Should Your Clients Invest in Sponsored Social Media Ads?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Social media engagement reached an all-​time high during the COVID-​19 pandemic. But it’s beginning to lessen now that the world is opening back up. Is it still worthwhile for your clients to invest in sponsored social media ads?

Should Your Clients Invest in Sponsored Social Media Ads?

How Much Time is Spent on Social?

Time spent on social media may be declining, but it’s not as bad as you may think. At the peak of pandemic-​driven social media consumption (between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first of 2021), time spent on social media rose by 12% , according to a report by GWI. Ever since, it has been slowly declining. In the grand scheme of things, those 12 minutes aren’t a lot.

GWI reports that the average time American consumers spend on social media on a daily basis is two hours and 18 minutes. That gives your client’s target customers plenty of time to discover and interact with sponsored social media ads.

Demographics and Time Spent on Social

Another silver lining is that the dip in time spent on social media only greatly applies to younger consumer demographics. Before the pandemic, many consumers in older age groups had less interest in social media. But being unable to go outside had them searching for new ways to interact with their loved ones. So, they turned to the internet and aren’t showing signs of changing their new habits yet. Generation X’s daily social media time has averaged around two hours per day for the past year. And baby boomer’s social media time rose to and has continued to hover around one hour and 15 minutes.

Not only did these older generations find new ways to communicate, they fell in love with online shopping. And they need sponsored social media ads to help guide their purchase decisions. According to GMI, “Sponsored posts and ads on social media are the channels with the fastest growth for discovering new brands among social media users aged 55–64 (since Q4 2020).”

Top-​Performing Social Platforms

Surprisingly, the most popular social media platforms in the U.S. aren’t the ones with the best ad interactions. In the U.S., Facebook is the reigning champion of social media platforms when it comes to usage among most consumer age demographics. It’s then followed by Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok. When it comes to interactions with sponsored social media ads, the leader board in very different.

According to GMI, the social media platforms that have the highest consumer engagement with sponsored social media ads are:

  • Pinterest: 18% (of users have clicked on a sponsored social media ad within the last month)
  • Reddit: 18%
  • TikTok: 17%
  • Snapchat: 17%
  • Instagram: 17%

Facebook came in last in this category at 15 percent.

So, who should your client’s target age demographics be for sponsored social media ads on each of these platforms be?

  • Pinterest: All age demographics are fairly evenly represented on Pinterest, but Gen Zers and millennials make up slightly more of this social group
  • Reddit: The younger generations (Gen Z and millennials) account for most Reddit users. Baby boomers are hardly on Reddit, while Gen Xers are halfway between millennials and boomers in terms of usage
  • TikTok: User demographics steadily decrease in number of users as they age. Gen Z uses TikTok the most, followed by millennials, then Gen Xers, then boomers. (Fun Fact: More baby boomers use TikTok than they do Snapchat or Reddit)
  • Snapchat: User demographics on this site is almost identical to TikTok, but with slightly fewer members of Gen X and baby boomers
  • Instagram: Gen Z and millennials rule the roost here too, but are followed closely by Gen Xers with baby boomers bringing up the rear (but it’s baby boomers’ second favorite social platform)

What Platforms are Your Client’s Target Customers Using?

If you’re not sure which social media platforms your client’s target audiences are active on, check out their profiles on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. There, you’ll learn about their favorite platforms, as well as their attitudes toward various aspects of social media. Then you’ll know exactly where to place your client’s sponsored social media ads.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels