Facebook and Twitter have long been the go-to social media sites for many brands and businesses. Facebook and Twitter have huge user bases and businesses tend to focus the most on these sites in regards to their social media marketing. That being said, things are always changing in the digital marketing world and social media is no different.

Facebook and Twitter Changes

Facebook recently announced changes to their News Feed algorithms that will greatly reduce the organic reach of most if not all companies on the site. Organic reach is already very low for most companies and conversions are even lower. Twitter has also hinted at filtering the content that is displayed to users.

Reason for Facebook Changes

Facebook states that these changes are being done in an effort to provide a better experience to their users. Facebook has stated that the number of paid ads shown in user’s News Feeds will not increase, however the number of overly promotional posts from brands will be significantly reduced.  Facebook wants users to see content that is more relevant to them and is reacting to feedback gathered from its users. Facebook pledges that the changes to its News Feed will take place in January 2015.

Change Criticisms

Many brands and businesses point out that the changes will reduce the value of brand posts due to the decreased organic reach that they will have. This will force brands to use paid Facebook advertising in order to connect with users on the channel.

Expanding Social Media Efforts

While many believe that Facebook and Twitter are becoming more ineffective for their marketing purposes, it is important to not ditch the websites completely. Facebook and Twitter are still two of the dominant social media platforms and they provide value. Facebook and Twitter will continue to be dominant players in the social media space and businesses should continue to invest in the channels. That being said, it is important that businesses make a shift in their overall social media strategy and start increasing their efforts into other social media channels that they may be under-investing in or ignoring altogether.

Pinterest and Instagram

Companies should look at their social media marketing as more of an ever-growing buffet spread than a pre-selected table. Rather than putting the majority of their focus on Facebook and Twitter, brands and companies should instead expand or increase their efforts and incorporate other social media channels into their marketing mix. Two channels that businesses should focus on are Pinterest and Instagram.

Pinterest and Instagram are among the fastest growing social media channels. More and more users are flocking to these channels everyday and Pinterest has emerged as a social search mainstay.

Pinterest’s content garners top rankings in image search and regular mixed search results alike. Pinterest drives high quality content and intent driven referral traffic, the kind that leads to higher social engagement rates.

Instagram has also recently hit the 300 million active user mark, which now makes it larger than Twitter which has around 284 million users. Users post over 70 million photos and videos daily (Business Insider).

Instagram attracts young audiences that are very valuable to marketers, with more than 70% of users in the 16-34 year-old age range. Facebook, incidentally, has the oldest user base, with 25% of its active users aged 45+. A report from Forrester reports that engagement rates on Instagram are 58X higher than Facebook and 120X higher than Twitter.

Embracing Social Media Expansion

Social media marketing is a big tent and is likely to get even bigger in recent future. Social Media is a complex and expansive environment that works best when it’s highly integrated and inherently inclusive. In order to get the most out of their social media investment, businesses should leave room for: Facebook/Twitter, Pinterest/Instagram, and both organic and paid social media advertising.

We would like to thank Social Media Today for their informative article on Social Media Channels.