What is paid social media?

Paid social media is a method of displaying advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on popular social media platforms, and targeting a specific sub-audience. Pay-per-click advertising, branded or influencer-generated content, and display ads are all examples of paid social media.

Every social media channel is different. Twitter offers short-form content, Instagram focuses heavily on visual-based content, Facebook has its own marketplace, and LinkedIn is the home of networking professionals.

As such, paid social media on each platform differs, and should, depending on the campaign and audience.

Here, we’re going to explore some quick strategies that will help you decide how to use paid social to the benefit of your brand.

Paid Social Media Strategy

A paid social media strategy involves using the ad tools native to social media channels to create, schedule, and post targeted ads that will reach your intended market. Strategies might look a little different based on the channel and campaign.

Pringles and Rick and Morty might seem like an unlikely partnership, but it was a decision that came from months of planning and execution, with help in no small part from the social media channels chosen to run the commercial.

Having a paid social media strategy can save a budget that might not be as expansive as a global potato chip brand, so we’ve gathered the important things to know about using various social platforms for paid ads.


When advertising on Facebook, it’s a good idea to use Facebook Targeted Ads. This feature is run on a bidding system — advertisers bid on a number of ads based on their target audience. Then, that bid will be put into a lottery for a chance to be picked to run.

Other than the lottery, Facebook Ads lets you show ads to your customers based on their behavior. This is helpful because you can keep advertising to your existing Facebook customers based on what Facebook tells you about their use of the app.

Using Facebook Ads helps you build new leads and generate brand awareness. The analytics Facebook gives you opens the door for experimentation — try using different ad formats and see what your audience engages with most. It might be different than other social strategies.


As a consumer, Twitter paid ads sneak up on me. I barely know I’m looking at a sponsored tweet because they look so similar to regular tweets. As a marketer, this is fantastic news; it means more eyes on your ads because they’re not as blatant as ads on other social channels.

Why Twitter Ads? Well, Twitter reports that 41% of users purchase a product after seeing an ad within a month, and when using their Ad software, you can target your ad to a specific demographic..

Twitter provides ad settings based on your budget —like how frequent your ad will be seen (Pringles paid attention to this), and the ad type to run. Twitter has a few different types of ads for you to choose based on your goals.


60% of people discover new products on Instagram, and it probably isn’t a bad idea to look into advertising to the 200 million accounts that visit at least one Instagram Business profile each day. Business profiles on Instagram mean you can set up ecommerce and run ads from your Instagram account.

Since Facebook owns Instagram, if you run ads on both platforms, they’re managed in one place (on Facebook), so campaigns can be run and analyzed concurrently.

It’s a good idea to look into Instagram Ads because, while the platform is ripe with exposure possibilities, Instagram Ads are against the changes of the app’s algorithm. So when the algorithm changes and some posts might not show up on user’s feeds, ads always will.

Using Instagram Ads, you can choose your budget, which is tied to the length of the ad run. It’s like filling up a gas tank — You get the amount of gas you pay for, and on Instagram, your ad runs for as long as you pay for.


On LinkedIn, millions of professionals have found a wealth of professional connections, their dream job, or both. The platform lets you reach thousands of people in your industry. Fortunately, as a marketer, ads let you do the same..

There are 630 million professionals on LinkedIn, with 63 million in decision-making positions, like business purchase decisions. This is a B2B advertiser’s dream come true. With the potential to reach 60 million decision-makers on the most popular social platform for lead generation, it’s good to consider LinkedIn as an optimal platform for advertising. .

LinkedIn’s targeted ads let you type in keywords and select audiences by category. So, if you’re posting a job for a certain role, LinkedIn can help you find that audience.

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