With 2015 winding down to an end, we just have one question on our mind… which social media platform won 2015? We’ve lined up our top five channels, compared the numbers and weighed the results. While Facebook currently presents the highest amount of active users, Snapchat appeals to a younger generation that isn’t necessarily as active on Facebook. Twitter allows for real time updates with a chance of “going viral.” After only being around for five years, Instagram is currently the fastest growing major social platform, while Pinterest has taken off with the growing ‘do-it-yourself crowd.’ So with all this in mind, who won 2015?
Users: 100 Million Monthly Active Users
Demographic: 45% of Snapchat users are between 18-24 (Business Insider)
Strengths: Because the stories published on Snapchat only last for 24-hours, there are 400 million Snapchat stories created per day, which creates a constant flow of content. The strictly mobile aspect, creates an intimate way of marketing.
Weaknesses: Because of the short life of each snap story, it can be hard to build an audience and grow a following.
FP Tip: This is the new version of ‘REALITY TV’ and the perfect platform for ‘How-To’s.’ Marketers can create a relatable voice for their brand through their snap stories in order to garner views and gain exposure from a younger audience.
Users: 320 Million Monthly Active Users
Demographic: 25% of Men use Twitter
Strengths: Real time updates, news and events receive the utmost attention on this platform. Unless you tweet directly to someone, each and every tweet goes to all of your followers, so you’re guaranteed more eyes on your post.
Weaknesses: You’re limited to only 140 characters per tweet. Because Twitter is so busy, your tweets get buried quickly in your followers’ feed. Twitter is not ideal for visual content and because of the high volume of tweets per day, daily active users are starting to plateau.
FP Tip: This isn’t a space for your usual content. Real time opportunities take the forefront on this uniquely text driven platform, as opposed to image based Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Users: 400 Million Monthly Active Users
Demographic: Millennials are the predominate users on Instagram
Strengths: Because Instagram is fairly new to sponsored posts, there are still organic opportunities for users and brands. The infinite scroll layout keeps users active and invested in the content.
Weaknesses: Since Instagram advertising was recently introduces, there will be less organic opportunities for reach and engagement. Direct links are limited and are only available in the bio lines or as a feature in promoted posts.
FP Tip: There is a great avenue to explore to reach your audience through Hashtag Holidays (i.e. #Lipstickday #Hugavegan #NationalCupcakeDay) on Instagram. Coupling your image-based content with hashtags on this platform allows you to reach more eyes and increase engagement.
Users: 1.55 Billion Monthly Active Users
Demographic: Active Facebook users are predominately parents and baby boomers ages 30+
Strengths: Advanced targeting options via Facebook ads help to garner a more engaged audience, based on everything from location, age, gender, to hobbies.
Weaknesses: Because this is such a heavy ‘pay-to-play’ platform, it is lacking in organic opportunities. Less than 1% of viewers will be able to see your content on Facebook, unless you’re paying for it.
FP Tip: Create shareable content and Ask for the SHARE. This essentially turns users into brand advocates and is the new word of mouth!
Users: 100 Million Monthly Active Users
Demographic: 44% of the female demographic uses Pinterest, with the most active being ‘Millennial moms.’
Strengths: Pins tend to have a long half-life. Compared to Facebook, the half-life of a pin lasts 1.6K times longer than a Facebook post (Social Marketing Writing).
Weaknesses: Pinterest is a very niche platform with limited topic appeal that specifically caters to the female audience.
FP Tip: Work with influencers to repin your brands Pinterest content. Keep in mind that a disclaimer may be necessary.
So there you have it! That’s how all the big social players stack up against each other, but who took the cake in 2015? While it’s tempting to declare Snapchat this year’s standout, it all comes down to which audience your brand is trying to reach. Be smart, be nimble, be creative!