Understanding Which Social Platforms Will Drive the Most ROI for Your Business

Aug 18, 2021 | 10  min
author Laura Reyes
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Social media can be an effective way to reach your target audience easily. However, with every social media platform algorithm being different, it can be difficult to interpret critical data from each stream to determine which platform is providing the best social media ROI for your business. 

Whether your team is just getting started with a brand new social media strategy or focusing on building ads on social platforms, there’s some basic information to know from each key social platform to help you determine what’s best for your time and resources. While we don’t have all the answers (because social media changes DAILY), here is a starter kit for understanding which social media platforms could produce the best results.

Understand your audience

Around 3.2 billion people worldwide use social media, which is 42 percent of the global population. Although you might think that you need to be on every social media platform to gain the most audience traffic, it’s essential to understand your audience and decide what types of content to post that will benefit their interests. With this method, you’ll not only be smart with your time and resources by posting on platforms best suited to your brand and message, but you’ll also ensure you’re targeting the right audience with the right content they want to see.

Audiences for each social platform

Marketers usually target a specific audience, or persona, according to their demographics. You should consider your target audience’s age, location, platform usage, topic interests, etc., when deciding which social platforms to use to engage with them. For example, if your business is primarily B2C, LinkedIn, primarily known as a professional social networking platform, may not be the best social platform to spend your time and resources on.

Learn more about the different key audience demographics for each social media platform in our “Social Media Best Practices blog.

Study the competition

When determining which platform is best for your business, look at what your competitors are doing. Audit what media they’re using—what platforms seem to be having the most success? What content are they posting that appears to have the most engagement? What is their posting frequency? While you want to do what’s right for your business, how your competitors are trying to reach your similar audience and how your audience responds to their posts is a good insight into how you should consider making decisions for your own social media strategy. 

Set goals for your social media account

It’s essential to leverage analytics and post when activity is at its highest and post content that your followers enjoy most. Using analytic tools native to each social media platform, such as Twitter Analytics or LinkedIn page analytics, is a great way to start. Then, once your following and brand grow, external analytic software and tools like Hootsuite and HubSpot are a great way to gain more insight and details about your social platforms and make adjustments as needed.

twitter analytics

These goals should be attainable, detailed, fit your target audience, and competitive with others in your industry. Set small, but substantial, goals at first, like growing the number of impressions your posts have, and then expand from there! Setting goals, and seeing the metrics is a great way to understand what worked and what didn’t work so you can make educated recommendations for future post frequency, content, and platform usage, for example.

Create a social media plan

Additionally, you can create a social media plan in advance so you know what specific content to post at the optimal moment when your target audience is the most active on particular social media channels. 

There are two different recommended strategies for posting content:
You can start with the rule of thirds: ⅓ of your content should promote your business, ⅓ should entertain your audience, and ⅓ should focus on influencers in your industry.

And then there’s also the 80/20 rule that states that you should use 80% of your content to educate and 20% to promote your business. 

social media plan

Try both to get a feel for what works for each of your platforms. Then, establish a social media strategy that defines where to publish, what to publish, when to publish, and how much to publish for each day/week/month.

How to Create a Social media Calendar

Take inspiration from the success of others

It is essential to recognize, repeat, and reimagine successful posts to achieve social media success. By researching successful accounts and articles on all social media, you develop a quality social plan. Auditing your account and studying your competitors can also help your business figure out what to post. 

Increase ROI through Social Ads

TikTok Ads: 

From targeting, ad creation, insight reports, and ad management tools, TikTok Ads offers a powerful yet easy-to-use platform to help businesses and brands advertise to millions of users across the globe. TikTok is a highly used platform for the younger Generation Z age group (16-24) and is one of the most widely used social media platforms in 2021 for videos, challenges, and trends.

TikTok Ads currently has two budgeting options: daily or lifetime. With both options, your budget isn’t set in stone — you can adjust your budget anytime throughout your campaign. And similar to Facebook and Instagram’s Ad Manager, you can also create “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences” to reach new audiences similar to your existing ones.

Tiktok ads

Here are the five types of TikTok Ads:

  • In-Feed Ads: In-Feed Ads are the video ads that appear in between user videos as you scroll through your For You page.
  • Brand Takeover: Brand Takeover Ads appear upon opening the app — presenting a full-screen video to your targeted audience.
  • TopView: TopView Ads are the first in-feed post after 3 seconds.
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge: Similar to regular hashtag trends and challenges on TikTok, Branded Hashtags Challenges offer organic and sponsored brands opportunities.
  • Branded Effects: TikTok’s branded effects allow brands to design their custom filter on the app.

Since TikTok Ads are new, businesses and brands are still experimenting with the platform – so it’s difficult to estimate how much an average spend might be or what return on investment (ROI) might be. However, you can set up a free TikTok Ads account and create In-Feed ads with your set budget and schedule to see if these ads are worth investing in for your business. Currently, TikTok’s minimum campaign and ad group budgets are $500 and $50, respectively. 

Instagram ads

Instagram Ads are a way for companies to advertise themselves through pictures and visual content on Instagram. Through Instagram, physical products are primarily offered in the shop tab for their targeted demographic of young adults.

Here are the different ways to create these IG campaigns:

  • Ads with pictures: as the name suggests, these advertisements also include a photographic element. The visual aspect of Instagram is crucial and, thanks to the clean platform interface, any image can be converted into a much more attractive format.  
  • Ads with videos: if you want to offer a full user experience, video-based Instagram Ads are a fantastic option. The remaining parameters remain the same, but the video appears instead of a picture.
  • Sequential Ads: For Instagram Ads that show a series of pictures or videos, this is the best option.
instagram ad

According to Forrester, Instagram ads have the highest engagement rate of all digital ad placements. This data means that sometimes, you could pay a little more for a click or 1,000 impressions and still come out as a winner. However, since Instagram runs through the Facebook ad channel it can make the Instagram ads more difficult to set up and manage. 

To get the maximum campaign ROI, use Facebook’s automatic placements option (or a few selected placements), and use your Instagram campaign reports to see if it’s a good place for showing your ads. For example, a marketing report by Shopify revealed that Instagram users tend to spend an average of $65 per referred sale. In comparison, Facebook users only pay $55, and Twitter users $46.26.

IG Stories

Instagram Stories allows your business and brand to reach a new audience and showcase your products and services. Approximately one out of every five Instagram Stories receives a direct message from viewers. 

Options for IG Stories ads: 

  • Video: You can create video ads for up to 15 seconds using Facebook’s Creative Hub software or Ads Manager, or you may design your video ads in Facebook’s editor and upload them.
  • Photo: A still image ad will play for 5 seconds. You can create photo ads with Creative Hub or Facebook Ads Manager, or you can upload a file from your designs.
  • Carousel: Carousel ads for stories allows brands to play up to 3 pieces of content (video and photos) within a single ad.

Content with branded content has high engagement rates, with brand stories achieving 84% completion rates. The fast pace of our modern lives makes stories attractive to us, and they seem to hold our attention. According to the same Facebook data, story ads combined with feed ad placements together drive efficiency. This data means a lower ad spend for a better result; in other words, an improvement to ROI.

story ads

Facebook ads

With its sheer size, large demographic, and high engagement rate, Facebook is an ideal place to advertise or promote your business in some way (especially if cross-posting with Instagram is involved). As a result, the platform remains many people’s “home base” regarding social media–however, this does mean a lot of competition on the platform, and can make it difficult to compete on a budget.

facebook

Types of Facebook ads:

  • Image ads: These simple ads are a great way to get started with Facebook paid to advertise. You can create one with just a few clicks by boosting an existing post with your Facebook page image.
  • Video ads: Video ads can run in the News Feed and Stories or appear as in-stream ads in longer Facebook videos. Video ads can show your team or your product in action.
  • Poll ads: This mobile-only Facebook ad format incorporates an interactive component by adding a two-option poll to an image or video ad. You can add a separate link for each poll choice.
  • Collection ads: Collection ads paired with Instant Experiences (more on those below) allow people to buy your products without ever leaving Facebook. This makes online shopping easy when people are on the go.
  • There are also various ads, including instant experience, collection, lead, dynamic, messenger, and story ads. 
facebook carousel ad

Facebook ads are highly effective marketing tools. The ads can be customized and tailored to specific customer segments, and the prices can be very affordable depending on your target audience and keywords.

Be sure to take advantage of the platform’s customization capabilities as well as its interactivity. Your bottom line and Facebook will both love the kind of engagement you create when you turn your potential customers into active participants. 

Snapchat ads

One of the most popular social networks worldwide is Snapchat. Approximately 293 million users are active every day. Brands that appeal to Gen Z and millennials should consider using Snapchat for user acquisition, brand awareness, and sales. 

Here are a few different types of ads you can create on Snapchat.

  • Webview ads: An ad with a web-view Snapchat feature lets you attach your website for promotion. Users can swipe up the CTA to access your website, from which they can complete a purchase without leaving the app.
  • Article ads: Advertising your articles on Snapchat using its Article ad format will help to promote your articles. All Snapchat ad formats open vertically, including the article format, which fills your phone screen.
  • App Install Ads: The Snapchat app-install ads are a great way to generate more app installs. A CTA that reads “Install Now” appears at the bottom of the screen while the ad plays.
  • Long-form Video Ads: These ads are ideal for promoting movie and television show trailers, behind-the-scenes videos, and how-to videos. The 10-second preview of your long-form video appears underneath the playback of the “Watch” CTA when you swipe up.
  • Sponsored Geofilters: Geofilters appear to users in your chosen location. For example, if you are having an event at a specific location, you can create a geofilter for users to see. Campaigns covering a significant event would benefit from these. 

Sponsored Lenses: Sponsored lenses are filters that alter someone’s face. With sponsored lenses, users can take pictures with elements associated with your brand. For example, Taco Bell’s sponsored lens turned people’s faces into tacos!

taco snapchat

Snapchat’s self-service advertising platform, Ads Manager, allows you to create ads, launch campaigns, monitor performance, and optimize towards your goals – all in one place. Advertise on Snapchat for as little as $5 a day. For example, Depop allocates 50 percent of their total social media spend to Snapchat after achieving a 77 percent lower acquisition cost than the other channels.

different snapchat ads

Pinterest ads

For visually-driven businesses, such as wedding gown shops, food blogs, visitors’ bureaus, clothing, and accessories, this visual search engine is a way to get your products and ideas out there to an audience that is likely to click through to your site. By targeting young adults with new sponsor features, Pinterest intends to target a broader audience than just stay-at-home moms. 

Below are a few Pinterest ad types:

  • Promoted Pins: Promoted Pins are the standard Pinterest ads. A boosted pin appears as a regular pin in the news feed; the only difference is that it has the word “Promoted” at the bottom to reach more people.
  • Buyable pins: Also known as ‘Shop the Look,’ Buyable Pins allow people to buy products directly from the pin without leaving the platform.
  • Promoted Carousels: Promoted Carousels are one of the latest introductions to Pinterest ads. With Promoted Carousels, you can use two to five images within one ad.
  • Promoted Video Pins: A Promoted Video Pin is the same as a Promoted Pin except that there is a video instead rather than a static image.
  • Story Pins: Each story pin has a cover image and a title when it appears in your home feed. Just like a regular pin, a Story Pin can recieve comments.

Whether it is for promoting a photo of a floral arrangement or adding text over a plated dish (“Not your grandma’s pumpkin pie”), Pinterest is one of the most robust platforms for generating referral traffic to your website. For example, 98% of people use Pinterest to try new things, 89% use it to inspire purchases, and 85% of Pinners use the social media platform to start a new project.

pinterest ads

Youtube ads

Google Ads on YouTube is a way of advertising your video content so you can maximize your reach on the site and make it more visible to your target audience. A full view of your video may be available if it appears in YouTube results before another user’s video or if it is displayed prior to another user’s video.

  • In-Stream Ads: TrueView ads play before someone watches the video they’ve selected on YouTube. Viewers sometimes have the option to skip the ad after watching it for five seconds.
  • Preroll Ads: Some in-stream ads are non-skippable and can play before, mid-roll, or after the main video. These are called Pre Roll ads, and they are 15 to 20 seconds in duration.
  • Bumpers: Bumpers are the third and shortest type of YouTube video ad available to you. At just six seconds per bumper, these ad spots play before a viewer’s chosen video.

Using YouTube as a keyword target is relatively less costly than using traditional Google Search. YouTube views cost an average of $0.06 per click, versus $1-2 for Google Search searches. Therefore, targeting YouTube users with video content that includes their search history may be a more affordable method for reaching your audience.

youtube ads

Partner with Pyxl

The world of paid media can be tricky. Our experts at Pyxl can ensure that your social media and paid media strategy will produce a successful ROI for your business. Otherwise, if you realize your company could use a more hands-on approach with your social media and digital marketing strategy, contact us today!

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

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