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8 Essential Tools to Help You Run Successful Ad Campaigns

This post comes from Hootsuite’s blog. 

When you’re running a social media ad campaign, the right toolkit will keep all your well-laid plans running effectively.

We chatted with our social marketing specialist Gabrielle Maheux about the tools she uses when managing Hootsuite’s own social ad efforts.

A toolkit for social ads managers

AdEspresso by Hootsuite

AdEspresso by Hootsuite allows us to do a number of important things with our ads. First off, we can run split test ad sets, which is key to running the most cost-effective campaign. Within a few days of the start of a campaign we know what ad copy and creative is performing best and why—allowing us to optimize the campaign.

In our ad dashboard, we get an overview of performance over time, top tracking metrics, total amount spent, conversions, and the best and worst performing ads. We can easily pinpoint ads that are not working for us.

AdEspresso also allows us to boost posts directly from the Hootsuite dashboard. This makes it easy to put money behind our best performing organic posts. Then we set up our ad campaign, select the ad account, run split tests, and manage the ad from Hootsuite.


We use Evernote to share notes about ads among our team. Whenever we make a change to an ad or refresh our plan, we add notes so that we can time stamp our decisions and the reasons we made them.

Evernote is also great during the planning stage of an ad campaign because we can set out a timeline, roles and responsibilities, and outline a draft workback schedule. It’s also easy for us to link to other docs like strategy decks or calendars.

Hootsuite Enhance

When we’re creating ads, we often need access to images that we can we can quickly customize and resize for social. Using Hootsuite Enhance, we can use effects, filters, and fonts to create images for social.

All images for ads on social need to have less than 20 percent of the image covered by text, so we test our ad images using Facebook’s Image Text Check tool beforehand to make sure they’re going to work.

UTM codes

Every ad campaign we run includes UTM parameters. That way we know exactly how much traffic and how many conversions are coming from specific ads. It also helps us identify the source of social traffic, i.e. which social network the ads sent traffic from.

UTM codes also help us group ads by type. We set up different tags by broad themes like brand awareness or campaign type like social ROI. This allows us to group ad performance and make observations. If we see that a certain ad group is performing best on a certain channel, we’ll shift our budget accordingly.


Messaging software Slack is awesome for cross-team collaboration. When we’re working on a big campaign, we can create a group, upload documents and resources, and get instant feedback. It’s an easy way for us to keep in touch with everyone who needs to know about our ad efforts.

We like the search box because we can go through our archives if we need to retrieve anything for reference, such as plans and notes from past campaign.

Facebook Blueprint

We run a lot of ads on Facebook, so having a learning resource like Facebook Blueprint is essential. It offers courses, guides, and training modules on the latest in social advertising.

It’s a one-stop-shop for all things Facebook advertising—whether you’re looking to try new ad formats, better optimize your ads, or refine your KPIs.


Searching for social media images can be time-consuming and expensive. That’s why having a handy list of free stock photo image sites can help speed up the process.

Our favorites are Unsplash and Kaboompics, because we can search by keyword for thousands of images in their database. This helps us narrow down our selection a lot faster.

Hootsuite Impact

Hootsuite Impact is a powerful measurement tool that allows us to report on all of our paid and organic performance. It helps us see the overall health of our channels and our return on investment (ROI).

It also offers recommendations on things like daily ad spend, geographic targeting, and approximate cost per action. This is especially useful when we’re running multiple campaigns and need to make sure that we’re consistent across all channels when looking at results.

When you’re running next ad campaign, get your toolkit in order before building out your plan. It will help you stay organized and properly track all of your campaigns.

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