• Social Media Advertising Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Social Media Advertising

You’ve built your digital foundation and your online presence is good, but could it be better? Could you be doing more to reach more customers? The answer is always yes, and if you haven’t tried social media advertising, then this may be the way to go.  In this post, we’ll go over the pros and cons of social media advertising to help you determine if it’s the next step you should be taking to grow your online presence and get more customers.

Related: How to Advertise Your Business on Instagram

Pros and Cons of Social Media Advertising

How Can Social Media Advertising Help My Business?

Social media advertising is among the most forward-thinking, highly-utilized, and profitable forms of digital advertising today. More than 2.8 BILLION people use it – 37% of the world’s population – and it stands as an almost surefire way to increase engagement and brand awareness for your business (source: We Are Social).

From Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat, major social media networks are becoming exponentially more popular (even in kids as young as 10), opening new worlds of brand-building opportunities, and constantly evolving to offer ease-of-use and exceptional value for your advertising dollar.

Even more professional, business-oriented social networks – like LinkedIn – focus on making essential B2B, B2C, and P2P connections and introduce users to unique brands as a “friend” or “follower” might—but with less sales pressure and urgency, building relationships for the long haul.

Advantages of Social Media Advertising

When done right, the benefits of building your business through social media advertising will almost always outweigh the potential financial gambles and the strains from the work you would have to put in to make your efforts successful. Let’s explore a side-by-side comparison of the pros and cons of investing in social media advertising:


The best social media platform to advertise on is the one most popular among your target audience. This means you’ve done your research and have spent enough time on that platform to get familiar with it. Advertising on a platform with which you and your audience is already familiar gives you an automatic advantage.


Social media advertising follows a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when users take the action you want them take (such as clicking through to a web page or filling out a lead form). One study by Ad Espresso found an average of $.28 per click for the US (source: Ad Espresso)

For more information about social media advertising costs, check out:

Cost of Advertising on Facebook

Cost of Advertising on Twitter

Cost of Advertising on Instagram

Supporting Content

In addition to paid advertising on a platform, you can also be posting and sharing various forms of content such as photos, videos, and website links through your free account to bolster your messaging and reach your audience.


With social media advertising, you are in complete control of who sees your ads, saving you time, effort, and money. With the psychographic data available on social media, the level targeting is unmatched by traditional media. In addition to age, gender, relationship to your business, even political affiliation, you can target interests, hobbies, personality types, homeowner status, and more. With social media advertising, you can bring your message to the exact niche you want.

Also, by using tools like hashtags and unique landing pages you can make your messaging and promotions more relevant, focused, and potentially more profitable.

Build Brand Loyalty & Followers

Social media advertising lets your customers, and those people who follow your brand, know that you are human. Rather than simply pitching a product or service, and asking for a monetary transaction, you’re communicating, fostering long-term loyalty, and gaining confidence so profits come easily. How easy? 71% of customers who have had a positive experience with a brand via social media are likely to recommend that company (Source: DreamGrow)

Measure Your Success

Engagement on social media—such as likes, comments, Tweets, retweets, downloads, shares, and posts—are easier than ever to track and are effective in measuring the success of your brand’s reach. Correlate those devices to actual profits within a quarter/fiscal year, and you can begin to paint a colorful picture of your most lucrative social media actions.

Challenges with Social Media Advertising


Social media is crowded. According to a survey in AdWeek, more than 88% of companies in the U.S. use social media for marketing (Source: AdWeek). That means you either have to invest more time and effort into crafting unique and compelling content, or may have to hire an expert to cut through all the white noise for you. Failing to do so may cause your company to become just another grain of sand on the beach.

Constant Monitoring

Social media advertising requires constant monitoring. As a business owner, time is as precious as money. To successfully engage with your clients, answer their feedback, and consistently post the type of digital content that will get you noticed, you will have to designate a significant portion of time each week to social media ad upkeep.


Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to success, and even if you are savvy with social media, there is still a lot to know about paid advertising on social media—many details which, if you get wrong, can result in unfortunate consequences: your posts could be misconstrued, your cost per click could jump, or you could read your audience wrong.  Social media advertising just isn’t a casual pastime. It requires familiarity, attentiveness, and education.

No matter what business you operate, social media advertising is the future of marketing. Its power to make a profit while simultaneously and genuinely engage with core and new customers alike is undeniable. But, just like any investment, you need the will to put almost everything you have into it and weather the storm to reach new heights of success.

Kristen McCormick
Kristen McCormick
Kristen is the Content Marketing Manager for ThriveHive, where she geeks out daily over SEO, organic traffic, and A/B testing. When she's not equipping business owners and marketers to get their name out there through effective content, she's out pedaling the streets of Boston on her beloved bike.

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