5 Result-Driving Types of Social Media Advertising in 2021

Emily is a Lead Content Project Manager with an M.S. in digital marketing. She specializes in content and email marketing and is certified in Google Analytics. Her work has been featured by Social Media Today, Campaign Monitor, Reader's Digest, Yahoo, and more. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, road trips, and exploring new cities. Follow her on Twitter @emcarter16 or connect on LinkedIn.

As social media algorithms evolve, it’s harder than ever to connect with current and potential customers through organic social efforts alone. Social media advertising can help you connect with more valuable, targeted leads — and it’s a great way to support your business goals. In this post, we’ll take a look at five of the most valuable types of social media advertising in 2021 and beyond.

We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of social media ads, so you can get the best possible results from your social media efforts. Just keep reading to learn more about the five top types of social media advertising — or check out our social media advertising services to get started today!

Not happy with your social media engagement?

We’ve got just the blog post for you.

Read the Blog Post & Watch the Video

What type of social media advertising is right for me?

We’re glad you asked.

In 2021, the top social media ad platforms include:

Each platform offers unique targeting options and ad types to help you reach your audience. Ultimately, the type of social media advertising you choose will depend on:

  • Your target audience
  • Your target audience’s preferred social platforms
  • Where your target audience engages most with ads

Let’s dive in and look at each platform, so you can choose the best types of social media advertising for you.

1. Facebook advertising

With 1.5 billion active users, Facebook is most popular among adults aged 18-29.

Facebook ad objectives

When advertising on Facebook, you’ll first want to set your ad objective. This type of social media advertising offers numerous ad objectives to help you accomplish your goals online. They include: 1. Awareness If you’re looking to reach new customers or boost awareness of your business, products, and services, you’ll want to select this objective. Facebook offers two awareness objectives to help you increase buzz about your business.

  • Brand awareness: Connect with users who are likely to have an interest in your brand, products, and services
  • Reach: Reach the maximum number of people in a target audience

2. Consideration After creating awareness, you’ll want to drive people down the purchase funnel with consideration objectives. Facebook advertising offers six consideration objectives, including:

  • Traffic: Drive more traffic to your website
  • Engagement:
    • Post engagement: Increase engagement on Facebook content
    • Page likes: Boost Facebook page likes
    • Event responses: Earn more Facebook event responses
  • App installs: Encourage app downloads
  • Video views: Increase views of video content
  • Lead generation: Drive sales leads via email and information collection
  • Messages: Start more conversations with your target audience via direct messages

3. Conversion If you’re looking to drive conversions with your Facebook ads, this objective is for you. For Facebook ads, you can select from the following conversion objectives:

  • Conversions: Boost purchases, quote requests, form submissions, and downloads.
  • Catalog sales: Increase sales of Facebook Product Catalog products (for ecommerce stores only)
  • Store visits: Drive visits to your physical location

Pro tip: You can use awareness and consideration objectives to drive larger audiences for conversion campaigns.

Facebook ad targeting

After determining the objective for your Facebook ad, you can move on to ad targeting. Facebook offers the following targeted ad options to help you reach your ideal audience.

  • Saved audiences: Create a custom ad audience based on demographics, age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors
  • Custom audiences: Use data and interactions on websites and Facebook pages to target users who engage with you online
  • Lookalike audiences: Target customers similar to those in your Saved or Custom audiences — they may share the same demographics or behaviors as other customers you target

Types of Facebook ads

Next, you’re ready to choose your Facebook ad format.

This type of social media advertising allows you to choose from the following formats:

  • Single image ads: A single image with a link to your site, headline, copy, link description, and call-to-action
  • Photo ads: Include photo and text ad copy
  • Video ads: Feature video ad content
  • Carousel ads: Add numerous photos in a scrolling carousel
  • Canvas ads: Combine videos, photos, text, and buttons to create a mini landing page for your ad

Facebook ad quick links

Want to learn more about how this type of social media advertising can grow your business? Check out these helpful links:

2. Instagram advertising

The second type of social media advertising — Instagram advertising — allows you to make creative photo and video ads to engage your audience. Instagram has a diverse user base with more than 1 billion active accounts each month. Much like Facebook, Instagram offers three ad objectives, so you can tailor your ads to reach your unique goals.

Instagram ad objectives

To recap, Instagram allows you to set ad objectives based on:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversions

Instagram ad targeting

Next, you’ll choose between the following ad audiences:

  • Saved audiences
  • Custom audiences
  • Lookalike audiences

Types of Instagram ads

After selecting your objective and targeting options, you can select the ad format for this type of social media advertising. The format options include:

  • Photos: Include a photo and short snippet of copy
  • Videos: Include a short video clip to promote your business, products, or services
  • Carousel: Includes numerous photos in one ad that users can scroll to view
  • Stories: In addition to the paid ad options above, can also use Instagram stories — videos that appear on your account for 24 hours — to engage followers

Instagram ad quick links

For more helpful information about Instagram advertising, check out these helpful links.

3. Twitter advertising

The next type of social media advertising is Twitter advertising. With nearly 336 million monthly active users, Twitter is ranked the fifth most popular social media network among adults in the U.S.

Twitter ad objectives

To get started with Twitter advertising, you’ll first need to choose between the following ad objectives:

  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Traffic
  • App installs
  • Followers
  • Video views

Twitter ad targeting

Next, you’ll set your targeting strategy based on:

  • Keywords: Connect with an audience based on the keywords and phrases they search
  • Demographics and interests: Target your audiences based on factors like age, gender, income, and general interests
  • Lookalike audiences: Target users who follow competitors’ accounts
  • Remarketing: Target people who have previously visited your site or engaged with your tweets

Types of Twitter ads

Then, you can choose your Twitter ad format.

Twitter offers the following options for ads:

  • Promoted tweets: Reach a new audience or boost engagement among followers with promoted tweets that appear in users’ feeds
  • Twitter GIF: Engage users with creative GIFs in your Twitter ads
  • Promoted video: In-feed, auto-playing videos engage users in their timelines
  • In-stream video ads and sponsorships: Supplement pre-roll video with branded video content
  • Website card: Image and video website cards allow you to share creative image and video content that drives your audience to a designated landing page
  • App card: Drive installs and mobile app engagement with media-rich Twitter ads
  • Direct message card: Provide personalized brand experiences and spark conversations in Twitter’s Direct Messages

Twitter ad quick links

To learn more about this type of social media advertising, check out these links:

4. LinkedIn advertising

Next, we have LinkedIn advertising. This type of social media advertising gives you access to LinkedIn’s professional network of more than half a billion users.

LinkedIn ad targeting

LinkedIn offers the following ad targeting options.

  • Demographics: Age, gender, geographic location, and more
  • Company info: Company name, industry, and company size
  • Job: Title, job duties, fields of study, education, and degrees
  • Matched audiences: users chosen based on LinkedIn’s data and data like web traffic or email lists

Types of LinkedIn ads

After selecting your ad targeting options, you can choose from the following LinkedIn ad formats.

  • Sponsored content: Appears in users’ feeds along with posts and content from other businesses
  • Text ads: Appears on the side, bottom, or top of users’ feed and include CTAs to direct people to your website
  • Sponsored InMail: Send personalized messages dir3ectly to prospective clients via LinkedIn messenger

LinkedIn ad quick links

Learn more about LinkedIn advertising for your business by checking out these posts.

5. Snapchat advertising

Popular with millennials and Generation Z, Snapchat boasts a userbase of 300 million active accounts each month.

Snapchat ad targeting

On Snapchat, you can target users based on the following factors.

  • Interests and behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Custom audiences
  • Lookalike audiences

Types of Snapchat ads

After choosing your targeting options, you can determine the type of Snapchat ad most likely to meet your goals. The ad formats offered by Snapchat include:

  • Snap ads: Appear in the midst of stories when users view friends’ stories on Snapchat
  • Collection ads: Show a series of products and make it easy for users to shop and buy
  • Story ads: These ads appear in the “For You” and “Discover” areas of Snapchat and are located with other popular content from news sources and media outlets
  • AR lenses: Augmented reality (AR) lenses use animated filters to alter the appearance of users’ faces
  • Filters: Create branded filters users can apply to their photos

Snapchat ad quick links

Check out these links to learn how Snapchat ads can work for you.

Use these types of social media advertising today!

Ready to incorporate these social ad examples into your strategy?

WebFX offers numerous types of social media advertising to help you reach your business goals. Check out our social media ad services, or contact us online today to get started!

WebFX Careers

Join our mission to provide industry-leading digital marketing services to businesses around the globe - all while building your personal knowledge and growing as an individual.

We’re Hiring! View 30+ job openings!