By Erin Minty
It’s that time of year again! The time when our favorite celebrities dress up and hit the red carpet in hopes of nabbing the coveted Best Actor or Actress award. The time when we watch films we’ve otherwise barely heard of, only to join the conversation surrounding the Best Picture nominees.
Award season comes toward the beginning of every year, but this year, instead of talking about who was best dressed, we’re talking about the best social media networks. Which networks have the best qualities for you? Which one will take home the top spot? Read on to find out!
Facebook – Best Brand Awareness
The Meryl Streep of Social Networks, Facebook has been winning all the top spots for years. With the most users of any social media network, you have the opportunity to reach the right people on a larger scale.
Facebook also has the most comprehensive targeting, so you’ll be sure to get your content in the News Feeds of people you want to reach, without wasting time on people irrelevant to your brand. Although organic reach seems to be phasing out, further updates to Facebook (including Instant Articles, Virtual Reality and a Siri-like Facebook M) ensure that the platform will remain incredibly relevant to brands, businesses and consumers for years to come.
After all, if you don’t have a Facebook page in 2016, do you even exist?
Pinterest – Best Long-Term Investment
For brands without a comprehensive social media plan, Pinterest is a great investment. Though promoted pins were announced back in 2014, the site has made great leaps in creating an easy environment to connect consumers with products. With buyable pins and click-to-website products, Pinterest is a great way to get your product in front of new sets of eyes. Plus, Pinterest has already rolled out some fun changes in 2016, such as a new way of viewing your most recent pins.
But the best thing about Pinterest is that it doesn’t require an incredibly active team. Pins live forever, and they will continue to be relevant as people click, share and re-pin them for years to come. So instead of updating your pages every week (or two or three times a week), you can put a pin up whenever you feel it’s necessary.
Twitter – Best Real-Time Content
When people turn to the Internet during big events (award shows, sports games, political debates), which social network do they use? Twitter!
With the ease of participating in any ongoing conversation, Twitter is the best place to stay up-to-date. But it’s also the best network for inserting yourself into a conversation and gaining some brand awareness. Real-Time Content is a game-changer when it comes to social media and a great chance to put your company’s name in the headlines. And with the addition of Twitter Moments this year, it’s even easier to get a new set of eyes on your content.
With Twitter’s major overhaul of executives, it’s safe to say that 2016 will bring a slew of new and exciting changes to keep brands (and their followers) on their toes.
Snapchat – Best Creative Opportunity
Snapchat started as a quick and fun way for friends to communicate. It has since branched out in every possible direction. Now Snapchat is used as a way to celebrate worldwide events, share information and news in real-time and create incredible brand transparency. No wonder it’s a favorite among millennial users!
But one of the best things about Snapchat is that it’s still a fairly new network for brand use. This is a great opportunity to be creative and blaze a new trail. In the last few months, Snapchat has all but declared itself the master of video ads, so it’s safe to assume that next year will include even more big changes in targeting and more.
Many media executives have named Snapchat “the one to watch” for 2016, so next year this social site might just win Best Network.
Instagram – Best Social Network of the Year
While Instagram may not be as commonly used as Facebook from a brand perspective, the changes made over the course of 2015 make it a clear winner for Best Social Network of the Year.
In the last few months, Instagram introduced ads, first on an exclusive basis, and then to brands of all sizes. They’ve incorporated carousel ads and made purchasing ads on Instagram the must-do for 2016.
Instagram also gets rid of the pesky problem for which people are getting tired of Facebook — the feeling that they are constantly looking at ads. Because ads on Instagram look just like creative content produced by users, agencies and brands have a much larger opportunity to get creative.
Looking back at how much has changed on the network in 2015 alone, we can expect even bigger and better things moving forward.
Congratulations Instagram! Which social network do you think was the best of the year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!