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Using Social Media Ads – Experiment and Results

Posted by in Facebook Marketing, social media

Should You Use Social Media Ads?

I wanted to test out Twitter Promoted Tweets, Facebook Promoted Posts and Reddit ads to see how well they work.

I decided to do my test for my Free Marketing With Twitter Guide and see how well they social-media-adsworked to promote that.

Overall I was happy with the results, below I break it all down for you.


Facebook Promoted Post

I paid $15 for Facebook ad and it ran for 5 days.

Here is the ad I used.



5 days and $15 later.



Here are the results.


What I Liked:

  • The ads are very easy to set up.
  • You can stop the ad anytime you like.
  • It helped boost my edge rank for a full 14 day period.
  • My “Talking About This” jumped from a normal of about 2,000 all the way to a 6,000.
  • My Page “Likes” went from 786 – 819 – a jump of 33 in 3 days

What I Didn’t Like

  • You can’t really target who sees the ad.
  • Ads run for 5 days.


I was happy with the results and surprised by the bonus likes to the page it self.

I’m sure if the product was targeted towards Facebook the results would of been even better.

A good way to use Promoted posts is to run one a week.

That way you get a good bump up in your Edgerank score and that will help all the posts for that week get better results.

Reddit Ad

I paid $20 for Reddit ad and it ran for 1 day.

Here is the ad I used.



24 hours and $20 later.


What I Liked

  • The ads are easy to setup.
  • Ads run for 24 hours.

What I Didn’t Like

Not much I didn’t like about Reddit ads. The results weren’t great, but that comes down to the ad itself and not Reddit.


I was happy with the total impressions I the ad received, but not s happy on the CTR of .051%

That had me at about .20 cents a click.

To fix that I would test a different image and ad title and also choose a day to advertise that has less competition.


Twitter Promoted Tweets

Now, you would think Twitter would be the holy grail to promote a Free Twitter Marketing guide right?

You are correct, but Twitter promoted tweets are a little annoying to work with.

What happens is when using Promoted Tweets, Twitter let’s you choose from tweets you already sent out to be promoted.

Problem with that is, if you ONLY want to promote one tweet “which is what I wanted to do” but it wouldn’t work for me.

I would delete all tweets in the box and I was left with my tweet to promote. I come back an hour later and other random tweets were in the box. I deleted them all again and was left with JUST my tweet.

Came back an hour or so later and again OTHER tweets in the box.

This went on 4 times in total and finally gave up and canceled my ad.

Either I was sleeping when I set that ad campaign up or Twitter needs to stream line the process.


Wrap Up

Overall I was happy with the social media ads I chose to work with and the results.

With some tweaking and testing the results will get even better.

Social ads are low cost and easy to set up, making them a powerful tool in your marketing plan.

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  • Simon Duck

    Very interesting to see the results of this. I use all three services quite a lot and Reddit ones are the ones which I find stand out the most as I have got into the mindset of ignoring everything on Facebook and Twitter, unless it is in my feed.

    Simon Duck

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    I plan to test more on Reddit.. we know the traffic is there and at .20 cents a click with my first test is pretty good. I think more and more people are ignoring FB ads..

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

    Glad you’ve shared your experience. I’ve had good success with Facebook Promoted posts. I like the fact that only fans see them, so I am planning my sponsored posts based on my Facebook audience, which is pretty good, because I know who I am targeting. 

    If you come up with more empirical data, make sure to shout them out on Twitter. 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Happy to share Bojan

    Only thing is that it’s not JUST your fans that see the Promoted Post.. it’s more then that.. but who does see it we don’t know.

    Ex: I only have about 900 fans, yet the post was seen by over 4,000.

    I wish we could control or at least know who will be seeing the posts.

    But I will be running more tests and will def share on Twitter :)

  • Barbara Torris

    John, This is great information…you are the KING! Thank you for answering the questions I have been asking myself.  I do this as a hobby but dream of making more money just talking about retirement.  My content does not invite money spending (seniors are frugal) and the surprising thing is I make more money when people look around and I don’t post a thing.  It is a tight rope walk.

    In the end the outcome for any money spent has to be  income.  I don’t use much of our personal income.  

    Thanks again.


  • Heather Stone

    Hey John Paul,
    Thanks for the peek into social media advertising. I know this continues to be of interest to many small business owners when marketing and perhaps for good reason.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Happy to share Heather. I think every small business should be at testing social ads. The low cost let’s you run more tests to find what works.

  • http://imimpact.com/ Shane

    Thanks for reporting these results!

    I imagine reddit is a tricky site to advertise on. They have massive amounts of traffic, but the pace on that site is incredibly. I think most posts only get a few seconds of attention, if that.
    This post definitely motivates me to try some social advertising as well, though!

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Barbara, happy the post helped. Also great to see you blogging as a option to boost retirement income, more retirees should do the same.

    I think as you write more and continue to drive new traffic in you will start to make the money you want.

    Heck even an extra $300 would be a big help.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    I’m glad you are moved to try some social ads. I think they work well and work even better depending the niche your in. But for the low cost, they are def something to try and see which works best.

  • http://thebacklight.com/ TristanH

    I’ve gotten great results on Facebook. I tried Reddit for one day and didn’t like it at all. 

    Which subreddit(s) did you advertise in, or did you do the site-wide option? How many upvotes and downvotes did it get?

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    istan this wasn’t about all FB advertising. This was about Promoted posts.  and the results were ok, but def not targeted.

    As far as Reddi.. I did a site wide ad and I only tracked impressions and clicks, since that’s all that matters to me.

    I would do Reddit again and I would do Promoted posts again.

  • http://thebacklight.com/ TristanH

    Yeah, I was talking about promoted posts, too. I’ve gotten great results from them.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    and like I said, I was happy with the results.  But FB needs to share more info on where the promoted posts are going.

  • http://www.marzellhall.com Marzell Hall

    Thanks for the info, I haven’t been involved in social media advertising but the information you shared will definitely help.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Glad the info will move u to try Social Ads Marzell … it can be a great tool.

  • http://www.proservicesks.com Frank Woodman Jr

    Thanks for some real info John it’s always nice to see the true numbers and results from someone. So much of what’s posted is either a discussion of general information about advertising on social media or someone’s “ideas” about how we should do advertising. 

    But you’ve posted an easy to follow accounting of an actual set of adds you ran so we can see what you’ve done. 

    And there’s nothing like real information to make it clear for those of us who’ve not used social media advertising and so are a little uncomfortable with it just how it works and what we should do.

    So again kudos for a job well done…. after this article I just may bite the bullet and do some ads.

  • http://youtube.com/user/tommyisastrategist Tommy Walker

    With the facebook promoted posts, you can target, but you have to do it before you post. They let you target by gender, age, sexual orientation, location, relationship and more, but you have to click on the little crosshairs on the bottom left of the update bar after you’ve uploaded your image. Its not very intuitive.

    Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment though this was very insightful

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks for sharing that Tommy. I looked and didn’t see anything. I will def set the target on my next go round :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks Frank.. happy the post was helpful and easy to follow.

    Yea, you have to be careful with the numbers and stats people put out, you never really know all the variables that went into their results. That’s why I say to test for yourself BEFORE you make judgement whether it’s something that will work for you and your blog.

  • http://blogjakes.com/ Jakes

    So I think the FB ads are the best. But I would say it’s simple because in facebook, we are having a larger audience. I really appreciate your experiments like these and I guess it’s these sort of posts make your blog unique. Facebook is evolving. Let’s hope it comes with something more wonderful 

  • http://www.remlaproductions.com Andrae Palmer

    It’s good to see some real stats and an ad and the results. I was afraid to try these out but now i feel very encouraged to try these out thanks for sharing your experiment John

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Andrae, test them out. The cost is low and easy to set up.

  • http://www.readpromotion.com Denise Read

    Great info! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Tony Restell

    That twitter experience is odd John. You are presented with your latest tweets so that you can choose to promote them if you want. That only happens if you tick the check box next to each of them. But you can also create a tweet that is only to be used as a promoted tweet (from memory this was then labelled “limited distribution”) and that’s what then runs as your promoted tweet. I’ve had very good results from these so I wouldn’t give up just yet…

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Tony, they have updated the Twitter Ads since I wrote this. It is MUCH better now, with more options..

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Glad you liked it Denise :)

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