Social Ads for first-timers

Social ads for first timers

Unless you have a good plan to force people along the journey, paid social advertising can be a big waste of money. In this article I’ll outline my experience dealing with paid vs organic leads in a B2B environment, targeting and conversions vs reach.

Organic vs paid

In organic social media, we post content to our social media channels and engage with people and brands (accounts) in the hope that people see our content and engage. Organic social media can be social proof for prospective clients by confirming that your company actually exists at the bare minimum, and at it’s best, shows you know what you’re talking about through thought leadership content that engages audiences.

Paid social can’t replace organic social but can augment it and drive to new specific audiences. The people that interact with your posts are all vital to reach. Contacts of those that like / comment / share your posts will see their interaction and therefore your posts. It takes 5-7 impressions before people remember a brand.

Forcing people into your funnel

Paid product advertising looks to skip the 5-7 interactions with a compelling call to action that drives a viewer to take action – click / follow / register / download / learn more etc. In this way, you are setting the viewer on a path to purchase. However many steps this is, the person may not have heard of or seen your brand before, so you must build trust in this process somehow. Obviously, there are as many types of products and services to advertise as people in the world, so what you do depends on your audience and the thing you’re selling. Assuming it’s a product (not brand) campaign, you should set out the steps before running the ad. For example, do they receive a phone call? Another email? Print in post? Event invitation? Sometimes this is called a lead nurturing campaign, but it’s actually a sales funnel – an accelerated one.

Conversions vs Reach

Simply, a Conversion campaign measures success on an action the viewer took, whereas a Traffic campaign measures success on impressions. You can still run a conversion campaign with a landing page as a Traffic campaign for higher impressions, this is good for brand awareness too, and more tangible than a plain brand awareness. There is loads of content out there on campaign type, and it varies per platform. Research recent articles because some platforms don’t offer the reach they once did!


Back in the day before social media (am so old!), advertising was like ‘yelling at strangers.’ Mostly this was in regards to tv / billboard / radio, because you never knew who was seeing it and so you had to design ads for everyone and hope it resonated with someone, at huge expense! Now social media knows who your friends are & sees all your photos and can recommend your breakfast! Social advertising can minutely target audiences based on age, income, company, interests and hobbies, salary, role, seniority, time in company, and many other attributes. It truly is amazing. This means you can write and run a very low cost ad for an extremely specific subset of people that look exactly like your ideal clients and speak to them personally. And. it works! If you do it right. I once won the opportunity to bid for a >£5m multiyear contract from a £200 LinkedIn ad and got shortlisted. This is serious stuff!  

Such a huge topic, I haven’t written about retargeting or visuals or message or loads of other aspects, but hopefully it gives you the confidence to start.

If you’d like to discuss paid or organic social to attract customers please contact me at

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