Any talk about the future of social media would be remiss without mention of the social media platforms that have already begun to rule our world — namely, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the new kid on the block, Snapchat. Brands are beginning to shift their marketing budgets to focus on these platforms. But which ones are worth the investment? In order to find out, Firebrand Group asked a group of top marketers and innovators for their thoughts on winner and loser platforms.
Facebook has consistently been ranked as the top social media platform for marketing dollars, generating the highest returns for marketers (and the highest investments). Of the 326 people who participated in Firebrand Group’s survey, a full two-thirds named Facebook as the platform producing the highest ROI. A similar number of people also said they would be spending the most money on Facebook for marketing purposes in the coming year.
Meanwhile, only 5% of marketers said that Twitter delivered the best ROI, even though brands post on Twitter more often than on any other platform. This has to do partly with the ways in which brands use social media: Facebook is used more often for lead generation and brand awareness, whereas Twitter is seen as a tool for community engagement. Instagram has benefitted from access to Facebook’s advertising platforms and analytics, which explains why more marketers chose it as the platform that would grow the most, from a paid social perspective, than any other.
Ultimately, however, what determines whether these are winner and loser platforms comes down not just to the capabilities of each platform, but also from the content that is being produced. It is becoming increasingly clear that marketers can no longer repurpose content from different platforms; instead, each platform requires content that has been modified to fit the demands of the user. This means, for example, using video content for Facebook, images for Instagram, vertical video for Snapchat, and text or images for Twitter.
Marketers can no longer afford to use a “one size fits all” approach. It’s time to harness the capabilities of each platform in service of the brand.