Social Media Advertising: Which Channel Should You Use?

According to a Salesforce survey conducted at the end of 2014, 70 percent of marketers were planning to increase their social media advertising budget during 2015. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become some of the best platforms for brands to get in front of consumers, and marketers’ new and improved budgets reflect that.

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Yet, in the advent of this fairly new — and very important — breakthrough in the marketing and advertising world, so many questions arise. One of the most asked is, “Which channel would prove most effective for my objective?” Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn each attract different types of people for different reasons, so it’s extremely important to think about where your message would best be received so that you get the most out of your money. We’ll give you a guide that can help you choose where to focus your social media advertising efforts.



Advertising on Facebook can prove extremely effective if you get all the ingredients right. More often than not, the person you want to reach will have a Facebook profile and you’ll be able to target them through Facebook’s sophisticated targeting capabilities. Its Power Editor tool makes it easy to communicate your message clearly, with plenty of room for text; if your ad requires a bit more text to get your point across, Facebook is a good channel to start with.

Facebook allows you to choose from a wide variety of objectives to help achieve your goals, which is why, in most cases, putting a good chunk of money into your Facebook ads is beneficial.

  • Clicks to Website: Send people to your website.
  • Website Conversions: Increase conversions on your website. You’ll need a conversion pixel for your website before you can create this ad.
  • Page Post Engagement: Boost your posts.
  • Page Likes: Promote your Page and get Page likes to connect with more of the people who matter to you.
  • App Installs: Get installs of your app.
  • App Engagement: Increase engagement in your app.
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store.
  • Local Awareness: Reach people near your business.
  • Event Responses: Raise attendance at your event.
  • Video View: Create ads that get more people to view a video.

However, sometimes the message is better suited for a different context, which means a different platform. When crafting ads within social media platforms, it’s critical to understand the mindset the user is in when your ad interrupts their experience. There is a reason someone is logging into that social media account, and it’s not for the purpose of seeing your brand’s advertising messages. This leads me to our next two major options.


Say you’re hosting a professional event and you want to increase the number of attendees. Unlike Facebook users, LinkedIn users browse their feed for educational or professional news and entertainment. An ad for this type of purpose may do far better on LinkedIn than it would on Facebook, simply because it aligns with what users want and expect to see while they are using LinkedIn.

The downsides to LinkedIn advertising include the extremely small character limit and design capabilities, and it’s more expensive to achieve good results. It also only allows for two different types of advertising: 1) sponsored content to reach a wider audience; or 2) create a new ad to reach a targeted audience featuring images or video. The former would be effective in increasing awareness while the latter could help you advertise a new product, service or event.


Twitter is similar to Facebook when it comes to its objectives. It offers many of the same ones that Facebook does, but draws in a far younger crowd.

Sutter Group Twitter page

29% of Millennials use Twitter, so it’s safe to say that Twitter would be a great place to advertise if you’re looking to reach young people. Twitter is also useful for ads that rely on visuals rather than text, as you must stay under the 140-character limit, but a full sized image or video is acceptable.


By this time next year, eMarketer expects Instagram to generate about $1.5 billion in ad revenue, which is amazing considering they haven’t event finished rolling it out to all accounts yet. More Millennial men are using this platform than Google+, Twitter or Pinterest. And, next to Facebook, this is the platform of choice for Millennial women. But before launching a campaign here, it’s important to make sure the brand profile has a link to the website and branded profile image. Do you have to have an Instagram account to advertise there? The Facebook for Business page says:

“No, an Instagram account is recommended but not required to run ads on Instagram. However, if you don’t add an Instagram account to your Business Manager or in your Page settings, your ads will appear with a grayed out handle, and you won’t be able to view or respond to comments on your ads.”

Price ranges for these ads have not been disclosed, but like its parent company Facebook, the cost will depend on the target audience you select for your ads and the duration. The content of the ad should be print-worthy and the call-to-action button should be a clear path to purchase. Ad managers should check their Power Editor page to see if this feature is available yet, as Instagram says it should be there by October 2015.

Sutter Group instagram page

Now, go make yourself known on the social media channel that’s right for you. If you need help making a case to your boss for social media advertising, we can help you out with that here.