Key Insights From Each Social Media Platform

Using the same social media strategy across all channels simply doesn’t work in 2021. Whether you’re trying to grow your audience or drive conversions, you need to know the environment you’re operating in.

That’s why we’ve gathered crucial insights from each of the big three social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), plus new challenger TikTok.

Facebook

  •  65% of Facebook’s audience are under-35. However, over-65’s are the fastest-growing audience, increasing 25% year-on-year. This is followed by 55 – 64’s at 18%.
  • Facebook is becoming the platform of choice for older users, as interest by younger audiences begins to stagnate in favour of Instagram and TikTok.
  • Facebook has a 57% male audience, compared to Instagram which is gender-balanced.
  • The average user spends around 60 minutes a day on Facebook, compared to 30 minutes on Instagram. It’s the place where consumers get their news, learn about new products, and communicate with friends, family and businesses.
  • 77% of users feel more connected to a brand that they can ask questions to or provide feedback – Facebook is the perfect platform for two-way interaction.
  • 54% of users have used Facebook to research products. In 2020 Facebook (and Instagram) Shops was launched in response to this growing interest in social commerce.

Instagram

  • 70% of IG users are under 35, making it the platform of choice for younger users.
  • IG is greatly suited to e-commerce activities. 81% of people use it to research products and services, with 130 million users tapping shopping posts each month.
  • Stories are incredibly popular with over 500 million daily users. IG is a leader in the vertical format, which has since been introduced for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Instagram is discouraging people from sharing feed posts into stories. They assert that users do not like seeing this and favour content specifically made for vertical formats.
  • Instagram recently released a blog explaining how its algorithm works. Post ranking is determined by factors such as type of post, recency, past activity and more.
  • IG Reels was launched in response to the popularity of TikTok. Instagram is aggressively pushing Reels by including it in Explore, suggesting reels in the feed and adding it to the homescreen (along with shopping). 
  • Instagram also doesn’t want you uploading TikToks to Reels. They will not display videos that feature the TikTok watermark. Instead, they provided official tips on how to get discovered in the Reels tab, such as using the built-in tools and avoiding blurry or text-heavy content.

Twitter

  • Twitter is a fast-paced environment. The average time-spent on Twitter per session is only 3.39 minutes – more than Instagram, but less than Facebook. Tweets are short (280 characters) and therefore have short lifespans, often only being relevant for 15-20 minutes.
  • Twitter isn’t as naturally geared to brands as other platforms. The average user follows just five brands. The platform itself suggests actively seeking conversations and maintaining a clear brand voice.
  • Twitter is great for reactive marketing. Long-term content planning isn’t effective here. Instead it’s better to adapt tweets to reflect current events and insert your brand into the conversation.
  • Hashtags remain important on Twitter. They can grow your reach, encourage engagement and promote discovery. 1-2 hashtags per tweet is the official recommendation.
  • Twitter is also good for gathering customer feedback through social listening. Many brands use Twitter as a form of customer service, so it’s good to check Twitter far more regularly than other platforms.
  • Twitter released Fleets, their take on Stories, last year. However last week they announced it’s shutting down due to poor user take-up. The lesson to be learned is not to treat Twitter as an extension of Facebook or Instagram – it’s a different audience, and requires a different strategy.

TikTok

  • With 2 billion downloads, TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020. This new platform is proving to be more than just a pandemic trend – it currently has 689 million active users.
  • It’s a primarily younger audience – 62% of users are aged between 10 – 29. TikTok is also slightly more popular among women, with 58.5% of users being female.
  • TikTok is addictive. The average user spends 89 minutes a day on the app, and 90% check it daily. Entertainment is the most popular category, with over 535 billion views. This is followed by Dance, Pranks and Fitness/Sport.
  • TikTok’s algorithm is unique. You don’t need to follow accounts to see their content. Instead, the ‘For You’ page suggests videos – the more you watch, the better the recommendations get. Any TikTok has the potential to go viral.
  • Like other platforms, brands can run effective organic and paid social activities. Partnering with influencers on TikTok is increasingly popular – there’s been a 164% increase in sponsored posts since 2020. In-feed ads are vertical-only and resemble Instagram Stories. Branded ‘hashtags challenges’ are also a unique option on TikTok.
  • The platform has seriously leaned into social commerce, partnering with Shopify. TikTok ranks as the 2nd-biggest app in consumer spend, beating the likes of Facebook Shops.
  • TikTok videos are extremely similar to IG Reels. Content from one can be easily uploaded to the other.