Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are arguably the three most popular social media sites at the moment. There are approximately 2 billion Facebook users, 330 million Twitter users, and 800 million Instagram users. All three platforms advertise and promote content on their sites. As a user of all three platforms, I have noticed that they all have different methods of promoting content, some methods being more effective, in my opinion, than others.
Twitter, to begin with, promotes their content through “promoted tweets”. When one is scrolling through Twitter, these promoted tweets will pop up in your feed. At the bottom of the tweet, it shows a yellow arrow, followed by “promoted by [company name]”. Twitter also occasionally promotes hashtags that are accompanied by the yellow arrow, as well as promoting certain pages in the “Who to follow” section. These are the only three methods that Twitter uses to promote advertisements. In my experience, promoted ads do not pop up on my timeline very frequently, leading me to believe that Twitter does not want to overload its users with promoted content. Therefore, I do not believe their promotion methods are very effective due to the fact that they rarely show up in user’s feeds.
Instagram has a slightly similar method of promoting advertisements. Instagram also inserts promoted content into the feed of Instagram users. When something is promoted on Instagram, it appears in your feed with the word “Sponsored” in place of the location. In my opinion, sponsored posts appear in the Instagram feed much more often than promoted posts do on twitter. Also, these sponsored posts are harder to spot because the “Sponsored” label is small and hard to spot. There have been many times that I have mistaken a sponsored post for my normal Instagram feed. Therefore, I believe it is possible that these posts are more effective due to the fact that they are somewhat disguised, leading users to give them more attention because they believe they are a normal part of their feed. Also, unlike Twitter, many Instagram ads are targeted at users based on their past search history, which causes them to catch the user’s eye since the user has already shown interest in the product or service.
Lastly, Facebook has a slightly more complex method of promoting content. Facebook uses several different ways to promote their ads. Facebook, like Instagram and Twitter, inserts ads into the user’s feeds. Ads are also included along the right side of the page.Facebook also promotes certain products from it’s Marketplace, a feature that allows users to sell items to other users. Lastly, Facebook promotes ads in the middle of Facebook videos. This is ingenious because it allows viewers to get hooked on the video, but then before they can finish the video, they must watch the advertisement. As a user, I hate this feature, but as a marketer, it is an amazing way to promote content.
After analyzing the ways in which Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram promote advertisements, I believe that Facebook does the best job of this. Their use of multiple methods and the mid-video advertisements make it a winner for me. If I were to advertise on one of the platforms, I would definitely pick Facebook because I believe its ads catch the eye more effectively. Ideally, the best way to advertise on Facebook, would, in my opinion, be the mid-video ads. Overall, all platforms have different methods of promotion and different people to promote to, but generally, Facebook does the best job and has the most options.