The Typical Social Media Advertising Costs [2021]


Introduction - Social Media Advertising Costs

Do you want to start advertising on social media, but are you worried that it will strain your budget too much? And how much does the average small business spend on social media advertising? Where do you even start?

To help answer your questions, we at Stiddle have compiled this article to help you understand all of the costs that go into social media advertising and how to help you navigate this new world.

How Much Should I Be Spending?

Thanks to the digital age, marketing is more affordable now than ever. You can easily reach one of the 3.8 billion people who use social media by advertising on these platforms. But how much should that cost?

For small businesses, your budget allocation for social media advertising doesn't have to be that large. 37% of small businesses spend less than $10,000 annually on marketing in total, which encompasses everything from billboards to television advertisements to digital marketing.

In regards to social media advertising specifically, 56% of small businesses allocate the plurality of their marketing budget to social media advertising compared to online, event, or broadcast marketing. Further, 43% of small businesses say that social media advertising is the most effective means of marketing. Thus, your budget will be well spent on social media, helping you convert interest into increased website traffic and sales.

Small businesses spend around 10% of their budget on marketing. Around 10% of your marketing budget should be geared towards social media marketing specifically, however, you can still get the results you want by spending less.

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Where Do the Costs Come From?

Advertising on social media has many costs associated with it. You have to pay for the ad space on social media platforms, you have to pay someone to create your ads, and you have to pay someone to maintain your social media presence. Even if you choose to create these ads and curate your social media yourself, you would still have to pay thousands of dollars for ad space.

Nevertheless, ads on social media are more efficient than other forms of marketing. Further, the ROI of social media marketing demonstrates that it is far more effective than traditional forms of marketing. Since 52% of brand discovery happens through social feeds, maintaining a social media presence is imperative.

Breaking Down the Costs

Advertising on Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube charge different prices for ads, but the way they calculate your costs are very similar. Most platforms offer different packages depending on your objectives, which can vary from more brand awareness to increased website traffic.

The main ways that these companies track your ads success are through CPC, CPE, CPM, and CPS. CPC refers to cost-per-click and is arguably the most common way that companies track your digital campaign's success. They typically charge anywhere from ten cents to $15 depending on the platform and the industry. Similar to CPC, CPE, or cost-per-engagement, tracks how many clicks or reposts your content received and has similar charges. CPM means cost-per-mille, i.e. cost per thousand clicks/views, and costs vary greatly depending on the platform (on LinkedIn, CPM can exceed $200). Lastly, CPS, or cost-per-send, charges you each time the platform sends a sponsored direct message to a user.

Platforms also have another way of calculating costs. Many platforms like Facebook and Instagram have ad auctions. In these auctions, they decide which ad to show a user based on how much a company bids, how likely the user is to engage with the ad, and whether the ad is of good quality. The winning ad is then shown to the customer. Businesses have multiple options when it comes to placing a bid. The most common methods are that you can set a maximum bid you won't exceed or you can allow the platform to bid automatically for you based on your budget and your goals.

Creating Your Ads

Creating your own ads isn't as easy as it sounds. You have to be up-to-date on the latest trends and get yourself into the mindset of your target audience. To help small businesses with their social media ad campaigns, Stiddle has created a machine learning algorithm to help you make the perfect ads that represent you and your brand. Simply enter your brand name, niche, location, and competitors, and we will create your ad for you! We will also automate your campaign and analyze the data that it produces so that you can allocate your budget to the ads that are the most effective. Since we know how difficult it can be to run a small business, we will give you a seven-day free trial, and if you don't see results within your first week, then we will extend your free trial, no questions asked.

Social Media Advertising Costs

Social Media Presence

The last step in social media advertising is maintaining your social media presence. You should create social media accounts on most platforms even if you don't advertise on all of them. Since so many people discover brands through social media, you shouldn't miss out on any opportunity to reach out to and engage with your audience.

When it comes to maintaining your social media presence, you have to consistently update your profiles with new content. This content should be diverse, engaging, and eye-catching. Additionally, you should keep your profiles consistent across all platforms.

All of this additional work can be expensive for your business. Whether you decide to outsource this work, hire someone dedicated to social media marketing, or do the work yourself, you are using various resources like money and time to achieve your goals. Calculating these costs depend greatly on how you decide to maintain your social media presence and how many resources you invest in it. As such, you should make sure that whatever balance you strike between money and time is effective and helps you achieve the goals you set for marketing.


Social media advertising is one of the most affordable and accessible ways for small businesses to expose their brand and attract new customers. By learning more about the costs associated with social media marketing and how to achieve your goals, you're one step closer to creating the business you envision.

Stiddle - aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected marketing experts.

Looking for other marketing articles and tutorial guides? Checkout our recent Facebook Ads Tutorial Guide below!

Checkout Stiddle's Facebook Ads Guide Tutorial HERE

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