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Social Media Marketing (SMM) aka Social Media PPC (pay-per-click) Campaigns

Social Media PPC / SMM is about creating demand for products or services by serving adverts to potential customers in targeted groups on Social Media Platforms.

Demand Creation adverts are like a salesperson approaching potential customers – A potential customer has liked some pages related to tennis on Facebook and an advert for tennis shoes is shown.

So rather than the shopper actively seeking the product online, usually through a search engine like Google, they will be shown an advert during their normal social media browsing time.

Advertising Networks for Social Media PPC

As the biggest social media advertising platform, we will concentrate on Facebook Ad Manager for this guide.

When using the Facebook Ad Manager you get access to a few different Advertising Networks. Here is a list:

  • Facebook – Shows adverts in various places and in various forms on Facebook
  • Instagram – Shows adverts in various places and in various forms on Instagram
  • Audience Network – Shows adverts in apps and websites
  • Messenger – Shows adverts within message feeds and amongst conversations

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There is a huge variety of advert types you can offer through these networks, though most are offered on the Facebook network.

Advert Formats

We have summarised the Advert Formats Facebook currently offers, find Facebook’s own guide on these here:

Facebook updates and releases new Advert formats frequently but as of now Adverts can be shown as:

  • Boosted Posts
    • Organic Posts on a page sent to a new audience
  • Page Like Ads
    • Advert with a focused “Like Page” Call to Action
  • Offer Ads
    • Add a savable Offer to your adverts
  • Event Response Ads
    • Promote your Event to new audiences
  • Product Catalogue Ads
    • Use a product feed to manually or dynamically show your products to an audience
  • Collection Ads
    • Show a dynamically populated advert that can be opened into a full-screen experience to audiences
  • Video Ads
    • Show a video to audiences
  • Image Ads
    • Show an image to audiences
  • Carousel Ads
    • Show a swipe-able row of images or videos to audiences

The first 6 formats give you less control over where you direct people from the advert as they have defined goals. But the last 3 formats have less defined goals and give you more options for directing people. Currently, in these formats, you can link to:

  • A Url
  • A Facebook Canvas
    • A full-screen experience inside the Facebook mobile app
  • A Messenger Conversation
    • Opens a messenger conversation between you and the clicker with options for some automated greeting messages
  • A Lead Generation Form
    • A form with fields that auto-populate with information from the clicker’s Facebook profile with a second “Submit” button, all whilst on Facebook.

Preparing to create a Campaign for Social Media PPC

There are a few points to note when preparing to create a campaign:

  • The 20% text rule
    • This means that your image cannot contain more than 20% text if it does the advert will either not serve or serve to far fewer people than the potential. Though, for video adverts, the 20% rule only applies to the thumbnail of the video.
  • Keeping your campaigns fresh
    • Your aim is to prevent the same person from seeing your adverts too many times or when they have already purchased recently etc. This can be done through evergreen funnels, audience exclusions and creating new content for adverts regularly.
  • Audience Research
  • Location Targeting
  • Product Feed Creation

The last three of these have been explained in more detail below.

Audience research

When carrying out audience research for Facebook, you will need to have your ideal customer defined in as many ways as you can. Once this is done you can move onto mapping the qualities of your ideal customer to targeting options on Facebook.


Under Demographic targeting, you have the option to add people to your audience based on their education, financial characteristics, home situation, life events, parents and nonparents, relationship status, and work situation.

You can reach people in some interesting ways through Demographic targeting, from people with a birthday in May to parents with teenage children.


Using Interest targeting on Facebook allows you to reach fans of pages on Facebook by selecting a relevant category. Some are split more granularly than others, but there are pages on almost anything on Facebook, so the options are vast.


Behavioural targeting is based on Facebook user’s behaviours and can be very useful for some businesses and less useful for others. They have options to target categories such as “Likely to Buy a Car Made in the Last 3 Years” or “Considered changing bank”. If you can find a relevant category in Behaviours, the results are likely to be better than interest targeting.


If you have a source of traffic from another targeting option, then Remarketing is essential. Remarketing will help to catch the people who were about to use your business but something got in the way, it could have been that they didn’t have time to finish filling out your form just then, it could have been that they wanted to shop around more before committing, or it could have been that your offer was not right for them. With Remarketing, you then have the opportunity to remind these visitors at a later date or give them a special offer.

With the Facebook Pixel setup on your website, you can even serve visitors from other sources with Remarketing adverts on Facebook. This extends your options for building remarketing audiences … from people who have carried out certain actions on Facebook to including people who have carried out certain actions on your website too.

Remarketing can bring results in at a significantly lower rate than other targeting methods, but you should keep your remarketing lists fresh by feeding them new members from other relevant sources.

Location Targeting

Location Targeting should depend on your business’s goals, target market, and budget.

Businesses with brick and mortar shops should restrict their targeting to local areas around their shops to achieve their goal of footfall traffic for a good cost. National businesses with smaller budgets should concentrate on the areas that have the best return on the spend.

Overall, you should consider your target locations carefully. In certain markets, it can be the most important factor.

Product Feed Creation

If you are planning on running a product catalogue advert or dynamic remarketing adverts on Facebook you will need to prepare a product feed. If you have a feed you use for Google shopping you can use this same feed.

For more information about what is required in the product feed see this Google page:

After the product feed has been uploaded you will have the option of splitting this “catalogue” into product sets. This helps to choose the correct products to display when creating the adverts themselves. For example, a product set containing your best sellers will work better with a new audience than all your products.

Campaign Monitoring and Optimisation of your Social Media PPC Campaigns

Facebook campaigns can expire quite fast if they are not set up to stay fresh (search online for ‘evergreen funnels’) but in some situations, it is not feasible to do this. In those cases, you would have to monitor your campaigns closely and make decisions on when a campaign is stale and needs to be refreshed. You can refresh a campaign by changing the advert, audience, offer etc.

Advertising on social platforms is a complex, technical undertaking and you should seek expert help and support to ensure any marketing efforts you make are providing good value for money

Blunt advice on Social Media PPC from Yorkshire Powerhouse

You’ve read our introduction to Social Media PPC – have you any questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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