With the amount of social media platforms out there, it’s hard to not get lost in the shuffle. Each individual platform has a wide array of benefits and drawbacks to it, so navigating the perfect market mix for your company can be a daunting task. Luckily for you, we’ve already done most of the legwork. Here’s what we’ve found about the advertising capabilities of today’s top social media platforms:
Pros: TikTok can benefit publishers because its audience is primarily Gen Z, which is becoming a widely sought after audience. Additionally, the short-form nature of TikTok (mainly 15-30 second videos) and the plethora of video creation and post-production tools allows for mass content creation at a low budget. Overall, the platform is strong for brand awareness and easy and quick content creation.
Cons: TikTok is designed to keep the user on the platform rather than link to advertiser’s sites. For publisher’s short-form video content also does not necessarily lend itself to advertising long-form written content. And the ad buying capabilities of the platform appear to be rather limited for publishers as well. Lastly, the current privacy concerns and governmental pressure on the platform are also of major concern for its future.
Pros: The user experience of Facebook lends itself very well to written content and allows high CTR flow of users off the platform. Paid distribution by publisher is extremely native so that often the user wouldn’t recognize they are seeing an ad. As a whole, the platform has very strong media buying tools including superior and smart targeting, easy ad creation and strong tracking capabilities to name a few.
Cons: Facebook has been losing steam with younger audiences, as Gen Z tends to favor other platforms. Facebook is also not strong for short-form video content or publisher branding. In terms of branding, on Facebook it’s more about the content and information posted versus the publisher behind it. And it’s important to consider Facebook’s controversies regarding concerns over privacy and the nature of their algorithm.
Pros: Unlike its Meta counterpart, Instagram is strong for branding or for short-form video content. Another difference is that Instagram’s audience tends to skew younger, as more of Gen Z is likely to be on this platform. Furthermore, the platform is very good for video and imagery (as it is a visual-dominant social media platform).
Cons: Where Instagram falls short is that it’s not great for off-platform user movement. Also, ads promoting articles on Instagram are unfortunately not native, creating less of a chance for them to be actually seen by users. And the likelihood of users clicking on ads is relatively low as most people don’t go on Instagram to read an article.
Pros: Youtube has an extremely high reach with a user base of approximately 2.5 billion people. That audience also tends to be more of a younger demographic who demonstrate high user engagement (in terms of time spent on the platform and frequency of visit). Additionally, Youtube is more of a search-based platform than a discovery platform which leads to a higher intent-based content consumption. These high intent users allow us to add additional layers of targeting including targeting based on search terms, content type, etc.
Cons: Youtube ads are not native to the content on the platform. Moreover, it’s not a feed based platform so ads come in the form of interruption or pop-ups that would require more intent to act. Lastly, another drawback is that Youtube has a basic buying platform with limited buying capabilities.
Pros: Pinterest allows advertisers to have direct access to highly relevant users within its niche (DIY, food, design, etc.). Also, the audience on this platform tend to be high intent users as they are seeking out specific content, inspirations, and products—meaning that there is a high likelihood to act.
Cons: Pinterest isn’t necessarily an ideal platform for publishers whose content deviates from the predominant niche of the platform. Furthermore, it is not very scalable for publishers in the sense that there is a low growth potential due to the smaller audience base so it’s not ideal for big spenders.
Pros: For publishers who specialize in news and current events content, Twitter has high demand for that content with high engagement from its audience. Furthermore, the platform rewards quickness, there’s a potential for high reward for jumping on timely content/trending topics. Twitter is also native for content consumption, and is especially good for written content.
Cons: Twitter has challenges when it comes to scale on media buying and also with cost efficiency as prices (CPC, CPA) tend to be higher when compared to Facebook, Instagram, and Google Discover. And it’s also important to consider the current negative perception surrounding the platform—as advertisers should be a little more hesitant when committing to advertising on Twitter.
For publishers, social media advertising is an extremely important part of your marketing strategy so picking the right mix of platforms to promote yourself on is essential. In the seemingly ever-changing buffet of social media platforms at our disposal it’s definitely important to get a taste of each one. Each of these platforms has their strengths and weaknesses, but it’s important to see which can benefit your brand the most, so we hope that this snapshot breakdown can assist you in that process!