Social media marketing has been revolutionary for a lot of businesses, especially small ones that don’t have a lot of money for a marketing team.  Some of the Social media sites you should be using to promote your products and services include Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.  Getting started with social media marketing may be difficult; and often times, you may have to use paid ads to reach a wider audience. 

What Are Paid Ads on Social Media Platforms?

Paid ads are a form of advertising.  It’s when brands pay social media platforms in order to get their content shared with a broader and new audience that is likely to be interested.  They can do this by boosting the brand’s organic content or designing more structure and detailed advertising campaigns. Algorithms are tricky, and no matter how much you optimize your content, reaching the right audience is not guaranteed.  Paid social media is an essential component of a successful digital marketing strategy. 

At Brillity Digital – we will work with your team to determine which platforms would create the most opportunity for your business. Keep in mind, depending on your industry, some platforms may perform better than others!

Pros and Cons of Advertising on Social Media

Before you decide to get started with paid social media ads, knowing the pros and cons of using this marketing strategy is essential. 

Benefits of Using Paid Social Media Advertising

Some advantages of paying for advertising on social media include:

  • Increases Brand Awareness

    More than two billion people use social media daily, and businesses that don’t advertise on social media are likely to fall behind.  Using paid social is a powerful way to expand brand awareness and increase click-through rates and traffic to your site.  Whether you are looking for a broad reach or engagements, the case for using social media ads has never been stronger. 

  • Makes Specific and Granular Targeting Available

    Paid ads are a great tool for reaching a specific audience and allow you to target relevant visitors who might be interested in your brand.  The ad can be tailored to fit the characteristics of your buyer personas, enabling you to attract more clients. 

  • Maximizes Your Content Marketing

    Paid ads are one of the best ways to distribute your best content.  Additionally, content ads will help you drive web traffic, boost engagement and improve the Return on Investment of your content marketing. 

  • Allows You to Access Mobile Users Anytime 

    According to research, 80% of time spent on social media is spent on a mobile device.  Paid ads allow social media users to find, know and purchase from you at a moment’s notice.  For example, brands such as TaskRabbit use sponsored posts to appeal to users’ want for efficiency. 

Cons of Using Paid Social Media Advertising

There are several downsides of paid social media ads, they include:

  • Cost

    While paid ads are an effective way to get your content to your target audience, paid advertising can be costly for small businesses.  The cost per click or impression can be high depending on the platform you choose to focus on, as well as the audience you decide to target.  

  • Ad Fatigue

    When social media users see the same ad repeatedly, they might become irritated and make a stand not to use the brand.  This typically happens with small audiences and can decrease web traffic and sales in the long run. 

  • Ad & Banner Blindness

    Ad/banner blindness is a phenomenon in online advertising where users are used to seeing ads and have gotten used to ignoring them.  If a website is cluttered with many ads, users may experience sensory overload and lose the ability to take in the information in the ads. 

At Brillity, we are constantly assessing campaigns and ensuring that we are getting the best return on investment for our clients. By consistent review and optimization, we are able to ensure that ad spend is being used as best as possible.

How to Choose the Best Platform for Paid Social Depending on the Business

Picking the right platform for paid social advertising will depend on your target audience.  At first glance, it can be challenging to know which platform will provide the best ROI.  However, there are certain factors you should consider when choosing the right platform. 

  • Audience Size and Segments 

    One of the main factors to consider is the size of the audience and the segments.  This is where the buyer persona comes in.  A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that helps you identify your target audience.  What is their age, location, gender, interests, behavior, and shopping patterns?  Once you understand your buyer persona, you can pick the platform best suited to targeting this audience.  Keep in mind – some audiences may be more difficult to target via social media advertising. This is something we will discuss, if we need to!

  • Ad Objective

    As a small business, there are a variety of unique advertising objectives that may apply. For example – are you looking for more brand awareness? Or are you trying to sell an e-commerce product?

    The most common advertising objectives used in conjunction with social media advertising are brand awareness, traffic, engagement, conversion and sales. Each objective comes with unique advertising specifications, depending on the platform.

  • How the Platform Targets Their Audience

    Each platform has its way of targeting the audience available on the platform.  LinkedIn, for example, targets demographics based on their profession, while Facebook and Instagram target an audience based on their interests.  On the other hand, Twitter targets users based on hashtags, while Google uses search queries to target an audience. When discussing paid social as a tool – we will assess which platform is able to best reach your desired audience.

  • Budget

    All platforms have a different budget; Facebook and Google ads can run at a lower budget, while other platforms like LinkedIn and Spotify require higher budgets to run ads.  In most cases, the budget depends on the type of bidding option available and the size of the audience.   

Consider Paid Social for Your Small Business

There are a lot of advertising platforms out there, and as a small business, you need to pick one that will give you an edge over your competitors.  Every platform will have its disadvantages, but that should not discourage you; consider them obstacles and determine if you have the right strategy and resources to overcome them.

About the Author

Vivianna Davis

Vivianna Davis

Vivianna Davis is our Director of Operations. She specializes in search engine optimization, project management, and operations. In 2019 she was a BizWest Women of Distinction nominee.