You can’t win if you’re not in the game. 

But, in the social media game, you’ve got to pay to play. 

Sure, it’s possible to get organic traffic through consistent, high quality content marketing.  

However, paid advertising on social media can help you get more value out of your social media efforts. 

The trick is to use paid advertising correctly, but that’s a topic for another blog.

Today, I’ll be guiding you through the things you should look for when deciding which social media platform for advertising. The choice ultimately depends on your answers to these five questions.

  1. Who is in your target audience?
  2. What are the interests of your target audience?
  3. Where does your target audience frequent on social media?
  4. Why is your target audience using that (or those) social media platform (s)?
  5. How does your target audience behave on social media?

Paid advertising on social media will only produce the best outcomes if you take the time to answer these questions and create a strong strategy which supports your answers. Always remember that where your target audience is should be where you advertise.

There were over 3.484 billion social media users in 2019 who used more than 65 social media sites. Using all these sites would have been impossible for me although I am a social media manager. Therefore, I’m going to describe my experiences on the four platforms I have used as both an advertiser and consumer.

Advertising on Facebook: Some Nuggets of Truth

Photo by Kon Karampelas

Lyfe Marketing reports two very important statistics. Firstly, over 60 million local business pages have been created in the period leading up to 2019. Secondly, “67 perent of marketers find Facebook to be their most important social media channel.” Facebook is one of the most popular social media advertising platforms despite reports that 15 million US users have left Facebook in the past two years. 

I believe that the popularity of Facebook advertising is due to its targeting metrics. A wide range of characteristics are available for you to define your audience. Furthermore, Facebook gives you double for your money; your Facebook ads can also be shown on Instagram if you choose that option. 

The targeting Facebook offers on both platforms provides a good place to start if you aren’t clear about your target audience. You can test various ads to determine which group you’ve targeted responds the most to what you’re offering.

One of the pitfalls of Facebook, however, is that ads don’t remain after their budget has ended unless you used a boosted post. Even then, boosted posts won’t have a wide reach after the budget has run its course. You have to keep pumping money in if you want to increase results.  

Advertising on Pinterest: The Proverbial Underdog 

Photo by Szabo Viktor

Pinterest is my favorite social media platform. I call it the underdog because not enough people pay attention to the value it adds to a brand’s digital presence. In fact, only 27 percent of marketers were using Pinterest in 2019. Here are a few fun facts:

  1. Pinterest had 291 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2019. 
  2. Which target group “runs” Pinterest? Women! Statista reports that 79.5 percent of Pinterest users were women in 2019.

Pinterest is more about consumer interests than behavior. Therefore, your paid advertising strategy on Pinterest would focus primarily on your target audience’s interests, which is a plus if they are “interested” in your product!

One of the benefits of Pinterest is that paid ads don’t disappear. There’s this cool feature called “earned pins” that enable your post to keep getting viral traffic if people were “sharing” your pin aka pinning it to their boards. Repins are a powerful Pinterest marketing tool. 

Advertising on LinkedIn: Arguably the Best ROI

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

LinkedIn allows you to be even more specific with your targeting using direct messages. It’s a professional network that can help you win connections within your industry. If you’re very specific about who you want to target, your return on investment (ROI) will arguably be far better than on any other social media platform. 

Alexander Kesler sums it up nicely by stating that LinkedIn “allows you to connect with hard to reach business-oriented audiences with targeted messages.” He adds that LinkedIn allows you to seamlessly reach a top-funnel audience who is more receptive to your message. LinkedIn may have fewer users than other social media platforms, but the quality of the interactions produces the best results.

Advertising on Twitter: The Follower Builder

Photo by Sara Kurfeß

Twitter works well when trying to expand a follower base. Twitter Ads can help you place a group of tweets in front of your target audience and “display your username in places other than a user’s newsfeed, such as the Who to Follow section.” Gaining more followers then helps you create an audience that you can lead down your sales funnel through your tweets. 

Final Words

Social media platforms provide an array of advertising options. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right platform depends on where your audience is and how much you know about them. Need help making the right decision? Let’s chat! Click here to schedule a consultation


Hilary De Freitas is a wife, mother, engineer and marketer. She is dedicated to helping mothers build a successful online business from their passions, so that they don't have to choose between career and family. Hilary has been involved in network marketing, affiliate marketing and digital marketing consulting for the past 10 years. Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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