Let’s state the obvious – if you are a social media marketer, you will most likely have to use both TikTok and Facebook (Meta Ads) at some point. Massive audiences, dozens of creative formats for your ads, and advanced reporting and targeting options are just a few of the features both these platforms provide.
But if you are going to be spending valuable advertising money, you need to know which platform works best for your specific needs, and when to use each of them.
In this article, we will discuss TikTok vs Facebook ads, and explain which is best for advertisers in 2023 on a case-by-case basis.
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Reach
Although TikTok is growing rapidly, Facebook is still the biggest platform between the two with over 2.9 billion monthly active users. That is without even counting the other platforms in its ecosystem, such as Whatsapp with 2.2 billion users, and Instagram with another 1.6 billion. As of 2023, TikTok has around 1 billion monthly active users.
Image by DataReportal
This means that you will get access to a broader and more diverse audience if you advertise on Facebook as compared to TikTok. This is a strong benefit if you wish to scale fast. A larger user base also offers advantages in terms of targeting and optimization options, which we will look into in more detail below.
On the other hand, TikTok’s binge-worthy content makes it the best platform for audience engagement right now. In fact, 4.25% of the total audience engages with content on TikTok by liking, commenting, and sharing. To put that into perspective, Facebook’s engagement rate stands at only 0.15% as of 2023.
Image by Social Insider
If you are looking for a higher and more diverse audience reach, Facebook is your go-to, but if your priority is higher engagement, TikTok is a better option.
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Audience
If you think TikTok is for younger people, you are not entirely wrong. The largest age group on the platform is 18-24 years old, with 20% of users falling inside this category.
Image by Statista
For Facebook, the largest user group falls between the ages 25-34 years old.
Image by Statista
Another interesting difference is that TikTok has slightly more female users, while Facebook has more male users.
The biggest market for TikTok is the United States, and for Facebook it is India.
The key takeaway here is that if you wish to specifically target a younger audience, especially within the US market, TikTok is more suitable. If you are looking to target a broader audience, especially users aged 35+, then Facebook is a better fit.
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Targeting Options
In terms of targeting, both TikTok and Facebook offer similar options. There are three types of targeting:
- Core: where you can target based on demographics (i.e., age, gender, education and other information specified on a user’s profile), interests and behaviors on the platform
- Custom: it simply refers to retargeting users that have interacted with your brand before
- Lookalike: based on your existing database, TikTok or Facebook will find similar users
Image by WordStream
It is important to note that although both platforms offer roughly the same options, Facebook has been in the game for 12 years longer than TikTok. In this time, they have gathered a considerably larger amount of data, which gives Facebook the upper hand when it comes to targeting.
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Formats and Placement
When it comes to ad formats, TikTok and Facebook are once again very similar. The two core formats are image and video ads, but you can also combine them through a carousel format.
The latter allows you to select more than two images or videos in one single ad. This is a useful option if you want to showcase different products at the same time, or highlight multiple features of the same product.
Image by Facebook
As with a lot of other things in the world of digital marketing, there are no right or wrong answers. However, recent data shows that video ads work better for most social media platforms in 2023, including TikTok and Facebook.
As for the ad placement, both platforms offer about 15-20 options you can choose from. The most common placement is still the Feed. This is the main page where users spend most of their time on, and placing an ad here will make it look more natural and blend in better with the rest of the content. Other placements such as Instagram Stories and Reels are gaining a lot of traction and quickly becoming one of the top placements for advertisers due to their high engagement rates.
So far, both platforms offer almost identical variations of the same ad formats and placements. Facebook has an advantage, because they can offer extra options from just one place, such as Instagram, Whatsapp or Messenger ads. However, TikTok’s more simple and focused approach, with most ads being shown around the main feed, can be better for exposure. Another thing to keep in mind is that TikTok ad fatigue is higher than Facebook, so if you decide to advertise on this platform, you will need a strong creative team.
Image by ShipStation
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Performance Analytics
We will keep this part short and sweet, because both platforms provide detailed data on ad performance.
Below you will find a picture of Facebook’s analytics dashboard, Facebook Ads Manager. TikTok’s Ads Manager has an almost identical dashboard, and both platforms have options for basic and advanced analytics.
Image by Buffer
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Costs
Of course, ad costs vary a lot depending on the industry, competition, and your own strategy and campaign goals. We will simply provide facts and data to help you get a general idea on what you can expect.
Let’s start with minimum budgets. TikTok has a minimum campaign-level budget of $50/day, or an ad group-level budget of $20/day. On the other hand, Facebook has a minimum budget of $1/day for ad sets for which impressions are the goal, and $5/day for other goals like views, likes, clicks, etc.
As of 2023, the average cost per click on Facebook is $0.97, and the average cost per thousand impressions is $7.19. For TikTok, the average cost per click is $1 and the average cost per thousand impressions is $10.
Looking at the average ad costs, it may appear as if TikTok advertising is generally more expensive, but we recommend taking this data with a grain of salt. There is so much else that goes into these numbers, so there is no clear winner when it comes to costs.
TikTok vs Facebook Ads: Conclusion
So, which platform is best for advertisers in 2023? The truth is, it all comes down to your own business goals and what you hope to achieve. Most successful advertisers use both platforms in combination. As we explained throughout the article, the account set-up for both TikTok and Facebook is almost identical, so if you are familiar with advertising on one platform, you will find it easy to learn the other.
The two platforms also complement each other well. TikTok’s freshness allows you to reach a younger audience with higher engagement rates, while Facebook’s maturity gives you access to a broader audience and more advanced reporting, analytics and targeting options.
If you are still not convinced, 40% of TikTok users do not have a Facebook profile! If you wish to scale and make big money with social media advertising, you will most likely need to use both platforms.