The Pros and Cons of Using Paid Advertising on Social Media

Pros and cons written on paper arrows.

Statista found that in 2020 an estimated 3.6 billion people are using social media worldwide, so, it’s no wonder that many businesses are turning to paid advertising to reach their target audiences. Paid advertising allows businesses to target their ideal customers with laser precision, increasing the chances that they will see your ad and take action. 

But paid advertising isn’t right for every business, and there are some potential drawbacks to consider before you take the plunge. We will explore the pros and cons of using paid social media advertising so you can decide if it’s right for your business. 

The Pros of Paid Advertising on Social Media

  1. You Can Reach a Highly Targeted Audience 

When you run a paid social media ad, you can specifically target your ideal audience with laser precision. For example, let’s say you sell eco-friendly cleaning products. You could target your ads to people who live in green cities, are interested in environmentalism, and follow green living bloggers. 

  1. You Can Reach a Wider Audience Than Organically 

Organic reach on social media has been steadily declining for years as platforms prioritize content from friends and family over businesses. This means that unless someone is already following your page, they’re unlikely to see your content in their newsfeed unless you pay to boost it. 

  1. You Can Test Different Messaging and Creative to See What Works Best 

With paid social media ads, you can test out different messaging and creative until you find what works best for your business. For example, you could test out three different Facebook ads with different imagery and copy to see which performs best with your audience. Once you know what works best, you can apply those learnings to your organic posts. 

  1. Paid Advertising Is More Cost-Effective Than Ever Before 

Not too long ago, paid social media advertising was cost-prohibitive for all but the largest businesses, due to high minimum spend requirements set by platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. However, minimum spend requirements have been lowered or eliminated in recent years, making paid social media ads more accessible than ever before. 

The Cons of Paid Advertising on Social Media

Now that we’ve explored some of the benefits of using paid social media advertising, let’s look at a couple of potential drawbacks: 

  1. There is Always a Chance Your Ads Won’t Perform Well 

No matter how well you target your audience or how creative you are, there is always a chance that your ads won’t perform as well as you’d like them to—and that can be costly if you’re not careful about your budgeting.  If you do decide to use paid social media advertising, make sure to start small and scale up gradually as you get a better sense of what works for your business.   

  1. You Might Be Tempted to Take Shortcuts if You Are Not Careful 

Because using paid social media ads can be so effective, there’s always the temptation to take shortcuts – for example, by buying followers or likes or using fake engagement tactics. But these shortcuts will only hurt your business eventually by harming your reputation and damaging customer trust. So, play it safe and stick to ethical marketing practices. 

  1. Not Everyone Wants to See Your Ads 

Although platforms like Facebook allow users to hide ads they don’t want to see, some people still find them annoying —which means there’s always the risk that even well-targeted ads might annoy someone enough that they never do business with you. However, this risk is relatively low, especially if you make sure not to follow best practices for responsible adverting. 

If you find yourself struggling to increase your social media engagement and need some advice or assistance, claim your 3-step digital marketing Action Plan today by CLICKING HERE. By doing so, you will be meeting with a professional Digital Marketing Specialist to explore your digital marketing footprint and develop a 3-step Action Plan to not only get the results you want on social media but optimise your social media presence to increase leads and engagement with potential customers. 


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