Social media has created a virtual marketing platform for businesses of all types and sizes to project their best and promote their launches. On top of that, social media sites allow one to stay connected to the audiences, thereby making it easier to feel the pulse of the potential consumers through uninterrupted engagement and exchange, incisive analysis of interaction as well as decide the best marketing strategy. All these contribute to one’s journey from being a business titleholder to becoming a brand owner.

Believe it or not, more than 4 billion users are teeming on social media and the number is accelerating with every passing day. It clearly means that more than a third of global population exist in virtual world. 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – these are four social media giants. You can stay active on one or all of them. When it comes to choosing a particular platform, most businesses face a big challenge. This blog discusses all necessary details and comparisons to guide you take an informed choice about social media advertising. 

Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Instagram vs. Snapchat – Monthly Active Users

Instagram, which is effective for all sorts and sizes of business, has 1.79 billion of monthly active users. Its lion’s share of total users comes from the USA though users from other countries have their strong presence on Instagram. The platform, for its global presence, can give any business a quick and heavy push across geographies. 

Facebook is the most powerful and popular platform among all. It gives a solid boost to your business publicity and popularity. If the posts are relevant, informative, crispy and catchy, it will add value to your strategic marketing effort. Therefore, make sure that 70% of your posts are about business tips, local news, recent events or survey questions. 

Facebook has nearly 2.45 billion users around the world. Just imagine how wider you can reach through FB marketing! If you are serious about stretching your wings and flying high, think about participation and promotion through Facebook. To receive optimum shares and clicks, try to stay active between 1-4 p.m. 

Twitter, though lags behind Facebook and Instagram, makes a great choice to enhance your business visibility and brand image. With 317 million of monthly users, you can think how to compose and curate posts in brief and by using appropriate hastags to invite your target audiences’ attention. However, you should post current affairs as the platform is meant for global news and current updates. 

Snapchat is a fast-growing social media platform. As per statistics, most of Snapchat users fall under the age category of 18-34 years. If your target audience belongs to the said age bracket, Snapchat could be a great handle for your business promotion in different countries. 

Instagram vs. Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Snapchat –Daily Active Users (DAU)

Till now, Facebook leads the race with 1.18 billion of active daily users. The only social media site, which is closing on the heels of Facebook, is Twitter with a base of 100 million daily active participants. 

Instagram and Snapchat, with their daily user base of 300 million and 60 million, are nowhere closer to the two leading names. However, Snapchat is growing at a faster pace, which shows its accelerating popularity among social media users. However, Instagram is receiving five times more traffic everyday than Snapchat.

Instagram vs. Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Snapchat – MAU Growth (Till 20th August, 2021)  

Top 15 Social Networking Sites and Apps by Active Users

Instagram vs. Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Snapchat – Overall Comparison

The comparison is based on the following important parameters:

  • How They Work
  • Global Reach
  • Unique Features 
  • Rate of Engagement 

How Do They Operate?

Instagram and Snapchat are mostly dedicated to picture uploads. Facebook gives its users more liberty if it comes to the type of contents and what you can do with them. You can update texts, images and videos and also share fun elements whereas Twitter is the best place for sharing news and updates. 

Contents last long on Facebook and Instagram whereas, tweets last forever on Twitter. However, old tweets are replaced by new ones on Twitter and a snap remains visible only for 24 hours. 

Instagram allows the users to share contents on their walls whereas Snapchat lets users send pictures and videos directly to anyone they want. On Twitter, you can see abundant use of text and hashtags. 

If comparison is based on the type of content, Facebook allows you to share both public and private posts whereas Snapchat is dedicated to private chats. 

Which social media platform has the best engagement rate?

Facebook vs Twitter vs Instagram vs. Snapchat 

According to the recent facts and figures, engagement rate on Instagram is the highest on the social media platform. Whereas the engagement rate on Facebook is 0.09%, that on Instagram is 1.60%. 

The engagement metric vacillates from 0.09-0.33% on Twitter. Due to the nature of the contents on Twitter, it encourages businesses to be more innovative in their marketing approach. As you have to input your updates and thoughts into a few characters, so it poses a real challenge to highlight the essence of news and updates. On contrary, Facebook offers plenty of space for detailed updates of each event.

The engagement pattern of Instagram users reveals that an average user comes alive on the app 18 times a day and stays there for 25-30 minutes. It’s enough time to put your business ideas across the audiences!

Facebook vs. Snapchat vs. Instagram vs. Twitter: Engagement Rate

The chore idea of marketing should be centred on your target audience. Whereas you can reach only one person at a time through Snapchat, it’s possible to achieve a wider reach at one go on Twitter.

Between Instagram and Snapchat, the former definitely marches ahead. However, the latter is no less effective in helping you achieve a higher engagement rate. Instagram allows you to add several photos to a single post. 

A major difference between Facebook and Snapchat is the former is quicker in adding value to community whereas, the latter creates and enhances value of your post among your friends, fans and followers. 

What are the unique features of social media platforms for business marketing?

Instagram has the following features:

Instagram Shopfronts: It allows the users to add their website URL.

Instagram Analytics: Instagram has no in-built analytics. However, it makes up for that by offering detailed analysis through third-party services, such as Simply Measured or Sprout Social.

Instagram Ads: Introduced through Faccebook Ad Manager, this ad facility increases visibility, engagement, traffic flow and conversion rate.

Geofilters: It is a unique feature on Instagram. The feature allows users to share their current location without mentioning the exact geographic location from where they are using the app. It is an excellent tool for business marketing though the feature’s availability is limited to only a few places. 

Facebook

Facebook is the KING on social media platforms. This app has several unique and exciting features that are almost missing on other social media sites.

Facebook Cards: Facebook designed this unique marketing tool along with Moo.com, which offers printing service. It allows you to print a FB card with promotional offers on 16pt stock paper. It includes your profile pictures, cover photo and contact details. The output looks like your business profile.

Invite Email Contacts: Facebook has this feature under the ‘Build Audience’ tab in the ‘Admin’ panel. You can use the feature to invite email contacts to like your business page. The task can be accomplished through Mailchimp, iCloud, Constant Contact or by email providers. The upper cap on the number of invited contacts is 5000.

Liberal Add Exchange: It helps the add developers make money by showing ads on cellphone screens.

Detailed Analytics: Facebook has installed this option under the ‘Posts’ tab to help you get a detailed analytical report of the audiences, engagement and posts. It helps you to assess success of your brand and do the necessary changes in your posts. 

Pages to Watch: It is meant to monitor your business competitors’ pages. You can keep a watch on five competitor pages and view the new likes on your pages. 

Facebook Messenger for Business: Facecbook has added this new feature on Messenger. The feature lets buyers ask questions while shopping or even notify the seller if the product is defective. Facebook Messenger allows to share 360-degrees photos and High Definition videos of 1080p or more with both Android and iOS users. This feature really helps the video makers.

Twitter

Twitter has an array of unique features to offer long-term benefits to the users:

‘Go Live’ Button for Periscope: Twitter has acquired Periscope that lets you see a ‘go live’ button while tweeting and directly broadcast them through Twitter. The feature also allows users to amass and publish long-form responses and thoughts through live streaming. 

Uncropped Image: Twitter introduces Uncropped Photo Update along with a new view to display multiple photos. The added facility has surely made the platform more engaging and exciting. 

Anti-Harassment Features: The feature has come into being after Twitter took some serious steps against threats and harassment. These features include:

  • Bold functionality for blocking, muting, and reporting abuse
  • Clear definition of abusive behaviour in Twitter’s terms of service
  • Launched Twitter Safety Centre

Native GIF Search: Use GIFs to share your thoughts. Posts with GIF will result into 55% more engagement. Let that sink in!

Snapchat

Self-destruct: It is the most exciting feature of Snapshot. Shared elements stay just a few seconds and vanish thereafter. 

Scores: Snapchat has many exclusive and appealing features. A score is awarded under Snapcode after equating the number of stories posted, snaps received and sent and other activities. People use this feature to increase their score. Higher score helps you promote your business.

Snapstreak: It’s another feature of Snapchat. The feature displays emojis next to Snapchat names on the chat screen. It means you have chatted with your friend within 24 hours for more than one successive day.

Snapcode: Snapcodes are scannable. You can use it to add new friends. As soon as you click on the ghost icon that appears on the top of the camera screen, snapcode will appear on your profile screen. 

Filters: Fun elements are the most appealing feature of Snapchat. It adds a filter to the snap to jazz them.

Lenses: The feature allows you to add sounds and real-time special effects to snaps.

Top Strategies to Be Followed for Effective Business Marketing on Social Media (Platform-Wise)

Do you know the implication of June 30th? It is Social Media Day celebrated all over the world. However, when it comes to business exposure and traffic targeting, each day should be celebrated as the social media day, given its importance in building brand images and driving sales. 

Business marketing through social media depends on three fundamental elements – Knowledge, Right Strategy and Valuable Content.

In the following section, we will discuss how you can make a smart use of the above elements to develop a social media marketing strategy and transform your business into a reputed brand by unleashing the power of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  

Facebook

According to the terms of service, anyone aged 13 years or more can open an account on Facebook only if he/she has a valid email address. The age-wise demography of Facebook users is really important to develop a solid marketing strategy. You should create a youth-centric strategy. Teenagers spend a lot of time on Facebook. Therefore, targeting their ads will bring more attention to your business. However, Facebook is now popular with among middle-aged people as well.

A strong Facebook marketing strategy includes the followings:

  • An identifiable profile pic
  • A regularly maintained company account
  • Consistency among profile CTAs, posts and cover photos
  • An “About Us” section that explains your company mission and vision
  • Customized organic posts
  • Properly used multimedia posts
  • Immediate responses to queries and messages
  • Set timings of  positing 
  • Don’t post too much and/or too often

Also use Facebook Advertising to increase the reach of your Facebook contents to your target traffic.

Twitter

Twitter offers plenty of opportunities to optimize your business growth. For that to happen, you need to adopt the following marketing strategies:

  • Post “Thank You”. 25% of Twitter users will follow you back after you thank them.
  • Search for micro and major influencers. Interact with your followers regularly to achieve micro-influencer marketing.
  • Optimize your Twitter Bio
  • Use images, GIFs and videos
  • Announce special offers for users
  • Tweet on a regular basis, like tweets and retweet
  • Follow relevant and popular hashtags/trends
  • Use Hootsuite for track likes and mentions
  • Use promoted tweets
  • Make a combination strategy of how to use Twitter along with other marketing endeavour
  • Track success of your marketing effort by using Twitter Analytics

You can enhance your brand presence and grow the base of your followers on Twitter by integrating the above-mentioned points in your marketing strategy.

Instagram

  • Feel the pulse of your target audience
  • Compose a story with right captions and photos
  • Organize some interesting contests
  • Collaborate with both major and micro-influencers of your business niche
  • Use Instagram ads for your target audience

Adapt and apply the afore-mentioned strategies so that users can immediately recognize your images, engage into meaningful communication and stay connected. It will help:

  • Boost traffic flow
  • Increase sales chart
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Enhance branded hashtag mentions  

Snapchat

Snapchat is ideal for real-time social media marketing. You should do the followings:

  • Provide quick access to live events
  • Post personalized contents
  • Take people on a ride behind the scenario 
  • Hold contests 
  • Interact with influencers 

Each of these social media platforms is a vehicle to take your business miles ahead of what it is currently now. It is possible through brand creation and recognition and drawing audiences’ attention. Success of your marketing effort hinges on how optimally you can use the distinct features of these popular social media sites. Keep in mind that each of these can benefit you in a unique way and you stand to gain from your smart presence on each platform. 

Though none of them is a twin to another, still they take a leaf out of their competitors’. For example, Instagram introduced stories or snaps, which are originally the ideas of Snapchat. Similarly, both Facebook and Twitter allow users to post several image in one post. 

If it comes to collaboration with micro-influencers or influencers of your business niche, these four platforms are more or less equally important. Hashtags, effective CTAs and sharing leads are important on all platforms for engagement initiation and proliferation. 

Challenges on Social Media Platforms

Facebook

Here are some big challenges to face on Facebook:

  • How to map the topic of the post? If you post frequently or choose some boring contents, it will produce an adverse effect on your brand image.
  • How to meet the consumers’ expectation in terms of response time? According to researches, many consumers complain on Facebook and expect quick response to their query (within 60 minutes).

Twitter

When we are talking about challenges, these are definitely not same on Facebook and Twitter. What is the difference between Facebook and Twitter on this parameter? Let’s us discuss these:

  • Rules and regulations in relation to security and privacy are complex.
  • Twitter often falls prey to bad press and it may negatively affect your brand’s reputation. 
  • It makes your business grow but only at a snail’s pace.

Instagram

Some of the greatest challenges on Twitter involve:

  • Building the position and/or retaining the status as the most reliable and reputed brand on Instagram 
  • Searching your followers and build your brand’s presence 
  • Interaction with your band and building a stronger community 
  • Making followers/users use your services

Snapchat

It’s really funny and equally challenging to cope with this app. These challenges include:

  • You will find it tricky to find out whether or not a snap has sound
  • The platform neither looks nor feels professional
  • You will not feel it easy to identify what to share and when to share
  •  The platform may not be suitable for your followers

Like businesses, social media platforms are struggling to maintain their status. The greatest challenge that businesses face while building and retaining their presence on social media platforms is (topic aping or limited characters).  

Instagram vs. Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Snapchat: Cost of Ads

Facebook

You have to spend $0.16 to $1.00+ on every click for Facebook ads. The expenses depend on the niche of industry as well as the ad quality and size of target audience. It is not a very high figure. A whopping number of businesses – more than 1.5 billion – have already switched to mobile marketing and of them, 92% use Facebook ads.

Twitter

Twitter offers three kinds of advertising options:

  • Promoted tweets,
  • Promoted trends
  • Promoted accounts

The cost of promoted accounts and promoted tweets can cost you anything from $.50 – $4.00 per engagement whereas promoted trends will make you cough out $200,000 per day. 

Clicking, retweeting, tweeting or favouring paid tweets and ads will cost you $.50 – $2.00. However, the figure depends on your targets. You have to pay $1.35 per engagement for local campaigns. 

Instagram

Instagram gets you 2.5 times more clicks on your posts than ads on other three social media sites. Therefore, it’s a great idea to use Instagram ads on carousal, stories, images and videos. Is Instagram better than Facebook if you want to cut corners with social media marketing cost? As Instagram offers the advantages of impressing targeting capacity and higher CTR, Instagram advertising is more expensive than cost of ads on Facebook and Twitter. 

  • 97% lift in ad recall
  • 16-point average ad recall lift
  • 7x higher Nielsen ad recall vs. other study data

Snapchat

Compared to other social media platforms, Snapchat advertising is little more expensive. However, it’s worth your expenses as the swipe-up rate on Snapchat is five times greater than the average CTR on other platforms. The lowest figure for Snap ad campaigns is $10,000/month. 

The costs of Snapshot sponsored lenses are as follows:

  • From Sunday to Thursday – $450,000 per day
  • For Fridays – $450,000 per day
  • For Special Events or Holidays – $700,000+ 

If we use users, ad revenue and growth as parameters to compare these social media platforms, Facebook definitely dominate the show. You should compare the costs and potential return on each platform before investing money for post promotion. 

Facebook is cheaper than Instagram. However, Instagram has already integrated Facebook Ad Manager to simplify PPC ad services for businesses. 

Instagram ads are costlier than Twitter ads. Snpachat has a unique feature of cost variation on different dates, which will help you plan your ad placements in comparison to those on Instagram or Twitter. Of all four, Facebook is the cheapest platform and Snapchat is the costliest one.

Important Facts about Instagram

Users spend – on an average – 53 minutes every day on Instagram. A study by Simply Measured revealed that 85 million top brands now use social media for their business growth and most of them choose Instagram over other social media platforms.

Important Facts about Facebook

As per research, using visual content for Facebook business campaign can generate 65% more engagement in a month.

Of all Facebook posts, 20% are based on tagging others, sharing others’ posts and promotion of other business events whereas 10% of posts are purely promotional, displaying sales or discounts. 

Important Facts about Twitter

If it comes to cost-per-engagement, Twitter ads having videos are 50% cheaper. Every day, 2 billion videos on Twitter are watched. Using videos for promotion will give a solid boost to your business recognition and growth. When it comes to looking at ads, Twitter users spend 26% more time than other social media users.

Important Facts about Snapchat

What is the difference between Instagram and Snapchat? There are so many. Stories last only for 24 hours on Snapchat. These actually refer to a thread of snaps used to build a video narrative. More than 210 million snaps are created every day on Snapchat though 60% of users skip ads on this platform. Therefore, giving ads on Snapchat might not be a brilliant idea as it is on other platforms.