Social Media Advertising in the Brave New World


It used to be all about the big companies when it came to ads. Flashing billboards, posters, and TV commercials. Back in those days, people still read newspapers and subscribed to magazines.  


In this brave new world, it’s all about the social media. Advertising budgets that used to go into thousands of dollars every year can now be squeezed down to a couple of hundred! However, it comes at a great cost – attention span. We are now surrounded, bombarded and suffocated by advertising. So much so that we have learned to instantaneously avert our eyes away from them. Even pop-up ads aren’t effective anymore.


Funnily enough, you can pretty much tell if a pop-up is going to pop up just by the brief momentary flash of the page.  Clicking that little x has become a reflex action. In fact, when I accidentally clicked on one a couple of days ago, that instant feeling of intense shame prompted me to set that as my Facebook status. That got me 20 likes. Not bad, hey?


Social media is a key theme I talk about in my articles, so here is a comparison of paid marketing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 


1. Facebook Ads

The Facebook hype is long gone with boost posts. How do they work? Well, you set a budget, and Facebook boosts your post! Easy!

Beware, though.

Facebook ads are probably the most lucrative out of all the social networks. This is because audience targeting differs depending on how many people ‘like’ your page. There is the option of “People who like your page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting,” but you must have a certain number of likes in order to get both options. Both are incredibly dodgy, anyway.

Facebook disregards their country of location, age, etc. Moreover, there are admin issues with this service, especially if you have multiple admins on different accounts on your page. Facebook creates an incredibly convoluted situation where some may not have access, or are unable to make adjustments without another’s permission. Thus, it has fundamental flaws that would alienate many users.


2. Twitter Ads

Where is your business located?

What’s your estimated monthly budget?

These are the first two questions users are hit with when signing up for Twitter ads. Immediately, I feel as though it’s much more useful than Facebook.  Advantages of Twitter include the ability to co-ordinate your marketing campaign with Twitter by setting a calendar date and scheduling your tweets. Smooth, hey?

Also, you get to split your budget between promoted accounts and promoted tweets. The only downside to this is the pricing system, which is based on bidding and therefore shakes up marketing budgeting a lot.

But, there is a daily budget you can set, and according to Twitter, “never pay more than a cent above another advertiser’s bid!” Twitter charges you per click of a promoted tweet or account from one cent to the maximum dollar amount you want. Aside from the negatives, I guess a good thing I can add about Twitter is that you can turn it on and off easily?


3. LinkedIn Ads

Of all of the paid social media marketing available, in my opinion, LinkedIn wins first prize in awesomeness. Although it is slightly more expensive with ads starting from $10, its detailed process in filtering your target audience is straightforward and not tedious at all. You could target a specific audience, say by job title, function, industry, company size, age and/or LinkedIn Groups. Places it may appear on include profile page, home page, inbox, search results page or groups. 

What is really great about LinkedIn, however, is your option to choose. Much rather like, you can either go with CPC (Pay per click) or CPM (Pay per 1000 impressions). Although there’s a $5 activation fee (sneaky), it is intended to “cover the initial clicks/impressions that result after the ad has been approved and posted.” Unfortunately, the audience of LinkedIn is extremely limited, as it is predominantly a professional social media network.


Ling Lee

at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Comments (4)
David Price

David Price, Director at

great article Ling - some really interesting insights here..

John Belchamber

John Belchamber, Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Thanks Ling, interesting information. I've never really mastered using advertising to sell my consulting services. I'm sure it is possible (anything is with a large enough budget), but in the end it's how the prospect feels about me when I meet them that seals the deal. My assessment products on the other hand, LinkedIn has worked for me.

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