Which Social Media Platforms Should I Advertise On?

Social media advertising is quickly becoming one of the most successful ways a business can expose its product to potential customers and clients.  Whenever you see an advertisement on Facebook or Twitter, that is a social media advertisement; a social media advertisement is simply an advertisement on a social media platform.  Not only will social media advertisements give you great brand exposure and recognition, but they can also help your SEO (search engine optimization) and get you higher on the search engine results page.

Where Should I Run My Social Media Ads?

There are many different social media platforms – which of them make the most sense for your business?  Before you deploy a social media campaign, you will need to consider which platforms you will advertise on.  After all, there are too many platforms out there to advertise on; you will need to allocate your resources.

Some of the most popular social media platforms are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.  If you are familiar with any of these platforms, you will recognize that each of them is very different from the next.  Consequently, you will need to be aware of the pros, cons, and general structure of each platform.

Facebook Advertising

Each month, there are billions of users on Facebook.  There is tremendous opportunity for Facebook advertising.  In addition, Facebook also offers a business suite, so businesses can easily promote their products and services.  On Facebook, there are even microtargeting features, so that your advertisements are geared towards a specific audience.  Due to its size and business features, Facebook is an essential social media platform to advertise on.  As you might know, Facebook is not perfect.

Facebook’s marketing model relies on individual people and users to check in on their feed and engage with your ad.  So, in order to get your advertisements seen by a lot of people, then a significant amount of money will need to be spent on Facebook ads.  

Instagram Advertising

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is a rapidly growing social media platform.  Though there are not as many users on Instagram as there are on Facebook, Instagram has proven to be an effective platform for advertisements: if shown the same content, an Instagram user is 50 times more likely to engage with the content than on Facebook.  

Instagram is also a bit more simple in design than Facebook: Instagram relies solely on sharing photos.  However, this is not a problem; marketers will just need to create attractive visual content.  Additionally, Instagram is regularly rolling out new features, so a marketing team has a lot of latitude in how they present their content – it could be in the form of Instagram stories, reels, or standard posts.

Though Instagram is a great place to advertise, it might not be the greatest place for advertising to Gen X and Boomers: less than 15% of its users are older than 35.  Instagram and Facebook can work very well in tandem because Facebook owns Instagram and, as a result, the Facebook Ad Manager can be used to run Instagram ads as well.  

Twitter Advertising

If you are a Twitter user, you might have noticed that, despite the hundreds of millions of users on the platform, there are nowhere near as many ads on Twitter as on Facebook or Instagram.  This is a good thing for advertisers: you do not have as much competition on Twitter as you would on Facebook or Twitter.  

Twitter allows advertisers to filter out their target audience; the platform can sort out your target audience through followers, location, age, gender, language, and interests.  

When it comes to advertising, unfortunately, Twitter is not as user-friendly a platform as Facebook or Instagram.  On Twitter, you will not be able to easily track conversion on your ads, meaning that you will not be able to as easily track how your ads are generating money.  

Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest is an opt-in platform, meaning that users will only see what they follow on the platform.  The implication for an advertiser is that they need to be specific and have a target audience in mind.  Pinterest has a wonderful visual component, which allows a ton of creativity and can be a great way for your business to connect with a younger demographic.  

Pinterest has an interesting feature called pins.  A company can pay to pin, or bookmark, their content to user’s feeds.  Pins provide a great way for a business to track the conversion rate.   An effective pin can last for a very long time.

However, it is important to recognize the amount of effort that can go into Pinterest advertising.  Pinterest requires creative visual work, which can create a lot of labor for advertisers.  Pinterest does allow business accounts, though, so there are resources to make advertising simpler.

LinkedIn Advertising

Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, LinkedIn is the only social media platform that only features professionals, which could be both employers, employees, and those looking for a job.  Due to the nature of the audience on LinkedIn, advertisers can curate an effective target audience, which can be filtered by education, industry, corporation, certification, and experience level.  

In addition, LinkedIn is an excellent place for B2B advertising.  A target audience can be reached through the LinkedIn stream, direct messages, and other notifications.  

If you are familiar with LinkedIn, you might have noticed that its interface is not as intuitive and user friendly as the other social media platforms.  So, while impressive visual advertisements might work very well on the other platforms, they might not make a strong impression on LinkedIn.  

There are a wide variety of social media platforms and each of them offers unique benefits to advertisers.  Now, there is a social media platform for each demographic.  Social media is no longer the playground for young people; everyone is on it! Research your target audience, and prioritize which social media platforms make the most sense for your business to advertise on.

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