1 InMail every 60 days so it ensures your message won’t get lost in the noise.


Showcase Pages: Aside from your company page, you can also launch a showcase page for a specific initiative.   Here are 5 examples of how these pages can be used.


Follow Company Ads: Drives users to follow your page so you can share more content with them for free.


Content Ads/ Slideshare Content Ads:  These ads are great for sharing presentations or whitepapers with a targeted audience, moving them further down the funnel.


Product Recommendation Ads: These ads are great for product launches and can even pull in how many other users recommend a product to drive sales.


Join Ad Group Ads:  For companies who moderate industry or company groups, this is great for letting users know the discussions will be relevant to them.


Linkedin recently launched the Linkedin Network Display platform that reaches audiences outside their site, but it is cookie based so it doesn’t work well on mobile.


They also have a new Lead Accelerator tool that is geared towards finding target audiences at specific stages of the buying process then serves them relevant ads at each stage.


As the newest paid platform, there has been a lot of buzz about Pinterest ads lately. This platform has well over 43 million active monthly users that skews heavily female. There has been a recent shift however showing that one-third of all sign-ups are males.


On this highly visual network, it’s important to use quality photos. In a recent study by Curated,which examined over 500,000 images, they found that brand pictures without faces received 23% more repins. It’s also important to note that the creative you submit should be a vertical picture versus horizontal to ensure visibility.  You should also keep the call to actions in the descriptions and not on the photos themselves.


Since this is such a new paid space, there are some important guidelines to point out. There are three kinds of pins that now live on Pinterest: pins from the people you follow, pins that are suggested to you via an algorithm, and lastly the new promoted pins which have a few different formats.


Standard promoted pins: These pins allow you to target based on audience and up to 150 keywords in order to increase visibility and conversion with the right users. You can reach users based on interests, persona, and even life stage.


Cinematic Pins: These pins were created to increase engagement and include gif-like visuals.


App Pins: Similar to Facebook, users promote mobile apps and drive users to download directly from a pin


Buy Now Button: This pin is great for retailers and product launches that allow users to buy a product without ever leaving Pinterest. Users can input shipping and pay with a card of their choice.


Rich Pins: There are six different types of rich pins: Article, Movie, Recipe, App, Product, and Place. These pins typically give more information surrounding your messaging such as real-time pricing information or movie ratings.


Feel free to comment below with questions or reach out to our team directly at In the next post, we’ll explore how Twitter can be used to grow your business.