Wondering which social media platform is best for influencer marketing?
You are probably no stranger to influencer marketing if you’re here.
You have probably seen some of the statistics that prove the power of influencer marketing, and maybe, you’ve even run your very own influencer marketing campaign.
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in popularity because today, virtually everyone has a voice and can build their influence with the help of social media. This is something that just wasn’t possible before the internet and social media.
Okay, so social media is the secret ingredient that has enabled the influencer marketing market and that it has increased in popularity, but the statistics only prove that leveraging influential individuals on social media to mediate and promote your brand’s message is effective.
But they don’t tell us anything about which social media platform you should use.
Because as you probably know, there are a whole lot of social platforms out there.
But which social media platform is best for influencer marketing?
That’s exactly what we’ll look at in this article.
Which social media platform is best for influencer marketing?
When I was contemplating on what I should write on for this week’s post, this topic eventually came to mind, and when I researched it, I was surprised at how many people ask this question, but at the same time, how few answers there are to it.
And since I am here to help and to serve you, I took it upon myself to answer this question once and for all.
If I am going to answer truthfully, the real answers to the question “which social media platform is best for influencer marketing?” is that it depends.
And I know, that’s a boring answer, but I won’t just leave you at that, though.
Understand the differences between social media platforms
There might be a lot of social media platforms to choose from when creating your influencer marketing campaign, but not all social media platforms are created equal, though.
First off, we need to know the reason why there are different social media platforms in the first place.
And the main reason is that they all serve different purposes. YouTube is a platform which is focused solely on video, Instagram is a platform mainly focused on images, but also supports video content, and Snapchat is a platform which supports all types of content but has a special main feature which is that the snaps that are sent disappear.
Obviously, this is an important factor you want to think about, because depending on what content you wish to use in your influencer campaign, you’ll probably exclude a few platforms, and thus decrease the number of possible social media platforms.
For example, if I plan on running a video advertising campaign where I ask the influencer to create the video and have them promote it, I obviously want to use social media platforms that are focused on video, and where my influencer has a strong presence, and that would probably leave me with YouTube as the most obvious choice.
Another thing you want to consider is how the content creation process will go down. The most common influencer marketing campaign is set up in the way that the influencer creates the content in their very own style, then promote it on their social media platform(s) – depending on your agreement, and showcase it to their audience.
And since the influencer is the one that is creating the content, you want to think about (and ask) what type of content the influencer is best at creating. And this is a little dependent on what you plan on doing. Either you can find an influencer that resonates with you, and then ask them what content they’re best at creating, or, you can look for influencers on a particular platform, and then have them create the same type of content they are creating there. In other words, it depends on which end you start from.
For instance, if I partner with a famous YouTube influencer, it’s quite obvious that video content is their game, so, therefore, I shouldn’t ask them to create any other type of content. Moreover, since YouTube is where they have the strongest platform, then that’s where the campaign should be run.
So either you can look for influencers on a particular platform (if you’ve identified which platform you want to use), or, you can look for influencers that you believe resonate with your brand and then have them promote you on the platform they’re most active on, or, you can decide on what type of content you want to use in your influencer marketing and then choose influencers on platforms that focus on that type of content.
The user demographics of social media platforms
Another greatly important thing you want to think about when defining which social media platform is best for influencer marketing for you is this: Is the user base and demographics of the platform closely aligned with your target audience? The purpose of this question is to answer “Will you even be able to reach your target audience on the platform?”
Your goal with influencer marketing is to reach people from your target audience, and do so by leveraging the words of a trusted influencer to better convey your message, but if the individuals that influencer reaches couldn’t care less about your brand, and aren’t within your target audience, then what good will it do for your brand?
Your goal is to reach your target audience, so therefore, you want to think about the demographics of the social media platform which you’re running your campaign on.
Take Pinterest as an example.
There are a number of influencers on Pinterest that you can leverage who have tons of followers and have built a huge audience. And on paper, it might look amazing, you’re able to reach all of these people with the help of this influencer. But are those people really relevant to your brand?
Well, Pinterest is a social media platform that is notoriously known for having a user base which consists mainly of women. So let’s say you are a brand which sells underwear for men, Pinterest might not be the ideal choice.
Of course, just because the majority of Pinterest’s user base consists of women doesn’t mean you can’t generate great results if you are targeting men, however, it would mean that generally, more women would see the promotion, and these are individuals who aren’t in your target audience and thus not relevant to you. And if you are targeting wrong, and running your influencer marketing campaign on a social media platform where your target audience is nowhere to be found, it would mean that you’d end up with potentially high numbers, such as numbers of views and likes, but when you look at the actual marketing benefits, where the end goal is sales, then it will probably be a completely different story.
This is why the single most important thing when deciding which social media platform is best for influencer marketing for you, is that you know what it is about, which content it is focused on, and what demographics it has.
Now, it also depends on what your goals are, of course. Vanity metrics such as likes and views can be a good indication of engagement and how much people cared about the content/campaign, but at the same time, it’s also important that the people you reach are actually relevant to you.
With so many social media platforms to choose from, it can feel like an impossible task to narrow them down. Of course, most marketers just turn to the most popular social media platforms, and while this can be a good idea, in marketing, basing your decisions on actual data is key.
Define your goals
Another factor you want to consider when thinking about which social media platform to run your influencer marketing campaign on is your objectives with your influencer campaign.
Because the different social media platforms are not equally good at driving results within the same objectives.
For brands, Snapchat and Instagram Stories are among the best places and platforms to use if your goal is to bring your brand closer to your audience, make it more transparent, authentic and human, but for driving sales short term, Facebook has proven to be a great platform for that.
This is why it’s important that you’ve defined your goals with your influencer marketing campaign before you jump into anything. Because based on the goals you’ve set, you want to select social media platforms that are great for helping you achieve those goals.
When you know these things, you can probably identify the platform(s) which are most relevant to you in your influencer marketing campaigns. Because which social media platform you should choose for your influencer marketing campaign isn’t solely dependent on one factor, as you can see, but more so, it’s dependent on a ton of factors that, when considered, help you make a wise decision.
It’s clear that an understanding of the social media platforms are tremendously important because all of the things I’ve mentioned above are dependent on you understanding the different social media platforms – from different aspects.
Therefore, we’ll go through the most popular social media platforms and explain shortly what makes them unique, and when they might be good for you to use in your influencer marketing.
Because there are hundreds and hundreds of social media platforms out there, I won’t be listing them all, but the most common ones because after all, those are the platforms which most of you will use.
Explaining the different social media platforms
When influencers were asked in a study in 2016 which social media platform they thought was the best social media platform for influencer marketing, the majority of them (32%) responded Facebook, and 24 percent answering Instagram.
Source: eMarketerAnd that’s not too strange either, because first of all, Facebook is the single largest social media platform in the world, Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms in the world, and secondly, most influencers use photo and video content when they promote brands, and Instagram and Facebook are two platforms that support those content types.
When influencers were asked which their favorite social media platform was, Instagram was in second place. And a reason for that is obviously that it supports visual content, which influencers are crazy about.
Another important reason that Instagram is a very popular platform among influencers is that it has such a high organic reach. Facebook is known to have an organic reach which has continuingly decreased, to the point now where it is sometimes talked about as a “zero organic reach” (which is not completely true), but Instagram is the social media platform which has the highest organic reach, and since influencers don’t pay for advertising and to get seen, organic reach is everything for them.
And remember, it doesn’t matter how many followers an influencer has if they don’t reach them.
Sometimes, bloggers are forgotten when talking about influencer marketing, but bloggers are indeed influencers, and the ones that are leaders in their industry often have a huge influence on their friends.
Blogs can actually be included among the social media platforms. Both because influencers can reach their target audience through this medium, and also because people can interact with the influencer through comments.
With blogging influencers, you can have them share all types of content, and write a complete story about your brand.
When it comes to demographics, it’s all about the audience that the influencer has built up, and so, by looking at what type of content the influencer is sharing, and which industry they’re in, you’ll be able to get quite a good idea about which individuals are following that influencer, and if they’re in your target audience.
A great thing about partnering with blogging influencers is that they give your site a backlink if they link back to your website, and backlinks are tremendously important in search engine marketing as it gives indications to Google that you’re a trusted site with authority, and if the influencer’s blog is established and trusted (which influencer’s blogs often are), you’ll eventually be able to rank higher for search results on Google, get more traffic that way, and ultimately also potentially be able to attract new customers.
This is a benefit of blogging influencer marketing that is often forgotten, but one that is incredibly beneficial long term, other than the results that are generated solely by the influencer having you promote your brand.
There are plenty of influencers on Facebook, and the user base is enormous, which means that your target audience probably is to b found on the platform. It’s just about partnering with an influencer in your industry which has gathered everyone from your target audience in one place.
Since the organic reach on Facebook is very low, brands need help with reaching people on the platform, and by leveraging influencers, you can have them amplify your message, but at the same time, you need to consider the fact that they will reach far fewer people than the number of people who are following them.
Take a look at the user demographics of Facebook here:
YouTube user demographics:
Now, have in mind that we have only listed some of all platforms that are at your disposal.
There are considerably more platforms that you can use, but for obvious reasons, we cannot list them all here. But the principles mentioned above about how you choose suitable platforms still remain the same, so simply apply that to when you are looking at other platforms to use which are not listed in this article.