Paid Social Ads: A Platform Breakdown

June 20, 2024
Ingram Associate
Paid Social Ads: A Platform Breakdown

With so many ways to market your book, it's important to choose the best ones for your needs and your book. One of those options is paid ads, and they can be very beneficial for getting your book's information in front of potential readers. With paid ads, you can target readers on different social media platforms, so you'll need to tailor those ads to the kind of readers you expect to find in each place.

Not only that, but some platforms are more visual, others are fast-paced, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Finding the best one can take a little time and some research, but it's important to get your book's marketing started the right way. You want to build an audience and a readership, and that's easier when you know the ins and outs of the platforms you're considering. Here's what you need to know about paid social advertising, with a breakdown of each platform.

Organic vs Paid

There are two main types of advertising: paid and organic. While paid ads involve signing up and having your book marketed through specific types of programs, organic advertising happens simply by putting content on social media. It appears in newsfeeds and can get picked up and shared by others who are interested in it. That can put your book's information in front of potential readers, but it's not nearly as targeted as paid advertising options.

Paid advertising tends to intimidate those new to running paid ads, but the process doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. In fact, platforms have gone out of their way to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible! Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular platforms for paid advertising to help get you started.

Popular Platforms

The biggest platforms for paid social ads include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (X), and Google. All four of these offer a multitude of options to get readers engaged and can help you get more interest in your book. Still, you don't want to start off the wrong way or try to do too much at once. Instead, you need to pick the right platform for your kind of book or determine whether a multi-platform approach is the right choice. Learning more about each platform's strengths can help.


Facebook has some big strengths when it comes to paid social ads. For example, there are extensive targeting options based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Those are all ideal for reaching a broad audience and getting your book's information in front of people who will actually be interested in it. This platform is best for genre-specific marketing, driving website traffic, building brand awareness, and generating pre-orders.

You do need to consider, though, that being successful on Facebook requires a well-defined target audience and compelling ad creation. There's so much to see on the platform, and people's newsfeeds are inundated with all kinds of sponsored ads. They might not pick yours out of the lineup unless you get their attention in an important or interesting way. If you really know your audience's demographics and have quality ads, though, Facebook can be a good choice.


The main strength of Instagram is that it's a highly visual platform that's ideal for showcasing book covers and other engaging visuals. There's also strong influencer marketing potential, so you may be able to get a bigger reach much faster than you'd otherwise expect. This platform is best for genre-specific marketing with a focus on visually appealing books. That typically includes options like romance and young adult fiction.

If you want to drive traffic to your website and build more brand awareness, Instagram can be an excellent choice. There are some considerations, though, and it's important to remember that this platform requires high-quality visuals and understanding of visual storytelling to have effective ads. If you're not comfortable in that space, or you don't have books with covers that would lend themselves to this kind of platform, it's better to choose other options.

X/ Twitter

X (formally Twitter) is a great choice if you're looking for a real-time platform where you can promote books with trending topics, have discussions, and talk about book releases. It's ideal for connecting with readers interested in current events and engaging conversations, because it's a completely different pattern of interaction than you might have on Facebook or Instagram.

If you decide to use X for your paid social ads you should know that it's best for genre-specific marketing and designed for fast-paced or thought-provoking books. It also works well for driving website traffic and promoting book discussions. However, you need to craft concise and engaging ad copy that resonates within the fast-paced X environment. If you're not up to date with your marketing or not responding to tweets, you could miss out on a lot of engagement.

Google Ads

Most people don't think of Google Ads when they think of social platforms, but these ads reach users who are actively searching for keywords related to your book genre or topic. That can give you powerful targeting based on demographics, interests, and search intent. In short, you want your book to show up in Google when someone searches for anything related to it. Ads for your book can catch reader interest and give them information that makes them want to know more.

If you decide to use these ads you should know that they're best for driving targeted website traffic, increasing book sales, and generating leads for email marketing. If you can get potential readers to click on the ad and come to your site, even if they don't buy your book right now, you may also be able to get them to sign up for your email newsletter or new book release information. That could mean a reader for life, instead of someone who only buys one of your books.

The biggest consideration with Google Ads is that being successful on this platform requires keyword research and a good understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) principles. If you don't have a lot of knowledge in these areas, though, you can hire someone to create the ads for you and give you the boost you need to find more readers. This platform is one of the best options if you want people who are searching for information related to the kind of book you're promoting.

Choose the Right Platform for Your Book

While it can seem logical to use paid advertising on all the main social media platforms to reach a wider audience, that's not necessarily the right choice. Depending on the genre of your book and where the target audience ‘hangs out,’ the majority of your readers might only be on one or two specific platforms Targeting those platforms is the best way to make the most of your advertising budget and can help you get more readers interested in your book.

Paid Social Ads: A Platform Breakdown
Ingram Associate

Ingram Associate

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