How Will Brands Invest Social Ad Budgets Pulled from the Facebook Boycott?

How Will Brands Invest Social Ad Budgets Pulled from the Facebook Boycott?

Facebook is in the midst of a boycott by some large advertisers during this month of July 2020. While Facebook’s stock price hit an all-time high on July 7th, one of the key boycott dates, all is not sunny in Menlo Park.

A meeting that same day between Mark Zuckerberg and his team, with key civil rights organizations did not go particularly well. Facebook shared an audit they commissioned, from which The New York Times pulled the line: “With less than five months before a presidential election, it confounds the auditors as to why Facebook has failed to grasp the urgency.”  Gizmodo went even further, with a headline reading, “Facebook Ad Boycott Will Go on After Zuckerberg, Sandberg Blow Off Civil Rights Groups’ Demands.” Finally, the Washington Post points out that Facebook’s own auditors called its policy decisions “a tremendous setback.”  

How Will Brands Invest Social Ad Budgets Pulled from the Facebook Boycott?

Where to Invest Social Ad Budgets

For brands that do choose to pull money from advertising on Facebook and Instagram (which is a complicated decision in and of itself, well outlined here), what are some effective places to move the money to still drive business results? Here are 7 options, in no particular order:

Make a Donation

Depending on how your business has been impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic fallout, this may not be a viable alternative. However, if you temporarily redirect from Facebook and Instagram to charities that matter to you and your team, your brand could help fund important projects during this time of change.


Just this month, TikTok opened its ad platform out of beta and it’s now accessible to a worldwide audience. While not as sophisticated in terms of targeting or analytics as Facebook’s Business Manager, the CPMs/CPVs/CPCs are currently competitive. Just make sure your content is relevant to TikTok or you can expect a lot of skipping by your audience.

While TikTok’s parent company Bytedance has taken pains to separate their Chinese and non-Chinese platforms, there is currently some talk of a potential ban of TikTok in the United States that is worth watching. India has already banned the platform as part of a political dispute.

Here’s what marketers need to know about TikTok before jumping in.

What Marketers Need to Know About TikTok


Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine with over 4 million users who spend an average of over 14 minutes per day on the platform and you can see that the demographics of Pinterest make it interesting.

Pinterest does skew heavily female and appeals more than Facebook to a midwestern audience, but it’s fantastic for brands in food, fashion, home décor and similar industries who can share inspirational content with these users. Their ad platform has also improved over the years.

Influencer Marketing

In simple terms, influencer marketing is allowing a third party to tell your brand story on social media and nobody does it better than influencer marketing agency Carusele in our not so humble opinion.

While it’s become fairly easy to find influencers and match them with brands (thanks to hundreds of software platforms), the real art to influencer marketing comes with ensuring that high performing content in the midst of a campaign gets amplified. This can be done on Facebook and Instagram, of course (however you’d likely not amplify on these channels if you’re involved in the protest), but also on YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat, plus blogs, making it a very flexible option.

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YouTube offers a series of ad options, including skippable ads that you don’t pay for if the person skips, which makes it a really interesting place to grow awareness. Of course, you can also optimize for clicks although we generally find that to be a bit less efficient than Facebook and Instagram in that regard.

If you want to create your own videos and build your following organically, that’s going to take a while unless you are unusually gifted. Look at their ad options to jumpstart your efforts.


Snapchat isn’t the cool youngster on the block since Instagram launched stories and stole their mojo, but it’s still a force among the younger set. Snapchat is less about stories today and more about visual group chatting, but they also offer a self-serve ad platform that can be started with relatively modest budgets.

What You Need to Know About Snapchat Dynamic Ads


Twitter has been holding steady in terms of active users for the last few years, but that number tops 300 million, so it’s not to be ignored. Having been around for a while, their ad platform also offers some of the features we really like, such as targeting by objective.

On Twitter, you can target for reach, consideration, or conversion and focus on video views, app installs, website clicks, or more. The conversation seems to me to be heavily focused on politics and marketing, but that may be influenced by my personal use case.


LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft in 2016 for over $26 billion and it’s the premier business-focused social network. LinkedIn has some advantages that most social networks don’t in that the normal practice is listing your employer and job title. That makes for desirable B2B targeting in particular.

LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to connect with your audience, from the ads you might expect to sponsored LinkedIn messages that appear in people’s LinkedIn messages.

Reset with the Right Strategy

Regardless of which platforms sound appealing to you, we recommend starting by reviewing your social media strategy. Spending dollars in the wrong place or in the wrong way can get very expensive quickly.

That’s why we recommend Forrester’s “POST Methodology,” where you consider the PEOPLE you want to target first. That will help you determine which platforms they are likely to congregate on and for what purpose.

Then consider your OBJECTIVES and how you will know if your new ad spending is working. If you spend enough time on these two items, the STRATEGY and TACTICS that are most logical will likely make themselves clear.

If we can help you with your social media strategy, let us know by completing the form below and we’ll get right back to you.

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