Whether you’re a brand or an influencer, you want the answer to this question. If you’re a brand, you want to know which platform will help you reap the most benefits for influencer partnerships (hint: it’s where your target audience and personas spend the most time). If you’re an influencer or influencer-in-the-making, you want to know where to begin to maximize your efforts or expand upon existing efforts.
Not all social networks are created equal when it comes to reaching the right audience on a consistent basis. So, which one should you use when you’re looking to deliver your content, and even monetize it along the way? We’ve rounded up the five best platforms for social media influencers.
Active user count: 2.2 billion
What’s not ideal: Facebook is the most widely used social network today. With such a wide audience posting a vast array of content, many influencers find it difficult to promote themselves on the same platform used by big brands to promote their businesses, as well as grandmas looking for a place to keep photos of their grandkids. And with Facebook’s recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, some users are jumping ship for what they see as less-corrupt platforms for their content.
Why you should use it: Although Facebook certainly has its troubles, an audience of more than 2 billion is nothing to sniff at. While Facebook could certainly improve the visibility of its ads and make it easier for influencers to promote content, it still offers the widest potential audience out there.
Whom you should follow: Influential pages like Humans of New York, Upworthy, and The New Yorker have all hacked the formula for getting content noticed on Facebook, thanks to a steady stream of new, carefully curated and organized posts, high-caliber video content, and high-profile followers.
How to get your message noticed: Go for quality, not quantity, and put paid behind posts and campaigns you’re particularly excited about. Make sure your branding is consistent. Users should immediately–as they scroll through their ever-more-saturated feeds–know that a post is yours. The copy and visuals should make it obvious.
Especially for videos, where you want to optimize your retention rate as well as view rate, you need to make sure your titles and captions are appealing and accurate, and give viewers an idea of what they’ll be getting into when they begin consuming the content (and eventually engaging with it).
Likes, shares, and interactions are surefire ways to expand brand awareness, boost your follower count, and increase the audience to which your message is delivered—especially with the new Facebook algorithm, which prioritizes actively consumed content vs. passively consumed content.
Active user count: 800 million
What’s not ideal: Instagram’s implementation of the non-chronological feed means it has been difficult for burgeoning influencers to get their content noticed on the platform.
Why you should use it: Luckily, Instagram has promised to tweak the non-chronological feed, making it easier for influencers to have their content rise to the top, even when their follower counts are still low. And, considering the ease of posting to Instagram, and how easy this visual medium makes it to find partnership opportunities, it’s still the cream of the crop when it comes to promoting your content.
By leveraging features like multiple photos and videos in a single post, tagging, linking, and a capacity for substantial amounts of text, buildings like San Francisco’s 181 Fremont have been able to get their highly-visual content out to a much wider audience than they would have on a less versatile platform.
Whom you should follow: While Kim Kardashian West is one of the more obvious influencers on Instagram, with 109 million followers, less-mainstream Insta celebs (like fitness pro Kayla Itsines, who boasts 9.3 million followers, thanks to her regular weight loss and exercise posts; and former Lucky Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen, who chronicles her life and fashion choices to her 866,000 followers) have also been able to leverage the highly-visual medium to great success.
Jumping on trending hashtags can get your content out to a wide audience in no time. To identify the right hashtags for your brand, use a Listening solution.
If you can get your content shared by influencers by offering cross-promotion or by teaming up for partnerships with more-followed accounts, you can also increase your follower counts and open yourself up to sponsorship opportunities.
Active user count: 330 million
What’s not ideal: Twitter is still, without a doubt, one of the most popular ways to get the latest information on the internet, but as people increasingly turn to the platform for breaking news, the opportunities for influencers seem to be faltering.
Why you should use it: Twitter’s brevity-based formula still works—just ask its 330 million active users. Better yet, Twitter’s trending hashtags are among the easiest ways to get your content noticed on a timely basis.
Whom you should follow: Big celebrities, like Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Barack Obama all have millions of followers, while comedians like Megan Amram and Julieanne Smolinski have developed major followings in recent years, and their content is regularly repurposed in editorial pieces.
How to get your message noticed: While it’s nice to believe that your humor or political savvy will make you stand out in the crowded Twitter landscape, having that work for you is easier said than done. Instead, jumping on trending hashtags, engaging in conversations with influencers, and opting for sponsored tweets whenever possible will help your content rise to the top.
Active user count: 1.5 billion
What’s not ideal: While YouTube has been heralded as an easy way for influencers to get their content out there, it has one fatal flaw: creating videos is a lot more production-intensive than simply tweeting out your message. Not everyone has the on-camera skills necessary to make themselves stand out on the platform, and with YouTube taking 45 percent of any influencer’s profits, you need to rack up a pretty big following to earn any serious money.
Why you should use it: Much like Instagram, YouTube’s visually-driven medium still appeals to a huge number of people who would be less likely to get behind a more text-heavy platform. And when it comes to partnership opportunities, YouTube is still a major money-maker for its stars, who can show off their plush free goodies and earn their partners—and sometimes, themselves—millions in the process.
Whom you should follow: Influencers like Bethany Mota, who has over 10.5 million subscribers, make a clear case for YouTube’s path to success. Mota, who vlogs about everything from DIY projects to crushes, has successfully monetized her channel, earning herself an estimated six-figure salary from her vlogs alone each year.
How to get your message noticed: While the YouTube landscape is already heavily saturated with influencers, teaming up with high-profile influencers by having them review your products, cross-promote your content, or link back to your page can help you grow your follower counts exponentially, a strategy leveraged by stars like Kim Kardashian West and NikkieTutorials.