For years, Facebook has “reigned supreme” as the top social media advertising platform, and for good reason.
Facebook has 2.85 billion monthly active users across all different demographics, and with an extensive list of targeting options to choose from.
So don’t get us wrong, Facebook is a solid advertising platform and we’ll cover it today, but there are other advertising platforms out there!
And some of them may be better suited for your specific business.
So in this post, we’ll be listing them all and going over the top ranking social media ad platforms.
We’ll also tell you what you need to know about them to make the most profit.
Let’s go ahead and get the big one out of the way.
The first one on our list of the top ranking social media platforms is, of course, Facebook.
In 2020, Facebook’s total ad revenue was $20.7 billion.
So even though Facebook has been challenged more in recent years than ever before…
…businesses are utilizing Facebook ads – a lot.
And the reason is that Facebook offers some of the most extensive detailed targeting between:
- interests, and
…in combination with all of the custom audiences you’re able to target.
Between retargeting and lookalike audiences, the custom audiences are really where it’s at.
And we cover all of these targeting options in our Facebook ads targeting post.
But the other thing is that Facebook offers tons of campaign objectives to choose from as well.
This means you can run ads for specific goals, whether you want:
- more post engagement,
- more Facebook page likes,
- more direct sales on your website, or
- more leads.
A lot of the other social ad platforms don’t have this many campaign options.
So Facebook’s huge user base, combined with its ability to reach them via its endless targeting options and specific objectives…
…is what has made it such a huge advertising force over the years, and why it still remains one today.
So whether you’re B2B or B2C, you can pretty much find your target audience on Facebook.
And this is why it’s often the first recommended ad platform for business owners.
But now, let’s look at some alternatives to Facebook ads, starting with Youtube ads.
YouTube doesn’t fall far behind Facebook with 2.3 billion users on the platform worldwide.
And as a result, people watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube video content every single day.
But what’s even more important is that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google.
So unlike Facebook, where you’re targeting by demographics and interests, on YouTube, you’re targeting by what people are searching in the search bar.
And instead of interrupting someone mid-scroll on Facebook with an ad, here you’re serving people content that you can be fairly certain they want to see.
Why? Well, because they just typed in a related keyword searching for it.
But what’s important is that, if you have a product or service that people often search for, YouTube could be the best advertising platform for you.
You can use a paid tool like Keyword Tool to see how often something is searched specifically on YouTube.
And then you can look up common questions searched around that keyword.
That way you know what keyword to focus your ads and content around.
Oftentimes, the questions and keywords with the highest search volume reveal the pain points your audience is trying to solve…
…as well as the goals that they are trying to achieve.
So you can use your YouTube ads to provide your product or service as the solution that bridges the gap.
That’s because 48% of consumers want videos to reflect what they are interested in.
Now, the cost per result in YouTube ads varies by industry.
But in general, it is usually a little bit more expensive, but it also usually yields a higher conversion rate.
70% of YouTube viewers have made a purchase from a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube.
And even if you don’t sell B2C products, 50.9% of B2B decision-makers use YouTube to research purchases.
So if you’re reading this and thinking:
“Okay, I think my audience is on YouTube and is searching keywords related to my product or service, but how am I going to make a video?”
Don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be that complicated.
The camera quality on smartphones is often enough now to make a solid video ad.
Plus there is one YouTube ad format that doesn’t require video, and it’s called overlay ads.
This is where you can “overlay image or text ads that can appear on the lower 20% portion of a video.”
So do some research and see if people are searching questions or phrases around the product you provide on YouTube, and if so, give YouTube ads a go.
Instagram has about 1 billion monthly active users.
And, about 70% of them watch video content in the form of Stories on a daily basis.
Additionally, 1 in 4 consumers has made a purchase after seeing one of those Stories on Instagram.
Now you might be thinking, “Why are you throwing video stats at me when we’re talking about Instagram ads?”
Well, the reason is that the head of Instagram recently said it’s “no longer a photo-sharing app” and that they are focused on video.
And we can understand why! 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
While 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
So when we’re talking about the best social media ad platforms, Instagram is up there, and not just because it’s owned by Facebook.
You get all of the same targeting options through Facebook.
And that’s because you can (and should) use Facebook Ads Manager to run your Instagram ads.
This, by the way, was something that we discussed in our Instagram ad mistakes post if you’re curious as to why.
But in addition to that, you get all of the fun and effective video ad placements that are exclusive to Instagram.
Like the Story ads we just talked about, and the newly released Reels ads. We’ve also published a post on Reels ads, so read it next if you’re interested.
But the point is, Instagram is a really effective vehicle to deliver short, powerful video ads to consumers to either get them to purchase or fill out your lead form.
And again, the same thing here, you don’t need a Hollywood production budget to get this done.
Mobile-shot Stories ads outperform studio-shot ads 63% of the time.
This means that, not only is it cheaper and easier for you to just film an ad on your phone for Instagram…
…but it’s more effective and will likely get you better results.
And what’s more, it’s been said that 90 million people tap on IG product tags each month, just organically, in their scrolling outside of advertisements.
So, slowly but surely, the perception of Instagram is shifting among users.
People are becoming conditioned and used to the idea of coming on the app to shop, making the video advertisements that much more effective.
And even if you don’t sell products or you’re B2B, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
So that in itself does wonders for brand retention, and for moving people on down your sales funnel.
Our social media management company manages millions in ad spend for our clients every day, and we’ve seen success with both B2B and B2C on Instagram.
Pinterest now has almost 460 million monthly active users, but just because it has fewer users does not mean it is a weak ad platform.
Statistics show that 2 out of 3 users say they go to Pinterest to find new ideas, products, or services they can trust.
This results in the fact that 85% of users say they’ve bought something based on Pins they see from brands.
So right away, we’re seeing that people are making purchases as a direct result of the content they see on Pinterest.
And similar to what we saw with YouTube, Pinterest is like a hybrid social media platform/search engine.
66% of Pinterest users are actively searching for products and services to buy, based on what others are saving.
So you can (and should) create ads that are optimized around what people are searching for on the platform.
And not only are they purchasing, but they’re also purchasing more than they do on other platforms.
Pinterest users spend 80% more in retail than consumers who don’t use Pinterest.
And, here’s one more big stat to throw at you, 97% of searches on Pinterest are not brand-related.
They’re searching for things like “farmhouse kitchen” and “fall plaid outfit.”
So what does all of this mean?
It means that people are coming on the platform with an idea in mind and, more than likely, the ultimate intention of buying something.
Also, half of the U.S. users on the platform make over 100K a year, meaning they have money to spend.
And because they are not searching brand-related keywords…
…that means small businesses have a huge opportunity to deliver ads to their target audience cheaply and earn brand trust early.
So if you’re a B2C business and haven’t tried out Pinterest ads yet, you could be missing out on a huge wave of sales and ROI.
Having said that, let’s move on and talk about a predominantly B2B ad platform next.
LinkedIn has about 740 million active users.
We think the biggest misconception we see around this platform is that people still view it as a job and hiring app.
Well, it still works that way, but it’s more than that now.
If your target audience is B2B and consists of decision-makers, you can convert them by targeting them on this platform.
One study of over 5,000 businesses found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%.
That is almost three times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).
And LinkedIn says their conversion rates are 3X higher than other major ad platforms, including Google Ads.
Now, there are the 4 different ad types you can run on LinkedIn, which also differ in specs and how they will look to your users.
Every business and target audience is different, so you’ll just want to test and see which type of LinkedIn ad is the most effective for you.
But just know that 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions at their companies.
So if you’re looking for specific job titles and position holders within your target audience, LinkedIn is the place to find them and convert them into a lead.
If you want to learn more about LinkedIn advertising, then read this post next.
Twitter has about 199 million active users. But don’t let its size fool you.
Even though it’s smaller in user base than every other social media platform we’ve discussed so far, it can still be used to your advantage.
27% of B2B content marketers use Twitter ads, which is less than other platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn.
So that could mean there’s more market share for you to tap into at a cheaper cost there.
And if you’re B2C, you should know that people on Twitter are 53% more likely to be the first to buy new products.
Plus, Twitter ads engagement was up 27% last year and carousel ads specifically saw an average of 15% increase in CTR over single-asset ads.
Twitter is also one of those social media ad platforms that have just been around for a while.
We think 15 years to be exact, and just have a pretty wide variety of demographics in their user base as a result.
So even though their user base is smaller, and their advertising platform is not as extensive as one like Facebook’s…
…statistics like the ones we just mentioned show us that there still is an audience to be tapped into there…
…and that they’re more likely than not to convert!
Snapchat has 265 million daily active users, and about 60% of the U.S. users are 13-24 years old.
And this is not surprising.
While some do not fall under that youthful age range, we still see them use the app to communicate with their younger relatives or friends.
And we think that’s a common notion that people think of Snapchat as purely a means to communicate with friends and family.
It’s sometimes hard at first to see where your ads may come into play based on the nature of the app.
But in actuality, Snapchat users are 60% more likely to make impulse purchases.
And apparently, 35% of Snapchatters send snaps about products they’re interested in buying.
So, in response to this, Snapchat has introduced public profiles for businesses, where you can have a permanent place for your branded content.
Additionally, the Snap pixel is available for you to install, so you can track how many purchases on your website came from Snapchat.
Now as far as the ads themselves, we’ve heard that the shorter videos perform the best at about 6 seconds long.
But if your target audience is Gen Z, that’s fine, because 55% of Gen Z has ad recall after watching only 0 to 2 seconds of an ad.
And this is double the ad recall of individuals ages 40 and over.
This means you can run shorter ads, at fewer times, and still have a strong brand recall.
Snapchat has also been big on pushing that their ad platform is both for online businesses as well as app and game developers and local businesses.
So if all of these things are making the perfect storm to describe your business and ideal target audience, you might want to consider Snapchat ads.
Now, last on our list of the top ranking social media platforms is Tiktok.
This social media platform has over 1 billion users, and similar to Snapchat, it consists of a younger demographic.
But even so, TikTok ranks as the second-biggest app in consumer spending.
This app exploded in 2020 with everyone on their phones at home.
And it became the major source for all things trending, from TikTok dances, to popular songs and hashtags, to “things you didn’t know.”
So again, if your audience consists of Millennials and Gen Z, or younger, now would be a good time to step in.
Test out some TikTok ads while it’s still relatively early.
That’s all we have for you today!
We hope this list of the top ranking social media platforms was useful in helping you narrow down which social ad channels your business should be on.
Now if you want to improve your social media marketing campaigns, but just don’t have the time and skills for it, let us help you!
Check out our social media marketing services today.