With the huge levels of competition out there when it comes to paid social, it quite simply isn’t enough for ads just to be present on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social Ads need rise above the noise if brands want to be noticed – and ultimately lead to site traffic & conversions.

Three of the most important elements of a social ad are the format, messaging and design.

In this article I’ll will run through each element; explaining how to create effective (but amazing!) social ads to improve performance, brand recall and engagement through optimum targeting on social platforms.

Sound good?

Thought so, let’s start with the basics…

Step 1: Format

To ensure ads are uploaded and approved as quickly and easily as possible, its best practice to stick to these formatting rules:

Facebook

Single Image Ad

Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels

Text: 90 characters, Headline: 25 characters, Link description: 30 characters

An image may not include more than 20% text. Facebook provides a handy tool so you can check the level of text in an image. Check it out here.

Source: Facebook

Carousel Ad

Recommended image size: 600 x 600 pixels

Image ratio: 1:1

Text: 90 characters

Headline: 40 characters

Link description: 20 characters

An image should also include a minimal amount of text. The below real-time feedback shows how varying levels of text in an advert image will impact its reach.

Image shows

For more information on this, including some handy tips on what & what doesn’t count as text, click here.

Twitter

Website Card Ad

Tweet copy: 116 characters are available (24 characters are used for images)

Website title length: 50 characters

Image size: 800 x 320 pixels (max 3mb)

File types: PNG and JPEG are recommended

 

Lead Generation Ad

Tweet copy: 116 characters are available (24 characters are used for images)

Short description: 50 characters (only appears on desktop)

Post submit message: Text after lead is submitted, 100 characters

Image size: 800 x 200 pixels (max 3mb)

File types: PNG and JPEG are recommended

Call to action options: Custom, but 20 character limit

 

LinkedIn

Direct Sponsored Content Ad

Image Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200x627px) Industry Standard.

File types: JPEG, JPG, GIF, and PNG

Introduction Text: 150 characters or less, including the landing page URL

Headline: 60 characters or less

Description Text: 100 characters or less – does not appear on mobile

 

Now the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s move on to the fun part…

STEP TWO: Messaging

Promotions

Including any best deals, offers and discount codes in ads is a fantastic way to improve click-through rates and increase conversions.

When a user is browsing on Social Network sites, showing them a limited-time offer that they just can’t refuse will help distinguish you ad from competitors and get more of your target audience directed to the site.

And while promotions are great to shout about, make sure you’re showcasing them to the best social audience possible – read our 4-minute guide to sequential advertising to learn more!

USPS

Like search ads, including unique selling points in ads will generate brand awareness while promoting the benefits of shopping, booking, enquiring or interacting with a brand.

Below is a great example of an ad which does a great job of selling itself to the potential customer. The first thing you notice is the free trial offer, and it mentions the key health benefits of the product.

 

Image shows the linkedin requirements for social ads

 

And finally, let’s talk about getting creative…

STEP THREE: Design

Imagery

Facebook recommends featuring peoples’ faces and lifestyle imagery in ads because this makes them more personable and compelling. Results show that these ads tend to drive stronger results than product shots.

Brand Consistency

Keep ads looking on-brand (i.e. use brand colours/language) and include an official logo in every ad. Ads should closely match the look and feel of a website and landing page, and keeping the logo in all ad versions will highlight the brand and increase credibility when a user visits the site as a result.

Consistent landing pages

Ensure that the message on the landing page matches the message in the ad, i.e. if the ad promotes a mid-season sale, make sure the ad directs to a URL specifically for the mid-season sale.

Creating a landing page to support the ad content can have a positive impact on users, conversion rate and quality score.

Call-to-action

Use an obvious, clickable ‘button’ for the call-to-action and make sure it’s prominent. While Facebook and Twitter ad interfaces feature a number of pre-designed CTAs to choose from, it’s still worth including in the main body of the ad copy too.

Although the whole ad will direct users to the landing page once clicked, a ‘button’ design is the main element that visitors will notice and click on to visit the site.

Colour Schemes

Choose high contrast colour schemes and art elements that demand attention, but don’t abandon any brand guidelines.

Vibrant contrasts and colours can create visual excitement and help an ad stand out to consumers.

We’ve found that using red elements (i.e. background or call-to-action button) increase click-through rates as the human mind has learned to associate red with sales!

To support this, a study carried out by Wishpond into the psychology of colours found that:

  • Changing the colour of a CTA from light green to yellow, increased conversion rates by 14.5%.
  • Adding a coloured border around your Facebook Ad image can double its CTR.

It’s clear that colours are way more about making things look pretty – you can incite action and boost conversion by taking the time to consider colour schemes properly.

 

There we have it! Creating amazing social ads really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

After following these steps, which will go a long way to creating an ad that will get noticed, repeat the process again at least once. It is widely regarded as social ads best practice to create multiple variations of each ad set to allow for testing, comparison and optimisation moving forward.

Be sure to check out the goldmine of other useful information over on the Silverbean blog, specifically this related post to help you ensure any shiny new social ads are reaching the right people with some advanced targeting methods. If you’re looking to give your Facebook ad revenue a boost, get in touch via our Contact page.