Which social networks should you advertise on in 2022?

Whether you’re using it to complement your existing inbound marketing efforts or to revitalize your entire strategy, social media is an effective tool to achieve your marketing goals.

There are various social media platforms to choose from, and each has an audience that brings with it different advertising potential. While there are so many platforms out there, Kelly Hendrickson, senior manager of social media at HubSpot, doesn’t think you should use them all.

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Hendrickson says, “When it comes to which social platforms to invest in, there’s often no one-size-fits-all answer.” This is because specific channels, based on your company’s buyer personas and marketing goals, help give your ads more traction attain while others may not be as effective.

Here we cover three different social media platforms to help you decide when to use them in your social media advertising strategy and when not to.

Which Social Networks Should You Advertise On?

When deciding which social networks to use, it can be difficult to choose one platform over another. Instead, it’s best to look at your needs holistically, research what each platform has to offer, and go from there.

However, some social networks are better equipped to meet general marketing needs than others and we will discuss these below.


Facebook has almost 2 billion daily active users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms today. It’s no surprise that 62% of businesses will use it for advertising and marketing in 2022.

“For better or for worse, every business needs a Facebook ad presence,” says Hendrickson — and there are several reasons for that.

The platform has the most powerful optimization and targeting tools that enable marketers to create a true buyer journey within the platform. Hendrickson adds, “It’s also a lot of bang for your buck,” citing the platform’s high conversion rates (9.2%, to be precise).

Whether you’re a software company or a clothing company, you’re likely to find success on Facebook, especially if you use the ad management tool and develop a Facebook marketing strategy that carefully considers your audiences.

Think of it this way: 15% of Facebook users use the platform to find and shop for products. Let’s say you’re an ecommerce business targeting the right audiences for your ads. In this case, the networks’ high conversion rates say that your target audience, who are already using the platform to shop, are likely to make purchases as a result of your ads.

If you choose Facebook, you can use automation software like Perfect Audience to ensure you’re continually nurturing leads and targeting the most qualified customers. Perfect Audience helps you create lists of users on Facebook who are most likely to become customers and re-target them to continuously influence them.

If you’re a HubSpot user, the tool integrates with Marketing Hub and you can analyze campaign performance and track conversions. Once you know who your most qualified customers are, Perfect Audience helps you continually re-target those customers to maximize your impact.

When Not to Advertise on Facebook?

While useful for most businesses, there are still times when advertising on the platform isn’t as beneficial.

For example, if you don’t know exactly who your target audience is, it might be best to put Facebook on the back burner until you have a thorough understanding of who they are. While ad targeting on Facebook is specific and the algorithm learns from your leads over time, the process begins with a pre-existing list of audiences.


Instagram has around 500 million daily active users and 62.7% of its global users are between the ages of 18 and 34. In terms of user activity, 70% of shopping enthusiasts say they use the app to find products.

All of this means that Instagram can be very profitable for businesses. It’s more focused on shopping than ever before, from adding new shopping features to immersing yourself in shopping live streams. Those efforts aren’t in vain — according to our survey of more than 1,000 marketers, Instagram ranked second as the platform with the highest ROI in 2021.

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Instagram is also the platform of choice for influencer marketing – ranked as the most popular and effective trend with the greatest ROI in 2021. Thanks to the rise of micro-influencers and the visual nature of the platform, Instagram is effectively a hub for influencer marketing.

So if you’re an e-commerce business that can produce high-quality visual content – or uses influencers in your marketing strategy – Instagram is worth considering.

When not to advertise on Instagram?

Unlike Facebook, Instagram really only caters to B2C companies. If you’re a more corporate business that doesn’t focus on individual consumer purchases, you’re likely to have some trouble marketing and driving engagement on Instagram.

However, the users of the app expect high-quality content, so creating these visuals is crucial no matter your business type. If you don’t have the time or funds, switching to another platform will likely bring more success as you take the time to learn more about Instagram and create quality visual content for future use.

3. Youtube

YouTube has an audience of over two billion monthly users. The platform is not only gigantic, but especially popular with younger viewers. Consider this amazing statistic – YouTube reaches more adults aged 18-24 than any other television network.

Next year, video content is expected to account for more than half of all web traffic. If you haven’t already thought about how video fits into your long-term marketing strategy, now is the time to start. In fact, 30% of marketers plan to invest more in video than any other format in 2022.

While YouTube is the obvious platform for long-form video content, it’s also preparing to compete with TikTok and Instagram in the short-form video game. In July 2021, it released YouTube Shorts, allowing users to create bite-sized videos of 60 seconds or less.

While we’re not sure how shorts will play out, it’s a relatively low strategy to explore. In fact, 83% of marketers plan to increase their investment in shorts over the next year.

When Not to Advertise on YouTube?

Like Facebook, the opportunities for a presence on YouTube are incredibly high due to its massive user base. However, with millions of videos being uploaded every day, it’s fair to wonder if your ads are having any impact.

In order for YouTube ads to “work,” you need a solid understanding of your audience — who they are, where they live, and what their interests or pain points are. Once you’ve done this homework, you’ll be in a better position to take advantage of YouTube’s sophisticated targeting options.

Which social platforms offer the highest ROI?

According to our survey of more than 1,000 marketers, Facebook took the top spot as the platform with the highest ROI in 2021. So it should come as no surprise that 25% of social media marketers plan to invest more in Facebook than any other platform in the world year 2022.

Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok also made the list. Although these platforms provide different content for different audiences, they are all shifting towards short-form videos. It’s clear that short videos are here to stay – and many social media platforms are trying to prioritize them in the new year.

So does this mean that marketers should only invest in these five platforms? Not quite – says Hendrickson.

“Ask five social media marketers how they define ROI on social media and you’ll probably get five different answers. Is the return you’re looking for a more engaged audience? leads? Brand awareness and affinity?”

Ultimately, your goals are the best indicators of which platforms you should be using. For example, are you trying to connect with a Gen Z audience? You may get better results on TikTok (most users are 10-19 years old) than Facebook. Want to build your reputation as a thought leader? Because of the reach of Twitter, it could become your best friend.

“The first step to determining where you want to advertise from an ROI perspective is to determine what you want to achieve with your paid advertising,” advises Hendrickson.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with new platforms as long as you have the resources.

“When it comes to newer or more experimental channels like TikTok, they’re worth trying if you have the resources. Beating the competition and thriving on one platform is great, but if your other trusted channels suffer, it’s probably not the right move for your brand in the long run.”

Make your final decision

Choosing the “right” platforms for your marketing strategy depends on your overall business goals and business type. Some platforms will help your ads get more traction, while others may not be as impactful.

Analyzing your campaign metrics and paying attention to the campaigns you’re running will give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your marketing efforts. You can determine which platform offers the best results for your business and use that for future media placements.

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