It can be daunting when you first decide to dive into the world of social advertising, especially if you have little to no experience. Not to fear, there are plenty of free and incredibly helpful tools available to help you prepare for posting your first advert.


Every social media platform that offers advertising has some form of step-by-step guide on how to create and host an advert. Facebook’s Blueprint really delves into the nitty gritty exploring all aspects of creating ads and reporting. The courses range from beginner to advanced levels of knowledge and cover advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

The courses themselves vary in length and include a short ‘test your knowledge’ section at the end so you can try out your new skills. They also offer a variety of online webinars which can be dialled into on the day, or watched later on Blueprint. These are extremely handy for anyone who wants the chance to ask questions to Facebook representatives from all over the world as they host a short Q&A session at the end of each presentation.

If you have completed all the courses you need, or have finished them all, you can also take a certification exam. This is a service which is paid for and must be treated like a real exam. Once you have successfully completed your exam, you will be rewarded with an official certification from Facebook.

Pixel Helper

For those of you who are savvier in your social advertising, you should be aware of Facebook’s ‘pixel’. It is fundamental that your pixel is implemented correctly to ensure you are tracking visitors for remarketing and to keep on top of any conversions through Facebook. It can be a long-winded process to test your pixel if you don’t know what you are doing. However, there is a handy Google Chrome extension called ‘Pixel Helper’. This will automatically flag whether a pixel is correctly placed on a web page and how many you have live. This comes top on my list of priorities for setting up a campaign.

Text Overlay Tool

You may be familiar with Facebook’s 20% text rule on advert images you may also be aware that you can’t tell whether your image is over the limit until it has been uploaded or set live. Facebook offers a really simple tool which allows you to upload your image, it then gives you an image text rating from OK to High. A great site if you’re worried about your text limitations.

Creative Hub

If you are stuck for ideas on the content for your advert, you can reach out to a whole host of advertisers to share ideas, leave feedback and get inspired. The absolute best part of Creative Hub is the ability to mock up adverts for Facebook and Instagram. You can save them as a draft and set them live once you’ve made your final amendments. A top tool for anyone who is visually inspired and wants to see their ad pulled together before they add any budget to it.

Ad Parlour

Similarly to Creative Hub, there is also a tool available on Ad Parlour where you can create mock up ads for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest in all available formats (minus canvas). A great alternative if you’re not yet confident enough with Facebook Ads Manager.

You can also add a 20% grid which will help you decipher whether you are within the text limitations.

To make sure you never miss any updates on your ads, I’d recommend downloading Facebook Adverts Manager app for your phone or tablet. Make small changes to your campaigns, get reporting insights and switch your ads on and off on the go.

With these tools you will be ready to create, post and monitor your ads in no time!