On the surface, it looks like brands should allocate their social media investments based on each platform’s size. In that case, social media managers should spend most of their efforts on Facebook (with 1.55 billion monthly active users) and devote a fraction to Instagram and Twitter (400 million and 320 million MAU respectively). However, L2 data on social media usage in nine countries (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Brazil, Russia, Canada, South Korea, and Japan) tells a different story. Despite Facebook’s enormous size, YouTube and Instagram command the largest shares of consumers’ social interaction on social platforms. Close to 60% of total consumer interaction on social media occurs on YouTube, and 34.6% of those interactions are Instagram likes and comments. Twitter, accounts for just 0.5% of consumers’ total social media interactions.
Smart brands adapt their strategy accordingly. Although late to the game, Chanel has evolved has evolved its creative strategy to leverage Instagram’s organic reach. Once focused on just YouTube and Facebook, Chanel’s Instagram posts account for 13% of all consumer social media interaction with the brand. Meanwhile, in the wake of Facebook’s shift to a pay-to-play strategy, the platform’s share of total consumer interaction with the brand has dropped from 14% to 8%. YouTube remains strong, bolstered by strong creative and complementary television ads: Chanel has the highest share of organic views on the platform.
Christian Louboutin has also shifted its social media strategy to take advantage of Instagram’s organic reach potential while it lasts. As a first-mover to the platform, the brand has almost completely anchored its social media strategy on Instagram – where 85% of consumers’ social interaction with the brand occurs. Facebook’s share of interactions with the brand has dwindled since 2012, from 63% between September 2012 and 2013 to 22% between 2013 and 2014. As of now, Facebook accounts for just 14% of social interactions with Louboutin. As a result of this shift in resources and priorities, Christian Louboutin is able to rely almost entirely on organic posts for its social media presence.
In sum, Instagram is where brands need to be in order to reap the organic benefits of social media. Facebook should be treated as television – a platform with enormous potential, but only as far as the brand budget stretches. Twitter, with low interaction and small size, is where brands can afford to underinvest.
Members can view full presentation here.