The number of social media users has been on the rise and is expected to continue to grow. The pandemic has resulted in people staying at home more, and this will probably boost social even further. In 2021, it's expected that the total number of social media users will reach an estimated 3.35 billion. This means it can be worth taking the extra time to evaluate the different platforms when choosing channels for your content. Here is a quick overview of the leading platforms to help you decide which platform to use.
Your audience expects you to deliver high-quality content that is relevant to them. If not, your audience will quickly move on to something else, so choose your platform wisely.
Think about the needs of your target audience and where they spend their time. You want to meet your potential customers where they are today and where they are likely to be tomorrow. If you already use social media, you may conduct a social media audit to find out how well your current social media plan is working for you.
An overview of the leading platforms
The most-used social media platforms in 2021 are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok. In China, WeChat is the largest social media platform with over 1,2 billion monthly active users in Q1 of 2020. According to China Internet Watch, the Twitter of China, Weibo, had 550 million active users in March 2020.
This overview of the platforms will help you make a decision on which one to use.
More than 700 million professionals gather on LinkedIn. It is the most effective place for B2B marketers to engage with decision-makers, influencers, leaders, and users. These potential buyers of your products and services use LinkedIn for business purposes, connect on a professional level, and consume and share knowledge. This is a very different intent and mindset from other social media platforms. And it's precisely this aspirational mindset that has led to the explosion of content now shared weekly on LinkedIn. Learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn Page and how to outsmart the LinkedIn algorithm.
Being present on LinkedIn is relevant when you want to increase the interest of potential and existing customers. Furthermore, you can find the right job seekers on LinkedIn.
- All employees who have a LinkedIn profile should be motivated to follow the company page.
- Add a link to this page in everyone's email footer by default.
- Add showcase pages or affiliated pages to the page with your offers.
- If an employee appears on your .com/.xx, you should include a link to their LinkedIn profile.
- Use relevant hashtags when publishing.
Facebook is still the most popular social platform, with more than 2 billion monthly users. This means that a large part of your company's target group is most likely active on Facebook every day. Facebook is a crucial tool for businesses and should be an essential part of your social media plan. With Facebook, it is easy to turn your customers into a community by creating a Facebook page. Use your Facebook channel to promote your content and direct them to your .com/.xx using paid advertising.
A Facebook presence gives you good ground to reach potential and existing customers.
- Motivate all employees who have a Facebook profile to follow the company page.
- Reply to all comments and messages sent to the page.
- Show projects and cooperations.
- Publish pictures and videos with a focus on positioning and offering.
Over 1 billion Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month – from users to influencers and companies. The platform can help companies grow awareness, target the right audience, and convert visual content into sales. Global brands and local businesses alike are driving proven results with Instagram. Learn more on how to drive traffic from Instagram to your .com/.xx.
Like Facebook, Instagram is a platform worth going for when trying to reach potential and existing customers.
- Motivate all employees who have an Instagram profile and to follow the company page.
- Possibly allow one employee per week to manage and to take over the Instagram business account.
- Post news and articles as an image and refer to Linktree. The Linktree app enables you to add many links/call-to-action buttons. Download a free step-by-step guide on how to set up and use Linktree.
- Reply to all comments.
With 2 billion monthly users, YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google. Once you make a video, it'll show up in Google and YouTube search results. Marketing is moving towards video over static content, and YouTube is a key player. You can create a YouTube channel for your company to upload videos for your subscribers to view, like, comment on and share. It is best for entertainment, brand awareness, and supporting existing customers with education and video help content. Get some tips for creating engaging video content online.
YouTube is a good choice for getting potential and existing customers interested in your business.
- Only show 'teasers' on YouTube; movies in full length should only be found on .com/xx.
- Show projects and cooperations.
- Publish once a week, reuse videos used on Instagram, from .com/.xx, online meetings, webinars, trade shows, commercials, etc.
Twitter is a powerful platform to increase your business's online reach. 80% of all Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a Tweet. It gives its users a constant stream of information and new content from all over the world. Twitter has more than 300 million users every month.
It is an excellent platform when you want to expand brand awareness through credible ambassadors' accounts. Twitter is often used to provide real-time updates to an audience. Many brands combine Twitter with offline events.
- Bring your brand's expertise to the table by taking a look at the conversations your followers are participating in. Use hashtags; they are crucial for ensuring your content is seen by other users.
- Encourage your employees to create personal accounts to share news about the company and its culture.
- Be concise and informative in a tweet. Twitter messages are limited to 280 characters. Consider using URL shorteners like bit.ly.
Pinterest is a place to share visual content - everything from a scarf to a truck. The 300 million monthly users visit Pinterest to discover new things and be inspired instead of engaging with the brand, unlike most social media sites where engagement is the primary focus. According to Pinterest, 55% of Pinners are explicitly looking for products. And 83% of weekly users have made a purchase based on the content they see from brands on Pinterest.
- Create evergreen images so that your content will be engaged with for a longer period.
- Use call-to-actions within your pin to increase engagement
Out of 300 million users, Snapchat's audience is primarily Generation Z. Snapchat is an app that focuses on sharing stories. The Stories feature allows users to post photo and video sequences that disappear 24 hours after being posted. Snapchat might not be the best social media channel for every business.
However, if your business wants to connect with people under the age of 35, Snapchat is the right place to be. That's because 82% of all Snapchat users are 34 years old or younger. It is best for brand awareness and advertising.
- Snapchat is very creative and experimental. Experiment with the different AR/VR filters and musical overlays on your phone.
- Snapshot Stories can be used to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
- Brands with a large following can also publish Snapchat Stories or videos curated by fans.
It's difficult to talk about social media in 2020 without mentioning TikTok. B2C brands are already jumping on board and creating great viral content on TikTok, and it's beginning to look more and more like a potential tool for B2B marketers as well. The global user numbers of the latest social media platform TikTok is already 800 million monthly active users after its launch in 2018.
- TikTok users want the platform to remain an authentic channel for people-to-people interaction. Share content that is entertaining, clever, and personal.
- To stand out on a site overflowing with innovative, fresh ideas, you need to be pretty creative. As a marketer, you already know: high risk = high reward!
- Make use of user-generated content (UGC). It leads to the interactive and responsive type of videos that are most popular on TikTok.
Read the complete social media guide to learn how to build a social media plan that will work for your business, or download the guide as a PDF below.