4.95 billion. That’s the number of social media users worldwide.
For the savvy marketer, that number represents a market they can tap into to drive business growth.
However, that number represents people who use social media in general. Each social media platform has its own monthly average users (MAU). For example, Facebook boasts a whopping 3 billion users.
With numerous social media platforms and new ones emerging constantly, marketers face the challenge of deciding where to concentrate their efforts.
If you’ve been wondering, I want to share the top five social media platforms you should focus on for business growth.
These platforms drive engagement for brands and have stood the test of time.
I will also show you ways businesses can harness the power of each platform to get the most mileage out of them.
Facebook is the platform that should take precedence when attempting to expand your brand’s social media presence. With a staggering 2.9 billion monthly active users worldwide, it’s an undeniable powerhouse in social networking.
Why does this matter?
It means vast brand awareness and customer service opportunities on this bustling social media platform are just a click away. No matter the target audience, Facebook offers a variety of features that can be tailored to suit one’s requirements.
The key to success on Facebook is creating an engaging business page and completing your profile. Once done, understand your target audience and how the Facebook algorithm works. This will help you create Facebook posts that resonate with your audience and get shown in more users’ news feeds.
You should also leverage other tools like Facebook stories for sharing short but captivating posts. Stories offer an immersive full-screen format where photos and videos play together sequentially with unique creative tools not available anywhere else on the site.
You can also use Facebook groups to build a community around your brand and its products/services.
Leveraging Facebook Ads for increased visibility
The key to completely harnessing the power of Facebook marketing is running Facebook Ads.
Facebook Ads enable you to reach your target audience with laser-focused precision – think demographics, interests, behavior patterns and more.
You can customize every aspect of these ads, from images and text to the timing of when they appear in user feeds. The best part? These personalized advertisements don’t feel intrusive but instead, add value to the overall browsing experience on the social platform.
2. Instagram: Harnessing visual storytelling
Businesses with visually appealing products or services can find a goldmine in Instagram, a platform teeming with 2 billion monthly active users.
Instagram thrives on visuals – from breathtaking travel photos to mouth-watering food snaps. It’s an exciting playground for businesses targeting niche communities and aiming to connect more personally with their target demographic.
The key lies in showcasing your consumer goods and weaving narratives around them through visual storytelling.
Utilizing user-generated content on Instagram
The real magic of Instagram comes alive when brands leverage user-generated content (UGC). This is authentic, relatable, and often more trusted by consumers than brand-produced ads. Encouraging customers to share images of themselves using your product can amplify engagement significantly.
This tactic enhances the authenticity of your Instagram content and helps foster strong relationships between you and your audience. By reposting customer content, you recognize them while showing potential buyers how existing customers enjoy your product.
You don’t need high-end equipment or a professional photographer to leverage Instagram’s visual appeal. A smartphone camera coupled with creative thinking does wonders here. The key is crafting stories your target audience resonates with. You can even show behind-the-scenes glimpses into production processes or highlight the people who make it happen.
In essence, effectively utilizing Instagram’s narrative power involves strategically using brand-created and user-generated visuals to create an immersive experience for followers. And this is what turns mere viewers into loyal customers.
Again, you also have to understand how the platform’s algorithm works and what Instagram users want if you’re to create more impactful Instagram content.
3. YouTube and the influence of video content
You’ve likely heard that YouTube is a great place for product-based businesses. But why exactly?
One reason is its sheer reach. With its massive 2.6 billion user base, YouTube is one of the most popular social media sites on the planet.
This expansive user base isn’t just about numbers – it translates to an audience hungry for video content. People don’t visit YouTube merely to kill time. They’re actively searching for information, entertainment, or both. As such, creating engaging long and short-form videos on this platform can give your brand immense exposure.
A brilliant example would be beauty tutorials, which are incredibly popular on YouTube. They illustrate how well-crafted video content helps brands connect with their audience by providing value and building trust – key elements in any successful marketing strategy.
One of the beauties of YouTube is that you can grow your brand awareness without creating a single YouTube video. That’s because you can collaborate with creators and influencers to bring your brand in front of their audience.
But for lasting impact, creating your own channel is best. It allows you to create the types of content your target audience wants.
The impact of short-form videos on YouTube
In today’s fast-paced digital world, attention spans are shrinking rapidly. This has led to the rise of short-form videos as a powerful tool for capturing viewers’ interest quickly while still delivering meaningful messages effectively.
Besides being more digestible than long-format counterparts, these quick clips also tend to get shared far more frequently across various social media platforms. This is a bonus if you aim to grow your online presence beyond just YouTube.
Dig deeper: YouTube Shorts guide: How to get noticed
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4. LinkedIn: The professional networking giant
If you’re in the B2B space and need to connect with other businesses, then LinkedIn is one of the social platforms tailored for you. It’s not just a place to flaunt your resume anymore. With 950 million members worldwide, LinkedIn has become an essential tool for B2B marketers.
Building business connections through LinkedIn
Relationships are vital in growing any business in today’s digital world.
And where better to start building these connections than on a platform designed specifically for professionals?
But it doesn’t stop at making connections. The real power lies in leveraging those relationships to create opportunities to expand your reach, generate leads and drive sales.
Personal profile vs. company page
Many marketers ask which is better to use – a personal profile or a company page (business profile).
The simple answer is both.
Your personal profile will help you network personally, even regarding growing your business. You can leverage your company profile to boost your brand awareness, educate your customers on your products/services, establish yourself as a thought leader, and more.
The key to successfully using LinkedIn as a marketing tool is posting regularly, engaging with other users, and even running LinkedIn ads.
Besides a personal profile and company page, LinkedIn also offers a powerful tool called Sales Navigator.
Sales Navigator is a suite of tools that gives you insights into your target audience, gives you extra marketing tools, and much more.
5. X: The pulse of real-time updates
Many people trust X (formerly Twitter) to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. With real-time updates and an active user base of over 556 million monthly users, it’s a platform where news breaks first. This is particularly useful for fast-paced industries (like financial services) where up-to-date news is crucial.
Despite having fewer users than other social networking sites, X users (and the platform) are quite influential.
One reason users love X is the brevity of the content. Being a micro-content site, users can quickly get the information they want without wading through unnecessary content. For longer content, you can create X threads.
X also has other features brands can leverage. Examples include live streaming, communities, hashtags, and much more.
While business posts don’t get much traction on the platform, it’s still a great place to post updates about your brand and products.
While the platform thrives on a younger demographic, it’s now reaching more people of all ages.
One reason for the platform’s explosive growth is that it mainly features short-form video content, usually challenges that other users jump onto. This results in the virality of certain videos, hashtags, and topics.
Brands can also leverage this social platform by creating short-form video content that appeals to their target audience. And if funny ads are one of the ways you market your business, TikTok is a great place to share them.
Threads is one of the newest social media platforms, launched in 2023 by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Launched as an X competitor in 2023, the platform has already garnered over 141 million users. While it may be too early to tell, research shows the platform’s momentum is slowing down.
Could this be a shiny syndrome that you shouldn’t waste time on?
While I may not like making predictions, I strongly believe it could be. For one, it’s a knockoff of X. Secondly, people have trust issues regarding Meta and how the brand handles users’ data. However, time alone will tell if Threads is a viable social media platform for business.
Social media marketing is a critical component of digital marketing. You can use it to grow brand awareness, generate leads, and even drive sales (particularly on platforms with shoppable posts like Instagram).
The best part of social media is that you can create any type of content to reach a wider audience. From live video to short-form and long-form content to images, GIFs, and memes, social media allows you to publish content your target audience resonates with.
Plus, you don’t need massive budgets to run successful campaigns. You can often use an in-house social media management team to create and run your campaigns.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.