Issues advocacy organizations are able to use social networks for grassroots outreach to target decision makers and interest groups that can make a difference with a campaign – whether the end goal is fundraising, passing or killing a bill, building a community of advocates or changing public opinion on a particular issue.

Social advertising takes the message visibility a step further. A small spend can make a big impact for a campaign by ensuring target audiences will see a particular message – and allowing those running the campaign to see what tactics are most effective in generating the desired conversion (such as signing a petition, filling out a contact your legislator form or becoming a member online).

Social advertising allows for a variety of more advanced targeting options (at least more advanced than non-advertised social content). Depending on the social platform (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), campaigns can put key messages in front of influencers:

  • With a specific interest (such as public education),
  • In a specific geo-location (from zip code to Legislative district or even broader categories such as city, state or nation-wide), and
  • At a specific organization (such as in a Legislative office).

These ads direct the people we care about most to a landing page with longer-form messaging and a call-to-action.

U.S. social ad revenues are expected to reach $11 billion in 2017, according to a report by BIA/Kelsey.


The great news about this increase social advertising use, is that the functionality (and therefore effectiveness) will continue to improve – from geo-location and audience targeting to campaign metrics tracking.