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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads

To maximize your business impact, learn how to choose the right platform with this breakdown of Pinterest ads vs. Facebook ads.

8 mins read time
Sidney Deboever
Sidney Deboever

Jun 01, 2023

It doesn’t matter who your target persona is, they’re on social media. Staying in touch with your second cousin from the Midwest is amazing, but utilizing social media for marketing content is even better. Thanks to the data social media collects on its users, targeting your audience is a bullseye. With paid advertisements, social platforms give you the power to boost business overnight.

Harness the power of social media ads with a measured approach, and your business will grow sustainably.

Which Platform Do You Choose?

Social network pioneer Facebook hosts 2 billion users every single day. You don’t have to be a marketing genius to understand the massive magnitude. Of course, with the reach Facebook has, the advertising landscape has become quite competitive.

In social media’s evolution, platforms with more focused purposes have gained popularity as well. Pinterest, sometimes called a “visual search engine,” is a platform dedicated to visual discovery and bookmarking. While it isn’t as mammoth as Facebook, its 450 million monthly users are nothing to scoff at, either.

Reach is great, but what other factors should be considered in the Pinterest ads vs. Facebook ads debate? Here are the key differences between Pinterest ads vs. Facebook ads, the benefits and cons of each, and why it’s important to consider both options to reach your paid social strategy goals.

Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads: How Do They Function?

On Facebook, ads appear in a variety of places, from the newsfeed and stories to Facebook Marketplace and various other locations. Due to the Meta connection, your ads can be seen on Instagram as well, which could potentially reach users not on Facebook.

Facebook ads can be published in various formats, including images, videos, carousels, slideshow ads, and more. Advertisers set a budget and bid for ad placements in an auction system.

When it comes to Pinterest ads, they exist in a user’s home feed, search results, and related pins section. Promoted pins can be published as images, videos, and app icons. Pinterest offers advertisers a similar auction structure.

Ads on both platforms communicate visually, so visually appealing, attention-grabbing content is a must.

Pros of Facebook and Pinterest Ads

Both Facebook and Pinterest ads pack a punch. There are several positive aspects they share.

The pros of Facebook ads and Pinterest ads are…

  • Huge audience reach
    • With 2.963 billion monthly users, Facebook is the largest social network in the world. Meanwhile, your ads will still be seen by many on Pinterest, where 450 million active users gather.
  • Advanced targeting
    • You can target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. Due to its vast amount of user data, Facebook’s targeting options go a little bit deeper, with options such as “lookalike audiences,” allowing advertisers to target users who are similar to their existing customers.
  • Ability to retarget
    • Both platforms allow you to target users who have interacted with your brand in the past, which is a huge leg up for conversions. 
  • Measurable
    • Both Facebook and Pinterest provide robust analytics and insights into your campaign performance so you can refine your strategy and grow.
  • Cost-effective
    • Facebook and Pinterest ads are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to traditional advertising methods. Both offer various pricing models, including cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM), allowing you to choose the model that best fits your budget.

average CPC


Facebook stands out due to its vast amount of user information. This pushes the targeting options for Facebook ads even deeper, with options such as “lookalike audiences,” which allows advertisers to target users who are similar to their existing customers.

The biggest perk of Pinterest ads would have to be lifespan. While Facebook ads disappear once the campaign has ended, “Promoted Pins” continue to exist on the platform as a regular pin forever. Your ad can still be discovered through search, category feeds, and by users who saved the pin to their boards.

Cons of Facebook and Pinterest Ads

Every rose has its thorn. Let’s discuss the shortcomings of Pinterest ads vs. Facebook ads.

The shared cons of Facebook ads and Pinterest ads are…

  • Ad fatigue
    • With advertising being such a viable option on these platforms, it’s easy for users to become tired of seeing the same ads repeatedly.
  • Ad blockers
    • Both Facebook and Pinterest ads can be dodged by anyone with an ad blocker installed.
  • Strict policies
    • Both social channels have rather firm advertising policies, which can result in your ad being disapproved or your account suspended if you violate them.
  • Time-intensive
    • Due to the depth of the targeting options, your campaign will require some active babysitting to maintain the success of your marketing strategy.

Facebook has a few unique downsides…

  • Major competition
    • 93% of marketers use Facebook for advertising, according to Zippia data.
  • Getting ghosted
    • The most glaring drawback to Facebook advertising is that your ad disappears from the platform as soon as your campaign ends.

Pinterest has some unique disadvantages too…

  • Narrower audience
    • While Pinterest has a dedicated audience, its users are predominantly female, with over 76.2% being women as of January 2023, according to Statista.
  • Less versatility
    • Since Pinterest is focused on search, discovery, and inspiration, it might not be fit for products that are not visually oriented or require more detailed information.

Pinterest Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Best Uses for Each

There are strengths and weaknesses to advertising on each platform, so when making your choice, allow your marketing goals to inform your decision.

Facebook ads are ideal when…

  • You want to target a broad audience.
  • You want to utilize a variety of ad formats, from images to videos to carousels.
  • You want your ad to appear in multiple locations — placed throughout Facebook, but also Instagram.
  • You’re looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and boost sales.

Pinterest ads are ideal when…

  • You have a visually-oriented product or service.
  • You want to focus on search intent to reach users actively looking for your offer.
  • Your target audience is females between 30 to 50 years old.
  • You’re looking to drive sales, increase web traffic, and reach potential customers during the product discovery phase.

This Is How You Do Social Media Ads

Since Pinterest is largely a search engine, people are actively seeking inspiration. Use relevant keywords in your ad copy and description to touch the right people. It can be paired with Instagram ads for a similar visual experience but with a younger audience.

Facebook is a platform where folks mostly interact. It is best to target them by their interests. It's best paired with Google ads, as users actively searching for your product are more likely to convert.

Beyond that, both platforms perform best with the following practices…

  • Target the right audience.
    • Not only can you hone in on factors like age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors, you can retarget those who have interacted with your content in the past. Pinterest allows keyword targeting, whereas Facebook has the lookalike audience feature to reach new customers who are similar to current customers.
  • Use high-quality visuals.
    • Not only do you have to advertise visually on these sites, users on Facebook and Pinterest are bombarded by visuals, as well as other ads — yours needs to be eye-catching in order to grab attention.
  • Test and optimize your ads.
    • Instead of creating an ad and hoping for the best, experiment your way to success. You can create multiple versions of your ad and test them against each other to see which performs best.
  • Track performance.
    • Set clear KPIs and goals before launch, and then utilize the analytics tools to continue adjusting as needed for continued success in your marketing efforts.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Stop Experimenting

When weighing Pinterest ads vs. Facebook ads, there are many things to consider, but never forget the nature of your products/services, your target audience, budget, and your overall marketing strategy.

As growth marketing experts, we know the power of measured experiments. The only way to find out what strategies work best for your brand is to test them. Just as it’s recommended to run multiple ads to measure marketing viability — you can do the same here. Diversify your marketing portfolio!

As long as your target audience exists on both channels, it can be beneficial to harness the power of Facebook and Pinterest to maximize your advertising success. Social media ads provide the opportunity to gain qualified leads, reach your revenue goals, and beat the competition in search.

Get the Most Bang For Your Buck  Time to put your money where your mouth is — and nothing speaks quite as loud  as paid markerting.  Book A Call With Our Team

Sidney Deboever

Sidney is a growth marketing expert with over 8 years of experience in paid media. She has worked in a variety of channels, from Meta to TikTok to Google. Sidney lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband. In her free time. she enjoys skiing, hiking, exploring local breweries, and baking lots and lots of bread.

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