The three major social networks all present paid advertising opportunities, and they are also developing new and innovative ways to target advertising messages. Depending on your business objective, an ad on Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter might be a smart move. But before you invest any big bucks, it is worth giving them a trial run.
Facebook is by far the most developed and widely used. Because their platform is still developing and underutilized, prices remain low for clicks and impressions when compared with more mature channels like Google AdWords and online display advertising. Because much of the data Facebook has (from users profile information) is of a demographic, geographic, and interest level, Facebook advertising is very effective at B2C targeting.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is tremendously effective for B2B businesses because of the professional information it uses to target its ads. Advertising spending is very efficient, because you can deliver advertising only to people with certain qualifications or titles, and any relevant groups. LinkedIn Ads are relatively cheap now, but rates could change with their growing popularity.
Twitter only offers advertising to large brands at this time in the form of “Sponsored Tweets” or “Promoted Trends.” Advertisers pay per impression to have their tweet show up at the top of feeds when certain “hashtags” are used or for certain search terms on their search engine. Consequently, Twitter advertising is neither practical or attainable for most marketers today, but tomorrow is a different story.
Bottom Line? Use the “test and invest” approach!