It's a long-debated topic, and will continue to be... what social media platform is any given follower the most valuable to you on?
This might be controversial, but as of right now, May 2017, we're going to say it's the most worthwhile to have any given follower on Facebook, than any other social media platform. Yes, a Facebook follower right now is worth more to you from a marketing standpoint, than a follower on Twitter or Instagram.
Why would we say that?
1. Facebook currently has by far, the largest amount of users. It's on track to reach 2 billion users, this year. By comparison, Instagram has less than a third of that, around 600 million, and Twitter has around 300 million. As a matter of fact, as a side note, Tumblr has significantly more users than Twitter does right now, at 500 million. By user metrics alone, you hypothetically have the best chance of reaching the largest audience on Facebook.
2. On Facebook, you can do considerably more with any given post, than on Instagram and Twitter, practically infinitely more-so, right now. On Facebook, you can include just about as much text content as you want, as many external links as you want, individual photos, photo albums of practically unlimited sizes, videos, it allows the ability for multiple sorts of reactions from users, the list goes on and on. Instagram is nice, in that it's comparatively easy to build a large following on (in large party because it's less commitment from a follower's side, and less personal), but you're constrained by your text being almost immediately truncated, short video length, no ability to post external links (how many times can you read "See link in bio", and actually go check it out?) On Twitter, you're limited to 140 characters, and a photo or video or link will start directly eating into that limit. So judging on a metric of how can your followers engage with you? Facebook, by far, gives them the greatest opportunity to interact with you, in the largest ways possible.
3. Which brings us to our third point, Facebook users are accustomed to significantly longer engagement times, categorically - and they're becoming even more-so. Instagram largely consists of scrolling through photos at an athletic pace - you might have a person who's actually interested in your post see it for a matter of seconds, then move on to the next photo - the most interaction you might get is a "Like", and maybe a comment, which is sort of awkwardly presented on Instagram's side. As for Twitter, the users are more engaged with individual posts than Instagram, but again, it's for such short lengths of time, it puts Facebook ahead of the pack, significantly. Using the metric of who is most engaged on any social media platform right now - Facebook users are far-and-away in the lead.
This can also be gauged in almost a sense of social media exchange rate. It's not uncommon to see Instagram and Twitter accounts with astronomical amounts of followers. Part of that is because followers on those platforms are much easier to get - a less engaged audience, on lesser used platforms, seeing less individual content, that you don't even have to use your actual name on. What you don't see as much is inordinately large followings on Facebook, because people are on it more.
We're willing to guess that if you're reading this right now, and you have a Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account representing an online presence - you likely have less followers on Facebook than the other two. The reason being, on Facebook, a follower has to really, actually like whatever you're promoting, to make the sort of commitment to almost bring you into their online life. Instagram and Twitter are great, but they've almost taken on a more public and less serious model than Facebook has. If you get a follower on Facebook, it will be worth more than one anywhere else - just make sure you retain them, and create content that they'll want to engage with.
To be clear, growing a significant following on any social media platform that's well engaged is worth an inordinate amount to you, as a marketer. Having a solid social media presence has quickly become the standard of any business represented online. However, you can do the most with a follower on Facebook, than anywhere else, right now.