When it comes to your social media advertising strategy, is your brand laser-focused on one platform…or is it all over the place? If you’re not sure where your brand should be getting social with its fans and potential clients, read on to learn the pros and cons of advertising on today’s leading social media platforms.
Facebook has a high number of users—and a high conversion rate to match. Now that consumers can—and do!—shop on Facebook, they come back again and again to find new products to buy and brands to love. Add to that the ease of use and detailed targeting options available and you get a strong platform to use in your social media advertising strategy.
Offering a service instead of a product? No problem! You can still advertise effectively to Facebook’s masses. Facebook Lead Ads are a great option for brands who are looking for clients instead of shoppers. These customizable lead form ads auto-fill the user’s Facebook information, saving them the hassle of filling it out themselves and having to load a new page. Plus, Lead Ads are convenient for brands, who don’t have to create a landing page to send interested users to.
Just because Facebook’s advertising is easy enough for beginners to use doesn’t mean that it’s a great place for young companies to start buying ads. Facebook advertising can be tough for brands who are just starting out or aren’t sure of who they should be targeting with their social media advertising strategy. While Facebook advertising can work for broader brand awareness campaigns, the true strength of the platform is using all the data it’s collected on its users to find specific audiences that will benefit from hearing your message.
Another potential drawback to implementing Facebook ads into your social media advertising strategy is its fickle stance on what content it prefers to show its users. While that issue typically affects organic content more than sponsored ads, it’s a valid concern to have when you’re considering launching an ad campaign on Facebook.
Finally, Facebook reported over $27 billion in ad revenue in the last quarter of 2020. That’s a lot of competition for your ads! While the price point of your Facebook ads will vary greatly by your specific location, target, and vertical, keep in mind that Facebook’s popularity may drive the price way, way up depending on your market. It can afford to.
If you’ve got a gorgeous product, Instagram is the place to be. Not only is it a primarily visual platform, but it (like its owner, Facebook) has made shopping more and more seamless over the years. On Instagram, advertising is less about making a hard sell and more about promoting your brand persona, which can be beneficial for all kinds of brands.
One great thing about Instagram is that the platform can provide plenty of product and brand information without the user ever having to leave the app. In addition, Facebook reports that 87% of people surveyed took action after seeing product info on Instagram. The top three actions taken were searching for more information, visiting the brand’s website or app, and making an online or offline purchase.
Finally, Instagram makes it easy to turn customers into brand ambassadors. It’s a fantastic place for engagement because you can also take advantage of user-generated content. When your fans tag you in their posts and Stories, they’re promoting you to their friends and followers—for free. Plus, you can repurpose user-generated content for your own needs. Instagram is the place to build an army of brand ambassadors—and let them do some work for you!
Although it’s certainly possible to advertise services on Instagram, the platform is designed more for showing off and selling products than it is for offering services.
“Unlike Facebook, Instagram really only caters to B2C businesses,” explains Flori Needle of HubSpot. “If you’re a more corporate business not focused on individual consumer purchases, you’ll likely have some trouble marketing on Instagram and cultivating engagement.”
Regardless of what you’re advertising on Instagram, the name of the game is quality. That means there’s absolutely no room for sub-par images or hastily-shot videos when you advertise on Instagram. If you don’t have the time or the resources to dedicate to creating stellar lifestyle content and engaging with your followers, you may want to skip advertising on Instagram.
If you want to reach and interact with the masses of the internet, Twitter is the place to be.
The engagement you’ll find on Twitter is more authentic than on other social media sites. People aren’t coming to Twitter to shop—they’re coming to be entertained, informed, and connected. In other words, consumers get on Twitter to interact with brands, not necessarily to take action (for example, buy a product or hire a service) right at that moment. This engagement may not lead to conversions right away, but it still creates a relationship like no other platform.
Another advantage of including twitter in your social media advertising strategy is its analytics suite. While all of the social platforms listed here have analytics capability in some capacity, Twitter’s is a little different: it includes a marketing calendar to help you plan future content and strategy. For a platform that’s all about what’s happening now, that’s an invaluable asset for busy brands (and their advertising teams!).
Advertising on Twitter isn’t a good idea if you’re looking to send users to your website. When people are on Twitter, they don’t want to leave it. Plus, advertising on Twitter is expensive. A sponsored Tweet might not cost you too much, but running constant campaigns to gain followers runs the price up considerably. If you want to sponsor a promoted trend, you’ll have to spend $200,000 a day.
Don’t go into Twitter advertising thinking all you need is snappy copy and a GIF or two. Videos still get the most engagement, and it’s reportedly what users want to see. According to the Twitter Agency Playbook, Tweets with videos are six times more likely to be Retweeted than Tweets with photos!
Finally, you probably already know that advertising on any social media platform takes considerable time—there’s never really a good “set it and forget it” option. That’s doubly true for Twitter: if you’re too slow at any point in time, your message will be lost.
Targeting who you want to advertise to on LinkedIn is relatively straightforward for a few reasons:
- You know who’s using the platform
- You know what kind of content is expected there
- People provide their job info—and more
“The audiences you’ll reach are higher-quality than other leads because leads are much more qualified than other social media channels,” Needle explains. “Your ads will always be seen by business-minded individuals targeted based on relevant demographic information like job title, claimed industry, and working location.”
LinkedIn also offers dynamic ads that are customized for each viewer. Content ads, for example, are unobtrusive yet eye-catching because they use the user’s photo, name, and title and appear more like a recommendation than an ad:
Another example of LinkedIn’s personalized approach to advertising is its Message and Conversation ads, where you can directly reach exactly who you want (and pay accordingly) right in their direct messages.
LinkedIn also offers advertising off its platform: the LinkedIn Audience Network can boost your message’s reach past the platform itself, which is rare for advertising on social media. “Activating your message across multiple channels helps make paid media investments more efficient,” writes Seonah Iverson on the LinkedIn blog. “Sponsored Content campaigns enabling delivery on the LinkedIn Audience Network significantly reduce their cost-per-result, while also seeing improvements in engagement.”
Finally—and most obviously—advertising on LinkedIn is a great idea if you’re recruiting. Its specific targeting capabilities mean that you can reach exactly the type of candidate you want with ads about hiring events, open houses, positions, and more.
It’s not impossible to advertise on LinkedIn if you’re B2C, but the fact of the matter is that it’s much, much more geared toward B2B. In other words, LinkedIn may not be the best place for you to advertise your trendy new product (head to Instagram for that).
It’s also pricey to advertise on LinkedIn because the audience there is already in a business mindset. In other words, you’re advertising further down the sales funnel with better-qualified leads—and accordingly, it costs more to talk to those leads.
TikTok is where the influencers are. Yes, they’re also on Instagram and YouTube, but these are the contemporary influencers who have the eyes and ears of Gen Z. For that reason, TikTok is a great place to go “behind the scenes” with your brand: that’s the content this generation loves to see.
Fortunately, because it’s a relatively new platform for social media advertising, TikTok provides help along the way. “TikTok for Business is an all-in-one tool for marketers to advertise on TikTok,” Needle explains. “Instead of devising their own strategy, the platform helps marketers through the entire process of creating advertisements, setting budgets, reaching target audiences, and analyzing campaign data.”
Finally, TikTok’s engagement and conversion rates are through the roof—even higher than those found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to interact with fans and potential clients and consumers, TikTok is where to go.
Similar to how LinkedIn’s audience is more specific than those on Facebook or Twitter, so too is TikTok’s. The ages skew younger, averaging from 10 to 19. While people at this age can certainly spend money, that age range may not appeal to certain brands.
It can also get incredibly expensive to run brand awareness campaigns on TikTok. For example, a six-day branded hashtag campaign will run you about $150,000, and a brand takeover starts at around $50,000 a day.
Plus, TikTok’s not fantastic for sending people to your website: just like Twitter, people browsing the platform typically want to stay there for more entertainment, not be sent somewhere else. TikTok isn’t a great place to hunt for immediate leads; instead, it should be use to display to mood of your brand.
If your brand doesn’t align with TikTok’s vibe, don’t try to force it. The platform requires a specific type of video content designed to appeal to a specific type of person who expects you to cater to the hottest trends with an authentic persona. Don’t fake it if you can’t make it!
Which Social Media Platform Should You Advertise On?
The best way to decide if it’s worth it for your brand to advertise on any of these social media platforms is to take stock of the information you have on your existing and ideal customers. Then, use that data to inform your social media advertising strategy.
Developing your strategy depends heavily on your goals, your audience, and your market. At Kirkpatrick Creative, we use data analysis to find the best performance possible for your brand by measuring exactly what performs—and what doesn’t. It’s what we call advertising engineered to work.
Ready to get the most out of your social media advertising strategy? Kirkpatrick Creative can help. Get in touch with us today!