Have you experimented with social advertising?

If not, you should! As a B2B marketer, social advertising can complement your efforts in organic social, search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search (PPC).

Social Advertising

It’s time to update your B2B social media strategy and consider social ads.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide a wealth of advertising options: awareness, clicks, app installs, followers and more.

There are sophisticated targeting capabilities available. You can target your competitors’ followers and target by geography or interest. In this post, I provide an overview of B2B social media advertising on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads give you a lot of options to find and reach your target customers. Facebook updates their ad platform regularly with new features and targeting options.

facts about facebook


Whether you’re focusing on “core, custom or look alike” audiences, there are ad spend options unique to each.

In addition to advertising in the core mobile/desktop experience, you can also include Facebook’s Audience Network in your campaigns.

I recommend taking advantage of Audience Network. It means that Facebook will show your ad to the most relevant, lowest cost audiences. Your ad will run directly in Facebook, and also be targeted to the most relevant, lowest-cost audiences as they travel elsewhere on the web.

Managing Facebook Ad Spend

To manage your ad spend on Facebook, you can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget. The lifetime budget caps the amount spent over the entire campaign. You can turn on campaigns, turn off campaigns and adjust their budgets at any time.

When creating your campaign, Facebook offers an “Optimization for Ad Delivery” option. You select your goal (e.g. Conversions, Link Clicks, Impressions, etc.) and the Facebook Ads algorithms optimize your ad delivery to meet that goal.

For more information, the team at AdEspresso provides a detailed how-to article about Facebook ads optimization.

Facebook Bid Strategies

In addition to letting Facebook optimize campaign results, you can take a “do it yourself,” manual approach. You can set bids around lowest cost, where you request as many “optimization events” (i.e. results) for the lowest price, or you can set a target cost, where Facebook seeks to generate results as close to your target as possible.

For more information, consult this Facebook Business page about budgets and bidding.

Twitter Ads

Twitter has robust advertising offerings. It offers objective-based campaigns tailored for a variety of business goals, including:


choose an objective for your twitter ads campaign

There’s no minimum spend to get started with Twitter advertising. However, on their “getting started” page for Twitter Ads, Twitter states, “Consider starting with at least $30/day to consistently reach audiences throughout the day.”

Similar to many social advertising platforms, Twitter Ads run in an auction. Twitter recommends: “Decide how much you will pay for each interaction, such as a new follower or a click to your website. Or use automatic bidding, which determines the best bid cost based on your budget and goals.”

Twitter Ads Case Studies

Here are case studies on how B2B companies successfully used Twitter Ads:

LeoSat: B2B technology company builds a following with Twitter Ads.

SiriusDecisions: A B2B company increased ticket sales with Website Cards.

Greenhouse Software: A recruiting platform increased newsletter subscribers.

Each of these case studies involves direct response marketing, but each one had a different objective. LeoSat sought to gain followers on Twitter, SiriusDecisions wanted ticket sales to their conference and Greenhouse Software sought to gain newsletter subscribers.

LinkedIn Ads

Compared to Facebook and Twitter, the budget and targeting options of LinkedIn Ads are simpler.

People use LinkedIn to manage their professional profile and interact with other professionals. Their “interests” (e.g. for targeting) are correspondingly business-focused and goal-oriented. Pricing for LinkedIn Ads is clear-cut, offering total budgets, daily budgets and bids.

To consistently read your target audience here is pretty expensive.

Here’s why: whereas Facebook offers a wide variety of targeting options, LinkedIn offers laser-focused social advertising and charges much more for it. LinkedIn can help you reach network security professionals at companies with more than 5,000 employees, but you’ll pay more to do so.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

To send emails with targeted offers to potential customers, consider LinkedIn’s Sponsored Email. According to the InMail product page, “Sponsored InMail messages are only delivered when members are active on LinkedIn. And strict delivery frequency caps ensure your message gets noticed.”

B2B marketers use InMail to drive webinar sign-ups, conference registrations, white paper downloads and more. InMail offers a variety of targeting options, including company attributes, job attributes, education, gender, skills and years of experience.
View this short video for more information:

Wrapping Up

Social advertising can be an essential element of your social media plan. Starting with as little as $30, you can run small-scale experiments and assess results.

Advertising on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help your B2B business, whether you want to grow followers, gain conference sign-ups or generate white paper downloads.