Promoting your business through social media is essential in today's marketing landscape: it has the ability to increase brand awareness and loyalty, inbound traffic, and customer satisfaction--not to mention, it’s cost effective. However, with a plethora of social media platforms nowadays, you might be wondering, which one or ones should I be using to promote my business?
The answer is: it depends. Every business has a unique audience, and finding the right channel to engage this audience is the make or break to your social media marketing efforts.
We conducted an in-depth analysis of the most popular social media platforms, diving into user size, demographics, and the available ad capabilities of each. See the summarized results below to decide which platform is the best fit for your business!
Download the complete report below and impress your boss, coworkers, and random people on the subway with your social media knowledge!
On to the contenders...
What is it? A photo and video sharing networking service. Not including captions, Instagram hones in on being an entirely visual platform in contrast to Facebook and Twitter.
User Size: 107 million United States users
- 35.2% of U.S. Instagram users are between 25 and 34 years of age followed by those 18 to 24 years old at 21.4%.
- The platform skews female, as 56% of Instagram users in the U.S are female.
- 47% of U.S. adults aged 30-49 use Instagram.
Instagram has the ability to tell your brand’s story through a cohesive feed and engaging image and video content. In other words, if your product or service can be conveyed easily through visual social media posts, Instagram is right for you. Some of the most popular industries that implement Instagram within social media marketing strategies include auto, fashion, beauty, travel, retail, and sportswear. In regards to advertising, if your business has seen previous success through Facebook ads, Instagram ads have the potential to match this success. If you believe Instagram is a platform your business should utilize, be sure to check out Instagram mistakes your business should avoid.
What is it? A microblogging and social networking service; the platform functions through “tweets” or posts of 280 characters.
User Size: 64.2 million United States users
- The platform is particularly popular with younger generations, specifically Gen Z, as over 37% of users in the U.S. are teenagers, aged 10-19. 26.3% of users are 20-29 years old.
- Users are three times as likely to be younger than 50 (73%) as to be 50 or older (27%).
- The median age of adult U.S. users is 40.
- The platform skews female; 56.5% of users are female, while 43.5% are male.
While Instagram is a great platform for relaying your brand story, narrative marketing can best be achieved through Twitter. Here you can include short, text-based posts that relay information surrounding news about your brand and within your industry. This is also a great platform to repurpose content from other platforms: blog posts, photos, videos, etc., within tweets. The majority of Twitter users visit the platform for news-based information and to participate in discussion; the most popular industries currently utilizing Twitter include entertainment, music, and sports.
What is it? A platform that allows people to connect and share online. It is currently the largest social network worldwide.
User Size: 221.6 million United States users
- Three quarters women in the U.S. use the platform compared to 63% U.S. men.
- Male and female users aged 25 to 34 are the largest group of Facebook users in the U.S.
With Facebook holding the #1 spot as the largest social network worldwide, it is no secret that advertising on this platform has become increasingly popular among businesses. Advertisements and posts range from image-based to video-based, with videos on the platform seeing the highest engagement rates. While Facebook Business Pages are popular among the majority of industries, the largest industry segments present on the platform include those within marketing and advertising, computer software, retail, and real estate.
What is it? A video sharing social media app that allows users to post videos up to 60 seconds. The videos can be longer if the video was taken outside the app.
User Size: 37.2 million United States users
- Particularly popular with younger generations, specifically Gen Z.
- Over 37% of users in the U.S. are teenagers (age 10-19). 26.3% are 20-29 years old.
- 56.5% of users are female, while 43.5% are male.
As a relatively new platform, TikTok is entirely video-based. Video content ranges from “TikTok dance” videos and dialogue reenactments to cute animal videos and tutorials. Video marketing has increased in popularity and has proved effective. While the videos can be up to 60 seconds, those that are around 9 to 15 seconds seem to perform the best. If your business is interested in targeting a younger audience and tapping into the newest social media trends, this platform could be for you.
What is it? The second most popular search engine behind Google, with more than 500 hours of video uploaded to the platform every minute.
User Size: 201.6 million United States users
- 68% of U.S. internet users who use YouTube are male and 67% of U.S. internet users who use YouTube are female.
- YouTube users are more likely to have a college degree than the general population and are also more likely to have children.
- According to HubSpot, 59% of Gen Z have increased their YouTube usage since last year, while 46% of Millennials have increased their YouTube usage since last year.
Similar to TikTok, YouTube is an entirely video-based platform. Educational videos, vlogs, unboxing, and gaming videos are prevalent. However, as YouTube is the second most popular search engine, educational videos or “how tos” seem to dominate here. If your business is interested in teaching your audience specific skills, this platform could be beneficial in engaging with your audience and providing the informational content they are seeking.
What is it? An image sharing and social media platform that allows users to search and save information on pinboards.
User Size: 86 million United States users
- 35% of users are between 30-49 years old, followed by the second largest age group of those 18-29 years old.
- The platform skews female; 79.5% of U.S. users are female.
- 41% of U.S. adults who used Pinterest reported an annual household income of $75,000+.
Pinterest is often referred to as a digital scrapbook or an online wish list. If you have a business account within this platform, you are able to upload video content, but the majority of content here is image based. Businesses selling specific products, especially products that are aesthetically appealing, could utilize this platform to broadcast the product and ways the product can be used.
What is it? An employment oriented online service used for professional networking, either through the site or the mobile app.
User Size: 160 million United States users
- 37% of U.S. adults between the ages of 30 and 49 use the platform.
- The user base skews male.
- 51% of users are college graduates.
- 33% of users reside in urban areas, while 30% reside in suburban areas.
This career centered platform is great for businesses when it comes to updating job listings and educating your audience on your business and the services you provide. You can share your blog posts on this platform, industry news, and company updates. Video content is discouraged when it comes to LinkedIn, as users tend to not engage with video here. The industries most prevalent on this platform are information technology and services, marketing and advertising, and human resources.
8) Your Website
What is it? Uh… it’s your website.
It is important to note that your website is a powerful tool when it comes to providing tools, resources, and information to your unique audience. Check out these potential website platforms if you are looking to get your website up and running.
There you have it--eight potential platforms you can use in your social media marketing strategy! Remember, jumping on each and every social media platform is ineffective. Choose the platform that is going to engage your unique audience--meet your consumers where they are.
How do you engage with your audience? Let us know in the comments below.