People have been asking themselves for years – Do social media adverts work? In this blog post, we will provide some insight and discuss the following questions: Do people buy from social media ads? Do influencers help to sell products? And do people need a website these days?

What Types of Social Media Advertising Are There?


There are three types of social media advertising: influencer ads, promotional content and paid ads. We take a look at the differences between them below.

Influencer Ads

Influencers have a following on social media that is typically comprised of their demographic or hobby group (e.g., beauty bloggers). Brands can use these people to promote products because they already have an established audience that is interested in the products or services. Brands usually send influencers products to try and review on their social media account. There are different levels of influencers, with micro-influencers that have a few thousand followers usually reviewing products they receive for free. larger influencers with larger followings and celebrities usually charge to do product placements, demonstrations and reviews.

Promotional Content

Promotions are typically done on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. A brand will post a piece of promotional content that is supposed to be attractive enough for an audience member to click the link and buy the product or service being promoted. Some brands offer a hook, such as something for free to gain subscriptions and keep marketing via email to the people that sign up. Sending them offers, updates etc.

Paid Ads

Paid ads can be placed through any of the ad servers available such as Google, Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, TikTok etc. Paid ads differ from promotional content because they are specifically designed to be ads, meaning they need a call-to-action button that sends the user to the purchase page. Paid social media ad campaigns can be targeted, so if you want your campaign only shown to people in certain age ranges or with specific interests, then this is possible, and it will help target those who may actually buy from the advertisement


What is Social Media Advertising?


Social Media Advertising or SMAds are ads on any of the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The most common form of these commercials is Promotional Content, a video with an attractive offer that would compel the viewer to buy the product or service.

Do social media adverts work? They can be a very powerful tool for business owners. A lot of people will see them as they frequent social media daily. And since they are Video adverts are compelling. This is because they capture attention. After all, most social media users scroll through quickly without really reading anything. They also have an advantage over traditional advertising on TV or print ads because many people leave the room during a TV ad break or turn the page in a magazine.

For these social media ads to work, you need a good product or service that people will buy from them and make sure the content is compelling enough so that it pulls in viewers without making them feel like it’s too much of an advertisement. Successful advertisements also need to be interactive with the audience and followers on social media.


What is the Most Effective Form of Social Media Advertising?


The best type of ads are ones that don’t look like ads. Advertisers on TikTok have managed to make their products go viral by sharing genuine user reviews. Think of those leggings that make your butt look great or the hula ring I keep seeing. These videos look like native user-generated content in the feed. They’re not polished productions, but real people using and reacting to the product.

You can get this type of marketing on most platforms, but TikTok and Instagram leading the way here with their short video clip format.

Paid ads can be very effective as they give you the ability to highly target your audience. If you have a good understanding of your target audience you can use this data to get your ads in front of them.


Do Social Media Advertisements Work?

A recent survey sent to us by Dealaid shows that social media does have an impact on people’s purchasing decisions. The stats are based on a US audience but the figures speak for themselves. Read the full Impact Of Social Media On Shopping Behavior report here.

  • 78.6% of consumers discover new products and brands on social media 76% 76%
  • 79.1% of consumers will look up what other users are saying about a product/brand on social media before purchasing it. 79.1% 79.1%

Popular Platforms For Shopping Recommendations

Popular Platforms For Shopping Recommendations

Most Important Considerations For Promoted Products


Quality & Price





The most trusted platforms that influence purchasing decisions are still the longest standing platforms; Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. TikTok ads are still in their infancy having only been around a few months. We expect to see a change in the popular platforms for shopping recommendations in the next couple of years to reflect this. 


Threshold Of Shopping Recommendations To Purchase

Threshold Of Shopping Recommendations To Purchase

bThe above graph shows that most US consumers will check out a product and buy it after two (31.1%) or three (26.3%) times that they see a content creator promote it. This means that if influencers are promoting products you should arrange a deal whereby they use, demonstrate and review your product over a set number of posts and days to build trust.

Should you Run Social Media Adverts?


The more people you can reach, the better. Facebook and Instagram have a huge audience on both platforms, which is why they are such popular choices for many brands.

There’s no right answer when it comes to social media advertising; as long as your target market is using that platform, then there will be some benefit in running ads on them. This will depend on your budget; adapt your strategy according to your budget. A new brand could start by offering some free products to micro-influencers in return for coverage. If you do this to enough micro-accounts, you can start getting some sales in and then progress your strategy from there.

The platform you advertise on should be in keeping with your target audience, so ALWAYS do your research first, so you don’t waste money.


What Does Audience Research Look Like?


  • Who is your target audience? What age are they, is their sex and location an important factor?
  • What is your target audience interested in?
  • What social media sites do your target audience use most often? Which ones are the most effective for targeting them in terms of advertising?
  • Where are the demographics of the platform concentrated? (Are there any local influencers that might help you reach a more localised audience?) Does this site have demographics information available to advertisers?
  • What language do your target audience use? Is it formal, professional, chatty, slang? You should communicate with them the way they speak.

 If you decide to start running promotions start with nailing down your target audience. Use this audience to define a strategy and run some tests with smaller budgets first to get an idea of what works. Run split tests with slight changes such as one version with one image and another with a different image to see what works best. With influencer marketing start off small and see how your product is received before going out to huge accounts. 

Defining a strategy and running some tests should give you an idea of the results you can expect. From here set some targets and increase your efforts. Monitor the performance of your ads and tweak where necessary for optimal performance. 

Do you Really Need a Website?


Now that we know social media advertising can be very effective, do small businesses really need a website? There has certainly been a rise in small businesses who simply use social media to sell and promote their products and services and this works very well for them. They have no need for a website and manage to take all their orders through their social media platforms.

For businesses that want to grow a website is always going to be the best way forward as automation, order processing and stock tracking will make things easier. The process isn’t reliant on you reading and replying to messages manually. 

The great news is though, that initially you can save costs and manage your business purely on social media and avoid the initial outlay of a website until it’s needed and you are making money. 

Do social media adverts work? – Yes, they absolutely do and they are paving the way for many people to start their dream business and do what they love. If you would like to have a chat about your social media goals and strategy send us a message here.