Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has become synonymous with Paid Social Advertising as social media has developed, resulting in the term “Social PPC.”

However, it’s quite different from traditional PPC in a number of ways, including ad formats, targeting, and delivery.

With social media advertising beginning to change the way we do social media marketing, it is a good idea to understand the difference between Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and social media advertising.

PPC refers to paid advertising from “click ads” online. What this means is, you the business will pay for any click you get.

In comparison social media ads like in Facebook, have you pay for ad space; any impressions or clicks you get do not change how much you spend on the ad.


Before you start any Google (or Bing) ads, it is important that you have a landing page optimized for conversions. You don’t want your ad to just point to your homepage, it should point to a page that has a buy now button or leads a prospect to contact you quickly.

If your website is optimized for conversions, you will get a better Return On Investment (ROI) on each click you pay for.

The great thing about Google (Bing) ads is they have an excellent keyword planner tool. This tool gives you guidance on keywords for your service or product.

Just type in your keywords, add your location and it will show you the search volume and the competitiveness for each keyword or long-tail keyword (which is more than one word strung together to equal a keyword).

You can use these tools to guide your SEO content as well. These tools will also tell you how much you will pay for a click.


Social media is very visual and engages users on a more personal level. If prospects see your logo all the time and if you are saying something fun and worth sharing you could trend on these platforms and build followers faster.

The important thing in social media to remember is, try to not make your ads too promotional and pushing for sales. This is a platform where people are socializing and sharing information, they don’t want to see a commercial.

Instead, think of neat things that people might want to talk about, comment on, or share with their group of friends. This is where demographics play an important role in setting up ads.

What Are The Differences Between Paid and Social Search?

To many new marketers, paid social and paid search might sound very similar, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Both of these advertising models excel in different areas, so understanding which is better for a certain niche or industry is essential.

The most noticeable differences between the two models are that paid search is best for targeting users who already know what they want.

If a user is searching to buy a product in Google and your advert appears at the top, then they’re probably going to click it.

Most users who already know what they want will likely be searching for different businesses who sell the same item to compare prices.

Compare this to paid social, and users are much more likely to be impulse buyers who aren’t necessarily looking for anything in particular to buy.

But if they happen to see something they are interested in while browsing social media, then they might be inclined to buy it.

This subtle difference can often have a huge impact on the success of the advertising method in a particular niche or industry.

Short conclusion

It is always a good strategy to run both PPC and social media advertisements. However, if you can only afford one platform ongoing, then take the time to run a test on both ad platforms and see which one gives you the best ROI.