3 Pros & Cons of Marketing on Every Major Social Media Platform

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat… Which Network is Right for You?

By Ryan Crockett – May 16, 2016

Social media platform logos in pastel
Which social media platform is right for you? Image courtesy of StartBloggingOnline.com

There are unique benefits and drawbacks to every social media marketing channel at your disposal, and the key to running an effective advertising campaign is identifying how well each network aligns with your company goals. Facebook offers the widest audience for your message, but you’ll have to pay for the right to be heard. Twitter provides brands with a real-time social media platform for direct consumer engagement but limits each message to 140 characters or less. Instagram is ideal for brands involved in fashion, food, or technology, but their highly youthful demographic isn’t ideal for selling to power purchasers.

Social media marketing offers fantastic ROI, but that doesn’t mean you should build a presence on every social media site in the digital universe. You wouldn’t have time for anything else if you did! We’ve recently advised brands to focus on the 2-3 social media channels that best match their target market, field of industry, and organizational goals. Now, let’s take a closer look and dive into each specific social media platform to discover what might produce extraordinary results for your business.

Facebook: Marketing on the World’s Most Active Social Media Platform

Facebook, King of Social Media

Pros of Advertising on Facebook

  • The undisputed king of social media, Facebook is the most complete digital networking site with the largest audience (1.59 billion active daily users in 2016)
  • Microtargeting is extremely effective and accurate on Facebook, as you can define a target audience by location, age, employment status, annual income, marital status, interests, hobbies, etc.
  • Great place to begin your social media marketing efforts, as a Facebook presence adds legitimacy to a business without much risk in a logical, user-friendly format

Cons of Advertising on Facebook

  • Organic reach has plummeted on Facebook, requiring brands to use paid media for effective user outreach
  • While Facebook marketing is relatively inexpensive, average conversion rates hover around a precarious 1% mark
  • With such a massive audience and constant frenzy of activity, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and reach engaged users in your target market

Twitter: Real-Time News Reporting, Customer Service, & Social Advertising

Twitter logo social media platform
Twitter is all about real time

Pros of Advertising on Twitter

  • Rapid-fire social news feed with the most effective real-time content delivery system of any active network
  • Twitter is becoming more effective for paid media marketing campaigns, with promoted tweets reaching custom audiences at lower PPC rates than Google or Facebook
  • Can be a time-saving & cost-effective social media network for advertising quickly, as retweets and automation methods offer attractive ROI for the small time investment

Cons of Advertising on Twitter

  • Twitter has the second largest audience of all major social media networks, but growth is stagnant and continues to decline
  • Rampant spam and widespread automation can be frustrating, wasting your time while your brand may seem “spammy” by association
  • While Twitter is becoming a more effective social media platform for marketing with paid media, the site is still far behind the competition in when it comes to useful analytics and pragmatic data reporting

Instagram: The Top Visual-Mobile-Social Network is about to Decline

Instagram logo social media platform
Instagram is beloved by millennials

Pros of Advertising on Instagram

  • The most popular, widely used social media app for millennials and younger generations is commonly seen by this audience as the alternative to Facebook
  • Highly visual nature of the Instagram mobile platform is ideal for businesses with appealing image and video content
  • Easy to engage big-name affinity brands and reach new customers in your target market by engaging followers of your primary competition

Cons of Advertising on Instagram

  • Much like Facebook, Instagram’s organic reach is set to decline rapidly as the network becomes overcrowded, space becomes limited, and paid ads take over
  • The visual character of the social media platform is conducive for advertising when your brand operates in industries like fashion or dining, but many companies find it difficult to produce enough audiovisual content to justify the time investment
  • Instagram’s demographics are so heavily slanted towards younger generations that most users have little purchasing power as viable consumers

LinkedIn: Professional Networking & Sharing Expertise on Social Media

LinkedIn logo, social media platform
LinkedIn is for professional thought leadership

Pros of Advertising on LinkedIn

  • The go-to social media site for professionals, LinkedIn isn’t overly cluttered with frivolous noise and there are many opportunities for companies engaged in B2B selling
  • By answering industry-related questions on LinkedIn’s many active forums and connecting with colleagues, brands can share knowledge and expertise to become the digital authority on a subject
  • The nerve center of professional thought leadership on social media: many highly respected business influencers are most active on this externally-facing network

Cons of Advertising on LinkedIn

  • The LinkedIn community is not very active (only an estimated 1/4 of the total user base accesses their accounts monthly)
  • Spam is pervasive throughout the social site, which wastes time, floods your inbox, and causes users to “tune out” when you’re trying to grab their attention
  • The cost of media on LinkedIn can be prohibitively high. Presumably because it reaches a B2B audience, some of their ad products price SMBs right out of the picture

Snapchat: The Future of Video Marketing with Exclusive, Real-Time Streaming Content

Snapchat logo-social media platform
Snapchat, a social media platform for the future

Pros of Advertising on Snapchat

  • When using the live streaming app, Snapchat users are more engaged and attentive than on any other major social media network
  • With 10 billion daily video views, the Snapchat social media platform is robust and its audience is incredibly active
  • The real-time video channel makes social advertising not seem like media marketing at all, offering users exclusive content in a real, organic manner

Cons of Advertising on Snapchat

  • Hard to devise a social marketing strategy on Snapchat with concrete, measurable ROI
  • Rarely used by older consumers and traditional power purchasers with a steep learning curve for any generation
  • There is no data tracking on Snapchat, making social media marketing campaigns on the app hard to measure, maintain, or even justify

Google+: An Effective Social Media Platform, but Who’s Listening?

Google+ logo-social media platform
Yes, Google+ is still a thing

Pros of Advertising on Google+

  • Having a Google Plus page produces a strong positive effect on the search engine relevancy of a brand
  • Google Hangouts and seamless YouTube integration provides brands with practical, effective channels for digital communication with customers
  • Customizable “Circles” and “Communities” allow for excellent user segmentation and audience microtargeting

Cons of Advertising on Google+

  • Smaller audience, a network with just 300 million active monthly users
  • Companies cannot run contests or promotions for fans and brand followers, as this violates Google’s terms and conditions
  • Significant learning curve for users and businesses alike, interface is not as user-friendly as other social media networks

Still wondering which social media platform will work best for your brand or business? Leave us a comment or shoot us a message for free advice and professional expertise, because our friendly team is always ready to help.

Posted in: Digital Marketing, Facebook, Instagram, Online Advertising Tips, Social Media, Twitter