Facebook Ads, Marketing, Social Media

TikTok vs Facebook Ads For Small Businesses

TikTok vs Facebook Ads

TikTok and Facebook are two of the most popular social media platforms today, and they have both proven to be effective in reaching and engaging with audiences. At BrandLyft Marketing, we manage hundreds of thousands of dollars of ad spend each year on each platform. We often get asked by digital marketing directors and business owners, if advertising on both platforms can compliment their existing digital strategy. Each has their own unique features and capabilities that make them suitable for different types of businesses and marketing campaigns. In this article, we will compare TikTok and Facebook ads for small businesses to help you determine which platform is best for your marketing efforts.

Let’s start by taking a look at the demographics of these platforms. The popularity of TikTok, a relatively new social media network, has surged among younger users, notably members of Generation Z. Indeed, TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide in 2020, per data from Sensor Tower. The age range of Facebook users, however, is substantially larger, ranging from teenagers to seniors. Furthermore, a wider range of individuals, businesses, and organizations make use of it.

TikTok Demographics

The majority of TikTok users are teenagers and young adults, with a large portion being Gen Z (born 1997-2012). According to a survey conducted by Cowen and Company in 2020, 47% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24, and 71% are under the age of 34. There is also a significant presence of older users on the platform, with 29% being between the ages of 35 and 44 and 10% being over the age of 45. In terms of gender, TikTok users are fairly evenly split, with 52% being female and 48% being male. The platform also has a diverse user base, with users from various racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Facebook Demographics

Facebook and Instagram both have a wide range of demographics.

On Facebook, the largest age group is 25-34 years old, followed by 18-24 years old. The gender distribution is roughly equal, with slightly more male users. Facebook users tend to be more educated and have higher income levels compared to the general population.

On Instagram, the largest age group is 18-24 years old, followed by 25-34 years old. The gender distribution is slightly skewed towards female users. Instagram users tend to be more educated and have higher income levels compared to the general population.

Overall, both Facebook & Instagram attract a diverse group of users from various age, gender, education, and income levels. Facebook’s advertising platform offers this advantage over TikTok, combining both user bases into one advertising campaign. You’ll have the ability to run ads on either platform or both at the same time. This type of flexibility is unique vs TikTok’s single platform.

Advertising Details

When it comes to advertising, TikTok and Facebook offer different opportunities for businesses. TikTok allows businesses to create short, creative videos that are designed to go viral. These videos can range from funny, informative, or educational, and they are meant to be shared and re-shared by users. TikTok ads can be targeted to specific audiences based on their location, interests, and behaviors.

On the other hand, Facebook provides a variety of ad forms, such as video, picture, and carousel advertisements. Age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors are just a few of the variables that can be used to personalize these ads to particular audiences. Retargeting, one of the targeting options available on Facebook, allows businesses to display ads to users who have already visited their website or interacted with their brand online.

TikTok’s creative potential is one of its main benefits. Users are urged by the platform to create and distribute brief, catchy videos that are intended to go viral. This makes it the perfect medium for businesses seeking to stand out from the crowd with engaging, memorable content. TikTok also offers a variety of artistic elements and tools, like filters, music, and effects, that can assist businesses in producing unique and appealing content to all audiences alike.

Facebook, on the other hand, is more suited for businesses that want to reach a wider audience with more traditional ads. The platform offers a range of ad formats and targeting options that allow businesses to reach specific audiences with specific messages. Facebook also has a large and active user base, which means that businesses can reach a large number of people with their ads.

Another important factor to consider when comparing TikTok and Facebook ads is the cost. TikTok has a reputation for being a relatively affordable platform for businesses, especially when compared to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. According to data from AdEspresso, the average cost-per-click (CPC) for TikTok ads is around $0.10, while the average CPC for Facebook ads is around $1.72. This means that businesses can reach a large number of people on TikTok for a fraction of the cost of Facebook.

However, it’s important to note that the cost of TikTok and Facebook ads can vary widely depending on the specific campaign and targeting options. For example, if you are targeting a highly specific and niche audience, the cost of your TikTok or Facebook ad may be higher. It’s also important to consider the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers when evaluating the cost of these platforms. If your business is able to generate a high LTV from your customers, then the higher cost of Facebook ads may be worth it in the long run.

Pros & Cons of advertising on TikTok


  • Reach a large audience: Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users, making it an ideal platform for advertisers to reach a wide audience.
  • Targeted advertising: Facebook allows advertisers to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, which can increase the effectiveness of their ads.
  • Low cost: Facebook advertising is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of advertising, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.
  • Easy to track and measure: Facebook provides detailed analytics and metrics on the performance of ads, allowing advertisers to easily track their return on investment and make adjustments as needed.
  • Integrated with other marketing efforts: Facebook allows advertisers to connect their ads to other marketing efforts, such as email campaigns or website retargeting, which can further increase their reach and impact.


  • Competition for attention: With so many ads and content on Facebook, it can be difficult for an advertiser’s message to stand out and be noticed.
  • Changes in algorithms: Facebook frequently updates its algorithms, which can impact the visibility and effectiveness of ads.
  • Ad fatigue: If an ad is shown too frequently, it may become annoying or irrelevant to the target audience, leading to decreased effectiveness.
  • Privacy concerns: Some users may be hesitant to engage with ads or provide personal information due to concerns about privacy and data collection.
  • Limited control over placements: Facebook determines where ads are shown, which may not always be in the most desirable locations for an advertiser.

Pros & Cons of advertising on TikTok


  • Wide reach: TikTok has over 2 billion downloads worldwide and a highly engaged user base, making it an excellent platform for reaching a large and diverse audience.
  • Targeting options: TikTok allows advertisers to target users based on their interests, locations, and language preferences, enabling businesses to reach their ideal customers more effectively.
  • Engaging content: TikTok is known for its creative and entertaining content, making it a great platform for businesses to showcase their products or services in an engaging and visually appealing way.
  • Cost-effective: TikTok advertising is generally more affordable compared to other social media platforms, making it an attractive option for small businesses or startups with limited advertising budgets.


  • Limited ad formats: TikTok currently only offers in-feed ads, which can limit the ways businesses can showcase their products or services.
  • Short ad duration: TikTok ads are limited to 15 seconds, which may not be enough time for businesses to fully communicate their message or value proposition.
  • Unpredictable algorithm: TikTok’s algorithm is still relatively new and can be unpredictable, making it challenging for businesses to consistently reach their target audience.
  • Brand safety concerns: TikTok has faced criticism and controversy over its handling of user data and potential ties to the Chinese government, which may make some businesses hesitant to advertise on the platform.

In general, Facebook is a stronger option for small businesses that are looking to target a more diverse, broad audience and want to use more traditional marketing tactics like sponsored posts and display advertising. TikTok is a good option for small businesses looking to target younger audiences or looking to create viral content.

Here are some things to consider when deciding between TikTok and Facebook Ads for your small business and overall digital strategy:

  • Target audience: TikTok is popular with younger users, so if your target audience is under the age of 35, TikTok may be a good option. Facebook, on the other hand, has a more diverse user base and is used by people of all ages.
  • Type of content: TikTok is all about short, catchy videos, so if you have the resources to create engaging video content, it could be a good platform for your business. Facebook is more flexible and allows for a wider range of content types, including text, images, and video.
  • Advertising options: TikTok offers a limited set of advertising options, such as sponsored hashtag challenges and branded effects. Facebook has a wider range of options, including sponsored posts, display ads, and carousel ads.
  • Cost: Both TikTok and Facebook Ads can be effective for small businesses on a budget. However, Facebook Ads tends to be more expensive, as it has a larger, more diverse user base and a wider range of advertising options.

Ultimately, the best platform for your business will depend on your specific goals, target audience, and budget. It may be helpful to try both platforms and see which one works best for your business. Book a free discovery call today to review your marketing goals and see if we’re a good fit for handling your marketing projects!


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