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What Is the Best Social Media Platform

Some people use social media for fun, others for business. And with so many social media platforms out there, it’s normal to have questions about which ones are the best for you and your business. These are some of the most popular platforms and what they are used for.

Social media can be a headache for business owners. There are so many different platforms to choose from, and each is enticing in its own way. How do you know if a social media platform will work for your business?

 Instagram

Long the home of influencers, brands, bloggers, small business owners, friends and everyone in between, Instagram has topped well over 1 billion monthly users. If you’re wondering whether a meaningful segment of your audience spends time on the platform, the answer is almost surely a resounding yes.

Who’s on Instagram (and Why): Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms for teens and young adults, especially in the U.S. Use of the app slowly drops off with age but stays consistent across both men and women, so if your customers are under 40, then Instagram can’t be ignored.

The Content that Works Best on Instagram: Beautiful photography, stunning visuals, unique designs, selfie-style video that speaks directly to your audience and a cohesive theme to your content will help you stand out on Instagram.

You Should Prioritize Instagram if: Your target audience is under the age of 40, you run a lifestyle, ecommerce, or photography business.

 YouTube

YouTube hails as the second most popular search engine in the world today, right behind its parent company, Google. If your business could benefit from producing video tutorials or walkthroughs, visually-driven instructional content, product reviews or interviews, then this social media platform is a must for reaching their more than 2 billion monthly users.

Who’s on YouTube (and Why): A whopping 73% of U.S. adults report regularly using YouTube, with a heavy concentration in the age range of 15 to 34 years olds. YouTube is broadly popular amongst both men and women, and usage tends to go up alongside income and level of education.

The Content that Works Best on YouTube: Video only. Depending upon your type of business and who your audience is, both long-form and short-form video content can work very well on this platform. Most viewers tune in for a combination of education and entertainment, so whether you’re teaching your audience about emerging marketing tactics or streaming video gameplay, work hard to retain their attention throughout your videos. You might also consider tapping into popular YouTube trends like unboxing videos (especially if you rep a physical product) and “with me” content that takes viewers along with you for the ride. Additionally, if starting a YouTube channel feels ambitious, partnering with YouTube influencers who are excited about your mission could help you test the waters before you dive in.

You Should Prioritize YouTube if: Your audience is below the age of 50 and consumes video content as a means of either education or entertainment.

 Facebook — 2.9 billion MAUs

Facebook Page of Foster Coffee Company

Facebook is the largest social media site, with more than two billion people using it every month. This means that roughly 36.9% of the world’s population are Facebook users. More than 200 million businesses (mostly small businesses) use Facebook tools, and more than seven million advertisersactively promote their business on Facebook, which makes it a pretty safe bet if you want to have a presence on social media.

It’s easy to get started on Facebook because almost all content formats work great on Facebook — text, imagesvideo content, and Stories. But the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between people, especially those from family and friends. To learn more about how to start conversations on Facebook, check out our guide to marketing your business on Facebook — and measure your results.

WhatsApp — 2 billion MAUs

WhatsApp conversation screenshot

WhatsApp is a messaging app used by people in over 180 countries. Initially, people originally used WhatsApp to send text messages to their family and friends. Gradually, people started communicating with businesses via WhatsApp.

WhatsApp’s business platform allows businesses to provide customer support and share updates with customers about their purchases. For small businesses, there’s the WhatsApp Business app, while enterprise businesses can use the WhatsApp Business API.

As the most widely used messaging platform, WhatsApp can be a great customer service channel for your business. Check out these WhatsApp Business user success stories.

Twitter

While Twitter’s monthly active user numbers have hovered consistently around 300 million for a while now, a whopping 40% of those users are active on the site multiple times daily, suggesting that if your audience uses the platform, they’re likely very engaged. The popularity of this social media site remains high amongst tech-savvy users and is particularly active in B2B verticals related to business, marketing and politics today.

Who’s on Twitter (and Why): 63% of Twitter users are between the ages of 35 and 65, with males making up nearly two-thirds of those people.

The Content that Works Best on Twitter: Twitter has become a very popular medium to communicate breaking news, digest bite-sized content, and communicate directly with your users in real-time. Videos and images tend to stand out best, but a well-timed written tweet still works wonders if you’re hopping on trending topics and are particularly witty.

You Should Prioritize Twitter if: Your audience skews toward the demographic of mature males between the ages of 30 and 60. Experiment with a combination of content types ranging from educational videos, to gripping visuals and discussion threads that offer advice and opinions.

TikTok

This new kid on the block is less than two years old, but received over 1 billion downloads of their video-based app during their first year of operation. Today, TikTok reportedly sees over 800 million monthly users, which instantly places it amongst the top social media platforms in the world in terms of sheer user figures.

Who’s on TikTok (and Why): Around 50% of TikTok’s audience is under the age of 35 in the U.S., with the majority of that audience concentrated amongst those between the ages of 16 to 24.

The Content that Works Best on TikTok: Entertaining, interesting, comedic and sometimes nonsensical short-form video content, usually set to the tune of popular songs. Think fun, catchy music-video style content.

You Should Prioritize TikTok if: You want to reach (and entertain) a young audience with fun video-based content that doesn’t often have a direct connection to your products or services. Being overly self-promotional on this platform won’t build you a loyal following, so be prepared to take the approach of entertaining first.

 Snapchat

The Top 10 Social Media Sites & Platforms 2021

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
Launched: 2011
Monthly Active Users: 433 million
Founders: Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, Daniel Smith, David Kravitz, Leo Noah Katz
Revenue: $911 million (2020)

If your target demographic is young, you definitely want to get in on Snapchat.

The most active users on Snapchat are 13-year-olds, and they’re spending upwards of 30 minutes a day on the app.

Snapchat is a haven for user-generated content, behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive offers, and influencer takeovers.

Pinterest

Pinterest has become a very popular social bookmarking tool for saving ideas and finding creative inspiration when it comes to everything from cooking to DIY home projects, vacation ideas, interior design, business and everything in between. With an audience predominantly consisting of adult women, this social media platform is also often cited as a crucial part of the product discovery journey.

Who’s on Pinterest (and Why): With over 320 million monthly users, Pinterest boasts one of the most concentrated audiences of women amongst all social media sites. Nearly 80% of their users are female, with a heavy concentration amongst millennials.

The Content that Works Best on Pinterest: Vertically-formatted images do best on this platform, due largely to the browsing experience users are presented with. Polished imagery with clear copy that conveys what the Pinner will see if they click through performs best. Numbers, lists, and quotes should be a big part of your strategy here. And don’t forget to consider keywords and search terms in your imagery.

You Should Prioritize Pinterest if: Your audience consists predominantly of adult women, your business is related to lifestyle, fashion, decorating, or DIY.

WeChat — 1.26 billion MAUs

WeChat wallet

WeChat was released in 2011 by Tencent, one of China’s biggest tech companies. Like WhatsApp and Messenger, WeChat was originally a messaging app, but it’s evolved into an all-in-one platform. Besides messaging and calling, users can shop online, pay bills, buy groceries, transfer money, make reservations, book taxis, and more.

WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China and other parts of Asia. So if you want to boost your brand in China (where popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter are banned), WeChat is a good alternative. You can run ads on the  official WeChat account or on WeChat Moments. There are also many WeChat-based influencers who can help your brand reach millions of Chinese consumers.

Conclusion

Social media platforms are where you’re most likely to engage with your customers. The best ones offer advanced tools for targeting your campaigns and integrating them with other marketing channels.

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