Paid advertising on social media: tips for small businesses

There are a number of ways that small businesses can use paid advertising on social media to increase the reach and engagement levels on their posts.

For small businesses, while it can be tough to find the budget to invest in paid ads, the results are definitely worth it.

Targeted ad campaigns enable you to reach a defined audience that you know is interested in what you have to offer.

The majority of social media channels offer you a variety of ways to target your posts based on age, income, interest, location, and more.

Here are a few ways that you can use paid advertising across various social media platforms.


  • Boosted posts: There are 3 ways you can boost posts. You can boost posts as you create the post, you can boost it after it’s been published, and/or you can boost directly from the insights tab. The third option is a great way to ensure you are spending money to boost posts that need extra attention. One example is boosting a post that asks customers to leave a comment or share your status!
  • Carousel ads: Use this ad format to include multiple images in your advertisement and tell a story.


  • Promoted tweets: While there are a few ways you can get started promoting your tweets (the analytics icon under a tweet and/or by clicking the details of the tweet inside Twitter’s analytic tool,) there aren’t many targeting options this way. You’re better off using Twitter ad’s interface, which lets you promote tweets you’ve already posted or promote a new tweet you’re creating.


  • Sponsor updates: You can sponsor updates on your company page directly from your page or within the analytics inside LinkedIn. The ad’s interface for LinkedIn lets you choose your page and set the targeting, budgeting and scheduling options.


  • Promoted pins: Promoting your pins can help you reach a wider audience. Through your Pinterest business account, you can sign up for their paid ads option. Once you have access, you can start to promote your pins from the top of your profile or through the ad’s interface.

In order to maximize the value of time, effort, creativity and money spent on social media, you have to be strategic  in how you are going to use paid ads.

You also want to be organized and plan ahead for how much you’re going to spend and who you’re going to target with advertisements across various platforms.

I highly recommend making a plan for your goals and budget for paid social media advertising before starting.

A plan will help you see how effective your campaigns are and if they are helping you reach your desired metrics.

Have you had success using any of the paid advertising formats above?

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