Which social media platform has the best-performing adverts?

Written on 23 July, 2015 by Emily Rice
Categories: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: advertising, online business, online marketing, social media

In social media advertising, it can be easy to spend dollars where they’re not deserved. So where should you invest your social budget, and which platform has the best-performing adverts? The answer is a little more complex than you may think.


With over 1.44 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook wins the reach race. As the longest-running player, it boasts advanced targeting options, a sophisticated analytics platform and a suite of options for every budget.

Average click-through rates across the ad types ranges from 0.02 per cent to 3.20 per cent. The higher end of the spectrum includes lesser-used offerings such as Sponsored Place Check-In Stories.

Best for: The diversity of Facebook advertising means that any business can benefit; however, the more popular ad formats may not offer the kind of ROI small businesses need to justify costs. B2B brands are not a natural fit for Facebook, but with the right targeting and considered messaging, the potential is there. Facebook’s algorithms favour video content, so if you’re producing great bite-sized videos, take advantage of the video advertising trend.


Twitter advertising can be very effective, and the suite is straightforward. There are promoted tweets which appear in timelines, promoted accounts in the sidebar for algorithmically selected users and promoted trends displayed as hashtags at the top of current trending lists. As the most premium of the options (last year costs surpassed the $200,000 per day mark), promoted trends are only viable for big businesses.

Twitter’s MVP is targeting. There are many options for specific audience targeting based on interests, cookie IDs and even TV show integration. This makes it appealing for businesses with lots of data on their customers, and for television networks.

Best for: Due to the cost, Twitter is not always ideal for small businesses. However, with an average CTR of 1 per cent to 3 per cent and a sophisticated targeting platform, it is a good option for those who can afford it.


Instagram has remained very secretive about its advertising costs - rumoured figures have ranged between US$350,000 to $1 million per month.

While advertising on the platform remains exclusive, brands can host giveaways, invite an influencer to ‘take over’ their account, or pay influencers to post about products and services. As there is still no direct click-to-shop option, these functions are for branding purposes only.

Best for: As it stands, only major brands have the opportunity to advertise on Instagram. However, as the terms of running giveaways and promotions are still relatively loose, it’s a great time for small to medium B2C businesses to use the platform for branding.


Like Twitter, LinkedIn’s advertising suite is straightforward, offering just two types of ads: one small unit in the side bar with a short headline, description and small image, and the Sponsored Update, which delivers updates to the feeds of targeted members who do not already follow your company.

Ads are calculated on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis, allowing brands to choose their bid. LinkedIn’s CPC starts at $2 and can get up towards the $5 mark depending on your targeting criteria and competition. The platform calls a good click-through rate anything greater than 0.025 per cent.

Best for: Naturally, B2B businesses are the best fit for LinkedIn, as the audience is made up of professionals in a day-job mindset. The platform does allow for specific targeting, so although the CPC is high, those actively pursuing the leads it delivers through landing pages or LinkedIn’s lead-collection feature can see fantastic results.

Which social media platform has given you the best advertising results?

If you’re not quite happy with your social strategy, WebCentral can advise you on how to improve your social presence.