When it comes to reaching audiences quickly on social media, one of the most effective strategies is paid advertising. Once a campaign is launched, users can see your ads almost immediately — helping you speed toward your initiatives and goals. 

Not only that, but social media advertising spend is expected to increase worldwide from $226 billion in 2022 to $384.9 billion in 2027, due to its effectiveness.

Interestingly, however, brands are shifting some ad spend away from the more commonly used networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — and filtering it toward alternative platforms for social media advertising, such as TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat.

The reasons are clear: these alternative platforms are less saturated for paid social advertisers, and they continue to grow in popularity. A recipe for opportunity!

All that being said, let’s have a look at the potential impact these other networks can have on brands and businesses.

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TikTok: The Rise of Social Media Video Ads Globally

Perhaps the leading alternative platform for social media advertising, TikTok’s video ads have the potential to reach almost 885 million people. The social video app is now available in 154 countries worldwide and in 75 different languages. As of April 2022, the largest number if TikTok users were in the U.S., according to Statista.

And we’re not merely talking about users who are signed up for the app — we’re talking about users who are spending lots of time in the app.



Even more compelling is the fact that TikTok is forecast to triple its ad revenue from $4 billion in 2021 to a staggering $12 billion in 2022.

That means brands are starting to pay attention to the influence of Gen Z, the app’s most dedicated audience, on the success of brand advertising on TikTok — where ads are stickier than on the average social platform and show a higher propensity to generate action taken because of the ad.

As consumers become creators on platforms like TikTok, brands should also take notice of how they might leverage relationships with these creators to extend the reach of their ads to like-minded audiences.

Also Read: How Types of Social Media Content Differ by Platform?

Pinterest: Discovering Brands Through Paid Social

Since 2010, Pinterest has been gaining traction as the place to discover new ideas, projects, products, and — of course — brands. Today, their audience numbers 433 active monthly users, with the majority being women between the ages of 25 and 44.

If your demographic includes this audience, you may want to consider Pinterest as an alternative platform for your social media advertising. On average, Pinterest ads earn a 2x higher return on ad spend with a 2.3x cheaper cost per conversion compared to other social media platforms.

Why the bigger impact for social advertisers? Because the ads on Pinterest tend to blend into the discovery experience on the platform rather than interrupt it.

Plus, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that Pinterest’s year-on-year advertising reach is growing at 12.4 percent:



Snapchat: The Mobile Social Platform for Gen Z Advertising

While the mobile messaging app may have seemed to plateau a few years back, it has gained momentum– rising to an impressive 347 million daily active users worldwide. For brands targeting the Gen Z audience, this spells opportunity as an alternative to other social media advertising platforms.

In fact, Snapchat ads have a tremendous impact on this demographic, with brands reporting them 7x more efficient than TV ads. The Gen Z audience has also a much higher ad recall rate than those in older generations.

Another positive: the year-on-year advertising reach for Snapchat is growing at 11.8 percent:



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In a nutshell, there are massive opportunities for social advertising on platforms beyond the mainstream networks. Depending on your audience, you can tap alternatives like TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat to reach more consumers who are spending time in social spaces less saturated with ads. Just be sure your content resonates with the culture and vibe of the platform where you’ll be placing ads.

If you’re new to social media advertising and other aspects of digital marketing and want to get into this exciting field, upskilling through online courses and earning industry-recognized certifications is a great way to get started. If you’re already working in the field and want to learn and contribute more to your team or career, Simplilearn offers options for all — from free, self-paced digital marketing courses to immersive and interactive online programs and bootcamps, in partnership with acclaimed universities and industry experts. 

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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