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Posted on October 27, 2022

Paid Social Media Ads: Are They Worth the Investment?

Denver PPC
Denver PPC
PPC Specialists
Paid Social Media Ads: Are They Worth the Investment? Feature Image
Paid Social Media Ads: Are They Worth the Investment?
Denver PPC
Denver PPC
PPC Specialists
Posted on October 27, 2022

If you’re already creating ads on Google, do you really need to invest in Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads?

The answer is yes! Using Google Ads alone won’t let you reach all of your target audience across the internet.

Compared to just using Google Ads, advertising across social media sites will widen your reach and give you access to more targeting options to reach a highly specific audience, wherever they are.

If you want to sell more products online, generate brand awareness, or get noticed by specific audiences, then you absolutely must invest in paid social media ads. 

In this article, we’ll cover the differences between organic and paid social media marketing and go over the different social media paid platforms that you should be using.

Organic social media marketing vs. paid—what’s the difference?

Almost every major social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) is free to use and set up, even for business accounts.

Marketers who set up social media accounts for their businesses basically have two options for delivering content to their users:

  1. Free or organic marketing
  2. Paid ads 

Let’s look at the difference between the two.

Organic social media marketing

Many years ago, it was simpler for companies to build up a Facebook or Instagram account, gain followers, and easily show their posts to most of their followers for free. 

In order to reach as many people as possible, social media managers would use organic marketing tactics such as:

  • Giveaways
  • Asking for comments, likes, and shares to spread the post’s reach
  • Tagging friends in posts
  • Cross-promote with similar pages 
  • Encouraging the use of specific hashtags

However, in the past few years, it’s been more difficult for social media managers to get the same reach out of their organic content, caused directly by changes in the content-delivering algorithms for these sites.

Paid social media marketing

Back in the day, it was much easier to post on Facebook or Instagram and immediately get shares or likes. But changes in these platforms’ algorithms have drastically changed the way content and ads are delivered to their users.

Ask any social media manager and they’ll tell you the organic posts don’t have the reach they used to have.

Today, it’s more common to “boost” existing Facebook or Instagram posts to reach more of your existing followers and people who are similar to your target audience.

In addition to boosting existing posts, almost all of the major social media websites have their own advertising platforms that allow for pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC), and impression-based advertising.

Paid social media ads vs. Google Ads

There are terms in the online advertising world such as passive advertising and active advertising

These terms focus on the searcher’s intent when browsing online, which is something to consider when determining your target audience.

For instance, Google Ads excels at active advertising because search ads are shown on Google’s SERP immediately after a person searches for your targeted keyword. 

For example, after searching “home businesses near me,” a Google user will see targeted ads for home service businesses.

But, with social media platforms like Facebook, ads are shown more generally or passively based on the audience member’s interests and behaviors—not based on a specific search query. 

So if a Facebook user likes cars, they’ll see auto-related ads in their feed at random times while browsing.

Advantages of social media ads

Google Ads and social media ads, such as Facebook Ads, each have their specific applications for targeting the right people. 

Anecdotally speaking, setting up a Google Ads campaign can be daunting for inexperienced marketers, while social media platforms tend to be more intuitive and are a better starting point for running ads online.

Some reasons why many people choose paid social media ads over Google Ads, include:

  • Social media advertising dashboards are simplified and make it easier to set up and start running ads immediately
  • Paid social ads tend to be more visually striking, making them better for creating brand awareness or showing new products
  • Each social media platform attracts different audiences, making each one suitable for different campaigns (using LinkedIn to target professionals, for example)
  • Partnering with influencers becomes easier and more effective with social media campaigns
  • Analyzing your ad metrics and data is simpler than Google Ads manager

What are the 6 different paid social media platforms out there?

The list of social media apps and websites is constantly growing and shrinking, however, let’s look at the six main social media platforms competing for your advertising budget.

Google 

Even though Google doesn’t have its Google+ social media site anymore, it still has YouTube, which is technically considered a social media website and a search engine.

Google Ads not only show on its search results page but across millions of websites in the Google Display Network, as well as video ads on YouTube.

With Google Ads, you can reach over 90% of all internet users, making it the most popular paid ad platform.

Facebook

Facebook Ads reach not only Facebook users but also Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, which amount to around 2.11 billion worldwide users.

Like Google Ads, Facebook Ads allows for several different types of ad formats including video ads, image ads, slideshow ads, and even lead generation ads.

Have more questions about Facebook Ads? Visit our Facebook Ads blog page for more articles to help you get the most out of advertising on Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter Ads are specifically made to target its 396.5 million users around the globe. Ad types range from promoted ads, follower ads, Twitter amplification, and more.

Of the social media sites, Twitter tends to attract more of a college-educated crowd with a slightly higher income who are more likely to live in cities.

Instagram

Technically, Instagram is considered part of the Meta (Facebook) company and uses the Facebook Ads manager to create ads. However, a Facebook account isn’t required to start creating Instagram ads, as they can be created on your mobile phone easily.

LinkedIn

With over 800 million users, LinkedIn Ads allows for greater targeting features than most social media ad platforms. 

If you’re trying to reach specific people in specific industries, such as material buyers in the automotive industry, you can create ad campaigns that only target these people.

Of all the social media sites, LinkedIn is the greatest for B2B marketing campaigns because it targets professionals with a higher intent of making and considering business deals on the site.

TikTok

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps of all time, with a very young audience ranging from users 13 years old to 34 years old.

If you plan on creating brand awareness, building buzz around new visual products, or targeting a younger audience, you may want to consider TikTok ads.

How to strategize a winning paid social media ad strategy

Your company likely doesn’t need to advertise on all of the social media platforms but instead can focus on just one or two, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, depending on what your campaign’s goals are.

Before you pick a paid social media platform, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who is our target audience? Are they young, professional, affluent, or older?
  2. What social media sites do our target audience spend their time on the most? Do they consume video content, picture-based content, or written content?
  3. What are the goals of our campaign? Do we want to generate more leads, sell more products, get more phone calls, or boost website traffic?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what social media platforms to start creating ads for.

However, if you’re not seeing the results you’re hoping to get, perhaps it may be time to consult a PPC professional who can get you guaranteed results.

Work with Denver PPC for your social media ads

Are you considering setting up paid social media ads to promote your business? Perhaps you’ve tried setting up a Facebook Ads or Google Ads account, but just haven’t quite figured it out yet. 

Would you like an expert to take a look at your existing paid social media dashboard?

Contact us today to get a free 10-point analysis on your existing paid social media account. Our expert PPC account managers will analyze your paid accounts to give you expert feedback on how you can optimize your campaigns.

Denver PPC is an experienced team of PPC professionals who work in the most competitive online spaces. Our team is skilled in creating and managing Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and more!

Get your free PPC analysis started now. Text or call us at 877-584-3772