Which social networks should you advertise on in 2021?

Whether you use it to complement your existing inbound marketing efforts or to set your overall strategy, you have likely used social media to help you achieve your marketing goals.

There are several social media platforms to choose from, and each has a user base that offers different advertising potential. While there are so many platforms out there, HubSpot marketers Kelly Hendrickson and Andrew Delaney don’t think you should be using all of them.

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Hendrickson says, “When it comes to which social platforms to invest in, there is often no single answer.” This is because certain channels based on your business’s buyer personalities and marketing goals will help make your ads more resonant while others may not be as impactful.

This post covers six different social media platforms so you can understand when to use them in your social media advertising strategy and when not to use them.

In which social networks should you advertise?

When deciding which social networks to use, Delaney says, “It’s difficult to recommend one social advertising platform or another.” It’s best to have a holistic view of your needs and what the platform has to offer and move on from there.

That being said, some social networks are better equipped than others to meet general marketing needs, and we will discuss these below.


Facebook has around 1.82 billion active users every day and is one of the most popular social media platforms. It is also the world’s leading marketing platform. 91% of B2B and 96% of B2C marketers use them for advertising and marketing.

With this in mind, Hendrickson says: “For better or for worse, every company needs a Facebook advertising presence.” The platform has the most powerful optimization and targeting tools so marketers can create a real buyer journey within the platform. Hendrickson adds, “It’s a lot of money too,” which means the conversion rates on the platform are high (4.7% to be precise).

Facebook advertising

Whether you are a software company or a clothing company, you will likely find success on Facebook, especially if you use the ad management tool and create a Facebook marketing strategy that carefully considers your target audiences.

You can think of it this way: 15% of Facebook users use the platform to find and buy products. For example, let’s say you’re an e-commerce company that has targeted the right audience for your advertising. In this case, the networks’ high conversion rates suggest that your target market, who is already shopping on the platform, is likely to make purchases based on your ads.

If you choose Facebook, you can use automation software like Perfect Audience to make sure you are continuously nurturing leads and reaching the most qualified customers. With Perfect Audience, you can create lists of users on Facebook who are most likely to become customers and realign them for continued influence.

If you are a HubSpot user, the tool can be integrated into Marketing Hub and you can analyze campaign success and track conversions. Once you understand who your most qualified customers are, Perfect Audience will help you continually realign those customers to maximize your influence. The following image shows a summary of a campaign analysis on the Perfect Audience platform.

perfect demo to analyze the Hubspot integration campaign for the audience

When shouldn’t you advertise on Facebook?

While this is useful for most businesses, there are still times when advertising on the platform is not as beneficial.

For example, if you don’t know exactly who your target audience is, it might be best to put Facebook in the background until you have a thorough understanding of who they are. While ad targeting on Facebook is specific and the algorithm learns from your leads over time, the process starts with a pre-existing list of groups to target.


Instagram is a visual social media platform that prefers high quality images and video content. The network has around 500 million daily active users, and 62.7% of the global audience are between 18 and 34 years old. In terms of user activity, 70% of shopping enthusiasts say they use the app for product discovery.

Given these facts, Instagram can be very profitable for B2C businesses (82% of B2C marketers are already using it), especially for those who use quality photos and graphics to attract leads and generate conversions. Instagram recently redesigned its mobile application to focus more than ever on shopping, making it easier to promote and sell products without customers having to navigate to a website storefront.

In addition, Instagram is beneficial to ecommerce businesses as a means of customer service. Instead of users emailing questions or calling customer service, you can ask followers to ask you questions directly, comment on your posts, and even post educational videos that explain how your products work.

So, if you’re an ecommerce company that can create high quality visual content to attract and attract leads, Instagram is worth considering.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Instagram?

In contrast to Facebook, Instagram is actually only aimed at B2C companies. If you’re a more of a business company that doesn’t focus on individual purchases from consumers, you’re likely to struggle to market and drive engagement on Instagram.

However, using Instagram and not producing the quality content required for the app will not help your marketing efforts. Users of the app expect high quality content. Therefore, regardless of your type of business, having these visual elements is crucial. If you don’t have the time or the resources, moving to a different platform will likely be more successful as you invest time to familiarize yourself with Instagram and create high quality visual content for future use.


Twitter is a micro-blogging social media platform with 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users. It’s popular in 20 different countries and its users send around 500 million tweets every day. It’s also popular with businesses as 59% of B2B marketers and 53% of B2C marketers use the platform to help them achieve their marketing goals.

As with Facebook, the opportunities to advertise in the app are incredibly high due to the number of users. Because of this, Hendrickson says, “Twitter is great for building awareness of your brand and your reputation as a thought leader.”

Advertising on social networks

Some of the main functions of Twitter, such as: B. hashtags, make it easy to reach a large number of target groups without having to address them specifically (and hashtags are not provided with a price tag). It’s worth noting that tweets with hashtags get 100% more engagement.

In addition to organic advertising, Twitter also offers targeted marketing options that you can use to promote content to your key audiences.

In short, there are a multitude of companies that can advertise on Twitter. Smaller businesses that may not have a large advertising budget can use free targeting with business-related hashtags. This also applies to larger B2B companies (like HubSpot) that use paid advertising. Twitter can also be beneficial to any business that has a thorough understanding of its customer base, as ad targeting allows you to select relevant categories and demographic groups that can become qualified leads after viewing your campaigns.

However, Twitter is not the platform that is driving significant numbers of website traffic conversions.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Twitter?

Hendrickson says, “Are you looking for site traffic? Twitter is probably not your friend. It’s difficult to ask the audience to click and leave the platform. “If your overall marketing goal is to generate conversions to generate website traffic, you should find these metrics elsewhere.

While there are ways to target specific groups via hashtags without spending any money, there is only so much you can do organically on Twitter to generate consistent engagement with no consistent virality. If you’re a smaller business on a budget and rely on hashtags and mentions to promote your business, it becomes difficult to hold your own against larger, established companies on the platform.

Your best bet then is to choose a platform that better suits your needs and use Twitter as an additional marketing channel.

In which social networks should you not advertise?

All of the above platforms work for specific advertising needs. However, marketers with different goals can continue to develop a presence on the app and develop their strategy until they need those marketing goals. Says Delaney, “Your success on different social media platforms may vary depending on your goal or industry, as well as where your target audience spends their time.”

Social media channels on which advertising can be placed

There are other social media platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok whose target audience and audience are so specific that it will be difficult to succeed without meeting their niche needs.

However, that doesn’t mean you should never consider these platforms. Instead, its user base is so niche that companies that don’t specifically need what the platform has to offer are unlikely to be able to take advantage of it.

Below we’ll explain these two platforms, what they can be used for, and give marketers an idea of ​​when they might be able to use these platforms in the future.


LinkedIn is a unique social media platform that is aimed exclusively at companies and professionals. While the user base is extremely specific, LinkedIn has powerful, targeted ad capabilities that can help marketers reach over 690 million users.

The cost of running LinkedIn advertising campaigns is relatively high. However, the audiences you will reach are of higher quality than other websites because leads are much more qualified than other social media channels. Your ads will always be seen by business-minded people who are targeted based on relevant demographic information such as job title, industry claimed, and place of work.

On top of the higher costs, LinkedIn doesn’t have high click-through rates (the average is 0.45% lower than Facebook’s).

Due to its exclusivity, ecommerce and B2C businesses are likely to have little success in their LinkedIn marketing efforts, as platform users do not surf with the intent of making purchases like on Instagram or Facebook, and even less so than on Twitter.

However, B2B companies using the platform can gain something.

When should you advertise on LinkedIn?

82% of B2B marketers say they use LinkedIn as a means of networking and creating professional connections. Whether you want to increase brand awareness, get event registrations, advertise job offers or hire new employees, LinkedIn’s ad manager will help you target audiences and attract the leads you need.

If you’re looking to promote a new job posting, use LinkedIn. If you want to network and connect in your space, use LinkedIn. If you’re a recruiter, use LinkedIn. The cost of advertising on the platform pays off for those who use it because, as mentioned above, the leads are significantly more qualified than if you were to advertise a job on Facebook.

If you want to integrate LinkedIn into your B2B marketing strategy, you can use a platform such as RollWorks to track the success of the campaign and see whether the platform is worthwhile for your marketing strategy. With RollWorks you get campaign metrics in the form of activity diagrams that provide an overview of conversions, cost-per-click (CPC) and return on investment (ROI).

RollWorks can be integrated into HubSpot so that you get an overview of your campaign success on all platforms.

Nevertheless, B2C companies have the option of using LinkedIn for a variety of different scenarios in addition to engagement and conversions. For example, if you are a B2C company looking to open a new business in a completely different city, then using LinkedIn to advertise job postings can be beneficial. Ad targeting allows you to segment relevant audiences in that location and hire professionals who are best suited for those positions.

Tick ​​tock

TikTok is a relatively new advertising platform for marketers. The company recently launched TikTok For Business, which allows marketers to learn more about TikTok advertisements and create ads that are best suited to the app.

The social media network was recently launched and is available in 155 different countries with over 600 million active monthly users. These users spend more time on the app than any other social media site, with an average session time of 10.85 minutes. Given that, TikTok’s advertising potential is high, especially when it comes to awareness and engagement.

TikTok, like visual platforms, prefers high quality video, but the preferred type of video content is different, making it harder to succeed. This is because TikTok is popular with Generation Z and most of its users are between 10 and 19 years old. While the app lets you reach a younger audience than most other social media apps, this demographic is very specific of the content they enjoy. They shy away from sales-to-drive advertising campaigns and prefer informal content ads behind the scenes.

You want to see a more human side of your company, e.g. B. Who makes the products you make and what everyday life looks like for your business employees. If your company is not ready to meet these requirements, it will be difficult to take advantage of the high engagement rates that TikTok has to offer. However, there is always room for growth and business to develop a marketing plan that favors TikTok’s preferences.

When should you use TikTok?

Companies that are most successful with the app are ready, or already ready, to create organic content on their account and post it behind the scenes. If you’re a clothing company, this could look like a behind the scenes video of a photo shoot for your new clothing line.

If your brand or business is B2B focused and usually creates sales-oriented formal content, leveraging the platform requires significant focus that is redirected to a TikTok marketing strategy to create the content they prefer. Henrickson says, “When it comes to newer or more experimental channels like TikTok, they are worth trying out if you have the resources.” Beating the competition and thriving on one platform is great, but if your other proven channels are suffering, then this is probably not the right move for your brand in the long run. “

Advertising on social media platforms

That being said, TikTok is a great place to start if your business wants to branch and produce content to bring out a new, human side to your business, especially since engagement rates at all follower levels are higher than Instagram and Twitter. Using the platform can help you diversify your content types and share a creative side of your business.

In addition, TikTok prefers influencer marketing and influencer content. If your company is already using this type of advertising, then you should consider TikTok as a place to post this content.

Make your final decision

Choosing which platform to run your marketing strategy on will depend on your overall business goals and type of business. If your focus is on consumer buying, you want to use a platform that will entice your audience into buying your products, e.g. B. high quality Instagram photos. When you’re a recruiting company, you want professionals to know that you are serious about your efforts and not run scams like LinkedIn job postings.

Says Delaney, “I’m usually in favor of testing different types of creative content for different goals and audiences on multiple platforms, repeating those results, and comparing them over time.” You may find that a platform that you originally thought was best is not producing the results you were hoping for.

Analyzing your campaign metrics and paying attention to the campaigns you run will give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your marketing efforts. You can determine which platform will offer the best results for your business and use that to inform future media placements.

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