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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 02, 2016

Expert: Why differences between socnets matter

Recently, a report made round citing the difference B2B brands were finding between social networks LinkedIn and Instagram - primarily, that Instagram was a better engager than the business-minded social network. One expert weighs in on the importance, for brands, to know their social network.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are the three main differences between Instagram and LinkedIn?

Brad O'Brien, Senior Director of Paid Social, 3Q Digital: First, the type of content. Instagram is visual, while LinkedIn is largely longer-form written content. It's easier to 'like' an image than it is to read, consider and engage with a longer-form piece of content on LinkedIn.

Then, screen time. 59% of Instagram users check the platform daily, compared with just 22% for LinkedIn. The more you use a platform, the more likely you are to engage.

And, the mechanics of engagement. Instagram lets you like a photo with a double-tap, but LinkedIn requires a little more work; whether it's a comment, or a share. Engagement on LinkedIn is also shared with a user's professional network and create an 'impression' of that user to their network, whereas Instagram likes and comments aren't easily seen by a user's connections.

Kristina: TrackMaven's recent report indicates that, specifically for B2B brands, Instagram may hold more engagement than LinkedIn. Why is that?

Brad: I'm not surprised at all to see higher B2B engagement rates on Instagram vs. LinkedIn. Users access each of these platforms for different reasons and for varying durations; Instagram users, for example, are much more likely to check in on their timelines multiple times in the day as opposed to most LinkedIn users, who might do so only a few times a week. Then there's the very nature of engagement on the two platforms; a 'like' on Instagram is much easier to give than a comment or a share on LinkedIn, given that a user would typically need to read through LinkedIn content before interacting with it.

Kristina: In the broad scope, does this mean B2B brands should abandon LinkedIn?

Brad: Absolutely not. Engagement on LinkedIn isn't low, it's just not as high when compared with Instagram. Instead, B2B brands should look at these results and carefully consider their measurement techniques when evaluating marketing strategies. Are their objectives and results in line with what those platforms can deliver? Or are they comparing apples to oranges by holding engagement rates for two platforms side by side?

More from 3Q Digital tomorrow, including how brands can better use Instagram and LinkedIn for business.

Tags: 3Q Digital, Instagram, LinkedIn, social marketing, social marketing trends

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