An Analysis of Top Social Media Platforms for Influencer Marketing

Note from Geno Prussakov: Ladies and gentlemen, I am excited to welcome our newest guest blogger, Shane Barker. Below you may find his first AM Navigator post.

Are you leveraging your influencer marketing efforts using the right social media platforms? Your choice of social network may depend largely on the type of audience you’re trying to reach. But it’s important to note that each platform has unique advantages. For instance, an influencer may use Instagram to show off a new product. But to provide fans with tutorials on how to use the product, YouTube may be a better option.

The following analysis of the top social media platforms can help ensure your next influencer marketing campaign is successful.

#1: Facebook for Overall Success

Facebook continues to dominate when it comes to social media and influencer marketing alike, with several studies supporting this statement. In March 2015, Tomoson conducted a survey of 125 marketers. They found that, aside from blogs, Facebook was the top-performing influencer marketing channel. Among social media platforms, it was voted the most effective for influencer marketing.

 

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As you can see in the graph above, Facebook was followed by YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, but their combined total still pales in comparison with Facebook’s effectiveness.

In August 2016, eMarketer shared a study on influencers conducted by a female-focused engagement network called SheSpeaks. The study involved 347 US-based influencers and asked for their opinion on the best social media platforms for influencer marketing.

Based on the report, Facebook ranked at the top again, with 32% of influencers vouching for it as the best platform for influencer marketing. Instagram came close at 24%, followed by Twitter and Pinterest. So, even influencers themselves find Facebook to be the most effective social network for influencer marketing.

 

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Mavrck conducted a more detailed study on different social media platforms and their unique advantages for influencer marketing. This study found that Facebook is the best platform in terms of user base, time spent on network, and web referral traffic. On average, people spend 1,246 minutes every month on Facebook, resulting in 23.9% of web referral traffic.

The study highlighted that influencers use Facebook to show followers what they like and encourage them to like it too. This goes to show that the platform is the most effective overall as it helps brands gain visibility and leads, which can result in higher conversions.

#2: Pinterest to Create Desire

Pinterest may not be among the top three most effective social media platforms according to the two studies from Tomoson and SheSpeaks. But the Mavrck study found that people spend about 638 minutes every month on the platform. Additionally, it generates the second highest web referral traffic at 5.72%, which is still far below that of Facebook but way above all other social media channels.

If you look at the chart below, you’ll see that other platforms aren’t generating nearly half as much site referral traffic as Pinterest. Considering these two metrics, this platform is among the top social media channels for influencer marketing.

 

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The study also pointed out that Pinterest helps influencers to show their followers what they want. The fact that an influential individual desires a product can stimulate the same desire in an audience, which can turn into potential conversions.

You can collaborate with Pinterest influencers to co-create content or products, which they can promote to their followers. Take for example how The Land of Nod collaborated with Oh Joy to create an exclusive collection of kids’ bedroom and home décor products. The influencer’s Pinterest board for this collection has more than 800,000 followers, with many of the posts getting 1,000-7,000 pins.

 

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#3: Instagram to Raise Brand Awareness

Despite the fact that Instagram doesn’t allow users to add links to their posts, it is still one of the best influencer marketing channels. Users spend an average of about 760 minutes per month on the platform. And with 400 million active users, it can be a great tool for boosting your brand’s visibility.

Instagram is a platform fueled by visuals. High-quality images of your products shared by Instagram influencers can help you raise awareness about your brand. An influencer posts an image of a product and their followers are intrigued, even if they have never heard about the brand before.

Target wanted to promote a new clothing line for kids called, “Cat & Jack.” They decided to work with Instagram influencers to reach their target audience, mainly comprised of parents. For the campaign, they partnered with high-reach parents, including Judy Travis (@itsjudytime), and Luisa Fernanda Espinosa (@luisafere). The influencers created sponsored posts with stunning images of their kids wearing items from the new collection.

 

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Within the first two weeks of the campaign, they managed to reach more than 2.63 million people. They also generated significant engagement, with more than 180,000 likes and 1,200 comments on just 14 sponsored posts. This campaign is just one example of how effective Instagram can be for raising brand awareness. If you’re looking to boost conversions, you can have influencers mention a special coupon code in their image captions.

#4: YouTube to Engage a Huge Audience

The Tomoson study found YouTube to be one of the three most effective social media platforms for influencer marketing, tied with Instagram for second place. However, it ranks far lower than Instagram in terms of time spent on network, with users spending an average of 60 minutes every month. In terms of users, YouTube wins with 1 billion, (compared to Instagram’s 400 million). It also allows influencers to include links in their sponsored posts, and ranks fourth in terms of web referral traffic at 0.06%.

Influencers use YouTube to engage their audience through useful and/or hilarious videos. Some influencers provide valuable content in the form of video tutorials and reviews. Others create sponsored videos with an amusing take on certain topics related to the product. According to Mediakix, entertainment industries benefit the most from YouTube influencer marketing campaigns. This is followed by the how-to and style categories, and then comedy.

 

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Conclusion

Although these are the four most effective social channels for influencer marketing, other platforms may be more effective for specific goals. For instance, Twitter and Snapchat are great for providing live updates.

The key is to customize your campaign for each social media platform, based on what you wish to achieve. Need some help putting together a social media influencer marketing campaign? Let’s work together to develop a campaign that works!

And, of course, don’t miss the upcoming Influencer Marketing Days conference where this and many other influencer marketing topics will be discussed.

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