Brands need to be present wherever audiences invest their time and attention. Increasingly, that means social media. U.S. audiences spend a half-hour to three hours daily on social media. Social media is one of the largest time buckets on mobile. But where should brands invest limited budgets?
Brands and businesses that are invisible on social media will miss a chance at engagement that their competitors might seize. More importantly, there are already well-known cases of brands that successfully
revitalized their images or launched themselves thanks to social media wins. The benefits to a successful social media brand presence are significant, even if the route to get there isn’t clear-cut.
The first step is choosing the right platforms to invest time and resources in. Which platforms to be on is a crucial question, even for the most deep-pocketed brands.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we review each of the top social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram), analyse the considerations and potential benefits for brands working on each platform, and explore what brands and companies would benefit most from focusing their efforts on certain channels. In a separate, linked report, we analyse how a specific platform-native social media strategy might be right for many brands and businesses. This involves choosing one social media network and pouring the preponderance of time and resources into it.
Here’s an overview of how things currently stand:
- Brands needs to be active on social: Although it is difficult to quantify how much social media influences purchase decisions, it is definitely making an impact. A multi-year study shows that brands’ social media fans spend more annually on their products than non-fans and 70% of Pinterest users say they use the site to “get inspiration on what to buy.” Social media is a long game and while it is a bit of a cliché it is all about relationship-building. Brands with the patience to stick to a smart strategy will see it pay off in the medium- and long-term.
- Fortune 500 companies get this: Interestingly, although Facebook is typically considered the go-to social media for brands, Twitter has actually surpassed Facebook in terms of Fortune 500 adoption rates. 73% of Fortune 500 companies had active corporate Twitter accounts, 66% have corporate Facebook accounts, and 62% have corporate YouTube accounts. 2% of Fortune 500 companies now have Pinterest accounts. While this percentage seems small, it should be noted that the data is from 2012. Pinterest is young and it has already been able to attract top companies including GE (#8 on the Fortune 500 list), AIG (#38), and Lowe’s (#56).
- Judging by this data, major brands should first look at Twitter, and then at Facebook and YouTube, but…:Each brand will have its own unique personality and goals. Twitter (or Facebook, for that matter) may not be right for them. Brands that have small social media budgets can still achieve a high level of brand awareness by focusing their resources on just one or two platforms. The platform choice ultimately depends on what your brand is trying to achieve.
- Some platforms just aren’t ideal for certain types of brands: Money and effort should not be wasted by brands to be on all platforms, even if the budget allows for it. A surprising number of small and medium-sized brands fall into the trap of believing they have to be on all the social media platforms. A well-crafted “platform-native” approach is always better than a diluted presence on a half-dozen networks.
- Reviews each of the top social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram)
- Analyses the considerations and potential benefits for brands working on each platform
- Explores what brands and companies would benefit most from focusing their efforts on certain channels