What is social media advertising? Definition and sizes

Creating great online banner designs can be a challenge no matter what the occasion, even for experienced designers. Whether you’ve been designing digital content for years or just beginning to dip your toes into the world of graphic design, there are a few key elements that go into making banners that truly resonate and capture people’s attention.

In this article, we look at how to create stunning online banner designs that get clicks and help enhance your brand’s presence in the digital landscape. We’ll provide guidance on how to ensure maximum success when it’s time for launch. Get ready to create some truly charming social media banners this St. Patrick’s Day!

What is social media advertising?

Social media advertising has become a staple in the marketing arsenal for many businesses today. By design, it is an interactive and dynamic digital landscape that when leveraged can create an influential outreach far beyond its traditional counterparts.

The impact social media advertising has on audiences is broad-reaching and measurable; allowing businesses to hone in on their target demographic while creating an environment full of connection and feedback. The two-way dialogue achieved through social network based advertising creates opportunities for businesses to meet customer demands in real time which can be beneficial for rapid growth. In essence, social media can be a powerful tool to engage with customers and deliver tailored messages directly to them at scale.

Tips to create a social media advertising

When making a start in creating online banner campaigns, or anything for that matter, it’s good practice to approach the project methodically and meticulously. Think of it like building a house. You start from the foundations and work your way up brick by brick. Since St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner, let’s use this delightful theme to charm our audience, perhaps into chasing that pot of gold! For anyone trying to build on their social media skills, this collection of social media resources are a fantastic way to gather elements, even ideas for such a project.

What is the goal of your campaign?

Every advertising campaign has its own objective whether it’s to promote a service, a new product, or even a cause like a charity. This will determine the course your St. Patrick’s Day social media campaign will take, such as deciding on your target audience and intended market.

Identifying your target audience

To have your banner working at optimum efficiency, it’s good practice to lock in on persons of interest. This will help deter your marketing campaign from failing. Why waste all your valuable time and resources on targeting leprechauns when all they do is cause mischief? Start by researching who is most likely to use or be interested in your product or service. Consider factors such as age, gender, influences, interests, and what social media platform they reside in when identifying potential target audiences. However, since everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, finding your target audience shouldn’t be too difficult.

Conduct research

Researching further for inspiration is also essential; trends change quickly so understanding how banners are being used elsewhere is key for crafting innovative banner designs. Lucky for you, banners are absolutely everywhere and many of which are in the palm of your hand. Look out for the key strengths and weaknesses you see in campaigns fishing in the same pond as your own.

Analytics have opened the door for many businesses and individuals to gain insight into customer behavior. Through analytics of social media banner posts, it has become increasingly easier to assess customer engagement and tailor content by providing customers with the best possible experience. Technology like analytics allow businesses to pinpoint areas in which customers need more attention depending on interactions. Analyzing social media analytics provides unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners alike to better understand their target audience, monitor customer interests and preferences, identify trends and maximize profitability from marketing campaigns all while building a more meaningful relationship with them.

What should your social media banner ad include?

social media banner ad

To keep today’s fast paced, technologically advanced demographic engaged, banner ads must utilize all elements of graphic design, from impactful visuals and video to refined fonts. Along with engaging imagery and powerful visuals, it’s essential to create banner ads that also hold people’s attention long enough for them to consume whatever message or product you’re trying to offer them. In addition to all the elements thrown in, it’s also important to keep up with trends and current events that take place.

St. Patrick’s Day is routinely observed on March 17th every year. Building such a theme around your campaign will greatly increase engagement for your ad, while instantly acknowledging that your campaign is current. So go ahead, and check out these truly charming St. Patrick’s Day assets!


branding social media advertising

An organization and its identity are an inseparable bond, and branding is there to enforce that bond. This could well mean playing a significant role in your banner design, perhaps incorporating a logo, color palette, and mission statement into the project. Keeping the balance between the branding, aesthetics, and overall appeal of the design should be closely observed over the duration of the project, making sure it achieves its objective while staying on brand.

Written Content

writing social media advertising

Information is a vital component to your campaign. One punch, attention-grabbing headlines using out of this world typefaces, and bite-sized chunks of vital information need to provide information quickly and efficiently to keep persons of interest hooked. Strengthen information with the support of other elements in the composition. Using white space or the geological landscape of your background can elevate, depress or distort written content. Get this balance right, and your banner design will prosper from a clear and functional design, guiding your target audience to its call to action.

Call to Action

The money maker. This is what it all boils down to, guiding persons of interest to commit to an action. At this point, the rest of the social media banner has probably worked in your favor, possibly with the use of unavoidable, eye-catching elements and memorable catchlines. A call to action could be one of many things, depending on the nature of your banner. If it is an interactive banner, participants may be led to pressing on the ad itself or a button to be transported to a social media page or a website that provides a product or service. Flat designs may rely on more traditional methods such as a location, website, email, or phone number. The delivery of your call to action is all about timing (if a video or animation), positioning, and the tone of its delivery. Taking all this into consideration will have your persons of interest right where you want them.


images social media advertising

Images speak to us more than words ever could. Unless you are a poetic genius, and can resonate with incredible precision, supporting an envisioned atmosphere to a service or alternatively provide visual proof of a life-changing product. Introducing images to your social media ad will increase engagement and association with your audience, especially in the social media world. Their strong presence can often lead to influencing the rest of your banner design, working around the image, especially if used as a background. On the other hand, they can be used as supportive elements in the bigger picture, balancing out your composition.


The canvas of your banner ad, a background, is to be the supportive element of your social media project and provide an atmosphere to your composition. A background can be made up of multiple elements like images, patterns, and abstract graphic art even. As its role suggests, as a supportive element, you must avoid having a background overpowering the overall design, posing a threat to other vital elements and information. This can be achieved by elevating or depressing the contrast between the background and elements layered on top or perhaps sticking to a minimal background, like a single color or subtle gradient.


The use of video is becoming more and more relevant to social media advertising. Using seconds of highly potent, professionally developed, and tweaked footage is the answer to a global shortage of attention span. However, this obviously takes a lot of skill on many levels to have a video make the intended impact. Visual footage, audio, and graphic design all get thrown into the mix and usually come at a hefty price tag. However, Freepik has made it easier than ever for you to have all this in your control. Freepik provides users access to an abundance of stock video and audio assets!


This method is as fun and exciting as it ever has been but just keeps getting cleaner and easier to access. Why have all your visual elements sat there doing nothing? You can really engage and impress your target audience, and anyone for that matter, with unsuspecting changes in color, interacting elements, and perhaps even a narrative. Make use of professionally designed vectors, well suited for animation projects, to convert a flat immovable design into something interactive and inspiring that will fascinate a social media audience.

So strike the right balance between eye-catching visuals and catchy written content that won’t send readers running away bored or annoyed before they have time to absorb your offering. With the right combination of technology and finesse, banner ads can be a highly effective way to reach potential customers in today’s tech-savvy world. Furthermore, if you feel like learning a little more about banner design, take a look into this in-depth article with tips on how to design a banner from the ground up.

Social media advertising sizes

Social media advertising sizes

As you might expect, it’s not as simple as working to a standard sized artboard. Afterall, each social media platform works with its own particularities. This can cause a bit of a headache for designers, especially when instructed to create ‘a social media campagne’ as broad as that term might suggest. This will mean you’ll need to envision your flat designs in different widths and breadths, and the same goes for your video and animation projects. Have a read of this article for a more elaborate discussion on banner sizes and even Youtube video ad’s. Now let’s take a look at this social media ad banner cheat sheet to help you make more accurate projects:

Facebook ads image sizes

In July 2022 Facebook hit a mind-boggling 2.934 billion users. That’s 36.8% of the global population! Thus such ads are a great way to reach potential customers, but it’s important to understand the basics of how they work. You can target campaigns by location, demographics, interests, and more. Advertising costs can range from $1–$5 per 1,000 impressions and boosting posts is an effective way to reach larger audiences quickly

Facebook single image Ad

Ad Type Single Image Ad
Image File Types JPG, PNG
Maximum File Size 30MB
Minimum Image Size 600 x 600PX
Resolution At least 1080 x 1080PX (no maximum)
Ratio 1.91:1 to 1:1

Facebook carousel Ad

Ad Type Carousel Ad
File Types JPG, PNG, MP4, MOV or GIF
Maximum File Size 30MB (Image), 4GB (Video)
Minimum Image Size 600 x 600px (Image), 120 x 120px (Video)
Resolution At least 1080 x 1080px (no maximum)
Ratio 1:1

Facebook collection Ad

Ad Type Collection Ad
File Types JPG, PNG, MP4, MOV or GIF
Maximum File Size 30MB (Image), 4GB (Video)
Resolution At least 1080 x 1080px (no maximum)
Ratio 1:1

Facebook video ad

Ad Type Video Ad
File Types MP4, MOV or GIF
Maximum File Size 4GB
Minimum Video Size 120 x 120px
Resolution At least 1080 x 1080px (no maximum)
Ratio 1:1 (Desktop and mobile), 4:5 (Mobile only)
Video Settings H.264 compression, compression at 128kbps+

Instagram ads image sizes

Instagram is one of the most popular and well-known social media platforms today. It clocked 1.440 billion users in 2022, with 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day. That’s more than double the number of daily Snapchat users! Businesses are taking advantage of this by investing in influencer marketing campaigns, an advertising strategy that seems to use users to advertise for the user. Talk about putting a spin on things!

Instagram Feed Ad

Ad Type Instagram Feed Ad
File Types JPG, PNG, MP4, MOV or GIF
Maximum File Size 30MB (Image), 250MB (Video)
Minimum Image Width 500px
Minimum Aspect Ratio 400 x 500
Maximum Aspect Ratio 191 x 100
Resolution At least 1080 x 1080px (no maximum)
Ratio 1:1 (Image), 4:5 (Video)
Video Duration 1 second to 60 minutes

Instagram Story Ad (Image)

Ad Type Instagram Story Ad (Image)
File Types JPG or PNG
Maximum File Size 30MB (Image)
Minimum Image Width 500px
Aspect Ratio Tolerance 1%
Resolution At least 1080 x 1080px (no maximum)
Ratio 9:16

Instagram Story Ad (Video)

File Type Max File Size Minimum Width Resolution Ratio Video Duration Video Settings
MP4, MOV, or GIF 250 MB 500 px At least 1080 x 1080 px 9:16 1-60 seconds H.264 compression, compression at 128 kbps+

Instagram Collection

File Type Max File Size Minimum Size Resolution Ratio
JPG, PNG 30 MB 500 x 500 px At least 1080 x 1080 px 1:1 to 1.91:1
MP4, MOV, or GIF 4 GB 500 x 500 px At least 1080 x 1080 px 1:1 to 1.91:1

X Twitter ads image sizes

X- twitter has grown exponentially since its launch in 2006. Today, the platform boasts over 486 million active users and 238 million daily users. Every day, 5 billion tweets are sent out across the world. That’s 6,000 tweets per second! So if you want to create chatter, this is the platform for your social media campaigns.

X image Ad

File Type Max File Size Standalone Image Size Image with Button/Poll/Website Size Ratio
JPG or PNG 5 MB 1200 x 1200 px or 1200 x 628 px 800 x 418 px or 800 x 400 px 1:1 to 1.91:1

X Carousel Ad

File Type Max File Size Image/Video Size Ratio Slides
JPG, PNG 5 MB 800 x 418 px or 800 x 800 px 1:1 to 1.91:1 2 to 6
MP4, MOV 5 MB 800 x 418 px or 800 x 800 px 16:9 or 1:1 2 to 6

X Video Ads

File Type Max File Size Standalone Video Size Video with Button/Poll/Website Size Ratio Video Duration
MP4 or MOV 1 GB (recommended: 30 MB) 1920 x 1080 px or 1200 x 1200 px 800 x 450 px or 800 x 800 px 16:9 or 1:1 Max 2:20 (recommended 15 sec or less)

TikTok ads image sizes

TikTok has been an undeniable success story since it was first released in 2016. The app now boasts 1 billion active users worldwide, with more than 672 million downloads around the globe. In just three years, TikTok went from a niche video-sharing platform to one of the most popular apps in the world, competing against giants like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. It’s no wonder that it has become so successful!

Tiktok Video Ads

File Type Max File Size Video Size Ratio Video Duration
MP4, MOV, MPEG, 3GP or AVI 500 MB 720 x 1280 px 16:9 or 1:1 5 to 60 seconds

Social media advertising is possibly the most exciting environment for innovative creativity. Every kind of medium seems to collide in a cataclysm of competition where talented minds are set on the challenge of generating the most clicks, views, and revenue as technically possible. As science and creativity blend together, we are witnessing some incredible campaigns hitting your social media feeds. Get on board and start creating your own earth-shattering social media banner ads today. Only tomorrow will tell how highly your banner scores.