As content marketing matures as a strategy, marketers are finding social media strategies morphing into two categories: Facebook and everything else. At least, that’s what the data from HubSpot’s latest State of Inbound report is suggesting. Although that’s not a new trend, it’s very clear that despite a proliferation of social platforms, Facebook’s power is just being reinforced.
In the report, the authors said, “Traditionally, Facebook is known as a personal network while LinkedIn is aimed at professional networking. When asked, 73 per cent of respondents use Facebook for professional reasons, and 56 per cent use LinkedIn for personal reasons.”
They added that emerging social networks like Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine are still mostly seen as personal channels, possibly because very few businesses have figured out how to successfully brand and represent themselves on these networks.
The blurring of Facebook work and LinkedIn life
This analysis makes sense from a customer point of view—all of our professional and personal lives have been merging for years. But why is it that businesses are using Facebook when we have a popular work-related platform like LinkedIn readily available?
Part of it is just the ubiquity of the big blue thumb. In the past two years, social content consumption has increased 57 per cent on Facebook as opposed to only 21 per cent on LinkedIn.
Another reason may be Facebook’s expansion beyond the traditional status update. Facebook video is the second most popular content channel (at 39 per cent, after You Tube) marketers are planning on adding next year.
Certainly one of the key takeaways from the report is that video content, news and social content are all in great demand from consumers, and brands are just starting to respond to that demand.
Social and search
Two of the other fields where Facebook is becoming dominant against traditional players is messaging and search. Even though Facebook’s tying of its Messenger app to the regular mobile app has contributed to the platform’s 1 billion users, it was previously seen as something younger users made use of. But the HubSpot research found growing usage among senior marketers. Perhaps the appeal is privacy: Messaging apps work in a completely closed network, which offers privacy to those using the app to communicate.
Certainly others have noted that messenger apps will become more popular—Pew research says that 36 per cent of current smartphone owners use them, and eMarketer predicts that by 2018, chat app users worldwide will represent 80 per cent of smartphone users.
Similarly, while Google still dominates in search (with Search Engine Land saying the search engine is used for at least 3 billion searches a day), Facebook is gaining ground here too. Tech Crunch reports that Facebook is used for up to 2 billion searches a day, and is gaining ground against the search giant.
To read more of the report, download it at the State of Inbound site.