Ask a Stupid Question Day: 5 Questions About Social Advertising

September 28, 2018 Digital Media Solutions

Some days, it seems there’s a new social platform each day. Especially for marketers new to the space, social advertising can be confusing. Digital Media Solutions is here to help. In this article, we’ve answered five of the most-searched questions about social advertising. Click on your question below to see the answer.

  1. What is social advertising? 
  2. What is the difference between social media management and social advertising?
  3. Is social media marketing the future of digital marketing?
  4. How can you target a local audience through social media?
  5. What are the best ways to measure success in social media advertising?

1. What is social advertising?

social advertising

Social advertising is the act of advertising within a social media platform, but there are many types of social advertising:

  • Targeted social advertising: Great for helping marketers grow follower bases or engage niche groups, targeted social advertising lets advertisers market to audiences in a specific geographic area or with targeted interests, educational attainments, employment or more.
  • Social retargeting: Most site visitors do not convert on their first visits. The best way to get non-converters back is to stay in front of them, and social media retargeting allows brands to do just that. Social retargeting utilizes native and display ads to nurture non-converting site visitors with branded content, driving them back to a website for conversion.
  • Social re-engagement: Social advertising can be used to reach out to stale leads with email lists used for targeting.
  • Lead generation ads: Some social platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, allow users to complete lead forms directly within the social platform.

2. What is the difference between social media management and social advertising?

Social media management is a form of “free” or “earned” marketing that involves the engagement of an audience through organic social posts and other types of engagement within social platforms that do not require media expenses. Although social media management does not require payment for media space, it can involve significant investments of time. In addition, many brands use external social media management partners who charge fees for this service.

Social advertising is a form of paid marketing that includes positioning ads on social platforms. Social advertising can include both the placement of display ads or native content.

3. Is social media marketing the future of digital marketing?

Social media marketing is part of the future of digital marketing. Digital marketing is currently inclusive of numerous digital channels, and the best digital marketing campaigns usually incorporate a diverse, optimized, multi-channel media mix. Although social media marketing has been growing, there are no indications that social media marketing will become the only channel in the future of digital marketing.

4. How can you target a local audience through social media?

target a local audience through social media

Social media can be targeted by geography, typically down to the zip-code level.

Social advertising best practices involve using every bit of targeting data you can get your hands on to identify the audience with the greatest propensity to take the action you need to achieve your marketing objectives. By combining customer data with information about your social media followers, visitors to your website and third-party geographic, demographic and psychographic data, advertisers can develop efficiently targeted audience segmentation strategies.

For social advertising and all digital marketing campaigns, the implementation of multiple geotargets can help focus media dollars toward the right audience without ignoring the broader audience. Click here for tips on how to implement a secondary radius geotargeting strategy to help balance lead flow.

5. What are the best ways to measure success in social media advertising?

Social media advertising can be a part of performance marketing campaigns, and success should be measured based on pre-defined key performance indicators (KPIs). Social media performance metrics can include impressions, engagement (including likes, replies and retweets), clicks and more. When measuring the success of social media advertising, make sure to focus on the metrics that help achieve the overall marketing objectives.

Knowing the ins and outs of platform report metrics can help you measure success in social media advertising. Unfortunately, social media platforms are not all consistent in their metric definitions, and to effectively measure performance, you must understand the nuances of those definitions or employ an expert who does.

Are you in the process of reimagining your social advertising win?

Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is an early adopter of social advertising opportunities. Our team can help you visualize your victory and elevate your marketing strategies with programmatic advertising. Contact DMS today to take your digital marketing to the next level.

Important Note: We believe there is no such thing as a stupid question, so feel free to ask us all your social advertising questions when you reach out.


This article is part of our “Ask a Stupid Question Day” series, in which Digital Media Solutions is answering 55 questions about digital marketing to celebrate the September 28 holiday. Additional articles within this series cover digital marketing, performance marketing, lead generation, pay-per-call, affiliate marketing, paid search, email marketing, SEO , content marketing and programmatic advertising.

Click here to download your FREE copy of our There's No Such Thing as a Stupid Question eBook today!

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients win in their business ventures and realize their marketing goals. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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