Understanding the different social media platforms and which ones may be best for your business.
Like with everything in marketing, there are so many options when it comes to digital advertising that brands can suffer option paralyzation. Today we're diving into the different social media platforms and the pros and cons of each to help alleviate the decision making process.
BEFORE WE BEGIN - ARE YOU READY TO ADVERTISE?
Before you start the process of picking a social media platform to advertise on, we need to take a step back and decide if you're ready to spend money on advertising.
It's a common misconception with many businesses that if they spend money on advertising all their problems will be solved. That couldn't be further from the truth. Advertising on social media platforms is incredibly competitive and expensive. Additionally, you are not going to see automatic return on ad spend (ROAS), and need to make sure you're ok playing the long-game.
How to know if you're ready to advertise? It all comes down to have a proven track record of success and revenue as well as a solid marketing foundation, including:
Your website is well-branded, easy to navigate, up-to-date, responsive and has an easy buying/booking process.
Your product listings have great imagery and videos, well-written benefit descriptions, and include reviews.
Your products/services are ready to be sold and in stock.
You know your target audience.
You have branding guidelines and business logos and are implementing them.
Proven record of a successful business.
Your current client acquisition strategy isn't working.
You already have a strong social presence.
You also have to be okay with the following when it comes to social media ads:
You won’t get great results initially.
Digital advertising requires time.
Digital advertising requires a steady stream of investment.
Data regulations change a lot (ios updates).
THINK YOU'RE READY? LET'S TALK PLATFORMS
Does your business check all these boxes? Great! You're ready to scale with social media advertising. Now we need to decide which platforms you should focus on. We're diving into three of the biggest advertising social media platforms there are: Meta: Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
META: FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM
It's no secret that Facebook rules the world, and because of that, Facebook is the main social media platform when it comes to advertising. Now that Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company, you can tap into data and users across both platforms. Facebook is also the biggest social media platform in the world, therefore the amount of strategic targeting could arguably be one one of the best.
PROS OF FACEBOOK ADVERTISING:
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with almost 3 billion people in the world with an account. (according to Statica.com)
You can target users based on age, interests, gender, location, language and much more!
You can create lookalike audiences based on your current website traffic.
Two for one special: Facebook now owns Instagram so for your budget you can advertise on two platforms.
There are many advertising options such as a single image, carousel ads, video ads and more.
Facebook tailors your ad results based on what type of ad you want to run such as traffic ads, conversion ads, lead generation, app downloads and more.
CONS OF FACEBOOK ADVERTISING:
Facebook ads are getting increasingly expensive and you're paying to compete with all other advertisers.
Not all people are actively on Facebook as they used to be.
People have to actually sign into their social media account to see the ad.
Facebook ads can take time to produce a decent ROAS (return on ad spend).
In my professional opinion, Pinterest ads are one of the most underutilized means of digital advertising that is out there. The cool, and different, thing about Pinterest is that not only is it a social media platform but Pinterest is also a search engine so you can target people who want to see the content that you're promoting. However, Pinterest isn't for everyone, and with a largely female audience, your business needs to be right for advertising on Pinterest.
PROS OF PINTEREST ADVERTISING:
Pinterest advertising is a great way to increase brand awareness and get your business on fresh eyes.
If you have a visual business that has women as the main target audience, this is the platform for you!
There is different pricing options to advertise.
You can target people by demographic, interests, keywords, lookalike audiences, and retargeting.
Pinterest Analytics are easy to understand.
Less competition than Facebook advertising.
CONS OF PINTEREST ADVERTISING:
Pinterest advertising needs to be visual and have a clear and catchy call to action.
The audience and targeting is not as large as Meta/Facebook targeting.
The audience of Pinterest is largely women in their 30s. If this isn't your target audience then Pinterest won't work for you.
TikTok is the place to be for content creators. The amount of videos and users on TikTok is increasing everyday and is truly the new hub for those creators. The nice things about TikTok is that it's not inundated with advertising yet so when you see an ad you tend to pay attention to it. As we learn more about TikTok advertising, it could be a great option for your business. Here are the pros and cons about advertising on this platform:
PROS OF TIKTOK ADVERTISING:
Viewers trust TikTok advertising and are more likely to pay attention to them.
If your target audience is GenZ you found their location! However, there is still a diverse network to target.
You can advertise with natural video content to catch the attention of TikTok users.
Fast growing and trendy platform - stay ahead of the competition.
CONS OF TIKTOK ADVERTISING:
TikTok advertising doesn't start as inexpensive as other platforms.
Generally, there isn't much of an older audience to target.
You must have high-resolution and natural/organic looking videos to advertise with.
OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS FOR ADVERTISING
Obviously there are more social media platforms to advertise on including Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Just like the three platforms we mentioned above, there are pros and cons with each, but the common theme is that all platforms require consistent funding, high-quality creatives and a solid marketing foundation prior to running ads.
And when you're ready to start scaling your business with social media advertising, reach out to STAK Marketing to find the best solution to fit your brand's needs.
Owner & Founder, STAK Marketing
Michelle Johnson is the owner, founder and Chief Marketing Guru at STAK Marketing. Our passion at STAK Marketing is to create beautiful STAKs of marketing strategies that help small and mid-sized businesses grow and reach their goals. STAK Marketing's expertise ranges from SEO to branding, e-mail marketing to website design, PR to advertising and much more - making STAK Marketing a one-stop-shop for all your small business marketing needs.