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Paid Social Advertising Platforms: Which One Is Right for Me?

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Social media marketing has become a must-have for businesses across most industries. Not only is it free, but it’s highly effective at building a loyal brand audience, which can lead to more web traffic and more conversions.

But now that businesses and brands are competing for attention like never before, paid social advertising has grown in prominence. With its extensive reach, affordable options and flexible customisation, it’s a popular strategy for building a solid online presence and reaching more people than ever before.

What’s what on each platform?

Firstly, Facebook boasts 1 billion daily active users, and it offers highly flexible and creative ad formats, like video and carousel ads (which also happen to work well on mobile devices). If you’re not getting the desired results from a particular ad campaign (which have very low monthly prices), then you can easily change it up or tweak it any time you like in the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. Facebook Insights also provides you with in-depth analytics that show your ads’ impressions, reach and engagement, as well as your audience’s demographics. Facebook is also one of the most widely used mobile apps, so you’ll know that your ads are travelling far when you use Facebook. The platform’s audience targeting tools also make it incredibly easy for you to reach people who are most likely to have an interest in your brand or product.

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Next, let’s take a look at YouTube. Video advertising has been lauded as the next big thing, so advertising on this platform could very well be a worthy investment for your business. Like Facebook, it also boasts an audience in the 1 billion mark, and provides both video ads and static advertising options. Some have suggested that YouTube converts more than any of the other major social networks, and this might be because short 30-second videos are more memorable than say, a dense page of text in the form of a blog post. If you’re looking to raise brand awareness, then YouTube is your go-to.

LinkedIn is the professional social network, and thus is best suited to B2Bs. It can be a fantastic tool for content marketing because of its Sponsored Updates capability, which you could use to increase the readership of your blog, as an example. Like Facebook, LinkedIn lets you target your audience right down to the smallest detail, including company size, job title, function, industry and location. If you aren’t a B2B company, or you’re not targeting a very specific professional, then advertising on LinkedIn probably isn’t suited to you.

Twitter has a pretty sizeable audience as well, and offers three types of advertising options: Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends. Promoted Accounts provide your business’s Twitter profile with more exposure, and helps you to build followers, while Promoted Tweets give just one status update more exposure, but are ideal for building a recognisable brand voice and for promoting special deals. Lastly, Promoted Trends let users see time, context and event-sensitive trends that you promote. They are best used for promoting new products, awareness for upcoming events, and for overall brand building. Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of advertising on Twitter is that anyone can do it – you don’t have to have an established brand to begin.

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How do I decide which is right for me?

There are many more options out there, so it’s best to choose your platform/s based on the following factors:

  • Which platforms are your target audience using? If they predominantly use Facebook, it’s no good advertising on YouTube
  • Are they more interested in traditional ads or video ads?
  • Do you have the time and resources to customise your ads to reach more people?

Once you’ve determined this, it’s time to get advertising, start analysing your results, and testing out new methods.

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By Cassie Chorn


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