Social Media & Social Ads

What Are Social Media Ads? Examples & Types of Social Media Advertising

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By David Tomas, on 17 March 2023

Social media ads are a versatile advertising option that allows you to build specific campaigns on different social media networks, allowing you to use their platforms and targeting options to show your ads to potential consumers. They are a great way to connect with your target audience, allowing you to offer highly personalized and relevant content. Social Media Ads can be incredibly profitable and versatile when used properly, and allow brands to meet different business goals at relatively low costs.

Meta (Facebook & Instagram), TikTok, LinkedIn, Youtube, X (formerly Twitter) and Pinterest are just some examples of Social Media platforms that allow you to run paid advertising, and can be a great addition to your digital marketing campaigns.

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What platforms can I use?

So what is the best platform to invest in? While you may think the answer lies in knowing which social media platform has the largest user base, that's not necessarily it. The truth is that it depends on where your target audience spends the most time. When making your decision, you need to think about where you can find your audience on social media, what kind of campaign you're looking to create, and how you can optimize your ad investment.

Below is a short summary of the different types of social media advertising options.

  • Social ads on Meta: Meta (formerly known as Facebook) is the world’s largest social media platform, with one of the largest user bases. Although they are different platforms for the user, in terms of the advertiser's perspective, it allows you to run ads on both Facebook and Instagram from the same place (joint or separately, as well as Messenger and Audience Network), allowing you to reach out to a massive database with one single campaign. Its advertising platform is very visual and reliable, with a high-functioning algorithm offering multiple types of campaigns for almost any goal, and incredible segmentation options, from demographics to lookalike audiences.

  • Social ads on X: X, formerly known as Twitter, lets advertisers create campaigns adapted to different objectives such as conversion, lead generation, and app installs. If you want to make the most of it, combine it with an artificial intelligence tool.

  • Social ads on YouTube: Make the most out of video marketing on YouTube by telling your audience stories they'll connect with. It is a platform where users go to consumer strictly video content, and where they are used to longer lasting content than on other platforms.

  • Social ads on TikTok: TikTok advertising is an exciting option, and it's safe to say that the ads will be just as creative as the content on the platform and reach a large, well segmented audience.

  • Social ads on Pinterest: Pinterest brings a largely female audience to social media and is an absolute hotspot for topics like weddings, cooking, or fashion. This makes it very useful for advertisements in these areas, and is a platform where users go to look for inspiration and ideas, with high levels of engagement.

  • Social ads on LinkedIn: this social media platform has a large professional user base and offers an advertising solution for those looking to reach out to a corporate audience through B2B marketing. Although it can tend to be somewhat more expensive, it allows you to hyper-segment according to professionally oriented information, such as previous or current job titles, years of experience, companies, etc.

Before we delve into the various types and examples of social ads, let's consider what they are, how they are designed, and why they're so important in digital marketing today.

About 500 million Tweets are published per day. On Meta, over 350 million photos are uploaded a day and millions of shares occur in just a minute. Amidst this staggering amount of content, how can you make your advertising campaigns stand out on social media?

The look and feel of an ad, as well as what you're transmitting, will have a major impact on the success of your social ads, so it's important to nail the design and the content.

Benefits of Social Media Advertising

Seamless Integration with User Content

Social media ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the platform's organic content, making them less intrusive and more readily accepted by users. This integration encourages advertisers to create content that genuinely interests their audience, enhancing user experience even further.

Versatile Campaign Objectives

Social media platforms are equipped to support a wide range of marketing objectives. Whether your goal is to generate leads, increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or boost sales, social media advertising can be tailored to meet these needs effectively.

Precision Targeting

The extensive time users spend on social media platforms, coupled with the vast amount of information shared, provides advertisers with a rich database for targeted advertising. This enables precise segmentation, reaching out to audiences most likely to engage with your ads.

Customizable Ads

The diversity of ad formats on social media, including images, videos, stories, carousels, and shopping ads, allows for creative flexibility. This variety ensures that you can align your ads with your brand's aesthetic and messaging, making your content more relatable and engaging.

Enhanced Engagement

Social media naturally fosters interaction and engagement. Ads on these platforms can do more than just convey a message; they can encourage user interaction through likes, comments, and shares, amplifying your message's reach and impact.

Brand Development

The interactive nature of social media makes it an excellent venue for building and reinforcing brand identity and loyalty. Even if brand awareness is not your primary objective, the exposure and reach afforded by social media contribute significantly to brand recognition.

In-Depth Analytics

Access to comprehensive analytics and insights about ad performance is a significant advantage. Metrics on reach, engagement, and conversion rates provide valuable feedback, enabling data-driven decisions and campaign optimization, in order to continuously improve your campaign results.


The flexibility to quickly adapt your advertising strategy on social media (whether it's tweaking your ads according to the optimizations needed, adjusting your budget, or responding to emerging trends) ensures that your campaigns remain relevant and effective, maximizing your marketing investment.

4 Key Design Takeaways

  1. When creating a social media campaign with the goal of achieving maximum visibility on Meta or Twitter, work with distinctive images, strong contrasts, and striking colors. These can stand out amongst the blue and white colors of the platforms themselves.

  2. Don't overuse filters.

  3. Make sure that all image elements are clearly legible. Avoid overlapped logos and or text that covers important parts of the background image.

  4. If you are offering discounts, it helps to include them in the image by using colors that are associated with sales, such as red for the previous price, and green for the reduced one.

If the objectives for your social ads campaigns are app installations, purchases, or registrations, it is important to use designs that are optimized for conversions.

Examples of Social Media Ads

Sephora and Meta

Multinational beauty retailer Sephora used a video ads strategy on social media to grab the public's attention. Videos are known to have a high engagement rate so, to capitalize on this, Sephora created a stunning campaign.

Its high production value and beautiful visuals led to great results for the brand. They saw a 41% increase in CTR and a 32% higher return than they had from previous campaigns.

What Are Social Media Ads Examples Types of Social Media Advertising

Shopify and Meta Business Suite

Shopify helps people create and run their own online stores and streamlines the process of setting everything up so that anyone can start their business venture easily. They launched social ads on Meta, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network - to inform people of their Markets Pro solution, helping businesses expand internationally in a fast and efficient way.

shopify on meta

Examples of Cyberclick's Social Media Ads

Mistol: Visibility and product positioning

After rebranding their corporate image and packaging, and launching a new product in the form of Dishwasher Tablets, Mistol partnered with Cyberclick in an aim to gain visibility for the new product and improve Mistol’s dishwasher product positioning in the Spanish market.

In order to achieve a high level of awareness, diffusion, and product positioning, we opted for a multichannel social ads strategy (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitch) paired with an influencer marketing strategy that described the product and directed people to the landing page from these popular social media platforms.

In the Social Ads campaigns, we also implemented an A/B test, to compare the results of "traditional" creatives and the results of videos recorded by content creators. In this user generated marketing campaign, people explained how they use the product and the promotion in progress.

The results were powerful:

  • Over 16 million impressions between different platforms
  • We concluded that the videos generated by content creators resulted in a 43% higher
  • The Cost per Started Video of the content creator ads was 3 times lower than that of more traditional creatives.
  • The overall campaign led to a 200% increase in sales for Mistol compared to the same period during the previous year.

casos de exito mistol (1)

UOC: Consolidation, brand growth, and lead generation

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is a pioneering university in e-learning that acts as an agent of individual and collective change, training people throughout their lives. The UOC aimed to increase brand awareness and positioning, but also to gain traffic and generate useful leads for its database, through the creation of valuable content.

With Cyberclick, both a Social Ads and an Influencer Marketing strategy were devised. For the former, full-funnel paid campaigns were carried out on both Meta, LinkedIn, and TikTok, to provide visibility, traffic, and generate leads (enrollments). For the Influencer Marketing strategy, actions were combined on prominent platforms such as Instagram or Youtube, as well as on newer ones such as TikTok and Twitch,

The campaign had some noteworthy results:

  • Awareness: The content had a massive impact on potential clients, and helped increase brand awareness and positioning.
  • Engagement: We achieved a high level of engagement from users who saw the posts.
  • Conversions: Although final conversion to sales was not the initial objective of the campaign, we did generate both enrollments and leads.

    Uoc caso de éxito

The Complete Guide to TikTok Marketing

David Tomas