When to Use Which Platform
With desktop traffic on Facebook up 27% and emerging platforms such as TikTok growing steadily each day, brands looking to maintain digital impressions during COVID-19 can find a reliable source with social media.
At Rise, we strongly encourage using the performance data you have to make strategic decisions about your marketing tactics—especially during unpredictable times like these, when every dollar needs to be spent wisely. If you’re advertising on social media (a smart move right now!), know that not every platform may make the most sense for your business. Read on for our tips on choosing the most impactful platform(s) for your bottom line.
- Platform Strengths: Facebook continues to be the most used social platform with the largest age range of users. In most cases, it is the primary platform recommended for its breadth of user demographics and measurement capabilities.
- Platform Weaknesses: Buying on Facebook can be very competitive, leading to higher CPMs and total costs than other platforms.
- Goal: Facebook typically is able to help advertisers reach all desired goals. It also makes a great litmus test for reaching goals on other platforms—we typically see brands with strong performance on Facebook do well when expanding to other platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.)
- Target Audience: Almost all audiences, regardless of age or gender, can be reached through the Facebook platform.
- Top Business Verticals: Any vertical should be able to perform, however, Facebook is more restricted and censored than other platforms (for example, CBD products are not allowed to be promoted.) More information on restricted and prohibited content can be found here.
- Platform Strengths: If campaigns have strong performance on Facebook, they can typically also perform really well on Instagram especially among younger audiences.
- Platform Weaknesses: The platform’s reliance on imagery can be intimidating for brands, but a captivating approach can be a huge advantage if you have a complex product that’s best discovered visually.
- Goal: Instagram can be strong performing for all KPIs as long as there is a heavier audience priority on younger generations, as 67% of users are 18-29 and 72% of users are 13-17.
- Target Audience: If your brand is targeting teenagers and young adults, this may be a good platform to choose.
- Top Business Verticals: Any vertical relevant to those 49 and younger that doesn’t have heavy messaging that can be considered harmful, dangerous or misleading. As part of Facebook, Instagram has similar censorship for what content can be promoted.
- Platform Strengths: B2B primary, B2C secondary. LinkedIn is more of a niche platform than the others, as it is very specific with its targeting and the ad units available to you.
- Platform Weaknesses: The professional nature of LinkedIn’s purpose will naturally degrade the relevance of many products/services that would otherwise look out of place on LinkedIn.
- Goal: LinkedIn’s strength is in driving awareness and leads from business professionals—particularly those in specific industries, or holding specific titles or skills.
- Target Audience: If your brand has a need for precise targeting of specific sub-sections of business professionals, you’ll want to take advantage of LinkedIn’s services. Though the age range of LinkedIn isn’t significant, it is worth noting that products/services more relevant to teenagers and college students likely won’t perform as well here.
- Top Business Verticals: Among all verticals on LinkedIn, these have significantly more users: Information Technology & Resources, Marketing and Advertising, Human Resources, Computer Software, Financial Services, Staffing and Recruiting, Internet, Management Consulting, Telecommunications and Retail.
- Platform Strengths: Best for new releases or something considered newsworthy. Users go to Twitter to learn and be up-to-date with what is happening. The platform skews younger in age among users.
- Platform Weaknesses: Twitter has the lowest amount of active users compared to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, making it a deprioritized platform for advertising strategies.
- Goal: Awareness goals perform strongly in the Twitter feed.
- Target Audience: Despite the lower number of active users on Twitter compared to other platforms, a brand with a strong following and presence on Twitter already will find their target audience is probably going to respond well to promoted content.
- Top Business Verticals: Any company with a strong user following. Recommendation to run on Twitter would be very specific to that brand or company depending on their current usage on Twitter.
- Platform Strengths: Very low CPMs across all KPIs makes Snapchat a low-cost, full-funnel platform. If a brand performs really well on Instagram, there is a strong chance they will perform well on Snapchat as well due to similar age ranges.
- Platform Weaknesses: Snapchat puts an even stronger emphasis on creative than Instagram, as most ads show up between stories. This means there is a stronger need for captivating videos and imagery.
- Goal: Snapchat can perform well across all KPIs—awareness, engagement, and conversions.
- Target Audience: Snapchat’s low average user age means it has a strong reach with Gen Z and Millennials.
- Top Business Verticals: Beauty & Fashion, Entertainment and Food & Beverage industries similar to TikTok as primary audience skews young, content needs to align to interests of those 13 to 29.
- Platform Strengths: Similar to Instagram and Snapchat, relevant verticals with captivating imagery will see strong engagement on Pinterest.
- Platform Weaknesses: Pinterest's gallery-view can make it more challenging than other platforms to stand out.
- Goal: As with other image-focused platforms, Pinterest can perform well across all KPIs, but with a particular emphasis on conversion. 89% of Pinners use the platform to gather inspiration in their path to purchase, and 47% actively use Pinterest to shop.
- Target Audience: The most significant difference in Pinterest’s audience is the gender demographic on the platform. Pinterest has a significantly larger amount of women than men, making companies tailored to women a great fit for it.
- Top Business Verticals: Food & Beverage, Beauty & Fashion, Interior Design & Decorating (particularly, homes, wedding, crafting.) Pinterest is an inspiration platform where people go to do research on what to buy, making it also a shopping-heavy platform.
- Platform Strengths: Mass reach available through Community Takeovers, as well as unique targeting through subreddits and communities. You’re able to reach users in their self-identified interests while they are actively conversing. This makes for an ad strategy uniquely relevant to in-market users.
- Platform Weaknesses: There are fewer ad units and targeting options from which to choose.
- Goal: Awareness and consideration perform strongly on Reddit.
- Target Audience: You cannot target by gender or age. Targeting is available by subreddits/communities to reach certain groups of users. You’ll want to ensure the topic you are promoting aligns with subreddits and communities to have relevancy.
- Top Business Verticals: Beauty, Food, Family, Fashion, Entertainment, Gaming and Technology.
- Platform Strengths: Several attention-grabbing ad units available through Hashtag Challenges, and mass reach through Brand Takeover and TopViews. We’re currently seeing low CPMs and stronger CTR through their in-feed videos.
- Platform Weaknesses: There are little controls in-place right now, so brands should carefully monitor the user-generated content (UGC) inspired by their ads.
- Goal: TikTok is a fast-growing platform to drive awareness and engagement.
- Target Audience: The userbase on TikTok is primarily Gen Z (and secondarily Millennials) creating a variety of videos with many steering away from the Instagram trend of professionally-produced content. In order to capture the attention of your audience here, you’ll want to consider UGC and/or an aesthetic native to their feeds.
- Top Business Verticals: Beauty & Fashion, Entertainment, and Food & Beverage industries.
If you have any questions about your brand’s social media strategy or the platforms available to you, please reach out to Rise.