As new social network platforms emerge almost overnight, you must be up to date to know the top social media sites for business and their primary targets. Often, we feel the need to be present on every platform without first thinking if it even makes sense.
For that reason, we’ve created a short social media guide to provide an overview of the different platforms and help you decide which ones may be best for your brand. This guide is intended for those starting and has limited time to be on every social media channel.
Social Media Statistics for Businesses
In research run in 2019 by Buffer, with 1800 marketers from companies of all sizes, 89.3% believe that social media is an important piece of their overall company’s marketing strategy, and 73% say their efforts in social media marketing have been “somewhat” or “very effective” for their business.
Summarizing other findings of this research:
- 63.4% think that paid social media advertising was “somewhat” or “very effective” for their businesses.
- 85% rely on third-party platforms to manage their business's social media.
- 60.3% measure return on investment based on engagement (such as comment, like, and share), while 51% care more about traffic, and 48% lead.
- Only 42.7% have explored live videos in the previous year.
- The five major platforms used were: Facebook (93.7%), Twitter (84.4%), Instagram (80.9%), LikedIn (70%), and YouTube (60.8%).
How to Choose From the Top Social Media Sites for Business?
Here we analyze 8 of the top social media sites for business to help you position your brand online for the right target and in the right way.
Here, we also dive into more niche platforms, including Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat, to get the most of your social media marketing and provide the right content for the right Social Media.
Facebook has 2.32 billion active users, and it is the most established social channel and truly has a global reach. Unlike many social platforms, it's a platform that keeps growing fast, even having an overwhelming user base.
Everyone is on the platform, and it is used primarily to keep in touch with your friends/network, share and discover content, and plan events. Brands mainly use it to publish high-quality visual content (often an extension of brand campaigns) and use it as a form of customer service.
The types of content that work best on Facebook are high-quality imagery with a limited copy and high-quality short videos. Videos specifically have high engagement on Facebook.
You can take advantage of the lives, which have higher engagement due to their reach. Since Facebook wants to promote this tool, most of your followers receive notifications when you're live.
Visual storytelling has been a very compelling and persuasive method of communication in this Social Network. It hits the emotional balance among children and adults. Therefore, Facebook is very strict about it, and all promoted posts pass through a rigid evaluation in which they are not allowed to have more than 20% of text over the total image.
Due to its user base's sheer size, Facebook helps you achieve brand/campaign recognition, increase website traffic, and reach new audiences. With this goal, a targeting strategy is essential for succeeding here.
There are a few types of targeting options that Facebook provides, which can be vital to making the sale through your ad or not. Targeting refers to the kind of people you choose to see your ad, also known as your audience.
With the wrong audience, you won’t sell or convert very high, or at all. On the other hand, your conversion rates will be higher with the right audience, and your cost will be low. There are several articles developed to improve your brand's presence on Facebook. Here you can check a step-by-step on how to write better content for your social media posts to improve your organic reach.
Companies usually aim to grow their fans on Facebook to show popularity and empowerment on Social Media. Still, few people know that the most used way to improve on this social network is through promoted page likes, which can be very expensive, especially for those with low budgets small companies.
Growing organically is difficult and requires a lot of dedication and time. Posting with consistency and hosting giveaways are often great tactics to grow without ads. The key performance indicators to look out for are: impressions, video views, click-through rates, likes, comments, and shares.
Acquired by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn has 630 million users and 303 million active users; in the USA alone, the number is 177 million users.
LinkedIn is a career and business social network. It's usually for job search purposes and to find new leads.
People on LinkedIn post less often than on Facebook. The engagement is also lower. However, this can be a good thing since when people are not posting regularly, it opens the opportunity for increasing your reach in this social network.
There are some tricks to increase engagement and reach:
- Post as yourself and not your company
- Post directly without using apps such as Hootsuite
- Do not post external links
- Use hashtags
- Add an image
- And tag people in your post.
Another right way to increase reach is by posting an article. Since not many people are posting this kind of content, many professionals in your network will get a notification if you post one.
Contents are generally articles, images, and regular text posts. You will see much less video on LinkedIn, but they've been growing.
LinkedIn solutions for business
There are many ways you can use it for your business. The primary and most used approach is to find great candidates for your job openings. Although there are many other job boards, LinkedIn is considered to have a more qualified crowd.
Another great way to use LinkedIn for your business is to connect with possible clients. LinkedIn has a LinkedIn sales module, which allows you to search and reach out to any prospective client through In-mails. They give you a certain number of messages permitted each month.
Companies also use LinkedIn to advertise to highly qualified professionals. Due to its user base's high power of purchase, an advertisement can be costly on the platform. According to its statistics, about 90 million of its users are senior-level influencers.
Twitter is one of the top social media sites for business to reach entertainment and sports. Although there has been recent speculation about the usability of Twitter (330 million active users), it is another very well-established social media platform that can help you achieve great things for your brand.
Twitter is essential if you try to reach niche markets such as Technology, Marketing, Entertainment, Sports, and Politics. A key difference between Twitter and Facebook users is that Twitter has many “spectators” or users who don’t grange much with the content but actively consume it.
They are on the platform to discover content, articles, and news. Other users have it for one on one interaction with members of their network. Twitter is a powerful tool for business owners.
However, it cannot be evident to get started due to extreme simplicity. Yes, the product is too simple, and it does not mean it’s easy to understand. Although it’s all about short and to-the-point updates (unlike other platforms that call for more details and imagery), it still stops new users in their tracks with confusion.
The most common way to grow on Twitter is through following other users. However, they provide paid ads that increase your followers and your website traffic faster. Brands primarily use Twitter for real-time participation in TV programs (i.e., Super Bowl, show premieres) and one-on-one customer engagement (customer service, giveaways, contests).
The content types are 280 text-based character posts and rely on beautiful imagery, short videos, and GIFs. Like Facebook, because of its large number of users, Twitter is great for reaching new audiences and generating brand awareness.
The primary KPIs to look out for are retweets, @replies, favorites, followers, impressions, click-through rates, and #hashtags. Twitter is a platform to consider when thinking about how to improve your online presence.
You can invest in Twitter ads as well. They have several types of ads you can choose, depending on the goals you have for your business.
You can promote your tweets, your page, create new creative ads using images or videos.
According to Twitter, video is their fastest-growing ad tool. Over 2 billion video views on Twitter each day, a 67% increase versus last year. They reinforce that companies that use video das should include a call to action, increasing by 100% conversion.
Instagram has an incredibly engaged community but doesn't allow links on posts. Acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram (1 billion monthly active users) is the premiere image-sharing social platform. Upon purchase, Facebook made community growth a priority on Instagram. They have incredibly high engagement rates relative to other channels (more than 100M photos are shared on the platform per day).
As of right now, the audience consists of early adopters, millennial parents, and millennials teens. However, as Facebook continues to prioritize Instagram, the audience's growth will continue to get more mainstream. Instagram users utilize the platform to showcase moments of their lives in unique and artsy ways.
Many argue that selfies became popular because of Instagram.
Brands use Instagram as part of their online marketing strategies to publish high-quality photography and video content – they also primarily enlist social media influencers to promote their products.
Instagram is great for brand engagement and purchase intent (you can showcase your product in an appealing, lifestyle-oriented manner). Be aware that videos have 21.2% more engagement than images and 18.6% than carousels. The platform doesn't allow links on their posts, so increasing website traffic can be difficult.
The platform's KPIs are Likes, Reach, video views, Impressions, Engagement Rates, and Hashtags use.
Youtube helps your brand generate awareness, brand equity, and purchase intent. Purchased by Google in 2006, Youtube (1.9 billion users) is the second most popular search engine, with 2 billion videos watched per day and 1 billion hours of video are viewed daily, more than Netflix and Facebook video.
Like Facebook, everyone uses Youtube, but the more publicized and outspoken users are millennials and teens. The way people use it is relatively simple: watch and upload videos and follow or subscribe to video creators, who are rapidly becoming celebrities in their own right.
Youtube helps your brand generate awareness, brand equity, and purchase intent. Brands use the platform to distribute their television commercials or other web-specific content that primarily lives on Youtube.
The key performance indicators to look out for are video views, video competition, ratings, comments, and likes.
Now that you have a sense of how the big players in the social media industry and have an idea of the top social media sites for business and how they can help your brand achieve its objectives, stay tuned for new social media facts and tips where we go into more niche platforms such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat.
Pinterest has a unique design compared to other social media websites for business. The company has enjoyed considerable growth in the past three years and was arguably the originator of design language on social media.
Due to the importance of good design and imagery on Pinterest, this trend became an essential piece of all digital channels like websites, banners, and videos.
Pinterest’s demographic consists primarily of women in the 25-54 age range. According to their statistics, Pinterest reaches 83% of all women 25-54 in the US, but the platform has made male usage a priority, and it has been steadily climbing.
Why is Pinterest considered one of the top social media sites for business?
50% of every signup was male users in the last year. All in all, Pinterest has a total monthly user base of more than 250 million people, and it is offered in over 30 languages around the world.
Users mostly use Pinterest to discover new things and products and to gain inspiration. A useful statistic to note is that 84% of active users have reported using Pinterest when deciding what to buy, and 98% tried something new because they saw it on Pinterest. Hence, it is an excellent medium for design and fashion products, like furniture and clothing.
Of course, brands have hopped on Pinterest's platform to publish high-quality imagery, with detailed descriptions to encourage users to visit the product webpage. Besides, brands often have Pinterest’s “Pin” button on their website to motivate user discovery.
Pinterest is one of the top social media sites for business due to its unique way of presenting products. They allow brands to boost their Pins and target selected audiences through paid advertising.
Since Pinterest has a niche but a large user base, participating on the platform can help a brand achieve awareness, brand engagement, higher web traffic, and increase purchase intent. The primary key performance indicators to look out for are impressions, clicks, re-pins, comments, and likes on Pinterest images.
Tumblr can be one of the best social network websites for business in creative fields. Now owned by Verizon Media, Tumblr is a social platform for those that indulge in creative fields such as photography, fashion, art, and entertainment.
It has a user base of approximately 441.4 million blog accounts and consists primarily of teens and millennials; 43% of male Internet users between 18-24 are Tumblr users.
Although Tumblr is one of the most popular social networks in the US, its monthly unique visitors have been declining. One of the reasons is that at the end of 2018, the platform banned adult content, which has generated user dissatisfaction and made artists and sex workers look for other platforms.
These users use Tumblr to create pieces of content like GIFs to showcase their personalities and interests. Brands use the platform to curate experiences by reblogging Tumblr influencers and extending their overall brand campaigns.
Tumblr’s content types include text, photo, quotes, audio, video but GIFs perform the best. There is paid media available on the platform, and it’s basic (sponsored imagery, GIFs, and videos).
Tumblr can help a brand achieve brand equity and higher website traffic. The primary key performance indicators to watch out for on Tumblr are engagements with posts, impressions, followers, clicks, and views.
Snapchat has 287 million monthly active users and 190 million daily active users in 2019. Snapchat has the youngest base of users among the other top social media sites for business. In Q1 2019, Snapchat is used by 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and by 75% percent of all 13-34-year-olds in the U.S.
This young audience type uses Snapchat to create photo/video messages to share with their network that expires after 10 seconds. There are 6 billion video views daily on this platform.
Brands are using Snapchat to share behind-the-scenes content and are working with Snapchat influencers to engage with fans. Brands can participate in the platform's "Discover" and "Stories" tabs that allow paid media.
This young platform can help you increase your visibility in the teenage space. The key performance indicators to watch out for are video views, screenshots, and replays. Coupled with the larger, more established social media platforms, these niche-oriented platforms can help you achieve engagement throughout your brand campaign cycle.
As more brands have been moving to Instagram stories, there is less competition on Snapchat. Remember that Snapchat users are very demeaning in terms of content, so it's critical to post authentic content that users cannot find on other platforms.
Among the top social media site for business, which is the best for you?
Deciding which platforms the best for your business, maybe it is not an easy one. You should certainly think about your target and the type of product or service you are offering. Here we list of your main possible choices:
If your target is more related to high-income consumers and businesses or courses, you will choose LinkedIn.
If you have a product that needs to show off its design, Instagram and Pinterest may be the best ones. For those looking for younger crowds, for sure Snapchat and Instagram.
Although each one has its characteristics and specific users, testing three or four will give you an idea of your business's top social media site.