The 10 Commandments of Social Media Advertising

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The 10 Commandments of Social Media Advertising

Are you looking to get better results with your social media advertising?

If you simply type “social media advertising” into a search query, the number of hits you’ll receive can be overwhelming and just about everyone is claiming to be a social media expert, so how do you know which advice to trust?

There are 15 MUST-ASK questions to choose the right agency.

At Afrukan Digital, we follow what we call “the 10 commandments of social media advertising” to better connect our clients with their fans and maximize advertising spend.

For effective social media advertising, you MUST incorporate these 10 essential processes into your strategy:

1. Make clear objectives.

advertising objectives

Before you invest any amount of time in social media advertising, you need to be very clear about what you want to accomplish with your paid social media advertising campaign.

Defining objectives up front will help guide the following future actions:

  • Your messaging
  • Your ad type
  • Your key performance indicators

How so?

Let’s say your goal is to increase the amount of potential customers who like your Facebook page.

You would have to create a different size ad than if your goal was to increase website clicks, use messaging that induces likes, and you definitely wouldn’t use number of sales as a measurement of success.

If you need a refresher on choosing the proper objective, read our write-up on choosing the proper objective for Facebook.

2. Go deep when targeting.

Your ultimate goal with social media advertising should be to target the right people and serve them the most relevant content possible.

The more narrow you can make your targeted audience, the more effective your ad campaigns will be.

We were able to lower a client’s advertising cost by over 70% by going deeper with our targeting.


Our client owns a technology news site…

…instead of targeting a broad interest, we decided to go deep.

When we made the simple switch from targeting people with an interest in technology and news to a deeper interest in actual news sites that solely focus on technology (think CNET) we saw a dramatic decrease in cost per like.

This is where Facebook’s highly specialised targeted tools can provide a huge benefit to your business because Facebook has the ability to go deep with interest and demographics.

When you stay laser focused on your targeted audience, you’ll be less likely to waste your advertising budget on people that aren’t really relative to your campaign.

3. Optimize wisely.

It’s not uncommon to get caught up in the number of likes and shares your business is generating on social media when likes and shares do not align with your goals.

We see this a lot amongst business owners.

However, that data does not accurately reflect the full picture of what you are trying to accomplish with your social media advertising strategy.

For example, if your goals is to increase sales and you’re advertising on Facebook, you might measure the success of an ad by looking for the ad that has generated the most clicks to your website.

That is incorrect!

The proper measurement of an ads’ success should be the number of conversions (sales) a specific ad has generated.

You can place 2 ads side by side and there can be an ad that has less clicks than the other, but has generated more sales.

For most advertisement campaigns, there are 9 metrics that actually matter.

4. Follow the eyeballs.

Before choosing a social media platform to advertise on, consider where your audience is.

Take the time to research which social media platforms your audience is the most active on and spend the bulk of your time (and money) there.

EVERY social media platform will have different demographics.

For example, if you are advertising a product for men, in most cases, you probably wouldn’t want to advertise on Pinterest.

5. Make your ad the hero.

advertsing heroe

Your ad becomes the heroe when it does the following:

  1. Identifies a problem your target audience can agree with
  2. Communicates that you can solve the problem
  3. Gives your target audience a place to go to get the problem solved

Understand the big issues and challenges that your targeted audience is facing, and finding ways to insert this into your copy will position your ad for success.

It’s also critical that you know which keywords your targeted audience is using when searching for answers to these issues and challenges so that you can incorporate them into your copy.

Speak the language of the target audience.

6. Create multiple versions of your ad.

Take advantage of A/B testing to see what works best for your social media advertisements.

Here are the parts of an ad you should be testing:

  • Targeted demographics
  • Image variations
  • Variations of your copy
  • Variations of your call-to-action

Keep in mind that to get accurate results from your testing, you need to test a sample size that is large enough.

Consider your budget, media costs, and targeting to best determine the optimal sample size for your business.

7. Use custom landing pages

Getting someone to click on your ad is only half the battle.

Once a user clicks the ad they need to land on a page that is specific to the reason they clicked in the first place.

Great landing pages incorporate 5 key elements:

  1. Goal-Driven Copy
  2. Similar Imagery
  3. A Short Form
  4. Responsive Design
  5. A Single Call to Action

Note that similar imagery refers to the colors and images being similar on both the ad and the landing page.

This help reassure the person who clicked on your ad that they landed at the intended place.

8. Stop ads that aren’t performing.

Simply put, continue to run ONLY the best performing ad.

While testing means time and money that your business is spending, consider it well worth your while.

If you conduct testing and learn that an advertising segment simply isn’t cutting it, stop it immediately!

The goal with advertising is to get the most results with the least amount of money.

9. Keep ads fresh.

There are only so many times that your audience can see your ad before they begin to become annoyed with your brand.

Pay attention to the frequency of your ads (the number of times a single person has seen your ad).

It is important that you mix up the content that you are showing to the same targeted users.

Great ways to keep your content fresh include incorporating new imagery or using new text.

This will prevent your ad campaigns from becoming stale with your audience but still convey the same message.

10. Document your wins AND your losses.

If you find something that has worked particularly well, be sure to document what it was.

If you find something that didn’t work particularly well, be sure to document what it was.

Going forward, make a point to use this best practice in your next campaign.

And make these notes accessible.

Free platforms that allow you to centrally store this information include Google docs, Evernote, and Trello.

By storing this data centrally, these valuable lessons can be accessed via the internet by you, your team and any users that you specify.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is the big list of the 10 commandments of social media advertising.

Don’t skimp on these 10 essential processes as they are absolutely critical to the success of your social media advertising strategy.


Social media advertising is the fastest way to get results for your business on social media.

In addition to increasing brand awareness, social media advertising will also help to increase traffic to your website, boost lead generation, and influence more conversions.