Increase Audience Reach and Engagement with Targeted Social Media Ads

Topics: Marketing Toolkit, Digital Media

Posted by: Marketing

Previously 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 a steadily increasing share of internet ad revenue. There are a number of reasons why paid social advertising is so popular. Increase reach and engagement with the most effective paid social media ads and advertising platforms.



Most social media platforms allow businesses to purchase and place paid advertisements. In 2021, 91.9 percent of U.S. businesses used social media for marketing purposes.

Why are paid social media ads so effective?

There’s a reason why U.S. social advertising revenue was projected to reach over $207 billion in 2023 - 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 be where they are. For younger demographics especially, this means building and maintaining an internet presence using your own website, digital advertising and social media platforms. 


Technology Use infographic crop




  • An estimated 4.9 billion people use social media worldwide (and this number continues to increase).
  • 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.
  • 73% of U.S. adults ages 50-64 use at least one social media site.
  • 45% of U.S. adults ages 65-plus use at least one social media site.
  • The average person spends about 145 minutes on social media every day.
  • Teenagers spend an average of 8 hours and 39 minutes per day on screens, with social media being one of the most popular activities.
  • Young adults spend an average of 5 hours per day on social media platforms.
  • Adults ages 30-49 spend an average of 4 to 5 hours on social media each day.


Social Media Usage infographic crop




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.” 


  • 90% of social media users follow at least one brand on social.
  • 50% of Millennials trust influencers’ product recommendations.
  • The average social advertising click-through rate (CTR) across all platforms in 2022 was 1.21%
  • By the end of 2022, the volume of social media ad impressions was more than 30% higher than in 2021.
  • 76% of social media users have purchased something they saw on social advertising.

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).


+ Research and budget for a successful digital ad campaign.


Which social advertising platform should I use?

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


+ Develop marketing goals that increase campaign effectiveness.


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 has 2.93 billion monthly active users.
  • 48.8% of Facebook users are Millennials.
  • Facebook ads reach 62.6% of all Americans aged 13+.



  • Instagram is the most downloaded app in the world.
  • 61% of Instagram’s advertising audience is between the ages 18 to 34 (perfect for those looking to reach Gen Z and Millennials).
  • In the U.S., Instagram's ad penetration is 51.4%.



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


  • Ads on Twitter/X reach 10.7% of all internet users, including 91.7 million people in the U.S.
  • With an average CPM of $6.46, Twitter/X’s CPM is the lowest of all the major platforms.
  • 26% of people spend more time looking at ads on Twitter/X than on other leading platforms.



  • LinkedIn achieved 0.9% quarter-on-quarter ad reach growth in 2022, and now accounts for 16.9% of total internet users.
  • LinkedIn’s advertising audience falls overwhelmingly in the 25- to 34-year-old range.
  • With 190 million users, the U.S. has the largest LinkedIn advertising audience.




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



  • As of October 2022, Snapchat had 576 million users total and 347 million daily active users.
  • In 2022, Snapchat saw a 7% year-over-year increase in ad reach.
  • After watching an ad on Snapchat, users are 34% more likely to purchase the advertised products and 45% more likely to recommend a brand to their friends.
  • 55% of Gen Z can recall a Snapchat ad they watched for less than 2 seconds.



  • TikTok has 50 million daily active users, who use the app for an average of 1.5 hours a day.
  • Among adult users, TikTok has a potential ad reach of 945.2 million.
  • The hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit has 31.8 billion lifetime views.
  • 2 in 3 shoppers say they get inspired to buy something on TikTok even when they’re not actively shopping.


+ Use emerging media to your advantage.


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. 
  • 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.

Are you interested in maximizing your social advertising ROI?




Editor's Note: This post has been fully updated as of January 2024.


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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