Social media advertising is part of most companies’ marketing mix. It can be a great way to hyper-target specific audiences based on location, demographics, preferences and more. In 2021, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) reported that social media advertising accounted for $57.7 billion, increasing by 39.3%.
The impact of social media advertising for your customers can be significant. It can drive brand awareness, sales, community-building, trust, respect and more. But not every social platform is the right fit for your advertisers. With so many options, you’ll want to make specific recommendations to your clients that can drive the best ROAS (return on ad spend).
Facebook remains the top social media platform, with nearly 2 billion daily active users! Because of its reach and familiarity, 62% of companies said they would use it for advertising in 2022. Companies rated it as the platform with the best ROI. Many of those businesses are small and local. It has robust targeting capabilities and a mature ad network that can entice consumers to explore, buy, visit and more.
Facebook has a diverse mix of users by age, from 13 to over 65. For those 18 and up, there is relatively even coverage, meaning it’s a platform that Gen Z and baby boomers frequent.
When to recommend Facebook:
- The advertiser has a well-defined ideal buyer that you can use for targeting.
- Clients want to reach customers in a variety of age brackets.
- The product or service is visual in nature.
- There’s a defined offer (e.g., discounts, free trials, etc.) for users to click.
- They have an existing Facebook profile (although it doesn’t need thousands of followers).
Instagram skews younger than its sister Facebook (both owned by Meta), with 63% of users being 18 to 34. Instagram is all about images and video, and it is very shopping-focused and influencer heavy. Because of these characteristics, businesses rated it second on ROI.
When to recommend Instagram:
- The advertiser’s ideal customers are between 18 and 34.
- Products and services are visually appealing and consumer-focused (i.e., business to consumer).
- High-quality images and videos are available to use.
- There’s an e-commerce component for your client.
- Businesses have local influencers willing to promote their brand.
YouTube is, of course, the king of video. With more than 2 billion monthly users and the ability to reach more 18- to 49-year-olds than TV networks, it has lots of appeal. As more online content becomes video, YouTube works for both long-form and short-form video ads. There are various options, including skippable and non-skippable in-stream, in-feed video and bumper ads.
When to recommend YouTube:
- The advertiser produces a high volume of unique, high-quality, attention-grabbing promotional video.
- Clients have a deep understanding of the customer base they are selling to and a strong USP (unique selling proposition).
- The advertiser has a larger budget for non-skippable ad types.
Twitter advertising isn’t as popular as that of its peers, and the majority of its addressable audience is male. The platform has targeting abilities like others. Content can include text, images and video. Twitter recommends avoiding the use of hashtags and @ mentions, which may seem counterintuitive since that’s what makes Twitter distinct from the others.
When to recommend Twitter:
- The advertiser sells predominantly to men.
- Ads are quick and catchy.
- Humor is part of the ad, as Twitter has a reputation for its comedy.
Snapchat is a newer platform, with most of its audience under 25. According to Hootsuite, the users of Snapchat are slightly more female than male (60% vs. 40%). Snapchat also has lots of variety with six different types of ads for images or videos. The content should be very short and can include links to a landing page, form, longer version of the video and more.
When to recommend Snapchat:
- The audience of your client is Gen Z and skews female.
- Products and services are sellable through visuals.
- Your client fits into the top verticals for the platform: e-commerce, consumer packaged goods, automotive, retail, restaurants, health and beauty, and travel.
- The content is short and snappy.
- There’s one CTA (call to action) or key message.
LinkedIn is the B2B social media platform. It can be a useful platform for customers selling to other businesses. Targeting relates to a person’s role or professional interests, and most users are 25 to 34. Ads can appear as sponsored content, as text in news feeds or through InMail.
When to recommend LinkedIn:
- Your advertiser works in the B2B space.
- Clients have a defined buyer persona that focuses on their professional attributes (e.g., title, industry, experience, interests).
- The company has an excellent professional reputation, and its sellers are active on LinkedIn.
- They are seeking to use ad dollars for recruitment.
Pinterest is the 21st-century mood board. Advertisers can inspire users and turn them into customers. The activity of saving these ideas or “pins” naturally leads to shopping. As you probably could have guessed, most Pinterest users are female. The age group of 25 to 34 is the largest of the user base. Pinterest is a good value, with research supporting that it delivers a 2.3 times more efficient cost per conversion than other platforms.
When to recommend Pinterest:
- The advertiser most wants to attract women.
- A company’s industry aligns well with how people use the platform (e.g., DIY, crafting, recipes, event planning, interior design, travel, etc.).
- Your clients have specific campaigns in mind related to holidays or seasonality.
- Advertisers have an active profile and traction on their pins.
- Clients want to drive traffic to their e-commerce site.
TikTok is the latest short-form video platform that has a highly addicted fanbase. Most of those users are very young. In fact, nearly half (47.4%) are 29 or younger. With TikTok, companies can create image or video ads, and they will always be full-screen ads. After the ad, a card appears with the business’s profile name, text and a CTA button.
When to recommend TikTok:
- Advertisers want to target Gen Z.
- The company has an active TikTok account and regularly posts to it.
- The message and offer are visual and short.
Social Media Advertising: Lots of Options to Deliver on Advertiser Objectives
While the field of social media platforms is broad, not every site is suitable for all clients. You can make informed recommendations and set expectations by understanding their needs, audience and goals.
Like any advertising, the quality of the content and the relevancy of the offer matter. Be sure to work with your clients throughout the process to ensure this. You’ll prove your value and provide better results and higher ROAS.