Social Media Advertising: Where to Invest (and Where Not To)


Facebook and Twitter. No wait, Instagram and Pinterest. Hold on! Snapchat and Ravelry! If you ever feel overwhelmed by the constantly changing landscape of social media marketing, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Perhaps the biggest challenge in social media advertising is trying to figure out which social networks you should invest in. Specifically, when you buy ads on social, where will your money have the biggest impact? While ROI varies depending on your industry, and the quality of your ads there are some hard truths that you can use as a guide when it comes time to determine just where to spend your dollars in the social sphere.

Where to Invest Your Social Media Advertising Dollars

Facebook. Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla of social media advertising. For most brands, it is essential to have some kind of presence on Facebook. In addition, with recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms, you pretty much have to spend money to show up in your followers’ feeds. There have even been instances where Facebook campaigns have outperformed traditional media campaigns.

Pinterest. Invest in Pinterest — especially if you run an ecommerce site. While most social media sites to not help brands increase sales, Pinterest has proven itself a true conversion champion.

Niche Social Networks. While it certainly makes sense to invest in ads and sponsored stories on the big networks, smaller niche networks make sense for many brands. I mentioned Ravelry before which is an excellent network that focuses entirely on knitting. If you are in the yarn business, you will see a fairly high conversion rate there compared to other networks.

…And Where Not to Invest

Twitter. Look, I love Twitter. It’s far and away my favorite social network. But as far as marketing goes, Twitter’s ads and sponsored stories seem to cause more headaches than marketing wins. Instead of investing in ads, you may want to spend time investing in catastrophe management on Twitter.