The world is becoming used to online shopping. According to Statista, 209.6 million U.S. shoppers purchased at least one item online in 2016. That number jumped to 230.5 million in 2021. If you own a business selling goods or services, it’s crucial to have a robust online presence to reach potential customers. That includes social media accounts.

Are Your Social Media Ads Reaching Your Customers?

Your social media ads need to stand out from your competitors to pique customers’ interest. These links provide information about who uses specific platforms and advertising statistics:

What Is Your Competition Doing?

If your social media ads aren’t up to par or aren’t reaching the right target groups, researching the types of ads your competitors use can inspire you and show you ways to improve.


Almost 3 billion people use Facebook monthly. Many businesses focus on Facebook for their social media marketing because their ads get so much exposure.

To find your competitors’ Facebook ads, you need to access their ad library. Do this by opening the Facebook ad library and then inputting the ad category, location, and your competitor’s name.

You can also see their ads through that company’s Facebook page. You’ll see all active ads this business is running on Audience Network, Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Find the Page Transparency box located in the sidebar and select See All. At the bottom of the box, you’ll see Ads From This Page. Click on the Go to Ads Library box.

Filters allow you to narrow the search results; this is helpful if your competitor runs lots of ads. Available filters include:

  • Language
  • Platform
  • Media types
  • Impressions by date

The impressions by date feature is useful to determine which ads were the most popular for a particular date or date range.

Clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner of competitors’ Facebook ads appearing in your feed can tell you why you received that ad. Use that information to help target the groups you want to reach with your ads.

As you examine your competitors’ ads, look at:

  • Ads that receive the most impressions
  • How long their ads have been active
  • Message length and layout
  • The most common type of media used


The majority of people responding to an Instagram survey said they used Instagram when researching services and products. Instagram has 1 billion active users every month, so your ads will get lots of exposure.

Facebook owns Instagram; you can find your competition’s Instagram ads through the Facebook ad library.

Advertisers can post stories or regular feed ads on Instagram. Looking at your competition’s ad placements and performance can help you decide where to place your ads. If they only use one option, consider placing a few ads in that placement to gain customers that they’re missing.

Look at the types of media your competitors are using. Investigate their success rate with carousel ads, videos, and static images.

Instagram offers businesses the opportunity to set up an Instagram shop. This allows customers to make purchases directly from Instagram. See if rival companies are using this feature.


Depending on the type of goods or services you offer, LinkedIn may not be a good fit for your marketing strategy. One way to decide that is to see if other companies with similar offerings use LinkedIn advertising.

You can search LinkedIn for competitor pages, then click on Posts. This will show you their ads, their comments, and how many people liked them.

Look for what types of ads get more comments and likes to discover what content your audience wants to see. Also, review the ad copy to learn how your competitors inspire trust and word their call to action.


Twitter doesn’t have an ad library, so finding competing ads is more complicated. You can interact with your rival’s Twitter account and hope to receive ads in your feed.

When you do see an ad, examine it to see:

  • Comments
  • What type of video or image they used
  • The length of their copy

How Can Sprout Media Lab Help?     

If all of this seems overwhelming or if you don’t have the time, Sprout Media Lab has you covered. Our services include website design, SEO services, social media marketing, and many more. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Call us at (800) 617-6975, use our live chat option or send us a free consultation request online.