How To Leverage Paid Social Media To Market Your Small Practice Part 2: Creating The Ad on NPBusiness.ORG

How To Leverage Paid Social Media To Market Your Small Practice Part 2: Creating The Ad

Welcome to part 2 in our 3-part series on social media marketing; today, buying ads. If you missed the first article, you can either read it here or catch the highlights below.

Here’s what we’ll cover today.

  • Things to consider before creating an ad
  • Basic terminology you need to know to advertise on social media
  • Steps to take to create an ad on Facebook

Why Facebook?

Because it’s the most popular social media platform, and once you know how to set up ads on Facebook, you can apply the same principles to other ad platforms.

Online Ads Are Different

Online ads differ from offline ads.

If you’ve advertised in the Yellow Pages, in newspapers, or magazines before, you’ll know what I mean. You pay a fixed amount in exchange for a particular size ad, and for it to be listed at a specific location.

You know where your ad will show, and the position of your ad doesn’t change until a new edition is published.

But not with online ads.

  • Ad placement is ‘fluid.’ There are different types of Facebook ads, some show in the newsfeed, others in the sidebar. And with a myriad of factors impacting ad placement, suffice it to say your ad will not display in the same spot.
  • Pricing of online ads is based on a wide range of factors and determined by an algorithm. However, advertisers have the option to cap how much they are willing to spend when running an ad.

Things To Consider…

Last week, I left you with three questions to answer before placing social media ads:

  • Who do you want to attract with your ad?
  • What’s your goal for placing ads?
  • What do you want people to do once you have their attention?

Who Do You Want To Attract?

Who are the people you want to attract with your ads? Who are the patients you want to work within your practice?

To find the answer, build a composite of the people who you want to work with and attract on social media. Creating an avatar allows you to effectively communicate with your target audience, provide them with relevant content, and show targeted ads.

What’s Your Goal For Placing The Ad?

What do you want to accomplish; what’s the desired outcome for your ad?

Do you want to:

  • Build your new practice by creating awareness?
  • Attract a specific group of people to your established practice?
  • Promote a new service you’re about to launch?
  • Introduce a second location?

Whatever your goals may be, at this time, Facebook offers three different buckets of objectives to set up a campaign:

  • Create Awareness for your business
    • Brand awareness: increase brand awareness by showing your ad to people who are most likely to be interested in it.
    • Reach: show your ad to the maximum number of people.
  • Encourage Consideration for your business
    • Traffic: send people to a destination on or off Facebook
    • Engagement: get more post engagements and page likes
    • App installs
    • Video views: get more people to watch your video content
    • Lead generation: Get more leads, such as email addresses, from people interested in your business.
    • Messages: Get more people to send messages to your business in Messenger or WhatsApp.
  • Get a Conversion
    • Conversions: get people to take actions on your website, app, or in Messenger
    • Catalog Sales
    • Store Traffic

Choosing the right objective for your campaign is critical since it determines different parameters, including available ad format, bidding options, and more.

So, pick the objective that best represents your desired outcome. If your end goal is to generate a lead for your practice by capturing an email address, choose “Consideration: Lead Generation.”

Or, if you want visitors to go to your website and download a free report, you would choose “Conversion.”

What Do You Want People To Do?

After people engage with your ad, what do you want them to do? In other words, what is the specific call to action you want them to take?

Do you want them to like your page or post, download a free report, go to your website to read an article, sign up for your newsletter, or perhaps call your office?

Make sure you include a clear call to action with your ad, in line with your marketing objective. 


Below are a few terms and concepts you need to know before advertising on social media. 

The Business Manager

While you can run ads from your personal Facebook account through the Ads Manager, it’s good practice to separate personal from business.

You can easily do this as long as you’ve set up a business page for your practice. Chances are you’ve already done this, so all that’s left to do is create a business manager account and run your ads there.

The Business Manager is a tool to help you manage pages and ads for your business. It allows you to can set up multiple ad accounts, provide account access to others, assign different levels of permission to users, and more.

Go to and follow the instructions to set up your business manager account. Once you’ve set up the account, verified your business identify, and specified payment methods, you’re ready to go!

The Facebook Ad Structure

Facebook advertising uses a hierarchy; there are three parts to every Facebook ad:

  • Campaign level:
    • The campaign is at the top of the ad hierarchy. It is where you start when setting up ads.
    • It’s at the campaign level where you select your marketing objective.
    • You define one objective per campaign.
  • Ad Set level:
    • An ad set is a collection of ads; you may have multiple ad sets per campaign, with many ads per ad set.
    • This is where you create targeting for your ads. Facebook allows you to tailor your audience, so your ads will be served to those who are most likely to resonate with your message.
    • You also define your budget, schedule, bidding, and placement at the ad set level.
  • Ad level:
    • Here is where you create the actual ads your customer sees.
    • It’s recommended you create two to four variations for every ad in an ad set. It allows you to test to see which ad performs best.
    • At the ad level, you’ll pick the format, write the copy (your message), and pick an image or a video for your ad. 

The Facebook Pixel

While detailed information about the pixel is beyond the scope of the article, I want to introduce you to the term and concept.

The Facebook pixel is a small, invisible piece of code you place on a page of your website that you want to track. The information gathered by the pixel is sent back to Facebook and used to provide even more laser-focused targeting.

While you don’t have to use the pixel to place ads, it’s in your best interest to start using it as soon as possible.

The pixel provides information about traffic and audience behavior on your pages. The pixel makes it possible to keep narrowing your targeting when advertising on Facebook; it’s what makes Facebook advertising so effective.

Creating The Ad

As you’ve probably noticed, running social media ads can get a bit involved, particularly if you’re new to it.

But all the heavy lifting is done up front: defining goals, objectives, and outcomes! Once you know what you want to accomplish, then setting up your ads simply requires a specific sequence of steps!

While this article is a high-level introduction to paid social media marketing, it gives you an overview of setting up your first ad. Facebook also provides a range of resources to help you with the process.

Creating Ads

Fist create your Business Manager Ads account by going to this page. Follow the instructions on the page to get set up, and once finished, you’re ready to get started.

There are three sections to complete when setting up an ad. Facebook steps you through the entire process; everything you must complete:

  1. Create your campaign
    • Name your campaign
    • Select one objective for your campaign:
      • Create awareness or
      • Create consideration or
      • Get conversions
  1. Create one or more ad sets for your campaign
    • Different ad sets allow you to define different audiences
    • Define placement… where you want the ad to show
    • Define budget and schedule for the ad sets
  1. Create the actual ads for every ad set
    • Create one or multiple ads per ad set
    • Mix up ads with different text, images, videos to test which ads get the best response

Here’s how a campaign might look…

  1. Let’s say you want to get more traffic, visitors to your practice website. The campaign objective you would choose is “Conversion.”
  2. Next, you could create one or multiple ad sets within the campaign. When you create multiple ad sets, you can target different groups of patients. For example, you could target people needing DOT exams and parents wanting a sports physical for their child.
  3. Finally, you would create ads within each ad set speaking directly to the needs of each group.
    • The ads in ad set one would include text and images related to DOT physicals
    • The ads in ad set two would consist of text and images related to sports physicals.

Today, Facebook is the most customizable social media advertising network, allowing you to create detailed, granular targeting to reach your audience.

While there’s a learning curve to get up to speed with paid social media marketing, it’s powerful and well worth the effort!

What’s the best way to get started? Create your first campaign today!


Next week… the common mistakes people make when marketing on social media.

We want to hear from, give you input and leave your comment!


By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.”



Comments 2

  1. Hi Barbara, First Happy Belated Birthday!!!
    Since the last email, I created a Facebook ad… I just want thank you for the continued information and support for NP Business Owners.
    My Grand Opening for VSH Health was June 1st, it was a absolute success BUT now I actually need clients and consistent business. Therefore after reading your email I did my first ad. THANK YOU!

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