The Pros and Cons of Paid Social Media

Is paid social worth it?

Choosing to invest in paid social advertising can feel like a gamble. You might be wondering if the time, effort, and budget are worth the investment—do the benefits outweigh the costs? Let’s look at the advantages and challenges of paid social media to better understand its impact on your eCommerce business. 

Why eCommerce Brands Choose to Run Paid Ads on Social Media

Paid ads on social media offer eCommerce brands a unique way to directly reach their target audience; advertisers can tailor personalized ads to effectively boost engagement and conversion rates. The versatility of social media platforms also allows for a wide range of creative formats—from video to carousel ads—to ensure that the message reaches the intended audience and captures their attention. We’ll explain a few positive sides of paid social below.

Build your brand

Build Your Brand 

Building a brand takes time, which is where a paid social strategy can step in and help your business shine. A solid paid social strategy can strengthen your brand identity, attract new customers, and build trust with current customers to encourage repeat business. When you’re committed to building your brand for the long term, paid social media can be the perfect fit. 

Paid ads on social media also provide an opportunity to differentiate your brand from your competition and connect with your target audience more effectively. Each social platform offers different ad formats, allowing for greater creativity and flexibility. By placing high-quality, engaging social media ads, your brand can truly stand out on its own and capture the attention of your audience.

expand brand awareness

Expand Brand Awareness 

Likewise, social media advertising can be a great way to elevate your brand awareness beyond the more traditional marketing channels. Many social platforms (including Meta) also allow you to retarget shoppers who have previously visited your site and/or made a purchase. These audiences have granularity similar to that offered by Google Ads. You can serve social media ads specifically to people who visited a certain page (or subset of pages) and segment out prior conversions, among other options.

Additionally, you can expand your market. If you’re trying to break into a new market with different products or grab an audience that doesn’t currently fit your customer base, Meta’s audience targeting gives you options, such as lookalike audiences, to expand your reach.

Precise Budget Control

With paid social media ads, you can exercise control over your advertising budget by setting daily or lifetime spending limits. These options help prevent overspending and ensure optimal allocation across your various campaigns. Additionally, budget control enables you to monitor your campaigns in real time, allowing you to effectively test and refine them based on performance. To learn more about the various budget optimization options in Meta Ads Manager, check out our blog post on the differences between Ad Set Budget Optimization and Campaign Budget Optimization.

Paid Social Advertising Challenges (& what you can do

Paid social advertising challenges

Limited Ad Space 

The biggest thing to understand about paid ads on social media is that your ad inventory is limited. Meta has around three billion active monthly users, and each user has one news feed where you can grab a user’s attention. With limited ad space comes higher competition, and with that  higher competition comes higher pricing. Clicks are often more expensive than on Google or Bing, meaning you may need a substantial budget to get your campaigns off the ground.

How to optimize your ad space 
It’s important to recognize that not all social media platforms are a perfect fit for every business. While Facebook might work well for some, others may thrive on Instagram. Determine where your target audience spends the most time and concentrate your paid social media efforts accordingly. Then, you can optimize the available ad space by emphasizing quality over quantity. With fewer ads competing for space, this means the ad has a higher rate of exposure. This, along with its targeting capabilities and engagement, may justify the investment.



Social media ads take a team of people (or at least a dedicated person with a variety of marketing skills) to run a high-performing campaign. For example, this team may look like:

  • The campaign manager works with creative to produce ads, and
  • The campaign manager also works with the social media coordinator to get input from the interaction of the ads

You will also need to have the budget to make quality creative assets, along with a deep understanding of your target customer. If you’re not serving what your audience wants, you’ll waste your budget and miss opportunities. Testing ads is the best way to find out what works on different social platforms, but it takes time, patience, planning, and personnel. To sum up: Paid social media needs a quality budget and a collaborative team.

How to make the most of your resources
When you have a dedicated paid social team, investing in the right resources can yield great returns and improve your profitability. Creating compelling ad creative and messaging is key to capturing your audience’s attention and driving engagement. Invest in high-quality visuals, videos, and ad copy that are relevant, engaging, and resonate with your ideal customer profile (ICP).

Our paid social media agency offers the support you need to elevate your campaigns. Whether it’s a highly-tailored media strategy, profit-driven reporting, or creative strategy assistance, we’ve got you covered and will boost profitability for your brand.

audience targeting

Audience Targeting

There are a lot of different levers you can pull to create audiences in Meta, which can make it a bit confusing—especially for managing eCommerce paid social campaigns. With paid search, you know that you’re targeting people that queried a specific keyword; you can also use long-tail keywords to identify buyer intent. However, audience targeting via keywords doesn’t really exist in the world of paid social media advertising.

How to improve audience targeting
To improve your targeting, the first step is to better understand your customer base. To do this, you need to conduct comprehensive research to uncover their demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences. With this information, you can create a precise target audience for your campaigns, of which there are three different options available in Meta Ads Manager:

  1. New Audience: Enables you to create a target audience from scratch
  2. Custom Audience: Allows you to target individuals who have already shown interest in your products or services
  3. Lookalike Audience: Targets individuals who share similarities with your existing customers

Other paid social audience-building strategies include:

Despite these challenges, establishing clear paid social advertising objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) from the start is crucial for brand growth and profitability. Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, drive store traffic, or generate sales, having well-defined goals will steer your social advertising strategy toward success.

Partnering with a Paid Social Media Agency: The Omnitail Difference

It’s easy to pour money into paid ads on social media without fully understanding the impact their performance has on your business. That’s where The Omnitail Difference comes in: A transparent, full-service paid social media agency that takes a unique, multi-faceted approach to scale the success of your campaigns—and your business.

We’re committed to making your paid social advertising work for you and your bottom line through data-driven and creative strategies, and transparent reporting that measures success through overall profitability instead of vanity metrics.

Are you looking for a paid social media agency that can truly take your marketing efforts to the next level? Our expert team is ready to provide your brand with a paid social media strategy, strategic blueprints, and compelling content that drives results.

Is Paid Social Media Right for You?

While there are obstacles you may run into while advertising on paid social, embracing the challenges presents you with opportunities for growth and success. Get in contact with our paid social media agency today to learn more about how investing in paid social can be great for your brand.

Did you find this article helpful?

Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!