Tailoring Ads for Social Media Platforms
116 & West
Advertising your product, services, business, or organization on social media is like holding the world’s most powerful megaphone. This megaphone (as annoying as it might be) is loud enough to reach millions of people around the globe. Best of all, it’s FREE to use. If you haven’t thought about how your business could benefit from ads for social media, here are some convincing numbers:
Facebook: 2.45 billion monthly active users worldwide
Instagram: 1 billion monthly active users worldwide
Twitter: 330 million monthly active users worldwide
Pinterest: 291 million monthly active users worldwide
LinkedIn: 260 million monthly active users worldwide
Snapchat: 100 million monthly active users worldwide
Keep in mind one person will likely have accounts on at least two of these platforms, but the numbers don’t lie. Although it doesn’t make sense for every business to be on social media, the growing access to various demographics and audiences is certainly compelling.
You can do some interesting grassroots marketing by making organic posts on social media, but in order to get your brand and/or product in front of as many of the right people as possible, it’s smart to pay for advertising on social media. If you’re interested, we covered more on this subject in a previous blog.
Nuance Is Neat
To move forward, I’m going to make the assumption you have been advertising on social media (high five). Although you may see some traction making ads and throwing money at them, you’d undoubtedly see a lot more ROI with a little strategy.
I know how loaded the word “strategy” is and how many types of strategies are used on social media advertising. For this particular blog, however, and the point I’m finally getting to, is that your ads should be tailored to each platform. Each social media platform works a little bit differently. Each one attracts a particular audience. And, each platform allows people to consume and engage with your content in a different way.
That means the images and copy you use for your ads should match the channel. Yes, technically, you can just reuse your Facebook ad on Instagram, and vice-versa, but you’ll find your ads will resonate better when the copy and image are created specifically for a particular platform. This also helps prevent ad fatigue as users are served ads across multiple platforms, making your campaign feel larger and more comprehensive.
Using Pinterest as an Example
Each platform requires creative that addresses its nuance. For example, Pinterest skews heavily toward a female, millennial audience. It’s also important to remember Pinterest ads show only the first 50-60 characters in a user’s feed. Another detail to know is the 2:3 aspect ratio, which is the proportional relationship between height and width. Instagram, on the other hand, looks best as a square image. Pinterest users also spend about 14 minutes on the platform per session—which is substantial.
Pinterest users are usually interested in helpful content—they like useful ideas, facts, and information. Pinterest content is also generally well designed and nice to look at. Ads on Pinterest can afford more copy because users are looking for good content, not just passively scrolling. Instagram users prefer highly engaging photography without a ton of words. Individuals on LinkedIn are looking for more business-related content, usually leaning more towards substance than flash.
Put all these little things together and it’s pretty easy to discern how an ad on Pinterest should look and feel different than an ad on Instagram or Snapchat.
Make Creative Count
Taking all this into account, your first order of business should be to do research. Look into the demographics of each platform, best practices for creative, and use analytics to see which ads have been performing well.
Once you do that, then comes the task of writing and designing ads that speak to each platform and the people on them. Now, I’m not saying you need to task a creative team (or agency) with making completely different ads for each platform. What I am saying is that the image and copy need to be refined for each platform.
You can use the same image if you’d like, but resize it so it looks great, no matter where your audience sees it. You should change the copy for each platform in order to ensure the most important words are visible and that they are best suited for the primary target.
Catering your content to your audience and the platform takes a little more time, but being strategic and thoughtful will pay dividends.
If you need help with any of this, you know what to do: email@example.com