There are a lot of social media sites out there these days. It’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with the trends. And when you are a business looking to exploit social media in order to market your products or services, it’s difficult to know where to start.
It is best to start with those sites that will give you proven ROI (Return On Investment) from pretty much day one. And, once you have built up a solid back catalogue of profitable ad campaigns, only then should you look at experimenting with those lower ranked sites.
The “big six” of social media are: (In terms of best potential ROI)
Social media advertising is unique in a way that there are virtually no limits to how fast you can scale your campaigns. You set your own targeting, budget and the amount of people you want to reach is entirely up to you.
Which platform you choose will depend on what your target audience uses, what product/service you are marketing and what types of content your target audience is most likely to engage with.
Each platform has their own benefits, we have created a handy, easy to digest breakdown of what each of the “big six” platforms offer to help you decide where your money is best spent.
Facebook - 2.7bn Monthly Active Users
Facebook is without a doubt the king of social media. With well over a third of the worldwide population an active user. This makes it an absolute gold mine for businesses wanting to explore digital marketing.
Facebook as a platform is well known for providing written based content first and foremost with the ability to attach media to support the post. Although in recent years the platform has started leaning towards more visually based content.
Facebook has a dedicated “Business Manager” incorporating a dedicated “Ads Manager” where you can create incredibly sophisticated ads, selecting bespoke audiences, budgets, and with the ability to combine instagram, It can be one of the highest revenue generating marketing platforms out there.
Instagram - 1.2bn Monthly Active Users
Instagram might only have half the user base of Facebook, but it has still proven itself as one of the big players in social media marketing with over 50% higher engagement rates than Facebook, and an astonishing 2000% higher engagement than Twitter.
The content is generally visually based with images and video sharing being the main feature of the platform. So businesses selling products using visually stimulating ads will get very high conversion rates compared to facebook, although because of Facebook’s much higher user base the ads will still do particularly well.
The key benefit of instagram ads, and why they have such a high conversion rate, is that unlike organic posts, paid ads can link directly to the product page or landing page which can often lead directly to a sale or a booking without any drop off.
It’s also worth considering if the user base fits in with your target audience, in Instagram’s case, the majority of their user base falls in the 18-30 bracket.
Pinterest - 360 Million Monthly Active Users
Pinterest is another platform that is primarily used for photo sharing, very similar to instagram, but works in a slightly different way, allowing users to create inspiration boards of different images they come across on the platform.
Pinterest has a very unique user base too, with over 80% of the users being women.
In terms of digital marketing, Pinterest is a great platform for E-Commerce, with bespoke, creative products being the most profitable. Pinterest also boasts high engagement rates and the ability to display custom ads based on the pins displayed, so ads can easily blend in with users' boards almost inconspicuously.
Pinterest marketing works by promoting existing pins posted by businesses or individuals placing them into more relevant positions on the page. When clicked the ads will bring the users directly to the website to make the purchase, although Pinterest ads can be expensive, with an average CPM of around £10-15.
Twitter - 350 Million Monthly Active Users
Twitter is a predominantly a text based social network, and has become one of the most popular social networks for breaking news and communications.
Twitter is still the best social network for organic reach, with users not having to pay for ads to be able to reach their desired audience, the use of hashtags and retweets is a major factor in this. This increases the value of the platform for when businesses do run paid ads though.
But, the main downfall of Twitter when it comes to advertising on the platform is the limitation in characters, with only 280 characters allowed in each tweet, this was raised from 140 in 2015.
Compared to Facebook, Twitter ads can be almost double the average CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) at nearly £9-11 per 1000 impressions compared to Facebook and Instagram £5 per 1000 impressions.
LInkedIn - 260 Million Monthly Active Users
LInkedIn is one of the most popular social networks for professionals and businesses and can be extremely profitable if you are looking for B2B marketing. Whereas other social networks are primarily suited to B2C marketing, purely because of their user base.
The user base is made up of a majority of professionals and businesses, with the most popular age bracket being 30-60 years old, and you will often find that LinkedIn users will have the most disposable income across the different social media platforms
With the platform specifically optimised for B2B marketing. Many businesses have used this as an opportunity to target other businesses and professionals with high end products or services. The platform works similarly to Facebook, with a dedicated ad creation centre, with the ability to create bespoke targeting and budgets, allowing you to make the most out of every penny spent on the platform.
The average CPC (Cost Per Click) cost of LinkedIn ads are in the region of £2-6.
Snapchat - 347 Million Monthly Average Users
Snapchat is a unique platform, it predominantly revolves around sending picture messages and posting stories that disappear after 24 hours. Snapchats user base is made up of a majority younger audience, although many business and news publishers use the platform.
It can be a very profitable marketing platform, if the type of content & product is right for the user base.
In terms of marketing on Snapchat, it can be quite complicated and expensive, due to the unique way the platform works. You can choose between snap story ads, discover, or video lenses and GeoFilters. GeoFilters being the most common and cheapest, with businesses spending between as little as £5, right up to £20,000.
Snapchat is only really suitable for larger businesses, with high budgets and the ability to create visually stimulating ads from their products.
We also cannot overlook YouTube, YouTube has over 2.3 billion monthly active users. The main purpose of the site is video sharing viewing user created content. YouTube displays their ads in video format before, during and after videos you watch, so this might not be suitable for some marketing strategies. However the ads are targeted to the users who are viewing somewhat related content, so the conversion rates can be particularly high.,
It is also wise to look ahead into the near future to up and coming social networks, TikTok and Clubhouse are the most popular new apps that are sure to continue growing well into the future!