Paid Social in 2021

Paid Social: Top Tips for life outside of Facebook

As a Digital Marketing apprentice, it can be easy to fall into safe routines. Instead of recycling Facebook campaigns, read on to revolutionise your Paid Social today!

iOS updates sparks uncertainty for Facebook

Apple have recently announced their plans to introduce a new privacy setting to iPhones that will allow all users to consent to whether or not they permit being data farmed by ads, apps & advertisers – with the majority of people expected to take up the offer.

Though this may be a small victory to those who use the estimated 1.5 billion active devices, this is indeed a dent in the life-source of the digital age and spells great uncertainty to many ‘big data’ & ‘big tech’ companies alike (except of course, for Apple)


In the immediate future according to Facebook themselves “you can expect to see changes in our business and advertising tools, campaign set up, targeting, delivery, measurement, and reporting.”

Facebook are also expecting heavy issues with the current build of the Ads Manager, including “fluctuating performance for paid activity” & “custom audiences sizes being likely change”.


With this in mind, we can see that there is uncertainty for platform in the immediate future. There are, however, plenty of great alternatives when planning for paid social in you can use to really stand out in your Digital Marketing role!

Snapchat for Business

Snapchat, whilst popular, remains to be overlooked as one of go-to Paid Social avenues.

As of 2021 the platform has accrued a user-base of over 265 million! On top of a huge user base, the engagement levels are off the charts: people use the application 25+ times per day, with 60%+ creating content daily.

From a creative perspective Snapchat offers a diverse selection of ways to best engage with your audience.

Snap Ads – this format is the most recognisable on the platform, these are in-feed videos as you scroll through stories. They always play with sound on and are 100% viewable in-frame.

Snap Commercials – ‘commercials’ are very similar to ‘ads’, difference being that these are non-skippable (but at a premium rate).

Despite this being a very brief introduction to the platform, Snapchat is proven to have an intuitive and quality advertising platform, through which you can control your activity using their Ads Manager. If your company/brand is looking to target a younger audience I’d definitely recommend researching the platform further.

TikTok for Business

As we all likely noticed, 2020 was the year for TikTok.

The second coming of Gen Z’s beloved Vine has taken the eyes of many by storm, with the actual downloads now totalling at 2 billion (the 7th most downloaded app of the 21st Century). The current viewership is now estimated to be around the 850 million mark.

Similarly to most modern Paid Social platforms, TikTok offers their own range of nuanced ways to engage with your audience

Influencer Activity – TikTok is famous for its influencer heavy content (both with and without spend behind it) and it’s no secret that influencer marketing, alongside TikTok, is on the up-and-up

Paid engagement (available via IO, self-service and programmatically) – TikTok naturally offer their own spin on in-feed video, allowing you to place your video creatives in the feeds on your custom audience via their own brand new Ads Manager.

As viable as TikTok has become there have been plenty of concerns regarding brand safety over the last year due to the enormous amount of UGC. If your employers or brand aren’t sold on the idea, you can be sure that TikTok themselves however have made huge progress in this area, now offering the below:

  • Human review of machine-identified harmful content with re-review based on level of views (viewership thresholds undisclosed).
  • Introduced Family Safety mode in the UK (allows parents to enable Restricted Mode & set screen time). 
  • User interest & Demographic targeting.
  • Premium Targeting Mode (no brand suitability).
  • User controls: message/content/comments/violation reporting and a penalty system for policy violations (dissuading offensive behaviour).
  • Partnerships with NGOs and notable academics focused on user safety.

Plenty more where that came from

The two alternatives listed here are quick tours of, in my opinion, the best two alternatives right now.

However if you wish to look for more to enhance your Paid Social campaigns within your apprenticeship then read on here.

ApprenticeTips offer the run-down on Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeships –