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What’s Hot and Not in the World of Social Media Apps

After an insanely busy month, I started catching up on my reading last week, and an article on engagement and usage of social media apps caught my eye. I used it as a jumping off point for two lists – which social media apps are not hot and which are not – along with tips on how to make the most of each platform.


What’s hot and not in the world of social media apps


This post is based on a Hubspot survey of 1,200 marketers around the world. The data is focused entirely on the platforms that are generating engagement and ROI for the marketing campaigns they are running. In other words, this data isn’t consumer-focused, it’s marketing-focused. 


And though every business is different, the data serve as valuable benchmarks. 


For example, the top six platforms that generate the most ROI for marketers are:


  1. Instagram (25%)
  2. Facebook (23%)
  3. YouTube (14%)
  4. TikTok (12%)
  5. LinkedIn (11%)
  6. Twitter (6%)


Notice that Snapchat isn’t on the list, nor are two other platforms that I completely forgot about (thought I do mention them below). I did my own research on Snapchat and threw in what I know about LinkedIn and Twitter to give you a more complete look at eight social media channels. 


So off we go.


The Hot List




Why it’s hot: Instagram gets top marks for

  • Highest ROI and engagement of all the major platform
  • Most built-out selling features
  • The best ROI, engagement, and lead generation levels for video


Who uses it: It remains the domain of Gen Z and Millennials. 


Instagram marketing tip: Static posts (images, graphics) definitely have a place on Instagram, but video is where it’s at. If you don’t already, use Reels and video posts for a few months. You should see a nice bump in engagement levels. 




Why it’s hot: Gen X and Baby Boomers practically live on the app.


Who uses it: Besides “old people” (remember – I’m a Gen Xer – just repeating what my kids say), Millennials use it too.


Facebook marketing tip: This is the only social media app you must advertise on to get seen. Creativity is key. Video ads are great, but I’d also give Canvas ads a try (note – the page is a mess – nice job Meta). They are a more immersive experience that combine several different ad types.




Why it’s hot: TikTok seems to be unstoppable. It has the highest engagement rate of all major platforms, and “old people” (see above) are increasingly joining the app.


Who uses it: Gen Z (far more than any other platform), with Millennials and Gen Xers starting to dabble in it.


TikTok marketing tip: If you are not already using this app, spend time on it before creating your first TikTok. Look up businesses who are similar to yours to see what they are posting and what’s getting engagement. Only then will you have a good idea of what to post. 


Did you know? Users can post their resumes and apply to jobs under the hashtag #TikTokResumes. Gen Z has embraced this new feature like crop tops and baggy jeans. 




Why it’s hot: This is the one platform that everyone uses – Gen Z through Boomers. Video marketers say it has the second highest engagement rate (after Instagram).


Who uses it: Everyone.


YouTube marketing tip: YouTube is basically a search engine, so you need to optimize your videos if you want them to appear in search – just like you do for your blog posts. Spend time writing attention-grabbing titles and integrating keywords in your description and the video itself. 


The Not List




Why it’s not: Think about LinkedIn from a marketing perspective. Does it deliver a ROI you can be proud of? I have no scientific evidence to prove this, but I think LinkedIn’s ROI numbers suck because their metrics are shitty (What’s working? What’s not? Who knows?) and company pages are completely buried in the news feed.


Don’t count it out: It’s the only platform that is specifically business-oriented, but still. Its problems would be easy to fix if the people running it paid any attention. 




Why it’s not: Scroll back up to the top of this post for a reminder that Twitter has the worst ROI of all major platforms. As we all know, its team was decimated when that world class idiot, Elon Musk, bought it and drove everyone out, and it is extremely noisy (aka, hard to stand out). I don’t know many people who still use it. 


Don’t count it out: Twitter was the world’s first and only town square, and it could still make a comeback.


I completely forgot the next two apps exist, which helps explain why they are both on the not list. But they were important to include because one could make a comeback and the other’s decline is indicative of a bigger trend. 




Why it’s not: This microblogging and social networking site has terrible visitor numbers. Only 11% of Millennials and 10% of Gen Zers have visited the app in the last three months.


Don’t want to count it out: Gen Z is using it – 64% of new users in 2022 were under 24 years old. TikTok went from nothing to everything via this cohort, and if they continue to adopt Tumblr, well, bright skies could be ahead. 




Why it’s not: Trends are not working in its favor. This is a live-streaming app, but total hours watched across all live-streaming apps is down. If live streaming is going away, there’s no hope for this app.


One final, interesting takeaway


Across the board, marketers surveyed by Hubspot said that social media posts on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays get the most engagement. (LinkedIn remains Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.)


What do you think of my hot and not lists?


And do you have any other questions about social media apps? You can always drop me a line here


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