Some three years back, Twitter was a leading force in the social media marketing world. Marketers flooded to the quick-paced platform to get their content out in front of millions of people. Fast forward to today and Twitter is still very popular, but the network is not as dominant as it used to be and one of the causes of this, is the availability of the current giant social media app, Instagram.
As a business owner planning to take your business to the social media space, one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself is this one — Should my business be on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?
Those three social media sites offer considerable opportunities to connect and engage with a network, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your site. But they’re also extremely different in terms of purpose.
Ultimately, Twitter is used to share ideas, real-time information, and trending news. While people may also use Twitter to connect with friends and family, they largely use it for a bigger purpose — to connect to the wider world as a whole, and hear what’s happening. And then, Instagram is used to share photos and videos. People mainly use this app to post their “highlight reel” and follow influencers. This is where people become a part of a social media community.
The Twitter vs Instagram argument has been a very interesting one. Lots of big brands are beginning to shift their marketing prowess from Twitter to Instagram. Presently, Instagram is where consumers live. But does that suddenly make Twitter irrelevant?
Well, not necessarily. But, we’ve created a comprehensive breakdown of these two giant social networks and we hope to help you get a clearer picture of which one is better for your brand.
Looking at the Numbers
As we know pretty well that statistics can give you a lot of insight to help you determine which social network is best for you & your business. However, you shouldn’t make your decision only on these numbers, but they’ll definitely give you great headway.
TWITTER STATISTICS INSTAGRAM STATISTICS
316 million monthly users 400 million monthly active users
80% of active users on mobile 40 billion photos shared
77% of users outside the U.S 80 million photos on average per day
500 million Tweets sent per day 3.6 billion likes per day
Even though Twitter has been around longer than Instagram, Instagram surpassed Twitter’s number of monthly active users. These statistics alone has made more businesses show interest in the social network.
Although in terms of posts being shared, Twitter leads the way as there are more than 500 million Tweets sent out per day compared to 80 million photos posted per day on Instagram.
DEMOGRAPHICS (WHO ARE THE AUDIENCES?)
When you look at their demographics, you’ll notice that the two social networks both have identical audiences in age, income, education level, and even location.
To start, let’s consider the potential demographic your business could reach on each platform
The main age group of users for both networks is 18-34. From age 40 and above, the number of users starts to drop significantly. Although, this is not likely going to be the case in some 10 years from now. These two networks are particularly popular among people in their 20s who are either in college or have recently graduated.
If you’re after a younger social group of internet users, you’d better get on either of these platforms. The two networks have an even divide in gender and location and this gives marketers significantly more reach.
Obviously, the overall demographics for both social networks are pretty evenly matched,
It’s important to determine, how long per day users spend on each platform?
Here’s a quick breakdown — roughly 46% of Twitter users are on the platform daily, and 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day.
Since Twitter is popular with a lot of journalists, politicians, and celebrities, many users turn to Twitter for trending news. In fact, 74% of Twitter users say they use Twitter to get their news.
With all these in mind, if you have quick, easily digestible business tips or news articles you’re eager to share with your audience, Twitter might just be the best social media network for you. For every one million Twitter followers, brands can expect about 300 interactions.
Additionally, people tend to check their Twitter an average of five times per day, On the other hand, when it comes to Instagram, users check the platform six times a day. However, it’s important to note that accounts with fewer followers actually receive more engagements. In fact, accounts with 1,000-5,000 followers typically have a 5% engagement rate. On the other hand, accounts with over 1 million followers, average have a 1.97% engagement rate.
Instagram has the most engaged users of any social network. Instagram focuses on keeping its users glued while they’re browsing with little or no distractions. There are really no clickable links to external sites when scrolling through your timeline. Instagram is able to keep consumers focused on the content that’s being posted, which is a huge advantage for your business, as viewers of your content are not easily distracted.
On the flip side, Twitter is very loud. There are a lot of links to blog posts, news articles, videos, and other content that takes you away from Twitter’s app/site. And this makes it much more difficult to get your followers to see your content and engage with it. Also because Twitter moves so quickly, the lifespan of your Tweets can drastically vary depending on how many other users your followers are following. For instance, if your average follower is following 500 people, as other people start Tweeting, your content will be pushed down further, which can make it go completely unseen in some cases.
While Instagram might have more engagement on the platform, Twitter goes further to build engagement outside of the social network. This is why marketers should think twice about taking their focus away from Twitter. Readers can’t easily share a blog post on Instagram.
When you read our blog posts here, you’ll notice social sharing buttons within the post.
These buttons make it easy for readers to quickly share content across Twitter and other social media sites. That helps promote your content to new people who may not have been aware of you before. Instagram doesn’t have this feature, which is a drawback specifically for content marketing.
Social media engagement for Instagram basically begins and ends in the app. But with Twitter, you can drive engagement outside of the social network by getting people to click on links that will direct people to content on your website and other platforms.
In terms of functionality. Instagram keeps you within the app on purpose while Twitter is essentially a content distribution tool. Though there isn’t very much original content on Twitter, the app primarily consists of people sharing links or live updates. The value of Twitter comes from the content you discover on other sites. This doesn’t mean that either approach is better than the other, they’re just different. Depending on your brand’s goals, one might be more favorable than the other.
For instance, if your brand has an active blog and you have a consistent supply of fresh content that you need to promote, Twitter is a must-have. It’s one of the easiest places to share your content.
However, let’s say you have just a static website, you can share quality content on your Instagram page and put a link to your website on your bio.
We also can’t overlook one of the other key functionalities of Twitter for businesses–customer interaction. Twitter is specially designed for conversations, which is why so many brands use it as a customer service tool. Consumers have also gotten into the habit of using Twitter for customer support and feedback. People aren’t afraid to voice their opinions of companies on Twitter, good or bad.
Instagram doesn’t really have that same functionality. Despite its rapid growth, a lot of companies don’t actively monitor their Instagram accounts like they monitor their Twitter accounts. In fact, most businesses have made it a norm to have dedicated Twitter accounts strictly for support.
If your company sells physical goods or serves the masses (as opposed to a solo consultant for example) then Twitter is going to be important. Twitter gives companies a better way to interact directly with customers than Instagram. That’s also a big reason why Twitter continues to be one of the top social media channels. On the Twitter app, you can quickly communicate in real-time.
Instagram is more focused on the content than customer-to-business interaction. The conversations typically revolve around the Instagram posts instead of customer issues and questions.
So this is it, Twitter is the ‘cocktail party’ of the internet; when stuff is happening in the world, Twitter is where you go. When there is an unfortunate world crisis and breaking news, we run to Twitter for breaking tweets and live news updates.
Understanding the difference between how people use Instagram versus how they use Twitter is extremely important when it comes to deciding which is best for your brand.
Is Instagram the “Twitter killer” that some people claim? Not really. Even though they serve a similar demographic and audience, they have two completely different functions in your marketing strategy. Instagram is a place to publish original content and build your brand. Twitter is a great tool to curate and distribute content, educate, as well as engage and interact with your audience.
You don’t have to choose one over the other. Look for ways to integrate both into your social media strategy and you’ll get much greater results.