Advertising on Social Media sites is a great way to target customers given the ability for these platforms to deliver your ad to a specific audience. This article discusses popular sites and what to expect.


The main draw to this service is that it works similar to Google AdWords with keywords and it is affordable on almost any budget. Any business has the chance to use Facebook Ads for as little as one dollar per day.

Account setup is as easy as creating a Facebook page. Once you have created the account and the ad, Facebook reviews the ad for compliance with their terms and the ad becomes active pending the review. It usually takes less than 24 hours to go through review and get a live ad up on their site.

Linked In

This platform is very suited to B2B communications. You can target users working in certain professions or who are at certain levels in their career, anywhere from entry-level to Vice President.

Linked In, like Facebook, is an accessible channel. Budgets start at ten dollars per day.


This is my personal favorite way to promote a business because at this time it is free. It works best for brick and mortar businesses. Users arrive at your business and “check in” using the Foursquare application on their mobile phone or tablet. By checking in they update their friends on Facebook that 1) they are at your business, and 2) they are able to access discounts immediately.

Rosenthal Malibu Winery, my neighborhood tasting room, promotes a 2 for 1 tasting just for checking in. Customers are instantly rewarded with the coupon on their phone and can use it immediately by showing it to the cashier. There is no printing and the coupon is free for both the user and the business.

Google Plus

At the time of this writing, Google Plus is in Beta testing, however rumors speculate that Google will load their AdWords functionality on this product. Advertisers already familiar with AdWords would likely find Google Plus to be a great complement and at a similar price.


The platform is known as Promoted Tweets. Promoted tweets are tweets that already exist, for example Taco Bell might tweet about a new burrito and pay to have it promoted. The tweet will show up in users’ feeds who do not already follow Taco Bell.

The channel is expensive compared to its peers. Per Twitter’s advertising page, packages start out at 5,000 dollars per month making Twitter the most expensive platform we reviewed.

Targeting the right customer

Your first guess might be to consider the big social sites like Facebook and Linked In. But also consider the targeting you can achieve with specific sites like Lifeknot (hobbies) or Passportstamp (travel). Wikipedia has an interesting list of top social network sites that is sortable by Alexia ranking. From here you might find something that is more targeted to your audience.

Sell direct on the site

Facebook offers certain businesses to sell directly online. This is great if you’re already advertising on Facebook because the user does not have to travel to another site to make the purchase. Amoeba Records, a famously independent record store in Los Angeles, uses Facebook to sell specialty items. They have a full service music and movies e-store on their website, but they use Facebook to promote their iconic t-shirts and accessories.

The Amoeba Facebook Store is powered by Payvment which offers free Facebook stores through their easy to use app.


You can also send products to favored customers in exchange for them doing demonstrative videos. Studies show that many buying segments like to see preview videos of products when making a buying decision.

I recently purchased Permatex glue to fix my windshield after watching their tutorial video on my iPhone in the Pepboys parking lot. Having seen how simple the product was to use, I couldn’t resist. (I was pleasantly surprised too!)