Getting Noticed: How to Create Successful Social Media Ads for your Business

Are there visions of Facebook campaigns dancing through your head? Social media has been touted as one of the easiest methods for business owners to reach to their customers, but I’m here to warn you, it’s hard to get right.

In the grand-scheme of marketing, running a Facebook or LinkedIn campaign is pretty simple.  You don’t need to be a graphic designer, or a professional copywriter to create a campaign, and you don’t need to pay an expensive agency to run your campaigns. Virtually anyone can open a business account on a social media platform, provide their credit card information, and release ad upon ad to the masses.

You’re excited, I know. You’re already moving your mouse to the toolbar, ready to open up an account and start spending. Wait – while creating a campaign might be easy, making it effective for your business needs is the key to your success. Keep reading and learn some easy ways to create successful social media ads.

First, let’s consider the image. On Facebook you only get an image 110 pixels wide by 80 pixels tall to steal the user’s attention from their virtual farm or cousin’s latest baby photos. That’s tiny. On LinkedIn, it’s even worse; you only get 50 square pixels. That’s micro. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your image is instantly clear; don’t make the user try to figure out what’s going on in the picture. Pick the most simplistic image you can, or try cropping the image down as far as possible so you’re only including the most relevant part.
  • Testing is a must. Test different images of people, objects, and of course your logo. Test black and white images against images with contrasting, bold colors. Try adding a word or phrase into your picture as well to see if that impacts your results.
  • Keep in mind that the image is typically where the eye is going to go to first.  If you’re watching your click-through-rates drop, switch up the image since you may be experiencing banner fatigue, a syndrome where people start tuning out your ads if they’ve seen them too many times.

Once you’ve selected a few images, it’s time to consider your headline and body copy.  If you’ve managed to distract the user with a great image, the headline is the next place they’re going to look. They may not even look at the body copy before they click, so take full advantage of this space.

  • If you think your image needs a little clarity, or your offer is something a little more complex, use this space to either state who you’re targeting: “In High School?” or “Ladies – Sale On Shoes!” or state your offering: “SAT Exam Prep Courses”.
  • If you think your image is clear and engaging, make a clear offer in the headline , for example:  “70% Off Spring Clearance”.
  • As with images, make sure to test and change your headlines regularly as they often have the second-highest impact on click-through-rates.

If you’re lucky enough to get the user to look at both your image and headline and they’re still interested, make sure to close the deal with great copy.

  • Make your copy as clear and concise as possible.
  • Make sure you add a clear call-to-action at the end such as “Start Shopping” or “Register Today”.
  • Copy testing should be a lower priority than headline and image testing since it typically has a much smaller impact on your click-through-rate. When testing copy make big, noticeable changes. You’re unlikely to see a statistically significant difference if you only change a couple of words.

One final tip to mastering the art of social media advertising is to stay up-to-date with the Internet marketing world.  There are many blogs on marketing, social media, and internet marketing to help business owners keep up with the changing social environment. Want a more solid foundation? Look at obtaining further education to strengthen your knowledge-base. Even if you already have a degree in marketing, getting an additional Bachelor’s or Associate’s in Internet Marketing will help ensure you have the skills you need to be successful in the business world. 

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Ashley Smith is the Associate Marketing Manager at Rasmussen College. She can be reached at

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