What is the Difference Between Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest?
Social media isn’t just a way for us to share photos of what we’re eating with friends anymore. We now turn to social networks to connect with our favorite brands and services and even find jobs. With the possibility of any post going viral, savvy consumers are also leveraging the power of social media to force brands to improve their customer service experience. With a myriad of options available to companies, it can be tempting to think your brand needs to master every social channel.
The truth is, depending on your products, audience, and objective, some social platforms may make more sense over others. Instead of posting the same content to all of your channels, pick a couple that gets the highest engagement, and tailor content for that platform specifically.
Here’s a guide to help you choose which platform your business should focus on.
When it comes to the number of users, Facebook still tops other social media platforms with about 2.5 billion monthly active users worldwide as of April 2019. People come to Facebook to share photos, updates, news, and videos with their friends, families, and followers.
Businesses create Facebook pages to connect with their fans and followers, allowing them to see what’s new with your brand, product updates, or explore events.
The key to marketing your business effectively on any social media platform starts with building your audience. You can start to build an audience on Facebook by posting engaging content — photos, videos, information — about your company, brand, products, or services daily on a consistent basis. To help speed up the growth of your fan base, you can utilize the paid “boost” feature to promote the most popular or most engaging posts to a wider audience. This is a relatively inexpensive way to get more clicks, comments, and “likes” on your posts. The more engagement your posts receive, the wider the reach, and the more likely you’ll gain new fans organically.
Important: Facebook is primarily a personal network for consumers to connect with friends and family. The content you post should fit organically into people’s timelines so it feels natural and gets people interested in what you have to say.
Facebook Ads is one of the most comprehensive online advertising platforms today.
It gathers basic demographic information from users as well as interests to create social graphs and activities to target people who fall into your target demographic. This kind of data and targeting make Facebook Ads incredibly effective and mean Facebook ads are more likely to bring in people who are looking for your products and services.
Although the large user base and effective targeting algorithm make Facebook a very attractive platform for your marketing efforts, there are reasons you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Facebook proverbial social bucket. While user accounts are still high, engagement is actually at an all-time low.
Instagram has come a long way from its roots as a filtering app to make photos look artsy. It is now the 6th most popular social network in the world with 1 billion users as of April 2020.
If your target demographic is young people, then Instagram is the platform for you. 67% of Instagram users are under the age of 30 and users are very active, with average daily use at almost one hour. With 90% of accounts following at least one business on Instagram, this social platform is best used for brand discovery and also for connecting with your fans at a deeper level. Examples include showing them behind-the-scenes of your business, running exclusive contests and giveaways, engaging them with direct messages and comments.
Influencer marketing can be an effective marketing strategy for certain brands or products, especially in the luxury, sports clothing, or beauty sectors. If you fall into one of these categories or retail in general, you may want to consider working with influencers on Instagram as part of your overall marketing plan.
Important: Keep in mind that Instagram is a visual platform. The photographs and videos you post should be eye-catching to help it stand out from the crowd.
Stories and IGTV allow brands to utilize videos on Instagram to bring their products to life. Instagram recently added the branded partnership tag to IGTV, allowing creators another way to monetize their content. Videos generally have more views and engagement than photos and allow brands to highlight product features and tell their stories in a more compelling way.
LinkedIn stands out from the rest of the social platforms because it’s designed with businesses and professionals in mind. Users create profiles on LinkedIn as their “online resume” to network with potential employers and clients. The LinkedIn community actively shares company news, updates, research, and studies, making it an important tool for B2B sales as well.
LinkedIn has established itself as the frontrunner in professional networking with features such as LinkedIn Pulse, Company Pages, InMail, Groups, and “Get Introduced”, making it a versatile platform to drive traffic, recruit candidates, research companies, and establish thought leadership.
Using LinkedIn for marketing is ideal if you are a business looking for B2B lead generation. As a first step, you should make sure that you have an optimized Company Page filled out to attract an audience and drive business results. According to Hootsuite, an online social scheduling platform, completed Company Pages receive twice as many visitors than pages that are incomplete.
After your Company Page is completed, encourage your employees to connect with your company’s LinkedIn page as they are the best resources to use to start growing an audience. You can leverage their networks to get your company’s page and services in front of more eyeballs to expand your reach.
If your company has a Content Marketing team helping to create blog posts, videos, or social media assets, sharing relevant content for your industry for professional use on LinkedIn is a great way to grow your audience.
Don’t fret if you don’t have a content marketing team yet. You can also take the role of a content curator, finding helpful and interesting news, articles, or videos online and sharing it with your network. Don’t just copy and paste the URL, add your expertise and opinion to demonstrate thought leadership and industry expertise.
When you are just starting out, you should focus on publishing content on specific topics relevant to the audience that you serve on a consistent basis. Not only does this help to build authority and reputation, but it also makes it easier for your ideal customers to find your business. Avoid being overly promotional and aim to be helpful and provide value. Building trust with your audience lays the foundation for potential client relationships in the future.
LinkedIn Groups harnesses the power of networking to promote your business to other professionals and businesses in your industry. It is a great way to reach people outside of your circle of colleagues, classmates, and employers. Being an active participant in LinkedIn Groups will help to attract visits and views to your Company Page.
If women are your target audience, you must be on Pinterest.
Women make up 70% of Pinterest’s 320 million monthly active users and they spend an average of 14 minutes a day browsing and saving pins. What makes Pinterest attractive as a marketing platform is that over 90% of Pinterest search is unbranded, meaning consumers are open to trying and discovering new brands and products when browsing Pinterest.
The most popular content curated on Pinterest include recipes, beauty, crafts/DIY, and health. If you offer products that fall into one of these categories, you could create very successful marketing campaigns on Pinterest.
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a visual social media tool and users use Pinterest for inspiration and product discovery. Pins that perform well have amazing photography and are SEO-optimized in both the title and description. When designing pins, Pinterest recommends using a 2:3 aspect ratio and large fonts with bold colors.
85% of female users use Pinterest to plan major life moments including weddings, birthdays, and baby showers. You can also increase traffic and engagement by taking advantage of seasonally relevant events (January fitness surge, summer BBQs) and holidays.
Pinterest recently rolled out the video pins feature, which can help your pin stand out among the sea of pins. Videos that teach people how to do something are extremely popular and are likely to be saved on boards for future reference.
If you are a brand, the large number of users on Facebook will almost guarantee that you will find a portion of your target audience. However, because content is continually refreshed on people’s timelines, you’ll need to be prepared to have a daily advertising budget to ensure that your posts are seen by your audience on a consistent basis.
If your target audience skews younger and you want to experiment with influencer marketing, having a robust Instagram presence will help you connect with your target audience. Instagram’s advertising platform is powered by parent company Facebook’s engine, so you can leverage its sophisticated targeting algorithm to find your ideal customer.
If you are a B2B business, LinkedIn is the social network to focus on.
If your target audience is women and you fall into food, beauty, health, motherhood, or DIY category, Pinterest can be a great marketing tool for your brand.
Are you looking to develop a social media marketing strategy? CC:S can help. Whether you are a new brand just starting out or an established organization looking to grow your presence online, contact us for a free consultation and see how we can help you connect with your audience.