I would recommend using social media platforms organically to engage with your brand’s customer base, but I don’t know that EVERY social media channel is necessary for growing your brand via paid acquisition marketing. Before deciding which channels are best for your business, it is important to consider several things:
- What is my objective?
- What is my budget?
- Who am I trying to reach?
After asking these questions, you will have a clear idea of which platform is right for you and how to best allocate resources towards acquiring new business.
This is the largest social media platform with more than 1.8 billion monthly active users and more than 660 million daily active users. Facebook is great for acquiring new users because unlike Search Engine Marketing (intent-based), Facebook is an interruptive form of digital advertising—consumers don’t always know they want something unless you show them. Facebook allows you to optimize your campaign(s) for objectives throughout the e-commerce funnel: video views, clicks to website, leads, sales, etc. Combined with the myriad targeting options that the platform allows (interest, behavior, demographic, etc.), you can also create a variety of different ad units and marry your ad messaging and imagery to speak to your prospective customers in disruptive ways.
This photo-sharing platform is helpful for discovering inspirational image content. The most important considerations in utilizing paid Instagram ads are: 1) mobile-heavy active users, 2) younger audiences and female users (70 percent of Instagram users are female, 18-35), and 3) strong creative. Because Instagram is a photo-sharing app, it is important to consider that most of your competitor’s’ content shared on the platform is visually compelling. You want to stand out from the competition and differentiate your offering.
If you use content to drive interest and awareness in your brand, Twitter can be great for paid advertising. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is not primarily used to connect with friends and family, but to connect with others that you want to communicate with and share a specific dialogue. Aside from targeting by interests or keywords, Twitter has the hashtag feature which can connect your content with the latest newsworthy trends to make your content both visible and relevant. With that, Twitter has the potential for network and virality effects, which can reach a lot of users while driving lower costs (per viewed content).
This social media channel can be hit-or-miss—your brand should only take on paid advertising on this platform if you have compelling creative assets that you can use for promoted pins. Because of the super-visual nature of the platform, quality creatives that are deemed as “relevant” by the Pinterest community have a great chance of being viral (shared and re-shared) to users of the platform. An important consideration of the platform: More than three-fourths of users are women. So if you believe that your prospective customers are male-dominated, it may make sense to utilize Facebook or Instagram to reach these users.
The largest social media network for professionals is more serious in nature than Facebook and Instagram. A lot of the real estate on your feed is flooded with sponsored content from advertisers looking to drive top-of-funnel traffic via content amplification or B2B leads. If you are selling apparel or accessories online, this may not be the best channel for paid advertising. However, if you are looking to target users based on industry and/or job title and have great software, service, or B2B offering, LinkedIn can be an excellent way to segment your target audiences based on the factors above to ensure that only decision-makers will see your ad placements.
Reddit has a great cost-per-thousand (CPM) and you can target based on unique subreddits that are highly relevant to your business (i.e. /r/RealEstate). Beware of Reddit trolls (the Reddit community does not take kindly to paid placements and can be vicious in their feedback).
Each social media platform has its advantages and limitations in reaching your target audience. Choosing the right channels to acquire new users largely depends on who your target user is, what resources you have to promote your product, and what product or service you offer.