If you are new to social media, then you may be a bit unsure of where to start. Which social media platforms do you use to grow your business? In this article, I am going to give you a rundown on the top 10 social media sites that you can use to effectively connect with your target audience and build your list of followers this year.
Let us get started.
My #1 Social Media Site? Facebook
Facebook has undeniably held the top position for years as the number one social media site, primarily because of its HUGE REACH. With 2.89 billion MONTHLY active users, Facebook is currently the biggest social network worldwide. During the first quarter of 2021, the company stated that 3.51 billion people were using at least one of the company’s core products (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger) each month. Now that is massive!
What does that mean for you, the business owner?
Well, any site that has that many users provides valuable data that can help you with your targeting. You now have access to a massive database that is not readily available anywhere else on this planet. A database that can help you understand your audience more completely – what they like and do not like, what their interests are, what stage they are in their careers, their health, and their lives. Do they have kids? Are they married? What problems are they having? What are they currently looking for? The list goes on and on. If you really want to UNDERSTAND and CONNECT with your audience, then Facebook is one of the top 10 social media sites that needs to be in your marketing arsenal.
If you really want to Understand and Connect with your audience, then Facebook is one of the platforms that needs to be in your marketing arsenal.
#2 in the Top 10 social media sites – YouTube
Now most people do not think of YouTube when they think “social media”. They usually think of YouTube as a video platform that can be used to get “How To” information. “How to Tie a Tie” is a popular search term with over 30,000 google searches per month and the top video having over 90 MILLION VIEWS! Ok. Let us get back to it!
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has grown from a site filled with amateur videos into the biggest online video platform worldwide with over 2.1 billion users.
A visit to YouTube yields a plethora of corporate and user-generated content ranging from music and gaming videos to DIY’s and educational clips. This extensive library of content makes this video giant a leading online destination for millions of users from around the world.
YouTube is not only the 2nd biggest search engine on the planet (Google is number 1), but it looks like its popularity as a social media platform of choice may catch up to Facebook in 2022.
With the onset of the global pandemic in 2019, and the challenges that we have continued to face in the years since, more and more people are turning to the internet to connect. The only medium that truly replaces face to face, belly-to-belly connection is video. And more people are finding that VIDEO is an effective communication medium that allows them to connect with their audience and get their message heard.
As well, more people are using the internet to learn how to do new things. And what is the easiest way to learn? By seeing someone else do something. That is where YouTube shines.
With YouTube, your content is EVERGREEN. That means it is forever present, never gets deleted (unless you delete it yourself or it gets taken down because of inappropriate content). And, depending on its popularity, will result in increased rankings for your video overtime.
That means that content you post today will still be found by new people years from now – creating a constant flow of traffic to you even when you are not posting. BooYah!
With YouTube you get evergreen content generating CONSISTENT, INCREASING VISITOR TRAFFIC – Year after Year after Year.
#3 in the Top 10 social media sites – Instagram
If you are in the age range 18-34, then Instagram is most probably your platform of choice, and it comes in at number 3 on our list of Top 10 social media sites.
Built like a photo book, Instagram users primarily rely on collages of images to communicate with their audience. In the past few years, due to the increasing, overwhelming popularity of video, Instagram has added extra VHOOM-VHOOM to the mix. You can now use IGTV, Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories to communicate with your audience 24/7 in video format.
Instagram has proven to be a very effective platform for ecommerce and direct sales, since 36% of users use it to follow brands (compared to just 19% for Facebook). Instagram also has the highest organic engagement rate between users and brands—10 times greater than Facebook, 54 times greater than Pinterest, and 84 times greater than Twitter. And with shoppable ads, Instagram has changed the way we shop by including product discovery and impulse buying into our organic behaviors, making it the most influential social media platform on our shopping habits.
Still not convinced? According to Retail Touchpoints Network:
– 81% of people say Instagram helps them to research or discover new products or services.
– 72% report making purchase decisions based on something they saw on Instagram (compared to Facebook at 23%).
– 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month.
– 50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service in Stories.
Got something to sell that can be communicated visually? Looking to reach a millennial audience? Then consider Instagram your platform of choice.
Instagram has proven to be a very effective platform for ecommerce and direct sales, with the highest organic engagement rate between users and brands
#4 in the Top 10 social media sites – LinkedIn
If you were to do a search for the most popular social media sites, LinkedIn does not make the top 10 as it is less a “socializing” site than the other popular ones. People do not go on LinkedIn to share photos and cat videos – they go there to make business connections, advance their careers and conduct deals.
With 800 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, LinkedIn presents a HUGE opportunity for you to connect with the decision makers and market movers GLOBALLY. With LinkedIn, you are only ever 2 – 3 connections away from a powerful business influencer.
So, if your business is in the business of selling products and services to other businesses, or if you are a job seeker, corporate executive or recruiter, and you are not active on LinkedIn, then you are literally “shooting yourself in the foot”.
With LinkedIn, you are only ever 2 – 3 connections away from a powerful business influencer.
#5 in the Top 10 social media sites – TikTok
TikTok is the new kid on the block and gaining ground quickly. Known in China as Douyin [DOE-yin], the platform is a video-focused social networking service owned by a Chinese company (ByteDance Ltd). It hosts a variety of short-form user videos, from genres like pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, dance, and entertainment with durations from 15 seconds to three minutes.
Originally gaining popularity for its dance challenges, voiceover gags and pretty neat special effects, TikTok is now becoming more mainstream as businesses are discovering that this is a platform where more and more people are flocking to, for entertainment purposes primarily. By using a little creativity, you can harness millions of eyeballs. And more eyeballs mean more potential sales.
If you do not want to do videos, and have a budget, you can easily leverage the popularity of the top stars with sponsored posts. Be forewarned though- these sponsored posts do not come cheap. And if you do not want to have your face on video, you can still leverage this platform effectively. Look out for my future videos to see how.
TikTok is not all about dance challenges. By using a little creativity, you can harness millions of eyeballs. And more eyeballs mean more potential sales.
#6 in the Top 10 social media sites – Pinterest
Whoa! Isn’t that my grandma’s site? What can that do for my business?
Ok. Yes, it is true that Pinterest has been around for a while and seems to not be mentioned much in discussions about social media. But don’t be fooled. For the right business, Pinterest can be a powerhouse.
If you are not familiar with Pinterest, It is like a scrapbooking site. People capture photos of things they like (recipes, workouts, furniture, travel destinations, fashion, etc.) and organize them into categories or boards. These boards can be public or private, and serve as a reference point for you and others like you.
With over 450 million monthly active users, Pinterest is not one to turn your nose up at. If Pinterest were a country, it would surpass the United States as the third largest in the world.
People use Pinterest to plan purchases and future projects – things that they want to do. They visit the site for inspiration and ideas. If you can help them on their journey, when they are prepared to buy, you will be their solution of choice.
People use Pinterest to plan purchases and future projects. Help them on their journey, and you will be their solution of choice.
#7 in the Top 10 social media sites – Twitter
Twitter is the most popular social media platform for connecting with your audience 24/7 with relevant, trending information. Hence the term “tweets”. Tweets symbolize small snippets of information that can intrigue someone enough to cause them to click your link and read more information, or to follow you just to hear what you have to say. It is therefore used by a lot of celebrities, politicians and influencers to get their messages out.
Business interest in Twitter is driven by the social demographic of the audience. Here are some interesting stats from Statista.com:
– 21% of US adults use Twitter, and 54% of those are male.
– In the US, 52% of Twitter users report using Twitter daily.
– 42% of US Twitter users have a college degree.
– 42% of Canadian adults with internet access are on Twitter.
– 69% of US Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 49 years old.
– 77% of Americans who earn $75,000 or more use Twitter.
– 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials.
– 93% of Twitter community members are open to brands getting involved if done so in the right way.
So, this means that if you are a business with a targeted customer base of ages 25 – 49, college-educated and earning more than $75k per year, then this platform could be useful for you.
As well, if you want to create better connections with your customers, you can use the fast-paced, direct-connect nature of Twitter. In a recent survey, two out of three people chose Twitter as their preferred social media channel for customer care. And as a public-facing platform, brands that use it for customer service can also build their reputation at the same time.
Create better connections with your customers by using the fast-paced, direct-connect nature of Twitter
#8 in the Top 10 social media sites – Reddit
Reddit is an American social news, web content rating, and discussion website that has been growing significantly over the past few years. According to Statista.com, there were 48 million daily active Reddit users worldwide in June 2021 – 48 million people who login in, everyday, to share information on their experiences and product/service finds.
The site works differently to other social networks like Facebook and Instagram. For starters, Reddit is a massive forum with a heavy focus on its communities. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, images, and videos, which are then voted up or down by other members. Reposts are also generally not accepted by its users.
According to the latest statistics by Pew Research Center, Reddit is currently the tenth most-used social networking site in the United States. Specifically, 18 percent of US adults say they are Reddit users. However, when comparing Reddit with the most popular social media platforms, it is much further behind in rankings than established leaders like YouTube and Facebook.
So how can you use Reddit? Find a community that aligns with your interest or business. Browse to see what questions are being asked. Answer the ones that you are most qualified to answer and always offer information that is useful. Become the community expert and you will see traffic, leads and sales flowing to you overtime. Once you are discovered on this platform, and have properly established your expert status, it won’t be long before your name and brand spreads like wildfire.
Use Reddit to establish authority and expertise in a specific niche
#9 in the Top 10 social media sites – WhatsApp
With over 2 billion monthly active users, this instant messaging platform definitely cannot be ignored. WhatsApp was originally created to provide a no-cost alternative for international calling and it has saved its users millions of dollars in long distance telephone fees. But now it is so much more.
WhatsApp can be used to create group chats and forums where information can be shared. Video group calls can also be set up, and because the company promises end-to-end encryption, you can rest assured that your data is safe.
With the free WhatsApp Business app, businesses can now personally connect with customers, highlight products and services, and answer their questions throughout their shopping experience. You can create a catalog to showcase your products and services and use special tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages.
WhatsApp can also help medium and large businesses provide customer support and deliver important notifications to customers.
Dealing with an international audience and want to provide more one-on-one support? Then this may be a good platform to add to your communication mix.
Use WhatsApp for cost-efficient real time communication with an international audience.
#10 in the Top 10 social media sites – Telegram
Telegram is an online messaging app that works just like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This means that you can use it to send messages to your friends when connected to Wi-Fi or your mobile data. Owned by Russian-born Pavel Durov, it has become just as popular as WhatsApp with around 500 million users. Why?
1. It is touted as being more secure than What’s App. All chats, groups and media shared between participants, is encrypted. This means that they will not be visible without being deciphered first. Also, by using the “Secret Chat” feature, you can set self-destruct timers on messages and media so nothing can be “leaked” or shared with anyone other than the person with whom you are communicating. No trace is left on Telegram’s servers.
2. Telegram is very user friendly and promotes a very high engagement rate. On platforms like Instagram and Facebook, most brands need to be ‘followed’. So, the level of intimacy between the brand and customer is very low. However, on Telegram, marketing operates in the form of ‘groups’. Customers feel like they are a part of a larger group with similar interests and that they are being communicated with directly. In a world where technology is making everyone feel more isolated, Telegram creates a more human marketing atmosphere.
So, if you are looking to provide customer service, make a deeper 1 to1 connection and want the extra security that Telegram provides, this may be a viable option for you.
Use Telegram to make a deeper 1 to 1 connection with clients
If you’re looking for help with your Social Media Marketing and with creating an Online Presence that attracts your ideal clients, click here to schedule a 30 minute “Social Media Growth Accelerator” session.
During the session:
• We’ll work together to create a crystal-clear vision for the kind of presence that you would like to foster and the kind of clients that you would like to attract;
• You’ll uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success with building an effective social media presence; and
• You’ll leave the session renewed, re-energized and inspired to finally build a social media presence that works for you and not against you, once and for all.