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What Is Social Advertising?

Social Advertising Defined

Social advertising or paid social media is defined by HubSpot as a method of displaying advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on popular social media platforms and targeting a specific sub-audience. 

Usually you will see a “sponsored” or “promoted” tag near the post that indicates that it is an ad.  

Social Advertising Tools 

Now, you might be asking yourself — is paid social really on every social media site? The short answer is yes. But you should keep in mind who your ideal customer is before selecting a social media site to advertise on.  

Meta (Formerly Facebook)  

Meta is the go-to for paid social media.  

The social media advertising platform runs on a bidding system, which is a type of advertising buying process where advertisers bid on an array of ads based on their target audience.  

These ads have specific targeting that helps narrow an audience down to a few hundred people based on geography, interests, demographics, and first-party cookie tracking from the Facebook Pixel. There are also vast options for media such as video, carousel images, and static images. The ad copy word limit is  extensive, so you can play around with long and short copy. 

What Is a Meta Ad Example?


Instagram, owned by Meta, features similar advertising to the Meta advertising platform. You can post Facebook and Instagram advertisements at the same time with the click of a button. These advertisements can contain the same targeting, copy, and display image. 

Instagram also offers a way to coordinate with influencers and create ads this way, but this requires more direct contact and researching influencer marketing for your audience.  


Snapchat advertising has a similar ad management to Meta and Instagram. They offer an array of advertising options, but video-based ads are the focus. Snapchat reaches a younger audience of Gen Z and Millennials as featured on their website.  

They allow for audience insights and Snapchat Pixel to ensure you’re learning the most about your advertising engagement.  

Snapchat Ad Example 


Twitter ads look very similar to tweets, so they’re not as obvious as an advertisement as they would be on other platforms. Their ad software allows you to target specific demographics.  

They also have an advertising manager called Twitter Ads, which allows you to manage your ads and track their progress.  

Twitter Ad Example 


When you think of LinkedIn, you might not consider advertising as a powerful tool for your marketing. LinkedIn advertising is most similar to Meta in the way you can specifically target location, demographics, job titles, and more in the LinkedIn Ads manager.  

From sponsoring job applications to leading traffic to your website, there’s countless ways to advertise using LinkedIn. Though LinkedIn is not for every business — it shines the most with B2B advertising.  

LinkedIn Ad Example 


TikTok advertising is newer and bolder. It helps reach young and content-hungry audiences. Most of the users are 35 and under. There are several types of TikTok ads, but the one you see the most are in-feed ads.  

These are all accessible to upload and target through the TikTok Ad Manager. TikTok is a video-only advertising platform and highly influencer friendly like Instagram/Meta. The platform itself is user-friendly like the Meta Ad Platform.  

TikTok Ad Example 


#ad my favorite kind of nature is @NIVEA USA Nourish by Nature Body Lotion 🌿 my skin is so happy! #NourishByNature

♬ original sound – Gabrielle

Start Getting Meaningful ROI From Your Social Ads 

Hot Dog Marketing offers curated social advertising to assure you’re reaching your target audience. From responsive customer service to advertising analytics, you know you’re in the right hands when you choose us as your partner.  

Use our free advertising ROI calculator today to ensure you’re getting the most out of your current ads.