Increase Audience Reach and Engagement with Targeted Social Media Ads

Topics: Marketing Toolkit, Digital Media

Posted by: Marketing

Last week we explored ways to harness the energy of digital ads and the power of PPC (pay per click advertising). Today we take a deeper look at social media ads, which make up almost one third of all internet ad revenue. There are a number of reasons why paid social advertising is so popular. Learn how to increase reach and engagement for your target audience using the most effective paid social media ads and advertising platforms.



Most social media platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok) allow businesses to purchase and place paid advertisements. In 2021, 91.9 percent of U.S. marketers in companies larger than 100 employees are expected to use social media for marketing purposes.

Why are paid social media ads so effective?

There’s a reason why social advertising revenues reached $41.5 billion in 2020 - because it works! Let’s look at the factors that make advertising on social media platforms so effective.


Social media ads reach consumers where they are.

To drive your target audience to action, you must first reach them, and to reach them you need to meet them where they are. In today’s world, especially for younger demographics, this means building and maintaining an internet presence using your own website, digital advertising, and social media platforms. One of the most unifying and recognizable traits of both millennials and Generation Z is that they spend an extremely high percentage of their time on smartphones and other digital devices, much of it on social media apps. 

  • 84% of U.S. adults ages 18-29 use at least one social media site.
  • 81% of U.S. adults ages 30-49 use at least one social media site.
  • Millennials estimate they spend an average of 3.8 hours a day on social media.
  • Gen Z reports spending more than 4.5 hours a day on social media.
  • Social media ad impressions are up 20%, year-over-year.
  • 27% of internet users say they find new products and brands through paid social ads.
  • 31% of 16-24 year olds say they find new products and brands through paid social ads.


Social media marketing speaks the language of modern consumers.

Younger generations are no longer motivated by the hard sell. Loyola University found that “the future of advertising and marketing is about making relationships, establishing trust, and providing feedback quickly – in essence, using emerging media to make your users your brand ambassador and maybe even your friend...and it’s working: people are reaching out to mention, tag, and connect with brands at an astonishing pace.”


“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.” 


  • 1 in 3 consumers say they would mention a brand when sharing a personal accomplishment on social media.
  • 41% of millennials would include a brand to say “thanks” when mentioning a life milestone on social media.
  • 80% of Instagram users already follow a brand on the network.

MSSmedia Social Media Ad Stats



Better audience targeting makes for a healthy return on investment.

Whether you’re paying per click, per impression, per action, or per lead, digital advertising charges can add up. To get the most for your money, you must make sure your ads are primarily reaching your intended audience. Social advertising allows you to target your desired audience in several ways.

  • Advertise on the social media platforms your target audience is most likely to use.
  • Choose to show your ads to social media users based on location, age, gender, or interests.
  • Choose to show your ads to social media users based on their actions, both on- and off-line.
  • Target only existing customers or followers with your social media ads.
  • Target social media users who are similar to your existing customer or contact base.
  • Target those who have visited your website but have not taken the desired action(s).


Which social advertising platform should I use?

When choosing the right social media advertising platform(s) for your business, you must consider who you are trying to reach and what you are trying to accomplish. Let’s explore the most relevant social media ad platforms today.

Facebook and Instagram are considered both passive and active marketing platforms, covering all stages of the customer journey, from awareness, to consideration, to conversion. These platforms are excellent resources for lead generation and lead form fill-outs. Reaching target audiences on these platforms is the most important component of building awareness and converting traffic.



  • Facebook ads reach 1.95 billion of the platform's 2.5 billion monthly users. That’s 32% of the world’s population aged 13 and up.
  • Worldwide, the average Facebook user has clicked 12 ads in the last 30 days.
  • 80% of social referrals to ecommerce sites come from Facebook.
  • The average reach for a paid Facebook post is 28.1% of total reach, while the average organic reach for a Facebook post is 5.17% of a Page’s likes.



  • Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users globally.
  • 500 million users access Instagram globally per day.
  • 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. 


Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent branding, top of the funnel platforms. 



  • Twitter has 330 million monthly active users.
  • Twitter users are more likely than the general public to have both a college degree and higher income than the average U.S. adult. 
  • Twitter users are three times as likely to be younger than 50 years old, with the median age of adult U.S. users being 40 years old.
  • Twitter users spend 26% more time viewing ads than users on other platforms. 
  • 90% of people on Twitter read the copy, which is higher than any other social platform.



  • LinkedIn has over 774 million registered members from over 200 countries and territories.
  • LinkedIn continues to grow, and is likely to become an increasingly influential space. 
  • On average, LinkedIn sponsored InMail has a 52% open rate (compared to the average  branded email’s open rate of 21.3%.)


Snapchat and TikTok are emerging as excellent ways to reach the youngest generations with paid social media advertising.



  • With Snapchat, advertisers are able to reach a global audience and drive meaningful results. Businesses can target users based on their interests, behaviors, location, and more. 
  • On average, 280 million people use Snapchat every day.
  • Snapchat reaches 75% of Millennials and Gen Z.
  • On average, users spend over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day.
  • Snapchat ads are 7x more efficient than TV ads at reaching Gen Z.
  • 72%  of Snapchat ad viewers aren’t reachable by TV ads and 38%  of Snapchat users aren't on Instagram.



  • One of the main advantages of TikTok is that it allows businesses to connect creatively with audiences around the world, far beyond the geographical region they could typically access. 
  • 41% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. 
  • 90% of TikTok users say they use the app daily.
  • As of July 2020, there were over 90 million monthly active TikTok users in the United States alone.

+ What Is Emerging Media & How Should You Use It?


What’s the most effective way to use paid social media ads?

There are a number of things to keep in mind when developing a social media marketing plan, many of which are particularly relevant when creating paid social media ads.

  • Share video and visual content. Visual content resonates well with users and generates strong engagement. 
  • Live streaming increases engagement even more and adds to your brand’s air of authenticity. 
  • Showcase your creativity and draw users in with augmented reality (like emojis, stickers, and Snapchat filters).
  • Use hashtags and influencer marketing to grow your audience exponentially. 
  • Allow users to go from discovery to purchase without ever leaving the social media platform.
  • Use social media’s chat and shop features to break down barriers that stand in the way of completed customer transactions. (13% of internet users say that a “buy” button would increase their likelihood of purchasing on social and 23% say a brand with high engagement increases that conversion.)
  • Weak social media ads create negative emotional responses. Don’t rely on cash to make up for quality - you need high-quality copy, CTAs, and visuals.
  • Optimize your social media ads based on analytics. This data provides real-time information on each ad you’ve shared and how they’ve performed, which can help you better understand your audience.


How much do social media ads cost?

The price of paid social advertising varies greatly, depending on platform, industry, and bid type. Here are a few sample costs:


Average Cost Per Click on Facebook

The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72, with the cheapest clicks on Facebook reserved for apparel, travel and hospitality, and retail. These industries often have the largest audiences, so even at these low CPCs, it’s important to understand how to manage your social advertising budgets so that your Facebook costs don’t run amok.

CPC for Facebook



Instagram Advertising Budgets

31% of Instagram ad budgets go to Stories, and 96% of U.S. marketers plan to continue using Stories ads in the future. Video is the most expensive Instagram influencer format for brands, who pay an average of anywhere between $114 and $3136 per post. That's because Instagram Posts, Stories, and Videos are three of the top four most effective formats for influencer marketing.

+ Digital Ads - Research & Budgeting for a Successful Digital Campaign



Here at MSS Media, Inc., we’ve been providing Education, Government, Real Estate & Lifestyle clients with succinct, optimized, and successful marketing solutions for more than 15 years. Consider MSS Media, Inc. a full-service, one-stop shop for all your Media and Public Relations needs. Your goals are our motivation. And our mission is to propel your message, further and faster, to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. If you found this blog post helpful, please share!

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