Social Advertising Like Goldilocks

We have all made mistakes in Social Media Advertising. There is no set rulebook for how to use and advertise with social media, just a few guidelines and lots of trial and error. The best guidelines to stick to are what I refer to as the “Goldilocks Rules.” You know what is too little; you know what is too much; and you will find out (through some research and testing) what is just right. Let’s break it down with Facebook Advertising


Image Size

There are several different types of ads that can be run on Facebook, most of which have a horizontal orientation, and all of which have a size specification.

Too Big: Nothing looks tackier than a logo and product being cut off in an image.

Too small: Okay, correction, low-quality images that have been stretched and are pixilated are the worst.

Just right: The required measurements of each ad type’s images can be found with a quick Google search, and each photo can be tested through a preview before placing the order on the ad.


Text in the image

Too big: More than 20%

Too small: How big is your cell phone screen?

Just right: 20% or less. Facebook provides a text overlay tool where photos can be uploaded to ensure the amount of text is less than 20% for the image.

Ad copy

Too big: Too much text. No seriously, stop. When was the last time you read a full paragraph of text on your newsfeed?

Too small: Remove ambiguity. (Don’t pay for clicks to your website that people will immediately abandon because they thought they were clicking to something else.)

Just right: 100-200 characters with a CTA. Let the audience know what they are looking at and what you want them to do. Short and sweet.

Audience Targeting

Think about fishing.

Too big: If you dropped your line somewhere in the middle of the ocean, you might catch something, but is it a fish you want? Is it too small to bite the bait and hook? Did it break your line?

Too small: Would you go fishing in the library fish tank?

Just right: In fishing, you want to know where to go for the type of fish you are looking for, which line to use, what time of day, and which bait to use. Social Advertising works the same way.


Back to the fishing metaphor.

Too big: Dropping 100 lines into a small pond manned by one person will be difficult to manage and the fish will see all the lines and avoid them or eat the bait, tug the line, and swim away before you notice.

Too small: If you drop a short line into the ocean, one fish might see it but they probably won’t bite right away.

Just right: Somewhere in between. There are a lot of factors that go into determining a budget that will depend on your company and advertising objectives.

The most important part of advertising is to keep in mind your end goal. Don’t be afraid to fail! With the analytics available with Facebook, any ad run provides more data about your audience that can be refined and utilized. Create an ad, test it out, make it better. Goldilocks!



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Matchstick Social is a social marketing + advertising firm headquartered in Charleston, SC with a satellite office in Oklahoma City, OK. Matchstick specializes in social media marketing, optimized social advertising, effective measurement of social initiatives and helping start-ups gain social currency by establishing their digital brands.