Advertising on Social Networks

Publish Date

July 18, 2021


Post Author


The cost of advertising on a social network

Depending on the network, we pay per click (CPC, cost per click) or per 1,000 views (CPI: cost per impression). Google ads is well known for its auction system and pay-per-click method, but most social networks favor a CPI payment. In order to test your campaigns, we strongly recommend you to create several ads and then to analyze them after a few days to see which are the most efficient: this is called A/B testing.

And … be careful, if you accidentally click the wrong button, your campaign can be launched before it’s ready, and without setting a maximum limit to your budget. These mistakes are more common than you might think, and can make you lose tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, all networks offer sophisticated analysis tools. With a little patience, they are within the reach of a layman, although it is common to call on a specialist for campaign optimization.

Which social media for your ads ?

Social media has no interest in distributing your posts for free. While organic reach initially counted hundreds of views, it is now in the range of only twenty or thirty, so a company’s post is unlikely to go viral without ads. Note that our analysis is based on detailed US statistics, which are quite similar in all rich countries.


As we know Facebook is the largest social platform in the world, with 2.5 billion users being active every month. All demographic classes are present on Facebook. Besides, the network allows direct advertising on Instagram. For your first steps, Facebook is a logical choice.

Facebook Photo ads is the most popular format, with 25 characters for the title and 90 for the description, it is perfect for promoting a product. It is the simplest and most efficient type of advertising. When it comes to video ads, you are faced with a choice : the most classic is the short video that loops in the user’s newsfeed. The shorter the video, the more effective it is. Of course, if there are sexy girls dancing on the video, it can be longer … If you choose to add Story Ads as an option, the display is six seconds for photos, and fifteen seconds for videos, but don’t forget that stories are limited to 24 hours, so they should be used for “flash” promotions.

Carousel and slideshow

Carousel is perfect for e-commerce : you can add up to ten photos, and a link for each one. However, I do not recommend putting more than five photos. You can also create a slideshow : your images are transformed into a video and you can add music. However, unlike the carousel, you can only add one link instead of ten.


Collection advertising is also a great option for an online store: it consists of a large photo or video and a whole series of images just below corresponding to an online shopping catalog. Facebook offers various templates to make it easier to create an ad:

Messenger ads

1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger every month. Advertisements appear in the contact list. This way, you can, for example, select the people who have contacted you before on your Facebook page and resume the dialogue. This is a very unique type of advertising, and relatively untapped.

Interactive advertisements

You must have seen these advertisements before: you are using an app and suddenly, a pop up offers you to test a game for a few minutes to encourage you to download it.

Instagram ads

The fundamental difference with Facebook is as trivial as it is important: Instagram is only available on smartphones. Unsurprisingly, the four formats are equivalent to Facebook ads: Photo, Video, Carousel, and Collection. Their display is identical to that of a post, with the indication “sponsored”. You can also insert your advertisement in the “explorer” feed displayed using the “magnifying glass” icon. 200 million people use this function daily to discover new accounts. The user clicks on a photo, and will then have the opportunity to see your advertisement in the corresponding feed.


These ads appear in full screen between two stories. We can also add interactive functions to this already infallible advertisement, for example, a vote. A vote, we should note, is not an exclusive function of advertisements: you can definitely add one to your unsponsored stories, it is a very efficient way to increase their virality.

IGTV : the new Instagram video platform

IGTV is the illegitimate child of Youtube and TikTok. Mobile first, with a vertical format, it allows much longer videos and is primarily aimed at influencers, although anyone is able to upload content. Instagram is still quite vague about the possibilities of its new platform.

Twitter advertising

Two-thirds of Twitter users are male and the balance is shifting towards 13-24 year olds who make up one third of all members. There are three types of goals. “Awarness” aims to maximize the circulation of your tweet: this is the reach. “Consideration” brings together almost all of the other goals. For example, encourage visitors to visit your website, gain followers, make people install your app or interact with your publication. And finally “Re-engagement” – for people who have already installed your app and from whom you want more engagement.

Some accounts have an automated system: Twitter Promote. For $ 99 per month, Twitter automatically promotes your first ten tweets daily. However, if you open an account, this option is no longer available.

Snapchat ads

About two-thirds of Snapchat users worldwide are women. 240 million people connect to the network daily, and in the United States 15-25 year olds represent half of them.

The easiest way to create a Snapchat ad is to use the “Instant Create” service which, as its name suggests, allows you to quickly produce an ad from a photo or video. Of course, you also have more advanced tools.

Snap ads

Snap ads consist of an image or video, which can be up to three minutes long, although it is not recommended to exceed five seconds. These ads are full screen, vertical, and include various types of call to action : installing an app, filling out a form, etc. Above all, keep it simple : both an advertisement and an action. Sadly, it is true that a web surfer’s attention span is half that of a goldfish.

Story ads

These come in the form of a vignette in the Discover feed. Clicking on it displays a collection of up to 20 « snaps », but you can add to those, as with snap ads, all kinds of calls to action. Of course, since this is an isolated vignette in the feed, attention should be drawn with a particularly effective hook.

Collection ads

The format is equivalent to what you can find on Instagram for example : a full screen snap with four vignettes. You can assign a different link to each vignette and this is the ideal format for eCommerce, which makes it easy to discover your products.


These aren’t advertisements per se, but, as everyone knows, special effects in the form of overlays that you put on your snaps. You can add location, hours, email … or special effects to enhance the impact of your snaps.


This is the augmented reality layer which allows for example to change your appearance. You can create a lens on Snapchat and, if it’s really useful or, more likely, funny, it might go viral.

Commercial campaigns

These are available in ten countries: the United States, France and Germany among the richest. These are six second ads that the user can’t skip, but … that doesn’t mean they’ll pay attention to them, and doesn’t exempt you from making the video as engaging as possible.

Advertising on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a very specific social network aimed at professionals fof all backgrounds. It is the ideal place for b2b communication. Sponsored content appears in your news feed : it is a very classic format, equivalent to that of other social networks. LinkedIn recommends a title under 150 characters and an image of 1200 * 627 pixels.

Inmail ads

You can send an inmail directly to the mailbox of your potential interlocutor, selected based on various sociological and demographic criteria. This is a fairly original and quite efficient form of advertising, as LinkedIn takes care to only send emails to active members. For an optimal CTR, it is recommended to stay below the five hundred signs.

Text ads

These small ads appear at the top right of the newsfeed, but not on the mobile application. For more impact, they can be accompanied by a 50 * 50 pixel vignette : a logo, for example.

Dynamic ads

These are personalized ads, a bit like email marketing : you can even include your prospect’s photo. A very effective and, in particular, original format, which cannot be found on other social networks.

Advertising on Pinterest

Advertising on Pinterest is really very simple : you pay to have your pins seen by a larger audience. As with Google ads, you only pay per click, which makes it an interesting aid since it is less risky when you start.

YouTube advertising

There are more men than women among the users in the United States, with an evenly split age distribution up to 65 years old. Two billion people connect each month and one billion videos are viewed daily. Ads are created in your Google ads account. Ads appear at the start, during, or at the end of a video. You can skip them after five seconds and that’s what 80% of people do. There is also a format limited to fifteen seconds that cannot be skipped … but that does not mean that your advertisement will be seen, of course, so you should take good care of its content. Finally, the “bumpers” are used in the same way but with a duration limited to six seconds.

Video Discovery ads

They appear on the screen, including in the mobile app, in the form of vignettes, for example, when searching for videos on Youtube. The accompanying text is very short, so everything will depend on the visual support.

Outstream ads

They appear on Google partner websites and apps. The video starts automatically, but with no sound, so the image should be sufficient on its own.

Masthead ads

These are massive banners displayed at the very top of the YouTube page: they are impossible to miss and can be reserved by contacting the sales department. The main video will play automatically for 30 seconds. It can be accompanied by various information and a reading list. These ads are even more effective on mobile devices, where they are especially unmissable.

TikTok ads

60% of users globally are between 25 and 44 years old. In the United States 69% of users are between 13 and 24 years old ! Ads appear in the feed, just like member videos. The video runs for 9 seconds, after which a superimposed card displays your contact details and a call-to-action button. TikTok recommends refreshing your videos weekly. In addition to this classic format, many other options can be chosen by contacting the sales department : for example the famous hashtag challenge, encouraging members to create videos with your product in the foreground.

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