Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn ads: Which is right for my business?
Businesses around the world spent more than £140m on social media advertising in 2022 – and according to Statista, that figure is only going to go one way: up. It’s no surprise when you consider that more than half the world’s population – some 4.7 billion people – now use social media.
Numbers like this are impossible to get your head around, but all you really need to know is that social media advertising is here to stay. If your business isn’t currently leveraging the power of social media to boost brand awareness and drive conversions, there’s no better time to get stuck in.
In this article, we’re going to cover three of the most popular social media platforms, listing the key pros and cons of the advertising services they provide. We’ll also touch on some other options.
Let’s start with the biggest social media platform of them all, Facebook. Arguably, Facebook was the first website to really bring social media into the mainstream. It’s more unusual these days to meet someone who’s not on Facebook than someone who is, which kind of says it all.
With almost 3 billion users worldwide, it’s certainly the most popular platform around – which leads us nicely into the pros of Facebook advertising…
- You’ll have an enormous amount of potential customers at your fingertips. Practically any audience you can think of can be reached through Facebook, which is an enormous plus point.
- A wide variety of different ad formats are available, from image and video-based ads through to stories, carousels and more.
- Ads can be placed in different areas, including the news feed and Facebook’s partner app, Messenger.
- Facebook ads are fairly priced. Currently, the average cost-per-click (CPC) sits at around £0.78.
- The strengths of Facebook can also be its weaknesses. Because it’s so popular, it’s highly competitive. You’ll often find yourself bidding against competitors.
- Facebook has strict guidelines for its ads, limiting what you can and can’t say or depict in your campaigns. This can be frustrating and limiting for some businesses.
Instagram is part of the Meta group, just like Facebook. So, although the platform itself looks and feels very different, there is a degree of crossover when it comes to the ads functionality. This can be both a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view – but there’s no denying that Instagram ads can be highly effective when they’re done right.
- They can integrate with Facebook ads, allowing you to simultaneously run a campaign across both platforms.
- The app is highly visual. When they’re done well, Instagram ads can be very impactful as a result – they can really grab a user’s attention.
- A wide variety of different formats are available, much like Facebook. These include photos, videos, reels and carousels.
- Again, like Facebook, ads can be placed in different areas like the main feed, explore page, stories and more.
- They can be highly targeted at specific audiences, just like Facebook.
- They’re much more expensive than Facebook. It’s not uncommon for the average CPC to rise to £3 or more, particularly if you operate in a highly competitive industry.
- The guidelines for Instagram ads are perhaps even more strict than for Facebook ads – you’ll need to have access to high-quality assets.
LinkedIn is social media in a suit. A more professional, business-orientated site, LinkedIn has a more serious tone and an audience that comprises largely of educated professionals, making it ideal for business-to-business (B2B) advertising.
- With a more concentrated audience, LinkedIn doesn’t claim to be a jack of all trades: it’s more of a specialised site catering purely for professionals. This makes it well-suited for B2B advertising.
- Despite this, it still has more than 740 million active users.
- As with the other platforms on this list, a variety of formats are available including sponsored messages, video ads, dynamic ads and more.
- Ads can be targeted based on a user’s industry, job title, skills, company size and more.
- LinkedIn ads are the most expensive on this list: the CPC in the UK can often exceed £3.50.
- Despite the higher cost, LinkedIn ads tend to have lower engagement and click-through rates than those placed on Facebook or Instagram.
- Because of that, you’ll need to work even harder to create content that stands out.
Although we’ve covered three of the most popular options above, there’s more to the world of social media advertising. Let’s not forget Twitter, or ‘X’ as it’s now known. Although it has fewer users than the others, it still boasts more than 330 million active accounts – and that’s a number not to be sniffed at.
The effectiveness of X really depends on your marketing strategy and the nature of your business. It’s hard to stand out on this fast-moving platform, so you’ll have to get seriously creative. You can afford to spend more time experimenting though, as the average CPC is the lowest of the bunch.
Looking to target a younger audience? You’d be wise to consider TikTok ads. The largest user demographic of the app is 13-24 year old females, who represent around a quarter of its entire user base in the UK. With a worldwide audience of well over 1.5 billion, TikTok is a major player – and its ads are becoming ever more popular with businesses small and large. These video-based ads can be highly engaging and memorable – great for building brand awareness.
So, which is best?
As you may have guessed by now, there’s no social ad platform that stands head and shoulders above the rest. There’s no ‘best’ here – instead, it’s about identifying which platform is most suitable for your business, goals and target audience.
If you need a little help, the team at Echo will be happy to advise. Learn more about our social media advertising services today.