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Social Media Platforms and Their Pros and Cons for Marketers


Marketers in today’s world are quickly learning that marketing is almost impossible without a social media presence. Unfortunately, running a social media account is not as simple as it looks. Staying up to date on trends, engagement analytics, optimal posting times, and everything else on your feed is no easy feat, especially if you’re managing social media accounts across multiple platforms.

So, all that being said, the first step to having a successful social media presence is figuring out which platforms your company should be on to share your ideal content and reach your ideal audience. Every social media platform is set up slightly differently, making each one useful for different purposes. Narrowing them down to which ones will work best for your company will make your job as a marketer that much easier. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for some of the most popular platforms – let’s get into it!


Instagram

Instagram is becoming one of the most used social media platforms by businesses with over 200 million business accounts globally. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • Provides options for many different forms of content (stories, reels, images, live streams, etc.)

  • Allows for collaborations with other brands/accounts

  • Gives extra features for business profiles such as analytics

  • Provides options for ads/sponsored posts and selling products on the app

  • Good for connecting with your audience

Cons

  • Many forms of content can be overwhelming to come up with and result in lower quality

  • Many forms of content also affects the app quality, not enough focus on perfecting the user experience of each

  • Has an unpredictable algorithm that can result in not seeing the results/engagement you expect each time, requires frequent and quality posts

  • Influencer-heavy platform, can be hard to stand out as a brand page


Facebook

Although Instagram is catching up, Facebook currently remains the most used platform by marketers. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Facebook sits in the same range of over 200 million business accounts. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • Most used platform by marketers worldwide

  • Provides accessible, customizable, and budget-friendly advertising options that allow you to reach a broad audience (useful for customer acquisition)

  • Allows for custom call-to-actions in ads and posts

  • Provides the ability for B2C and B2B connection

  • Provides features beyond posting content that can create more daily active users (marketplace, jobs, etc.)

Cons

  • Facebook has had many scandals in the past

  • Layout and feed are not as aesthetically pleasing as more image-based platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest

  • Allows for very few organic connections, only ads are pushed to accounts outside your followers

  • Facebook had received criticism for misreporting metrics

  • Facebook is not the majority’s top choice of social platform anymore, many users prefer Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok


Twitter

As of 2022, Twitter sat at about 118 million business accounts, a bit below the top choices of Instagram and Facebook. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • Provides a good way to start conversations with your target audience, good for breaking news, information that needs to be quickly circulated, trends, etc.

  • Helps communicate brand voice as it is good for concise, text-based content

  • Allows for tags, reposting, etc. to help reach a wide audience and encourage engagement

  • Content is expected to be quick and frequent

  • Achieving virality and creating successful hashtags is more common and easier than on other apps

Cons

  • Multiple posts a day is often expected and can be difficult to keep up with/maintain quality

  • Requires time commitment to stay up to date with news and trends and keep your content relevant

  • Allows for little to no images to draw people in, words have to catch their attention

  • Gives a limited character count that requires concise content, not ideal for every company/type of post

  • Controversies and negative feedback are popular on the platform and spread quickly


TikTok

As a newer app, there is not as much information on the use of TikTok by businesses and marketers. However, according to Business of Apps, 14% of marketers planned to up their spend on the app in 2021, though only 3% saw it as the most effective media channel. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • Still relatively new compared to other platforms but already very popular

  • Allows for anyone to go viral and receive large amounts of engagement due to the algorithm

  • Allows you to show off products or entertain your audience, one of the best platforms for video content

  • Provides lots of content to base yours off of, trends are constantly popping up and evolving

  • Allows you to target audiences near you through localization

Cons

  • Marketing and educating do not always do well as it is an app largely for entertaining

  • Ads can be effective on the app but are not very budget-friendly

  • Favours 15 minutes of fame over loyal followers, a good way to get your name out there but not necessarily to build a customer base

  • Trends can be time-consuming and difficult to follow

  • Only allows for video content


YouTube

Though YouTube is not considered as often as a social media platform, it is used by 55% of marketers and is well-known for high ad revenue. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • The go-to platform for long-form video content, also branching into short-form video content (YouTube Shorts)

  • Less algorithm/time-sensitive than many of the other platforms

  • Provides higher visibility on Google than many of the other platforms

  • Allows for wide and varied audience reach

  • Provides low ad costs

Cons

  • Content can take a lot of time and resources to create (coming up with ideas, filming, editing, etc.)

  • Requires better equipment/software and a more skilled creator than most other video-sharing platforms (more professional content)

  • Ads on videos are unpredictable and may have nothing to do with/not align with your brand

  • The only platform that puts ads within your content


LinkedIn

According to Hootsuite, LinkedIn has become an invaluable resource for job seekers, recruiters, and employers alike with over 58 million companies having accounts. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • Professional platform, good for B2B connections/advertising

  • Allows for job recruitment and viewing/sharing professional achievements that can say more than a slogan in a bio, good for storytelling

  • Good for finding co-marketing partners and keeping up with your competition

  • Allows you to target specific market segments and a professional audience

Cons

  • Allows for very few B2C connections, more professional than social

  • Creates difficulty standing out amongst other businesses, need a large network to be effective

  • Provides fewer active users than other platforms

  • Provides fewer effective content options, often posting for professional credibility more than engagement

  • Spam messaging and less effective ads


Pinterest

Pinterest is often much lower on the list of social media platforms used by marketers. The app’s growth has been slowing and only 57 percent of Pinterest users access the platform once a week. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the platform:


Pros

  • Provides a good way to show your brand image and values

  • Being an image-based app makes it visually appealing

  • Can help spot emerging trends from popular content

  • Is often used to research purchases and can be a good way to get your products out there

  • Helps increase links back to your website and drive traffic

Cons

  • Allows for only image-based content, need to be able to show your brand and voice through this to make it effective, little room for explaining and expanding

  • Can be time-consuming and is constantly changing, it is not the most straight-forward marketing plan and can be ineffective

  • Not as popular as some of the other platforms, reaching a very specific audience


Overall, there is no perfect social media platform or type of content, different things will work better for different brands. It is important to understand what works for your brand to make your social media presence effective. Need more help figuring out what’s best for your brand, or running your accounts once you do? That’s where unLOCKEd can help. Let our experts make your social media presence more successful, so you can get back to running your business.


Author: Sarah Murphy



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