1. Difference between Organic and Paid Social Media

  2. Paid Social Channels

  3. Meta (the Company formerly known as Facebook)

  4. Meta Placements

  5. Meta Audiences

  6. Boosted Posts vs. Paid Facebook Advertising

  7. Objectives

  8. Types of Ads

  9. How to Advertise on Facebook

  10. 5 Tips for Running Facebook Ads

  11. Summary 


Organic Social Media. Using free tools provided by each social network to build a social community and interact with it, sharing posts and responding to customer comments. For example, using Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule and publish tweets on Twitter is organic. You may pay for a license to use Hootsuite or Buffer, But there is no charge from Twitter for publishing your tweets.

Paid Social Media. Paying to display advertisements (whatever the format – text, image, video, carousel etc.) or sponsored messages to social network users based on user profile e.g. demographic. A cost is incurred depending on the type of ad planned; for example many ads incur a cost per click (cpc) if the ad is clicked on. Or a CPM if that is the bidding strategy. 


Social Mosiac

The World's Most-Used Social Platforms

It's next to impossible to keep this list up to date with how quickly these numbers change. But here's the latest ranking of social platforms. They usually are measure by a metric called Monthly-Active-Users

Top Social Networks

Paid Social Channels

Social Network Logos

Paid social media is a method of displaying advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on popular social media platforms, and targeting a specific sub-audience. Pay-per-click advertising, branded or influencer-generated content, and display ads are all examples of paid social media. Below is a summary of the top social channels to consider using as part of your overall marketing strategy. 

1. Facebook

When advertising on Facebook, it's best to use Facebook Targeted Ads (more on that later). It’s run on a bidding system — advertisers bid on a number of ads based on their target audience. Then, that bid will be put into a lottery for a chance to be picked to run. Other than the lottery, Facebook Ads lets you show ads to your customers based on their behavior. This is helpful because you can keep advertising to your existing Facebook customers based on what Facebook tells you about their use of the app. Using Facebook Ads helps you build new leads and generate brand awareness. The analytics Facebook gives you opens the door for experimentation — try using different ad formats and see what your audience engages with most. It might be different than other social strategies.

2. Twitter

Twitter paid ads look similar to regular tweets. As a marketer, this is fantastic news; it means more eyes on your ads because they're not as blatant as ads on other social channels.

Twitter Ad Example

Why Twitter Ads? Well, Twitter reports that 41% of users purchase a product after seeing an ad within a month, and when using their Ad software, you can target your ad to a specific demographic. Twitter provides ad settings based on your budget (like how frequent your ad will be seen and the ad type to run). Twitter has a few different types of ads for you to choose based on your goals.

3. Instagram

60% of people discover new products on Instagram. 200 million accounts visit at least one Instagram Business profile each day. Business profiles on Instagram mean you can set up e-commerce and run ads from your Instagram account. Since Facebook owns Instagram, if you run ads on both platforms, they're managed in one place (on Facebook), so campaigns can be run and analyzed concurrently. Using Instagram Ads, you can choose your budget, which is tied to the length of the ad run. Your ad runs for as long as you pay for.

4. LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, millions of professionals have found a wealth of professional connections, their dream job, or both. The platform lets you reach thousands of people in a specific industry. 

There are 630 million professionals on LinkedIn, with 63 million in decision-making positions, like business purchase decisions. This is a B2B advertiser's dream come true. With the potential to reach 60 million decision-makers on the most popular social platform for lead generation, it's good to consider LinkedIn as an optimal platform for advertising.

LinkedIn Ad Example

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is a discovery platform. Almost all searches on Pinterest are unbranded, which means Pinners are open to new ideas and products. 73 percent of Pinners say content from brands makes Pinterest more useful. Pinterest ads offer marketers the chance to earn awareness and consideration from Pinterest’s 250 million users early in their consumer journeys. And connecting early works: 98 percent of Pinners say they’ve tried new things they found on Pinterest, versus 71 percent on other social media platforms.

Pinterest Adoption Curve

META (The Company Formerly Known as Facebook)

Facebook (now Meta) Corporate Sign

The Platforms that Meta operates are: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, What’s App, and Occulus. 

Facebook Platforms

For this guide, we’ll focus primarily on Facebook and Instagram. Here you can see all the different offerings Facebook platform has as it aligns to the Marketing funnel. 

Facebook Advertising Tactics in the Marketing Funnel

And you can clearly see how they offer different advertising objectives for each stage of the marketing funnel. 

Facebook Advertising Objectives

Facebook Placements

The places where you can run your ads are called Placements. Depending on the objective you choose your ads can appear in Feeds, Stories, In-Stream, Search, Messages, In-Article, and Apps. You may know this as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network

Facebook Placements

The places where you can run your ads are called Placements. Depending on the objective you choose when you create your campaign, your ads can appear on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network

Facebook Visual of Placements




Facebook News Feed

Your ads appear in the desktop News Feed when people access the Facebook website on their computers. Your ads appear in the mobile News Feed when people use the Facebook app on mobile devices or access the Facebook website through a mobile browser

Facebook News Feed

Instagram News Feed

Instagram Feed

Your ads appear in the mobile feed when people use the Instagram app on mobile devices. Instagram Feed ads only appear to people browsing the Instagram app

Facebook Marketplace

Your ads appear in the Marketplace home page or when someone browses Marketplace in the Facebook app. Learn more about ads in Marketplace.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Video Feed

Facebook Video Feeds

Your video ads appear between organic videos in video-only environments on Facebook Watch and Facebook News Feed

Facebook Right Column

Your ads appear in the right columns on Facebook. Right column ads only appear to people browsing Facebook on their computers.

Facebook Right Hand Column

Instagram Explore

Instagram Explore

Your ads appear in the browsing experience when someone clicks on a photo or video.

Messenger Inbox

Your ads appear in the Home tab of Messenger. Learn more about ads in Messenger.

Facebook Messenger Inbox

Facebook Apps


Your ads appear in external apps. Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial: Your ads appear on apps on Audience Network. Learn more about banner ads, interstitial ads, and native ads. Audience Network Rewarded Videos: Your ads appear as videos people can watch in exchange for a reward in an app (such as in-app currency or items).

Facebook Audiences

Core Audiences

Define an audience based on criteria like age, interests, geography, and more. You set the rules for where your ads are delivered. Adjust your target audience to be as broad or well-defined as you like based on: 

Location. Advertise in cities, communities, and countries where you want to do business

Behavior. Target your ads based on consumer behaviors such as prior purchases and device usage

Demographics. Choose your audience based on age, gender, education, job title and more. You can keep track of the types of people your ads are reaching, but Facebook will never share personally-identifiable information about them.

You set the rules for where your ads are delivered. Adjust your target audience to be as broad or well-defined as you like based on: Connections (choose to include people who are connected to your Facebook Page or event, or exclude them to find new audiences), Interests (add interests and hobbies of the people you want your ad to reach—from organic food to action movies—and make your targeted ads more relevant). 

Custom Audiences

Get back in touch with people who have engaged with your business, online or offline. Connect with people who have already shown interest in your business, whether they’re loyal customers or people who have used your app or visited your website.

Contact lists. Connect with your customers and contacts on Facebook using information from your CRM system or email lists. You can even use information you collect in-store for online retargeting.

Site visitors. Set up the Facebook pixel to automatically create a Custom Audience of people who visit your site or take certain actions there. With the pixel, you’ll be able to show people targeted ads for items they've previously viewed on your website.

App users. If you’re a developer, install the Facebook SDK to create more relevant ads that drive people to take in-app actions like returning to a game, viewing an item or making a purchase.

Lookalike Audiences

Reach new people whose interests are similar to those of your best customers. Reach new people who are similar to your current customers. Lookalike Audiences are a fast and effective way to connect with people likely to respond to your ads. All you need to do is create a source audience of people you know. Your ads will then reach people with common interests and traits.

Facebook Audience Insights

Facebook Paid Ad vs. Boosted Posts

Boosted Posts

Boosting a post is the easiest option for Facebook advertising as you can do it right from the post on your Facebook page. This is why it is a popular choice for those first starting out with Facebook advertising. A boosted post is simply a current post on your brand’s Facebook page that you would like to put money behind to reach an audience of your choosing. When you boost a post on Facebook, you’ll only need to answer 3 questions:

Who do you want to reach?
What’s your max budget?
How long do you want to run your ad?

Other commonly asked questions we get are: 

Who can I target with a boosted post?
Pre-set audiences options include: people who like your page, people who like your page + their friends, people in your local area (select a radius around you from 1 mile to 50 miles). If you create an audience, you can choose from: Gender, Age, Demographics, Interests, and / or Behaviors

Which objectives can I choose from with a boosted post?
Post Engagements: Get more people to react, comment and share

Messages: Connect and chat with potential customers
Link Clicks: Send people to your website

Where can my boosted post appear on Facebook?
Facebook News Feed
Facebook Messenger

Can I select a specific bid?
No, you are only allowed to set a total budget.

Which objectives can I choose from with a boosted post?
Post Engagements: Get more people to react, comment and share
Messages: Connect and chat with potential customers
Link Clicks: Send people to your website

Where can my boosted post appear on Facebook?
Facebook News Feed
Facebook Messenger

Can I select a specific bid?
No, you are only allowed to set a total budget. 

Facebook Paid Ad

While creating a Facebook ad may seem like a more daunting task than boosting, the quality of results you receive are worth the extra effort.  A Facebook ad is a more thought-out campaign created within Facebook Ads Manager that allows you a wealth of options to choose from that are not available when just boosting a post.

The options are pretty much endless when it comes to targeting. The main targeting features available with Facebook ads that are not available for boosted posts include:

Custom audiences (from your website, customer list, app activity or offline activity)
Anyone who interacted with your Facebook page or elements on your page like a video
Lookalike audiences

Which objectives can I choose from with a Facebook ad?

Brand awareness

App Installs
Video Views
Lead Generation

Catalog sales
Store traffic

When creating an ad through Ads Manager you can select the exact placements where your ad will show on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. This gives you, the advertiser, the control.

Facebook Placements

Based on your specific chosen objective, you can select your associated bid amount for a variety of goals (like impressions, like clicks and landing page views). You can also set a bid cap, schedule your ads to run during certain times, and set a daily budget as well as how fast to pace that budget. The other bid difference, and Facebook may have changed this by now, is that you can edit your Facebook ad at any time during your ad campaign. You can edit the targeting, text, or creative aspects of your ad. 

Finally, your Facebook Ad does not show up on your owned Facebook page. The ads are completely separate from your newsfeed and will only bee seen by your Facebook target audience. 



Brand awareness. Increase overall awareness for your brand by showing ads to people who are more likely to pay attention to them. Works well with: ad recall lift

Reach. Show ads to the maximum number of people in your audience while staying within your budget. You can also choose to reach only people who are near your business locations


Traffic. Grow the number of people who are visiting your site, app or Messenger conversation, and increase the likelihood they’ll take a valuable action when they get there. Works well with Link Ads

Engagement. Get more people to follow your Page or engage with your posts through comments, shares and likes. You can also choose to optimize for more event responses or offer claims.

App installs. Drive more installs of your app by linking directly to the App Store and Google Play store. You can also choose to target high-value users. Works well with: app event optimization, value optimization

Video views. Show your videos to people who are most likely to be interested in them and watch them to completi

Messages. Prompt people to open more Messenger interactions. Scale your ability to have personal conversations with them—so you can answer questions, collect leads and boost sales.

Conversion or Decision

Lead generation. Make it easy for interested people to learn more about your business. Encourage them to sign up for more info or spend time with your app or website. Works well with: lead ads

Conversions. Increase actions on your site or app. Whether you want purchases, leads, registrations or other type of conversions, this objective prompts people to do something. Works well with: the Facebook pixel

Catalog sales. Move more inventory by automatically promoting the most relevant products. Simply upload your catalog and set up your campaign—and it will show the right products to the right buyers. Works well with: dynamic ads

Store visits. Bridge the gap between people’s online and offline shopping journeys by driving store visits, sales and other valuable actions at your physical store locations.

How To Advertise on Facebook

Step 1. Choose Your Objective

Step 2. Name Your Campaign

Step 3. Set Up Your Ad Account

Step 4. Target Your Audience

Step 5. Choose Your Facebook Ad Placements

Step 6. Set Your Budget and Schedule

Step 7. Create Your Ad

5 Tips for Running Facebook Ads

Experiment with audience targeting
Start with narrow audience and then broaden it slowly by adding one interest category at a time. 

Use the Facebook Pixel
Small piece of code that can have a big impact on your campaign. Once you put the code on your website, you can track conversions, retarget people that have looked at specific pages on your website, and create lookalike audiences.Good resource here for installing pixel

Use top-notch photos and videos
It’s the first thing that grabs viewers attention. Good resource here for 38 free stock photos

Test Everything
Every time you try something new, test it against your previous ads to see if you are making improvements to the metrics that matter the most. The best practices for Facebook ads are constantly changing. Only you know what works for your specific audience. And the only way you can keep that knowledge up to date is by testing

Track and Optimize Performance
Closely monitor how your campaigns perform in the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. If a campaign isn’t performing well, put your money into an ad that is instead. If you’re just starting out, it might make sense to run several ads with small audiences and budgets. Once you’ve determined what works best, use the winning ad as your primary campaign.

Types of Facebook Ads 

Image Ads

A great way to get started with Facebook advertising. You can create one with just a few clicks by boosting an existing post with an image from your Facebook Page. Image ads may be simple, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. 

Facebook Image Ads

Video Ads

Video ads can run in News Feed and Stories, or they can appear as in-stream ads in longer Facebook videos. Video ads can show your team or your product in action.









Your video ads don’t need to use filmed video footage. You can also create GIF-like graphics or other animations to capture attention or explain your offer, like in this ad from the New York Times. 

Facebook Video Ad Example


Facebook Video Ad Example 2

Video Poll Ads

This mobile-only Facebook ad format incorporates an interactive component with video polls. It’s a brand-new type of Facebook paid advertising, but Facebook’s early data shows that these ads can increase brand awareness more effectively than regular video ads.

Facebook Video Poll Ad Example

Carousel Ads

A carousel ad uses up to 10 images or videos to showcase your product or service. You can use this format to highlight different benefits of one product, a number of different products, or even use all the photos together to create one large panorama image, like this:

Facebook Carousel Ad Example

Slideshow Ads

Offer an easy way to create short video ads from a collection of still photos, text, or existing video clips. If you don’t have your own images, you can choose stock photos directly from Ads Manager. Have eye-catching motion, just like videos, but use five times less bandwidth, so they load well even for people on slow internet connections. They’re an easy, low-impact way to draw attention.

Facebook Slideshow Ad Example

Collection Ads

These Facebook paid ads, which are offered only for mobile devices, allow you to showcase five products that customers can click to buy.

Collection ads pair with Instant Experiences (more on those below) to allow people to buy your products without ever leaving Facebook. This makes online shopping easy when people are on-the-go and may not have a great internet connection. 

Facebook Collection Ad Example

Lead Ads

Only available for mobile devices because they’re specifically designed to make it easy for people to give you their contact information without a lot of typing. They’re great for collecting newsletter subscriptions, signing someone up for a trial of your product, or otherwise allowing people to ask for more information from you.

Tokio Marine, an insurance company, used lead ads to generate 11,000 leads in just 17 days. In addition to an easy-to-complete lead form, the ads used a Messenger bot to further qualify potential new clients. The campaign reduced the cost of lead collection by 60 percent.

Because these ads are such a great way to feed your sales funnel, we’ve got a whole guide to using Facebook lead ads that breaks down all the details you need to know to make the most of this important type of Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook Lead Ad Example

Dynamic Ads

Allow you to promote targeted products to the customers most likely to be interested in them. For instance, if someone has visited a product page or placed a product in their shopping cart on your website, but then abandoned the purchase, dynamic ads for that precise product will appear in their Facebook feed.

This reminds the potential customer to complete the purchase, and can be a very effective Facebook marketing strategy.

Facebook Dynamic Ad Example

Messenger Ads

Give you access to the 1.3 billion people who use Messenger every month. When creating your ad, simply choose Messenger as the desired placement.

You can also run “click-to-Messenger” ads in the Facebook feed. These ads feature a call-to-action button that opens a Messenger conversation with your Facebook Page, so people can have a one-on-one conversation with one of your salespeople or customer service reps.

Facebook Messenger Ad Example

Stories Ads

Scientific American found that 72% of millenials won’t rotate their phones to watch widescreen videos. Stories ads are a full-screen vertical video format that allow you to maximize screen real estate without expecting viewers to turn the screen.

These ads have proven highly effective. A Facebook-commissioned Ipsos survey showed more than half of people said they were making more online purchases because of Stories ads.

Facebook Story Ad Example

Stories Augmented Reality Ads

Augmented reality ads use features like filters and animation to allow people to interact with your brand. This ad format is new to Facebook, but 63% of U.S. Internet users say they have already tried an AR brand experience.

Facebook Augmented Reality Ad Example


We hope that you found the Automotive Digital Marketing Paid Social Guide to be helpful. 

Advertising is likely one of your biggest expenses at the dealership level and you have to figure out how best to allocate your monthly spend so that you can hit your advertising cost per vehicle. There’s an infinite number of choices out there and it’s your job to best allocate that advertising spend. Here are a few tactics or techniques that you can use.

Here’s a list of digital marketing tactics (or techniques) that is by no means exhaustive. Seems like there are new tactics entering the marketplace every day. But these are the individual tactics that should support your overall marketing strategy. If the tactic is linked then it will send you to our Guide for that linked tactic. Let us know if you would like to see a Guide written for one of the tactics that isn't linked. We'd be happy to write one for you. 

Check out our Complete Guide to Automotive Digital Marketing

We've worked for hundreds of hours to document our teams years of experience in one spot, and its all available to you for free.