In particular, let us consider three of the biggest social sites for marketing – Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. What percentage of companies are utilizing these social networks and what benefits are they getting back? Please note that the figures stated here are taken from May 2015 and only include major brands from the Auto, Fashion, Pet, and Yogurt industries.

Which social media site is seeing the most action from brands in these industries? The interesting fact is that Twitter came out on top with nearly half of the companies not only having a presence but actively using the site during the month. The more surprising figure, however, is that Instagram was more used than Facebook with about one-third of brands posting to the image hosting site as opposed to about one-quarter posting to the world’s largest social network.

Of course, once we look at the engagement stats, it’s clear to see why so many companies are focusing on Instagram. Instagram engagement was anywhere from 5 to 20 times that of the engagement brands were able to generate on Facebook (depending on the specific industry). In fact, one of the most surprising stats was that Twitter, the site companies used most, provided the least engagement. So why is Twitter so popular?

While Instagram is literally just a forum for consumer engagement, Twitter is a place where brands can gauge consumer perception and manage brand reputation. Instagram, on the other hand, really just provides eye candy for the consumer. If your brand is not getting likes, follows, and comments, there is really no other point to having an Instagram presence.

One of the most notable finds of the research on social media marketing is the frequency of cross-posting the same content to multiple social media sites. In fact, this may account for the high rate of Twitter posts despite low engagement. It’s easy for a brand to post all of their Instagram uploads to Twitter at the same time, but consumers seem more apt to respond to pictures on an image site. The same thing holds true with longer text content that may be shared between Facebook and Twitter, since the Twitter post can really only contain a link to the Facebook content.