Advertising on social media

Guidelines for advertising and retargeting on social media.

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Creating cost-effective campaigns 

To make sure that your budget is spent in the most cost-effective way on social media, you can't “set and forget”.

Whether you’re working with an agency or running the campaign yourself, you need to: 

  • pick the right platform for your target audience and research how they talk about your subject matter
  • create assets specifically for social media 
  • set goals and define the outcomes you want, then use targeting and advertising placements to help you achieve that
  • identify the purpose - all posts should have a clear purpose, whether that is engagement or responding to a call to action
  • consider fresh creative for recurring campaigns so that your audience doesn’t get tired of seeing the same messaging.  
  • A/B test text and creative so that you can see what resonates best with your audience
  • review and learn - check if creative, text or targeting is working well and use those lessons to optimise while the campaign is still live
  • try again - implement learnings from previous advertising efforts.

Contact us

If you need help delivering a paid social campaign, email  for assistance.

Advertising compliance

If your social and total campaign budget is under $250,000 you need to follow the advice on advertising rules and restrictions

If your social and total campaign budget meets or exceeds $250,000 it will need to undergo a peer review process and budget approval via the Delivery and Performance Committee (DaPCo). Please follow the advertising rules and restrictions for campaigns with a budget of $250,000 to $1 million

If your campaign exceeds $1 million in budget please follow the advice for the relevant rules and restrictions

If your agency’s campaign is run through the NSW Government channels (for example, the NSW Government Facebook account), the compliance process will be managed by the Department of Customer Service. 

To remain apolitical, it is important to never mention or feature a minister in an advertising campaign. If you post something organically that mentions or features a minister, you cannot boost it or advertise with it. Political parties must not be promoted in any paid or organic post.

Additional restrictions apply in the caretaker and pre-caretaker periods. Find out more on the advertising section of the NSW Government website

Reporting on budget

If you advertise a social post related to another agency’s initiative and it includes a link to the other agency’s website, the total amount needs to be added to the agency’s campaign budget.  

Where possible, advise agencies before you advertise, so they can maintain oversight of their total campaign spend and manage ongoing compliance to the regulatory framework. 

However, if the post advertised links to or another website (external to the agency’s designated campaign landing page/s), it wouldn’t be considered part of the overall campaign budget. This is because the campaign message and call to action have been altered and therefore it can be considered a separate campaign. 


If Treasury, through the NSW Government Facebook page, spends $500 on advertising a post about the latest Budget and links to a article about the campaign, then the boosted amount ($500) does not need to be added to Treasury’s total media spend. 


Retargeting allows you to reach your website visitors with your social ads after they leave your website. If you’re using a pixel or insights tag, make sure you’re using the capability effectively. This means:

  • align your creative with the page that it leads to, where possible
  • make it easy for people to take the action you want them to take
  • cap how many times people see your ad so they don’t get fatigued
  • rotate your creative to avoid ad fatigue
  • chat to your media agency or the relevant social platform for further tips.

If you’ve not used retargeting before, speak to your media advisor or campaigns specialist (if you have one of these) if this is a suitable fit for your pages.

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