Social Media PPC Advertising

Social PPC is not the same as traditional PPC

What is Social PPC?

Like Google Ads, social PPC is a form of digital advertising, but as the name suggest, you will only see these ads on social media platforms. Unlike traditional PPC, which is based on keywords, social PPC targets a group of users based on demographics, interests, topics, jobs, and other data collected by the social media platform. Social PPC should be thought more as display advertising rather than search advertising. You may already be running ads on Google, but social media is structured differently.

The most popular social media platform to run social PPC ads is, as you might have guessed, Facebook. This also makes Instagram an ideal platform to run social PPC ads on because Facebook owns Instagram. So, as you are building your campaign on Facebook, you also have the option to have it run on Instagram.

Although more expensive than Facebook, if you are looking to target a B2B audience, LinkedIn is your go-to.

So, how does PPC work on these platforms?


Social PPC may not have started on Facebook, but it was one of the pioneer social media platforms to make it widely available in a “self-service” style. Facebook has many options to get your ad to reach your target audience and to get the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Below are some of the Facebook Ads most effective strategies to reach your intended audience.

Remarketing Campaign Using Facebook Pixel

social-ppcHave you ever been shopping online and leave items in your cart, only to go on Facebook and see an ad for those exact items that you just left in your shopping cart? You might be thinking “How is this possible?” Well, the answer is through Facebook Pixel.

Facebook Pixel is a small piece of code that is embedded on your website, (learn how to do so here) and lets you measure, optimize, and build audiences for your ad campaigns. It collects data about your website visitors and will remarket to qualified leads. The pixel is essentially Facebook’s version of a “cookie”.

Through the data that the Pixel collects, you can create a custom audience which will specifically target those who visit a certain page on your website and then present corresponding ads to them.

The process of identifying visitors who left your website or a specific web page without making an action, and targeting them in social PPC advertisements is called remarketing.

Lookalike audience

Using the lookalike audience feature on Facebook, you can further refine your target by uploading a list of your current customers, or a list of people who you would like to target, and Facebook will use that information to find people who are similar to those on the list that you provided.

This feature allows you to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they are similar to your existing target market. Hence the name “lookalike.”

You can even use the Facebook Pixel data that has been created to create a custom audience similar to those who visit your website.

Boosting posts

The boost post feature on Facebook may be the easiest feature to use. Though not necessarily in the PPC category, boosting posts will expand your reach of a particular post. Reach is the number of unique people who see your content. In a boosted post, you can reach a much wider audience, much larger than just the followers on your page.


If you’re in the B2C industry, you’re better off using Facebook as your main Social PPC platform. Although, if you’re in the B2B industry, you should consider using LinkedIn Ads.

There are three types of LinkedIn ads: Sponsored Content, Text Ads, and Sponsored InMail. While all three are effective, it’s important to understand how each works and which option is best for your needs.

Sponsored Content

social-ppc-linkedinSponsored content ads, also called sponsored updates, appear in the news feed of the target audience you select. These ads are directly within the LinkedIn news feed, appearing along content that LinkedIn members curate for themselves.

This type of content has multiple effects. It raises awareness of company events or initiatives, generates leads, increases qualified traffic to a specific post or page, boots followers and generates engagement.

Ultimately, sponsored content gives a large visual and a headline (example pictured below) and they are best when used to reach someone right in their media feed. These ads can either be setup as PPC or CPM (Cost per thousand impression)

Text Ads

Text ads are LinkedIn’s PPC platform. They display on the side rail or inline and are very easy to create. LinkedIn text ads should be used to:

  • Target highly specific B2B audiences
  • Drive traffic to your website or specific landing page
  • Attract quality job candidates
  • Set up easily measurable campaigns

Text ads are best used if you are advertising on a budget or don’t have a lot of help with creative aspects of an ad, such as graphic designing a banner for your ad. Text ads are also fairly easy to get started with, and you can choose your audiences with in-depth B2B filters as well as track your conversions.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

The newest form of LinkedIn advertising is Sponsored InMail. Sponsored InMail lets you target users who you are not yet connected with, by sending them a personalized sponsored message that appears in their LinkedIn inbox. In this case, you pay per send, and a sponsored message is not sent until the targeted LinkedIn member logs into their account.

The most effective ways to use LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads are to:

  • Send personalized invites to webinars and other events
  • Target promotions to the right audience
  • Promote downloadable content (such as ebooks and white papers)

If you’re looking to get personal, LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads are the best way to do that.

Interested in learning more about social PPC or PPC in general? Be sure to check out our other blogs and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our marketing experts! Also, don’t forget to check out our infographic, PPC Advertising: Your Top Five Questions Answered, and download our ebook, What Is a PPC Campaign? 6 Simple Steps to Success.