Imagine an Instagram and Facebook ad that’s targeted to people in your database who were recently talking about your work. Or how about creating an ad for a “lookalike audience” based on that segment? Perfect for the holiday season.

Instagram is making it easy to reach their users by offering ad creation through Facebook (who owns Instagram). We’re going to show you how to send an Instagram and Facebook ads in a few simple steps, including how to create a “custom audience” group from social listening.

6 Steps to Creating Instagram Ads Using Facebook Ads Manager

When I started this process, I admit that it was a little confusing. I was hoping to see a giant button saying “Create An Instagram Ad”, but what I found is that you need to get through a few steps before the process is apparent. Here goes:

First, make your way to your “Ads Manager” page. This is different from your “Business Page”, so you’ll need to set up an account if you don’t have one. You can also access your “Ad Manager” page through your Business Page. Once you get to the Ads page, select the green “Create Ad” button which brings you to the screenshot below.

Step 1 – Choose Your Campaign Objective

Instagram ads are available for click to website, mobile app installs, and video views objectives. Select your objective as you would a regular Facebook campaign.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 2.46.09 PM

Step 2 – Choose Your Objective

In the example below, we went with a “Clicks to Website”, with the goal of driving traffic to our end of year fundraising page. At the bottom of the page, you can see that you’re on track with the Instagram & Facebook Better Together box.

After you select your campaign, hit the blue button and “Set Audience & Budget”.


Step 3 – Create Custom Audiences From Social Mentions

Once you get to the page, “Define your audience, budget and schedule”, select your target audience. You can also upload your email list and create a lookalike audience from this list.

Here’s where it gets interesting if you’re using a tool like You can create custom audiences based on social listening.

In addition to creating custom audiences with behavioral, CRM, and demographic data, you can layer it with social listening, which targets people already talking about your key terms on social media.

For example, if you work on environmental issues, send an Instagram and Facebook ad to everyone, including lookalikes, who mentioned terms like “cop21″.

With end of year fundraising underway, think about sending an Instagram and Facebook ad to your top social mentions. Your ads will be served within about a day of the mention using our integration with Facebook.

People who talk about your campaigns on Facebook or Twitter are primed to share your message, donate and get their friends involved. It shows they’re genuinely interested and have the ability to share your message, donate or take action, since they’re already talking.

Here’s an in-depth article on how to create your own custom audience in and story in Venture Beat. You can also watch the recording, or review the deck on Slideshare, of our webinar with founder Roz Lemieux and CEO of StrengthInMembers, Peter Genuardi.

climate terms

Step 4 – Choose How You Want Your Ad To Look

Once you get to the page called, “Select media, text and links to create one or multiple ads”, you’ll be asked “how do you want your ad to look”. Make sure you chose the option for “A single image or video in your ads” in order for Instagram to appear.

single image

Step 5 – Connect Your Instagram Account

About halfway down the page you’ll see this sneaky box. Simply connect your Instagram account by providing your username and password.

You’re not technically required to have an Instagram account, but we’d recommend it since there are limitations like not being able to respond to comments.

Instagram account

Step 6 – Place Your Order

place order

See, it works! The final step is for Facebook to approve your ad, which takes less than an hour.

Download the Guide to learn how to create an ad in Facebook (and now Instagram) with social listening.