Having a social media presence has long been a requirement rather than an option. Despite this, many businesses are still unsure exactly which platforms make the most sense for their business, and how to best utilize the paid advertising features across each one. Figuring out how to advertise on Facebook effectively can increase your overall marketing ROI dramatically. The first step in finding out where to spend your money is to better understand each unique social media marketing platform.
Without a doubt, Facebook is the behemoth of the paid social marketing space. Facebook has the most daily users of any social network with the most advanced targeting tools. No matter if you are B2B or B2C, your potential customers are most likely logging into Facebook at some point during the week. Installing a Facebook pixel on your website means you can send data back to Facebook in order to retarget ads to previous visitors. Due to its highly refined audiences, and its ubiquitous worldly presence, Facebook marketing is not an optional avenue for most businesses.
- User Count: 1.71 billion
- Active Daily Users: 1.13 billion
- Active Monthly Users: 1.49 billion
- Age: 63% of users are 18 – 34
- Gender: 45% male vs. 55% female – (77% of women and 66% of men are on the platform)
LinkedIn is focused solely on the professional marketplace. B2B content marketing strategies may rely heavily on LinkedIn, but for B2C companies, advertising on LinkedIn probably isn’t a wise investment choice. LinkedIn advertising offers sponsored content similar to Boosted Posts on Facebook. This allows you to broaden the audience for your latest blog post or SlideShare while targeting the audience by industry, education, etc. They also offer sidebar text ads with some strict limitations on length and format.
One of the biggest complaints about LinkedIn advertising is its high minimum CPC ($2.00) and its high daily minimum per campaign ($10.00). This can be a serious barrier to entry for small businesses on extremely tight budgets. When running a LinkedIn campaign, it is critical to continue monitoring your audience, pausing less successful ads, and making daily adjustments to optimize your performance.
- User Count: 433 million
- Active Daily Users: 40% (172 million)
- % of Users Outside the US: 70%
- Gender: 56% vs 44% Female
- Average time on LinkedIn: 17 minutes per month *Source: LinkedIn
Twitter offers a slightly younger demographic with a much shorter lifespan. Advertising on Twitter is formatted as Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends. Promoted Accounts means your brand’s twitter handle will show up in the sidebar for users whom you target or have similar interests. Promoted Tweets offer increased exposure for an existing tweet, or allow you to design a more appealing post with a CTA using Twitter cards. Promoted trends allow you to break into the trending topics.
Twitter is a great platform for engagement, but has seen poor numbers for overall referrals compared with Facebook. Many links in tweets are not clicked, even if they are retweeted. What this means for your business is that Twitter is best used as a way to communicate with your customers, rather than to drive a lot of traffic to your site. Utilizing Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends right before a contest or promotion can provide the brand awareness you need at the right time.
- User Count: 313 million
- Active Daily Users: 100 million
- Unique Monthly Visitors: 120 million
- Monthly Active Users in the US: 21%
Instagram is a highly visual network where sponsored ads should be well-crafted photographs and NOT traditional advertisements. Advertising on Instagram is best for travel, fashion, and even restaurants (think “food porn”). Until recently, Instagram relied on a chronological feed with minimal options for advertisers, but with the release of their algorithmic feed, it has shifted to a pay-to-play platform.
- User Count: 500 million
- Active Daily Users: 300 million
- Gender: 51% vs 49% Female
- % of Users Outside the US: 80%
- Monthly Active Users in the US: 89.4 million
The most gender-biased social network out there, Pinterest boasts an 85% female user base. Pinterest is also highly visual and focused on fashion, interior design, travel, and recipes. Pinterest’s recent “Buy it Now” button has been released to disappointing conversion rates, but it’s still driving a lot of traffic to a lot of sites.
- User Count: 176 million
- Active Users: 100 million
- Gender: 15% male vs 85% female
- % of users are millennials: 67%