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The Smart Guide To Social Media Ad Promotions

Social media platforms have been proven to be an effective way to connect with current and potential customers. However, growing your social media pages isn’t a walk in the park. You have to find the balance between your organic and paid media. 

What is paid media?

Paid media is when brands pay Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter to have their content shared with a specific set of audiences. Compared to organic social media, paid social ads directly targets a demographic who are likely to be interested in boosting organic content or a particular ad set. It is an effective strategy to expand your brand reach, increase your clicks, and generate more traffic. 

All the major social networking platforms offer paid media options where you can “boost” your social media ads. But it doesn’t mean you should promote your content on all channels. Before you decide which platform you should place your social media ads in, keep in mind your ad’s objective and the target audience. So if you’re targeting millennials and Gen Z, your best bet would be Instagram. 

To kickstart your ad promotion journey, here’s a guide on the different types of social media ads that you can adapt. 

Facebook Ads

Facebook is one of the world’s largest social networks. Since it is popular across various demographics, brands have recognized that it is an important tool in getting their message across through their social media ads. Since Facebook has a detailed targeting option, you can go as broad or as niche as you want to. 

These are the various ad formats can you leverage for your brand:

Image Ads

According to Facebook, a series of photo-only ads is the highest performing social media ad format. Image ads are a great way to drive traffic to your page. If you want to encourage your audience to engage with your ad, you can also include a call-to-action button which could be Sign Up Here, Shop Now, or Download. 

Photo ads are easily done in Facebook Business Manager, or you can boost an already existing post from your page. If you’re planning to try out an image ad, these are the ad specifications that you need to remember. 

Facebook Image Ad Guide:
  • File type: jpg or png
  • Image ratio: 1.91:1 to 4:5
  • Recommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution image available.
  • Primary Text: 125 characters

Photo ad with link guide:

  • Image ratio: 1.91:1 to 1:1
  • Recommended resolution: at least 1,080 x 1,080px
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Description: 30 character
Video Ads

Another highly popular paid media ad format that is quickly gaining traction would be Facebook video ads. Studies show that Facebook users watch close to 3 billion hours of videos daily, including 16 minutes of video ads every month. They can range from short looping video clips which autoplay in a users’ feed, to a 240-minute promoted video on desktop. 

Facebook even now allows video ads to play within other videos, similar to those you can see on Youtube. There is a wide range of options available, so although it might be tempting to try out all these formats, you need first to understand who your target market is.

\If your target audience is Gen X, will they appreciate a 360-video ad? It would be best if you established a deep understanding of their online behavior. Because at the end of the day, if the content doesn’t resonate with them, you’ll be wasting time and money.

According to Facebook, users are more inclined to finish a video ad that has a shorter duration. But if you are going for a thematic campaign that needs to land a compelling message, you can opt for a longer extended video ad.

Facebook Video Ad Guide:
  • Video Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
  • Recommended Resolution: Upload the highest resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.
  • Video File Size: 4GB Max
  • Video Length Minimum: 1 second
  • Video Length Maximum: 240 Minutes
  • Video Captions: Optional but recommended
  • Video Sound: Optional but recommended
  • Primary Text: 125 characters 
  • Vertical videos (with aspect ratio taller than 4:5) may be masked to 4:5

Video ad with link:

  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Description: 30 characters
Stories Ads

Stories is a social media ad format where people can share content in a fast and creative way. Brands are taking note of this and starting to include this in their strategies. This full-screen format has triggered the rise of vertical videos where photos are displayed for a maximum of 6 seconds and videos up t0 15 seconds. 

However, keep in mind that when creating a Facebook Stories ad, you can only include them as a possible placement when you select Automatic Placements. This option can be chosen when you make your ad for the newsfeed or on Instagram stories campaigns. Since stories only last for 24 hours, it is a great opportunity for you to create moment marketing content. 

Facebook stories ad guide:
  • Single Video Ad
    • Video Duration
      • Maximum Video Duration : 2 minute(s)
      • Maximum Video Duration For Playable Ads: 16 second(s)
    • Video Dimension
      • Minimum Width: 500 pixels
    • Video Aspect Ratio
      • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 90×160
      • Maximum Aspect Ratio: 191×100
      • Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 0.01
Carousel Ads

If you’ve come across a sponsored post on Facebook that looks like an album you can scroll through, that’s what a carousel ad. A Facebook carousel ad allows you to include up to 10 images of videos, where you can include a unique link for each frame. 

This type of social media ad works well when you want to showcase a series of products or explain a process. For example, if you are launching a product line with different colors, you can use a carousel ad to promote them. 

Also, keep in mind that carousels are meant to tell a story, so combine your ads with compelling content that will surely make your audience swipe right. 

Messenger Ads

Did you know that there are over 1.3 billion people who use Facebook messenger monthly? Which is why Facebook wanted to help businesses leverage this avenue. Messenger ads are Facebook ads that are placed between conversations. This type of social media ad allows you to talk directly to your customer, or it can even link out to your website or other social media pages. 

Messenger ads also give you the advantage to restart conversations with customers by leverage on the custom audience function. 

Messenger ad guide:
  • File type: jpg or png
  • Image ratio: 16:9 to 1:1 
  • Recommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution image available that meets ratio requirements.
  • Primary Text: 125 characters

Facebook always has some new features brewing yearly, so in the meantime, you can use these paid media ad types for your next campaign. Make sure that no matter which one you choose to go with, that your content is creative and valuable at the same time. 

Instagram Ads

Instagram has a user audience of more than 928 million people which is why various businesses are using this platform to market their products. Being that Facebook owns Instagram, it has access to the parent company’s targeting features and tools. 

Like Facebook, it has different types of social media ad formats that you can adapt for your business. Although in terms of demographics, Instagram is most popular with millennials and Gen Z. But still, there are plenty of Gen Xers who also use the platform.

This is why Instagram allows you to target your ideal viewer with customer targeting options such as creating lookalike audiences, defining your audience’s online behavior, interest, and demographics. Since it is under Facebook, there are some similar ad formats that you will find in this platform.

Photo and Video Ads

Since Instagram is at the forefront of native advertising, your ads will blend in with your audiences’ feed. It will look like a regular Instagram post but with a Sponsored label on the top right. Instagram also allows you to add a call-to-action, but this depends on the campaign objective you’ve chosen. 

Instagram houses social media ads that are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. So to ensure that your branding is easily recognized by your target audience make sure that your photo and video ads are consistent in style

Single Image Instagram Ad Guide:
  • Use: .jpg or .png
  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Landscape image size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Square image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Vertical Image: 600 x 750 pixels
  • Text limit: 2200 characters (125 is recommended)
Instagram Video Ad Guide:
  • Use: Video media formats (e.g.: .mp4, h.264, .gif)
  • Landscape video: 600 x 315 pixels (min. Resolution)
  • Square video: 600 x 600 pixels (min. Resolution)
  • Vertical video: 600 x 750 (min. Resolution)
  • file upload size: 4GB
  • Video Captions: optional
  • Video Ratio: 4:5, max. 16:9
  • Video Duration: 60 seconds
  • Image Ratio: 4:5 minimum, 16:9 maximum
  • Text limit: 125 characters (recommended)
  • Hashtag Number: 30 maximum
Carousel Ads

Another social media ad you can utilize on Instagram is carousel ads, which have the same format of allowing you to upload various photos. You’ve probably noticed this on your personal account when you click on the multiple photos option. As mentioned previously, since carousel ad formats are commonly used to tell a story, the images you use should share a common theme and vibe. 

Instagram carousel Ads Guide:
  • File type: jpg or png
  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Minimum Image Width: 600 pixels
  • Image Ratio: 4:5 minimum, max. 16:9
  • Text limit: 2,200 maximum (*although Instagram recommends staying below 90 for optimal delivery)
  • Video Duration: 60 seconds maximum
  • Hashtag Number: 30 maximum (*you can add additional in the comments)
Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram stories ad, is another social media ad format you can leverage where you can use photos or videos up to 120 seconds. Instagram stories ads are one of the most effective ones in the platform, being that when people scroll through their stories, you can easily insert an ad in between their network’s content. 

As we all know, Instagram is a place to cultivate your creativity; this is why they placed various functions such as adding polls, stickers, questions. 


IGTV was introduced on the platform in 2018, and they’ve seen how users are highly engaged with this format, which is why as of June 2020, they have included ads within these user-generated videos. IGTV video ads will only appear once when a user clicked the IGTV from their feed. 

These ads are vertical in format, which makes it optimized for mobile, and can run up to around 15 seconds long. 

IGTV Ads guide:

  • Recommended size: Upload the highest-resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.
  • Minimum size: 500 by 889 pixels
  • Aspect ratios: 16:9 to 4:5 and 9:16
  • Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum length 120 seconds, maximum file size 30M
Twitter Ads

Twitter has an ever-changing algorithm, which makes it difficult for brands to achieve any organic reach. Given that it is a pay-to-play platform, they’ve also introduced Twitter ads for businesses that want to promote their products. 

There are several formats of social media ad formats on Twitter that you can choose, some of which are discussed below.

Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets are the same as regular Tweets; the difference would be who’s been shown to. Promoted tweets are displayed specifically to an audience that does not follow the brand yet. They are also labeled as “Promoted” on the lower left-hand corner of the tweet. 

Promoted Accounts

Twitter also has this social media ad format where you can promote your business’ entire Twitter account. Like promoted tweets, this specific ad set will be shown to users who don’t follow you. Promoted account ads are usually displayed in a target audience’s timeline, as well as in the Who To Follow Suggestions. 

Now that we’ve tackled the different types of social media ads you can implement in your social media strategy, all you have to do is start boosting your content. Most of these channels have created a straightforward interface for ad management such that even as a newbie, you’d be able to do. But if you want to make sure that it would be best to hire people equipped to do it for you. 

If you’re ready to promote your brand further and increase your reach, feel free to email us at, and we’ll create an effective social media ad strategy for you. 

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