The 7 Most Effective Channels for Social Media Advertising in 2020

Social media platforms have billions of users and are where people spend most of their online time. This makes them perfect places for advertisers to reach potential leads, spread brand awareness, and drive conversions.

Social media advertising on different platforms lets you reach different types of target audience groups. But, you also have to customise your advertisements for each platform and target audience.

That is where this post will help you. Here are seven of the best social media advertising platforms and details on how you can use each of them of advertising.

The 7 Most Effective Types of Social Media Advertising in 2020:

1. Facebook

Facebook is the social media advertising platform of choice for most businesses, including e-commerce companies. The platform’s large daily user base of over 1.6 billion makes it one of the most coveted social media advertising platforms. 

Facebook offers advertisers a unique opportunity to reach billions of unique users. Moreover, it’s advanced audience filters and other filters let you show your ads to the right people at the right times.

For e-commerce companies, advertising on Facebook is a great way of generating leads. You can show your new products or collections via Facebook ads, just like H&M does in the ad below. 

Image via Facebook

Your ads could be either image or video ads showcasing your products and the stories behind them.

For such ads, always add a clearly visible call-to-action button like “Shop Now” to direct people to the product page so they can easily make a purchase.

Facebook Ad Formats

Facebook provides several ad formats that you can experiment with. Here are the ad formats offered by Facebook.


These are the simplest ad formats with a picture along with some text and a CTA button. For e-commerce companies, it is usually better to simply show product pictures while placing such ads.


Video ads offer more variety and opportunities to experiment. You don’t have to limit yourself to just showing product pictures but can do a lot more. You can tell your brand story, support a cause, show different ways to use your product or something else that your audience might like.

Video ads are more engaging than still ads and can be used in multiple ways. So, if you do decide to invest in Facebook advertising, do experiment with this ad format.


As the name suggests, slideshow ads let you create a slideshow of 3 to 10 images or a single video. The images keep playing one after the other but there is only one CTA button for all. 

This ad format is best for showing different products in your latest collection. You can also use these to tell a story with different images coming one after the other.


Carousel ads are very similar to slideshow ads as they also allow you to post up to 10 images in one ad. However, unlike slideshow ads, for carousel ads, you can add a separate link for each image or video. Also, this ad format allows you to add more than one video in one ad.

Another difference between slideshow and carousel ads is that with the carousel ad format, people have to swipe the image or video to see the next one. In slideshow ads, however, the images just keep changing one after the other, without the viewer having to do anything.

Carousel ads are very effective as they sort of form a product catalogue with each image or video linking to different product pages. It helps people reach the exact products shown in the ad and makes it easier for them to make a purchase.

Instant Experience

These are fullscreen ads that start playing when a user clicks on your ad on a mobile device. It provides a more immersive experience as the ads play on the entire screen without any distractions.


This one is basically a carousel ad but for instant experience ads. This means that each image in an ad can open up on full screen to make it a more immersive experience.

Types of Facebook Ads

Apart from ad formats, Facebook also provides the option of different types of ads. Here are the options.

  • Facebook Feed Ads - These ads show in people’s Facebook feeds and appear like native content.
  • Facebook Live Ads - These ads show in people’s live streams on Facebook and often get high engagement rates.
  • Messenger Ads - These ads are shown on Facebook Messenger. These are often shown when people visit a business page or interact with a brand’s content.

Experiment with all of these options and figure out which one works best for your brand.

2. Instagram

Due to its visual nature, Instagram is the platform of choice for most e-commerce companies. Combine that with its massive daily user base of around 500 million, it is a great advertising platform for e-commerce companies.

Instagram ads are managed by the same platform that manages Facebook ads and, hence, have the same kind of advanced filtering and targeting options. Just like Facebook ads, Instagram ads also have the image, video, and carousel ad formats.

Instagram ads are either featured in a user’s feed or Stories. Let’s take a closer look.

Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram Stories ads appear in between a user’s Stories at the top of the Instagram app. These follow the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories and disappear after being displayed for a few seconds. Therefore, it is important to ensure that these ads immediately draw attention and have a clear CTA.

Instagram Feed Ads

These ads show in a user’s feed and appear just like native content, except for the word “sponsored” at the top. These are essentially like Facebook feed ads and can be used in a similar fashion. 

In fact, Facebook provides the option of using the same ads for both Facebook and Instagram. For example, the H&M ad shown in the first section also runs on Instagram and is displayed on users’ feeds just like it is on Facebook.

3. YouTube

YouTube is the largest video-sharing social media platform and the biggest video search engine in the world. Every day, people watch billions of hours of videos on YouTube, making it the best advertising platform for video ads.

You can run ads on YouTube using Google Ads platform that allows you to show ads across the entire Google Display Network. 

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best social media platform for B2B companies as it is a great place to target decision-makers of other companies. By advertising on LinkedIn, you can reach professionals in your field and sell your B2B products to people who actually hold the power.

LinkedIn provides different ad options like text ads, dynamic ads, Sponsored content, message ads, etc. Here’s an example of how LinkedIn ads appear in a user’s feed.

Image via LinkedIn

5. Twitter

Twitter is a dynamic social media platform that professionals and other users use for sharing regular, frequent updates on their topics of interest or their lives. Twitter content, due to the dynamic nature of the platform, has the ability to go viral much faster than on any other platform.

This makes Twitter a good place for brand awareness improvement campaigns. However, you can also use it to place product ads that result in direct conversions. Twitter ads are also great for boosting your app installs as it has a whole campaign type focused on that.

Types of Twitter Ads

Here are some types of Twitter ads that you can try.

  • Promoted Tweets - If you want to show your tweets to people who don’t follow you but could be potential customers, then this is the best option for you.
  • Promoted Trends - If you want to promote a hashtag, like a brand or a campaign hashtag, then you can use this option.
  • Promoted Accounts - This option shows your Twitter account to people who don’t follow you yet, but might be interested in doing so if they knew about you.

6. Pinterest

This is another visual platform that works well for e-commerce companies. You can use to showcase your products and collections, just like on Instagram. However, unlike Instagram, this platform is more targeted towards women.

On Pinterest, you can promote your pins, just like you promote tweets on Twitter. You can also add a call-to-action on your promoted pin along with a link to your website. This results in direct conversions and diverting social traffic to your website.

7. Snapchat

Snapchat is a platform that is quite popular among the younger crowd. If your target audience comprises of millennials or younger demographics, then you can definitely try this platform.

Types of Snapchat Ads

Here are some of the types of ads that you can place on Snapchat.

  • Snapchat Feed Ads - These are interactive ads that appear like native content on the platform.
  • Sponsored Lenses - These video lenses are like Instagram filters that people can use to create their content. These cost quite a lot, but have the potential to go viral and make it worth the investment.
  • Snapchat Discover Ads - This lets you show your content at the top of the page where people go to explore new content.


Use one or more of these platforms in your social media advertising mix to reach the different target audiences for your business. Customise your ads to match the platform guidelines and your target customer persona and you’re good to go.

Try advertising on these platforms and achieve your advertising and marketing goals like a pro.

About the Author
Werner Geyser, founder of Influencer Marketing Hub, is a distinguished digital marketing expert with over 18 years of experience working with marketing agencies and marketing software companies. Werner successfully scaled Influencer Marketing Hub to 5 million monthly visitors, establishing it as a premier destination for influencer marketing resources. His keen expertise is further highlighted by his collaboration with social media marketing platforms such as Brandwatch and Upfluence, as well as his impactful contributions to top-tier influencer and digital marketing agencies including Viral Nation and NeoReach. His engagements with these industry leaders exemplify his depth of knowledge and the trust placed in his capabilities, positioning him as a leader of innovation in digital marketing.