Evaluating the top social networks for your influencer marketing

Visual marketing is a powerful asset for your social media marketing because of its ability to showcase your brand and connect you with your community. The visuals that fans are sharing on social networks not only provide great authentic promotion for a brand but also create opportunities to interact with the most passionate members of a community. An effective visual marketing strategy on social media revolves around leveraging a good mix of different social channels. Each visual social channel comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right channel depends on which audience you’re trying to reach. Here we’re outlining each of the different networks to help you determine which one is the right approach for your brand.

Facebook

In many ways, Facebook has become the de facto social network. When other social networks are gaining users their growth is measured against that of Facebook. And for good reason, as the most established social channel with 68% of US adults on Facebook, the network has a reach expanding throughout the world. This makes Facebook an important channel for most businesses, but there are certain advantages and disadvantages that you should keep in mind.

Advantages of Facebook marketing

  • Most people expect established brands to have a Facebook presence
  • Facebook makes it easy to for anyone to create a Facebook page that can act as a center for your business communication.
  • On Facebook, you can easily communicate with your fans and build groups from the conversations around your posts.
  • With detailed analytics, Facebook ads make it easy to target your ideal consumer.
  • Facebook’s large user base means there are a lot of available people for you to engage with.

Disadvantages of Facebook marketing

  • Facebook’s algorithm is not very kind to brands. Ads are a must if you want your posts to be seen.
  • Facebook is noisy. It can be hard to stand out among all the other info in your consumer’s Facebook feeds.
  • According to reports, teens don’t spend very much time on the platform. If you’re trying to engage millennial audiences, this might not be the right place.

Who is on Facebook?

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool to increase the distribution of your content and marketing programs. Twitter also makes it easy to stay on top of top trends and stories while creating niche groups of individuals around specific interest areas. This megaphone for your social sharing gives you the opportunity to reach 21% of Internet users. Twitter is flexible to the content you share which makes it perfect for driving back to your website or to your other social networks as well.

Advantages of Twitter marketing

  • Twitter makes it easy to get your message shared and to reach a wide audience through retweets and interactions from your followers.
  • Hashtags and trending topics on Twitter make discoverability of your content simple for anyone interested in finding the messages you’re sharing.
  • Public content shared on Twitter can easily be shared outside of the network enabling your posts as well as your fans’ user-generated content to be discovered by people outside of the social network.
  • Because Twitter moves so fast, you can recycle content on Twitter without too much risk of annoying your audience– meaning that you can give new life to old blog posts or even tweets you’ve sent in the past.
  • Twitter provides you with some great insights to your audience. Analytics include geographical and demographic info along with content interest areas.

Disadvantages of Twitter marketing

  • Tweets have a very short life span. If your tweet isn’t viewed immediately, it runs the risk of being lost forever.
  • With over 500 million tweets shared every day, the network can get noisy which requires you to try and cut through the clutter with great content to reach your community.
  • Tweets are limited to 140 characters requiring you to be very concise and quick with your messaging.

Who is on Twitter?

Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the top visual networks with 70 million users, which makes up 26% of adult Internet users. The predominantly young female users of Pinterest create ‘pinboards’ of collections of photos related to a central theme. This focused content curation is very engaging and great at creating referral traffic for brands.

Advantages of Pinterest marketing

  • Content has a good opportunity to build a viral reach. Your followers can ‘re-pin’ content from your boards, helping increase the exposure of those visuals.
  • Pinterest presents a great opportunity to interact with your community. Commenting on pins from your followers and responding to their comments on your posts is a great way to build relationships with your passionate fans.
  • Pinterest content is evergreen– meaning that it has lasting ability to spread and attract people back to the source content (namely your website). The half-life of a pin is 151,200 minutes – vs. 24 minutes for a tweet or 90 minutes for a Facebook post.

Disadvantages of Pinterest marketing

  • With a majority of the pins found on Pinterest being repurposed content, the lack of original authentic content makes it slightly more difficult to build consumer insights and engagement.
  • The massive amount of content shared on Pinterest can make it hard for a one-man marketing team to manage the creation of multiple themed boards.

Who is on Pinterest?

Instagram

Instagram gives users the ability to share snapshots of the important moments from their lives. Instagram’s young user base comprises 28% of all adult Internet users. And these ‘grammers are very active making Instagram the most engaging social network. The ads program on Instagram is currently in beta, which is an introductory way for you to spread your brand’s message but has provided some promising results.

Advantages of Instagram marketing

  • Instagram is mobile first. Mobile is a difficult place to engage consumers and it’s a device they always have with them. Instagram’s engagement makes this a great opportunity to interact with your community on mobile.
  • The high engagement on the network means that the content that is promoting your brand will see increased visibility and interactions from your followers than compared to other networks.
  • With hashtags and the Instagram Explore Tab, your content is highly discoverable to people who have expressed similar interests.
  • Authentic content. You can authentically share about your brand and you can also learn about your community through the content they’re sharing.

Disadvantages of Instagram marketing

  • Instagram is mobile first. This means your content is only displayed via mobile devices. Unless you’re showcasing the content outside of Instagram, large screen more immersive content is unavailable (for now).
  • Non-clickable links makes conversion very difficult on the network.
  • Without re-share options, there isn’t as much of a viral growth opportunity as Facebook and Twitter provide.
  • Some people indicate that the algorithm changes, along with the development of business accounts has damaged organic distribution and engagement rates of their content.

Who is on Instagram?

Snapchat

Snapchat is unique to other social networks in that the content being shared gets deleted after it’s viewed and doesn’t remain on the network indefinitely. This disappearing content shared on Snapchat has received a lot of media coverage. But with its simple and addictive interface, Snapchat’s is a very engaging network full of active teens and should be taken seriously with your social media marketing strategies.

Advantages of Snapchat marketing

  • High usage amongst teens gives you an opportunity to connect with this elusive demographic in easily consumable content pieces.
  • The Stories function of Snapchat creates powerful visual storytelling. By sharing multiple snaps from an event you can give an authentic perspective into your brand.
  • Consumers choose who to interact with by following specific brands making push marketing a very desirable outcome from the network.
  • Snapchat creates the opportunity to be fun and interact with your community in the same way they’re interacting with each other. Fun brands like Taco Bell have set a great precedent with this.

Disadvantages of Snapchat marketing

  • It’s difficult if not impossible to measure your success on Snapchat. This may be the biggest deterrent for brands. Because the content disappears there is no way to audit or analyze the performance of your posts.
  • Another problem of disappearing posts is the increased difficulty in repurposing the content.
  • Content is only discoverable and available to the individuals who follow you.
  • You can’t target your content promotion to specific community members.

Who is on Snapchat?

Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories

Why Instagram Stories are a good thing

There’s no denying it, Instagram stories are a positive development for brands who have not made their way into Snapchat territory yet. Instagram has twice as many daily users as Snapchat along with an easier search and discovery function, so from a reach standpoint, Instagram is the current head honcho.

Advertising Age reported that Nike generated 800,000 views on their first ever Instagram story, versus 66,000 views on their most viewed Snapchat story. That’s an extreme case but on the average, more people are likely to see your Instagram story.

Why Snapchat still rocks

The questionable thing about Instagram stories (and Instagram in general) is the issue of quantity over quality– who are those 30k people viewing and responding to your story? Are they even human? Instagram is riddled with bots and spam, unlike Snapchat where your following is bound to be human and much more invested in you and your brand. Only the most loyal followers will follow you there.

What is your main goal? Sheer numbers or building deeper connections with your followers? Instagram may now allow you to broadcast a more unfiltered view of your life and work which will deepen your relationships with followers, but Snapchat still feels more intimate. Plus, the lack of visible vanity metrics maintains Snapchat’s dominance as the only social media platform that isn’t a popularity contest– it’s solely about connecting and communicating with people. Not to mention Snapchat’s customization still blows Instagram’s out of the water. At least for now…

To learn more about how you can leverage Snapchat for your marketing campaigns, download our comprehensive guide on Snapchat Marketing!