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Social Media Ads: Which Platforms are Worthwhile & Which Ones are Just Tragic? 

November 28, 2022

Nothing stays secret on the Internet.



And your social media pages are certainly open to public scrutiny, which is why you need to think critically about which platforms are suitable for your business needs. Otherwise, you risk facing major backlash—or worse—being considered cringe



Just like how Aldi’s #AldiPoorestDayChallenge was met with heavy criticism and embarrassment. 



Sure, advertising on social media can be a great way to reach out to potential customers and grow your business—but only when done smartly. Statistics show that social media advertising is rising, with spending expected to reach beyond $173 billion this 2022.



Now, with so many social media platforms out there, it can be hard to decide which ones are worth your time and money—which ones will have impressive ROI to report on business reviews. So to help you out, we’ve put together a list of some of the best (and worst) platforms for social media advertising.



Keep reading to see which social media platforms made our list.



3 Best Social Media Ad Platforms


We’ll start with three of the very best social media ad platforms before discussing the three worst ones. You’ll see why Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have made our list of the best social media platforms for marketing and advertising this 2022.



#1 – The King of Social Media: Facebook


As the largest social media platform, it’s no surprise that Facebook ads are also some of the most popular. Facebook accounts for a quarter of all digital ad spending in 2020 alone. And it’s not hard to see why—with 2.93 billion monthly active users, Facebook gives you access to a vast potential customer base to conduct large-scale advertising campaigns.



The platform’s detailed targeting options also allow you to hone in on your target audience like never before. Thanks to its Groups, Pages, and more, you can target people based on interests, demographics, behaviors, and even life events. Moreover, the average conversion rate for Facebook ads is up to 10%, higher than Google Ads and other standards.



The only downfall is that advertising on Facebook’s massive population does come at a steep cost. We can’t blame the platform for it—most of its revenue comes from advertising. You’ll need a large budget to use Facebook to its full advertising potential, or it’s like shouting on a busy street in New York where nobody is listening to you.



Additionally, Facebook advertising is only as effective when actively engaging with your audience. It’ll require extra labor on your end, but it’s the only way to have any influence. This is because the organic (unpaid) reach of brands on Facebook is pretty abysmal. 



For every 1,000 fans you have, only seven might see any given post on their News Feed.



Still, if you have the budget and are willing to work, Facebook can be a potent tool for social media advertising.



#2 – The Newest Addiction: TikTok


Ah, TikTok. If you’re not on it, you won’t understand it. And with one billion monthly active users, it seems like more than a handful are quite addicted to this platform. TikTok penetrated one-third of all social media users worldwide in less than four years—a size that took Facebook and Instagram a decade to achieve. 



Unlike the giants, however, TikTok has mastered the art of short-form videos, where audiences spend hours scrolling through feeds, ingesting content, and interacting with TikTok communities—the perfect landscape for promoting products fast and effectively. Today, TikTok’s advertising has massively exploded, and its worldwide ad revenue will likely exceed Snapchat and Twitter combined soon.



Moreover, TikTok offers ideal targeting options, allowing you to reach your target audience with laser precision via its For You Pages. Users with zero followers can find themselves trending and starting a viral challenge. As a brand, you can use this ability to your advantage, where any ads that appeal to your audience will undoubtedly reach their feeds. 



You can also have fun with TikTok, where social media managers actively and directly engage with customers in comment sections and even unrelated videos, joining in on the TikTok culture.



And unlike other social media platforms, Tiktok doesn’t have a minimum ad spend, so you can start running ads even if you have a limited budget. It’s also less expensive than the industry giants, making it an excellent choice for social media advertising to younger audiences.



The only downside is that TikTok is more limited in terms of audiences. Its demographics are much younger than Facebook and Instagram, even with more mature audiences entering the viral platform in recent times. Moreover, TikTok does require a high level of engagement and consistent posting to make an impact, so brands have to actively use TikTok to use it to its full advertising potential.



#3 – The Influencer Hangout: Instagram


Instagram is another social media platform that’s perfect for promoting products and services. With over 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram gives you access to a huge potential customer base. It’s also the best social media platform choice for influencer marketing.



And, thanks to the platform’s visual format, it’s perfect for showcasing products and services in an appealing way, where users can easily interact with your ads that pop up alongside the constant flow of content from their friends’ posts. You can have a “show not tell” approach on this platform, where you can create posts that fit the user’s feed for natural engagement and interaction.



Instagram also offers excellent targeting options for laser precision. It doesn’t have as wide of a demographic as Facebook does, but it does have a good balance of younger and older audiences. Plus, Instagram has affordable advertising options, with the ability to set your own budget and only pay when people take an action, like clicking on your ad or visiting your website.



Moreover, Instagram has Product Tags and built-in shopping features for customers to purchase easily without leaving the platform. Your Instagram account can even act as your storefront, so users that see your ad can follow your profile, check out all your offerings, and proceed to purchase.



The only downside of using Instagram for social media advertising is that the platform can be extremely competitive, especially in popular industries such as fashion, beauty, and travel. To stand out, you need to have high-quality visuals and an appealing brand voice. You also need to be active on the platform and constantly post new content to keep your audience engaged and stay top-of-mind.



3 Tragic Social Media Ad Platforms


Now, let’s take a look at three social media platforms that are less than ideal for advertising. These platforms either have small audiences, poor targeting options, high costs—or all of the above. 



They’re not necessarily horrible for your brand, but might be a waste of your resources.



#1 – The Short-and-Niche: Twitter


Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, but it’s not a great choice for social media advertising. The platform has a relatively small audience with only 237.8 million monthly active users—including Twitter notorious bots and spam accounts.



In addition, Twitter’s targeting options are very limited. Just like other paid social ad platforms, Twitter ads will work if you know your ideal customer profile, but it’ll take time to understand the nuances of Twitter and target people based on interest and keywords. 



The brands that saw the most success on Twitter are usually larger businesses. There, they use Twitter for brand awareness campaigns—viral content, engagement boost, and reach expansion alongside efforts on Facebook and Instagram.



Overall, Twitter is not the best choice for social media advertising, especially if you only have enough budget to run a simple marketing campaign. You might find success with Twitter, but your money will be better spent on one of the top three platforms mentioned earlier.



#2 – The Professional Field: LinkedIn


LinkedIn is another popular platform, but it’s not the best for advertising. The platform has a relatively small audience with only 310 million monthly active users, and most of them only spend seven minutes on the platform daily to connect with other people in the industry. The uniqueness of LinkedIn’s audience makes it difficult to reach a wide pool of audiences with multiple interests.



The only reason you should use LinkedIn for ads is if you’re targeting a very specific audience, such as small business owners, startup entrepreneurs, or high-level executives. Even then, LinkedIn can be quite expensive, so you’ll have to be dedicated to spending a pretty penny for your specific audience.



Unless you have a large budget and are specifically targeting business professionals, LinkedIn is not the best choice for social media advertising. You might be better off using Facebook even if you plan to target business professionals—they’re on that platform, too.



#3 – The Pinboard Game: Pinterest


We love Pinterest for browsing through new outfit pegs and easy recipes, but it’s not the best choice for advertising on social media. Not only is the platform small compared to other players, but its user behaviors also make it difficult to effectively target ads.



Pinterest has only 433 million monthly active users, which pales in comparison to Facebook and Instagram’s massive pools. The platform is also very image-heavy, which makes it more difficult to stand out from the crowd with your visuals. More importantly, since most people use Pinterest for leisurely activities, they’re not in the mindset of making purchasing decisions when they’re scrolling through.



Unless your brand lends itself well to Pinterest’s image-centric platform and you have a large budget, we recommend staying away from Pinterest for social media advertising. You’ll likely get better results on other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.



Choosing the Right Platforms for Social Media Ads


When it comes to social media advertising, it’s important to choose the right platforms. The platforms you choose should have a large audience, excellent targeting options, and affordable advertising rates. 



In general, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are good choices for social media advertising. On the flip side, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are not as good of choices and will likely be a waste of resources, falling short of your expectations.



Our team in ScaleUpSales is experienced and equipped to help your brand grow. Whether it’s to build your sales funnel, create eye-catching content, or make the right decisions with social media ads, we are fully committed to shaping your brand into the massive success it can be.



Contact us today to get started.