Facebook Ads vs. TikTok Ads: Which is Better in 2024?

Facebook and TikTok have emerged as two of the most dominant forces in digital advertising. With engaged user bases numbering in the billions, these platforms offer marketers unrivaled reach and impact.

But Facebook and TikTok each have their own unique features, ad formats, and audiences. This raises an important question – which platform should you be using for your advertising campaigns?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key differences between Facebook ads and TikTok ads. You’ll discover how these leading networks stack up across critical areas like costs, targeting, analytics, and more.

Facebook Ads vs. TikTok Ads

User Base and Engagement

As of 2023, Facebook boasts over 2.9 billion monthly active users, not counting other platforms in its ecosystem like WhatsApp (2.2 billion users) and Instagram (1.6 billion users)​​.

TikTok: TikTok has around 1 billion monthly active users as of 2023. Its content is highly engaging, with 4.25% of the total audience actively engaging (liking, commenting, sharing), compared to Facebook’s engagement rate of only 0.15%​

Audience Demographics

It’s no secret that TikTok holds special appeal among younger demographics. But how exactly do TikTok and Facebook’s audiences compare? Let’s break down the user data.

On TikTok, 41.7% of the global user base falls into the 18-24 age range. 31% of users are between 25 and 34. In contrast, just 24.1% of the TikTok audience is over the age of 35.

Facebook’s audience composition tells a different story. 22.6% of Facebook users fall into the 18-24 bracket. 25-34 year olds are the largest segment, making up 31% of users. Critically, 41% of Facebook members are 35 or older.

These figures demonstrate TikTok’s advantage with Gen Z and younger millennials. Brands specializing in areas like fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment may find greater appeal on TikTok.

But Facebook provides much broader age representation. For mass marketers not solely focused on teens and 20-somethings, Facebook offers invaluable scale.

The platforms also indicate preferences by gender. 56% of Facebook users are female, while TikTok leans slightly male at 52%. Both networks now attract a relatively balanced male/female split after efforts to broaden appeal.

In summary, TikTok rules among the youth, but can lack resonance with older consumers. Facebook casts a wider net and houses established shopper demographics.

Ad Formats: TikTok vs. Facebook

The types of ads you can run often dictate the results you can achieve. So how do the ad format options compare between these social platforms?

Facebook accommodates a diverse array of ad formats, including:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Stories ads
  • Messenger ads
  • Dynamic ads
  • Augmented reality ads
  • Lead generation ads

Advertisers have freedom on Facebook to utilize the formats that best fit their goals. For instance, carousels promote products, while Canvas units support interactive storytelling.

TikTok also provides a compelling range of ad types:

  • In-feed video ads
  • TopView ads
  • Branded effects
  • AR lenses
  • Hashtag challenges
  • Brand takeovers

But there’s a catch. Most TikTok ads appear within the main feed, or surrounding user videos. There isn’t the same breadth of placement opportunities.

Both platforms facilitate effective video advertising. But Facebook enables ads in Stories, Messenger, the Marketplace and more. So it takes the cake in terms of versatility.

Cost of Ads

One of the most pressing questions around social media ads – how much do they cost? Let’s break down the average costs associated with Facebook and TikTok advertising.

On Facebook, the average cost per click (CPC) comes in at around $1.00. For cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), advertisers pay approximately $7.00.

So for Facebook, you can expect to pay $1.00 per click you generate, or $7.00 for every 1,000 times your ad is served. These rates can fluctuate based on factors like your target audience, ad competition, time of year, and bidding strategy.

Now looking at TikTok, the average CPC also lands around $1.00, putting it on par with Facebook. However, the average TikTok CPM is $10.00 – significantly higher than Facebook’s rate.

What does this mean for advertisers? Well, Facebook provides more affordable access to reach and impressions. But on a cost-per-click basis, Facebook and TikTok are evenly matched.

Ultimately, your budget, target CPC/CPM, and campaign goals will determine which platform offers the most cost-efficient solution.

Smaller businesses on tight budgets may favor Facebook’s lower CPM for basic brand awareness campaigns. But the engaged TikTok audience could make slightly higher CPM costs justifiable, especially if aiming for conversions.

Targeting Options

Highly targeted ads are table stakes in digital marketing. So how do TikTok and Facebook compare when it comes to isolating specific audiences?

On the surface, targeting options look very similar across both platforms:

  • Demographic targeting
  • Interest/category targeting
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Custom Audience creation
  • Lookalike Audience modeling

But again, we have to consider Facebook’s vast data resources accumulated over 15+ years in the ad game. TikTok’s ad products are still maturing after launching just a few years ago.

Facebook’s depth of behavioral signals, pixel tracking, and segmentation provides refined targeting capabilities. Advertisers can zero in on precise user subsets in ways not yet possible on TikTok.

A lookalike campaign on Facebook could potentially match millions of users with attributes mirroring your customers. On TikTok, the pool would be far more limited.

That said, TikTok has time on its side. As the platform grows, so too will the richness of its audience data. TikTok’s onboarding of younger users also allows it to establish consumer profiles early on.

For now, Facebook holds the targeting advantage, but TikTok is rapidly catching up.

Analytics: Measuring Campaign Success

Monitoring campaign performance is vital for any marketer. TikTok and Facebook are fortunately well-equipped to support measurement and optimization.

Each network offers its own analytics platform – Facebook Ads Manager and TikTok Ads Manager. These built-in dashboards allow advertisers to:

  • Analyze engagement and conversion metrics
  • Create custom reports
  • Track ROI and ROAS
  • Conduct multivariate testing
  • Build campaign summaries
  • Export data

Facebook and TikTok also provide tools for deeper performance analysis, like Facebook’s Brand Lift studies or TikTok’s conversion tracking pixel.

In short, both Facebook and TikTok will grant you the insights needed to gauge campaign health, identify optimization opportunities, and justify ad spend.

Since Facebook and TikTok offer quite balanced analytics capabilities, this category ends up as a tie. Although Facebook again benefits from more established systems owing to its longer history.

What are Facebook Ads?

Let’s kick things off by taking a quick look at the basics of advertising on Facebook.

Facebook ushered in the era of modern digital marketing back in 2007 when it first opened up its platform to advertisers.

Facebook ads appear as image or video-based units with captions distributed across the Facebook ecosystem. You’ll encounter Facebook ads in the news feed, Facebook Stories, Messenger, and more.

One of Facebook’s biggest advantages is its expansive range of ad formats, including:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Canvas ads
  • Messenger ads
  • Dynamic ads
  • Augmented reality ads

Each format is designed to support specific marketing objectives. For instance, video ads can raise brand awareness through impactful storytelling.

Meanwhile, collection ads drive sales by letting shoppers browse and purchase products without leaving Facebook.

But perhaps the most valuable asset in Facebook’s arsenal is its audience data. By tracking user behaviors across its family of apps, Facebook has compiled detailed profiles on billions of people around the globe.

This enables laser-focused targeting, allowing brands to serve ads to their ideal customers based on factors like demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections.

What are TikTok Ads?

Next up is the new kid on the block – TikTok ads.

TikTok’s ad platform went live in 2019 and has seen monumental growth in a short time. After the merger with Musical.ly in 2018, TikTok became a hub for short-form viral video content. Brands can now leverage this highly engaged audience via TikTok’s varied ad offerings.

You’ll primarily encounter TikTok ads in-feed and around videos. But the platform provides several high-impact formats, including:

  • In-feed video ads
  • Hashtag challenge ads
  • Branded effects
  • Topview ads
  • Brand takeovers

A key benefit of TikTok ads is flexibility. The platform makes it easy for both creators and brands to design captivating video content that catches fire across the app.

TikTok lacks the legacy targeting data of Facebook. But its algorithms are second-to-none in terms of identifying relevant audiences and distributing branded content.

Best Practices for Using Facebook and TikTok Ads Together

We’ve compared Facebook and TikTok’s individual features at length. But what about using these platforms together?

By combining both networks, advertisers can realize added reach, shared learnings, and expanded creativity. Here are tips for effectively blending Facebook and TikTok ads:

  • Maintain consistent branding and messaging. Don’t confuse audiences by altering your brand identity across platforms.
  • Use insights from both networks to improve overall performance. Find opportunities to replicate tactics and assets.
  • Allocate sufficient budget to each platform for proper testing and optimization. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
  • Create native ads tailored to how users engage on each platform. Adapt creatives to match the Facebook and TikTok environments.
  • Extend campaigns across platforms to increase exposures and conversions. This amplifies your potential impact.
  • Monitor results closely to determine optimal budget distribution and asset refinement. Attribution tracking is a must.

Facebook provides unmatched utility for data-driven targeting and sales. TikTok is perfect for raising awareness through viral content. Used in tandem, these networks can take your marketing results to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re evaluating Facebook and TikTok ads for your brand, you likely still have some questions. Below we answer some of the most common FAQs around Facebook vs. TikTok advertising.

What are the main differences between Facebook and TikTok ads?

The primary differences come down to audience composition, ad formats, targeting capabilities, and content style. Facebook has an older audience, more advanced targeting, broader ad placements, and primarily image ads. TikTok is younger, video-centric, still building its ad targeting, but offers huge viral potential.

Which platform has cheaper ad costs?

Overall, Facebook ads come in at lower prices per impression. But cost per click is very similar across both. TikTok can be extremely cost efficient for engagement, while Facebook provides affordable access to large audiences.

Which platform has better targeting capabilities?

Thanks to its lengthy time in the ad industry, Facebook has superior audience targeting tools. Its wealth of behavioral data enables precise demographic, interest, and lookalike targeting unmatched by TikTok.

How can I use Facebook and TikTok ads together effectively?

Maintain consistent branding across both, share insights between platforms, create complementary native ads, and allocate sufficient budget to each network. This allows you to maximize unique benefits while building synergies.

Should I use Facebook or TikTok ads for my business?

Most brands can benefit from having a presence on both networks. But prioritize TikTok if you want to organically engage younger users, or Facebook if you need expansive reach across age groups. Assess your audience, content style, and goals to decide which network(s) to focus on.

Bottom Line: Combine Facebook Ads & TikTok Ads for Best Results

With smart implementation, simultaneously leveraging Facebook and TikTok ads can help drive your business to new heights.

Now that you understand the key differences between these leading advertising networks, it’s time to start testing and tracking their performance for yourself. Keep a finger on the pulse of each platform to capitalize as new features and offerings emerge.