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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are very different advertising platforms and all cater to very different audiences. If you want to get the most out of your advertising budget, you need to understand which is the best online advertisement for your immediate needs.

Note that this is our personal experience and opinion. If you have your own personal favourite, let us know!

Today, we’ll look at the platforms that will provide the most precise targeting capabilities.

Not Quite at the Podium: YouTube

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YouTube really doesn’t give you much in the way of targeting capabilities beyond age, gender, location, and language. Generally speaking, YouTube is very limited in its targeting.

What does this mean for you?

YouTube is excellent for events or general promotions that apply to a very broad audience. If you want to blast your latest commercial all over the country, YouTube can help you do that (and do it very well), but it becomes quite limited if you want to aim at specific audiences.

Bronze Medal: Twitter

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Twitter has some basic demographic, interest and geographic targeting, but nothing that really sets itself apart.  Twitter does, however, offer some alternate methods of advertising. For example, you can target anyone following certain Twitter accounts or anyone searching for certain hashtags.

What does this mean for you?

Twitter is all about events happening in real-time. Hashtag targeting allows you to piggyback on major trending events. For example, one of the hottest things this week is the new Star Wars trailer (which you can watch here). If you wrote a blog post for your site that breaks down the trailer second by second with in-depth analysis then you can advertise using the #StarWars hashtag. Anyone searching for Star Wars-related tweets would easily be able to find your content.

You can also target people who follow the Twitter accounts of George Lucas, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), and so on to make sure the right crowd sees your tweets. If you want to be extra sneaky, you can use this to target your competition to try and steal their followers!

Silver Medal: Facebook

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Facebook’s targeting gives you a lot of control over who can see your advertisement. Facebook allows you to segment by age, gender, interests, and behaviour.

What does this mean for you?

Facebook is a solid second place with its advertising platform. Unlike Twitter, Facebook doesn’t quite have the innovative hashtag targeting. You CAN target followers of certain pages, but it’s not as robust as the Twitter system.

Facebook, however, earned its silver medal by having a solid range of targeting functions. Behavioural targeting lets you focus on very specific things like people who “returned from a trip 2 weeks ago” or have “4G connections.” If you’re in the United States, Facebook has even more advanced targeting available such as ethnicity and political background.

Gold Medal: LinkedIn

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When it comes to targeting other companies, Linkedin has the most comprehensive targeting platform.

LinkedIn ads can target all basic information like age, gender, and location, and goes all the way up to skill set, education level, specific school, and so on. The only downfall for LinkedIn is that they really only shine for B2B. While their targeting system is top-notch, LinkedIn ads work the best if you’re selling professional services to other businesses.

What does this mean for you?

Have a new analytics software that will change the face of marketing? LinkedIn can specifically target marketing executives of medium-sized companies in your local area making at least $60k a year. Looking to sell your used financial accounting textbooks? LinkedIn can target all accounting students in your specific university with a proficiency in financial accounting.

Though LinkedIn has a smaller audience compared to the other three platforms, it gives the advertiser the most targeting power.

Want to know which ad platform is the best for your business? Drop us a line here or message us on Facebook or Twitter!