The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Small Business Guide to Social Media Advertising

Social media is an attractive marketing channel for a lot of small businesses due to its relatively low cost. It’s free to start a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest account. And you can even start to gain followers without spending a dime. Although these social networks are free to join, they each offer paid advertising to business owners. Depending on your business objectives, one (or a few) of these paid social media advertising options may work for you.

small business guide to social media advertising

Twitter Advertising

If your business objective is to build your audience or drive engagement consider:

  • Promoted Tweets – promote a single tweet to a target audience of your choosing


  • Promoted Accounts – promote an entire Twitter account to your chosen target audience. They will see your account and along with a brief description of it  in the “Who to follow” widget.

If your business objective is to increase brand or product awareness then consider:

  • Promoted Trends – promote a specific hashtag in order to spark conversation around the topic.

Facebook also offers a number of paid advertising opportunities. Like Twitter, the option that is best for your business depends on your business objectives.

Facebook Advertising

If your business objective is to increase brand awareness consider:

  • Page Likes – advertise your business page to your target audience
  • Clicks to Website – advertise your website on Facebook
  • Video Views – create an ad that features your video to increase views
  • Local Awareness – advertise specifically to people in the vicinity of your business

If you’re looking to increase engagement try:

  • App Engagement – get people to engage with a specific aspect of your app, like the shop
  • Page Post Engagement – promote a specific piece of content from your business page

Or if you’re looking to increase sales, downloads or event attendees then consider these options:

  • Offer Claims – create special offers to drive business to your website
  • Website Conversion – track actions that visitors from Facebook take on your website
  • App Installs – advertise your app to get more people to download it
  • Event Responses – advertise a specific event to potential attendees

Pinterest Advertising

Advertising on Pinterest is pretty simple since there is just one option to choose from – promoted pins. Promoted pins can help you reach your business objectives of brand awareness, brand engagement, and website conversions depending on how you use them.

LinkedIn Advertising

Advertising on LinkedIn is also straightforward. You can place ads on LinkedIn that promote your website and target them to LinkedIn users with specific job titles, degrees, locations, etc. If you’re looking to reach a very specific audience or industry, LinkedIn advertising may be your best option. You can increase brand awareness, brand engagement, and sales by advertising to a very specific target audience.

Instagram Advertising

Instagram advertising is not available to all brands as of today but should be soon considering how well the beta testing did last year.

Other social networks like YouTube also offer advertising. But before you spend your money on any of these advertising opportunities, be sure that they align with your specific business objectives.

Category: Advanced Tactics, Social Media Marketing 101