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The Best Social Media Platforms For Social Media Marketing In 2018

BY: Nguyen-Ngoan  |   Aug. 10, 2018
Online Marketing
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Some of the best social media platforms for business, like Facebook and Instagram, have become essential tools in the modern marketer’s toolbox. More and more consumers are using these channels to find new companies and engage with their favorite brands. However, most companies can’t be everywhere at once, especially small businesses with tight marketing budgets. That’s why it’s vital for businesses to be strategic about which social media platforms they work to build a presence on.

The key to successful social media marketing in the new year will be choosing the best social media platform for your business. This is based on a number of factors, including the type of business you have, what audience you are trying to reach, your specific goals, and much more.

Below, we’ve put together a quick and simple guide to choosing the best social mediafor business in the new year.

1. Facebook

Facebook is one of the best social media platforms for businesses to use to reach their target market – whatever that audience may be. With nearly 2 million monthly active users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with the most diverse audience.

When it comes to age, users of all ages are logging onto Facebook, with the largest demographic being those aged 25 – 34. The graph below shows the distribution of users on Facebook by age:

Graph courtesy of Statista

If your business is marketing to teens, ages 13-17, you may find that less of your audience is spending time on Facebook. However, if you are focusing on age groups 18 or older, you will find that Facebook is a worthwhile investment for your company.

There is a pretty even balance of genders on Facebook. About 76% of all female and 66% of male U.S. internet users are on Facebook. This means that whether you are targeting females, males, or both genders, you should be able to find an audience on this social media platform.

Income and education demographics can also be useful when choosing the right social media platform for your business. About 72% of online users that have incomes of over $75,000 spend their time on Facebook. While 74% of Facebook users have completed some form of higher education. This shows that consumers on Facebook are both educated and have money to spend, making it a great place for any business that is trying to attract these types of users.

Best Features for Your Business

In addition to providing you the ability to connect with a great number of people from diverse backgrounds, there are a few unique features that Facebook can offer your business. What makes Facebook one of the best social media platforms for business is its targeted digital advertising platform. With Facebook ads, you are able to target those who are most likely willing and ready to purchase your products or services. This ensures that your business gets your ad content in front of the right users at the right time.

Another reason why Facebook is one of the best social media platforms for business is their ecommerce integrations. Facebook makes it easy for users to purchase from your company through the social media platform. Making a purchase is as easy as clicking one button. Now that Facebook has allowed brands to interact with customers through Facebook messenger, you can also provide shipping updates and other order notifications through the Facebook platform as well.

best social media platforms

Image courtesy of Adweek

Here you can see just how easy it is for users to shop on Facebook, save items they are interested in, and head straight to the company’s website to make a final purchase.

2. Instagram

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is another popular channel that promises to be one of the best social media platforms for business in 2018. Instagram has more than 700 million active users who log onto the app to enjoy photos and video posts from their friends, family, and yes, even brands. In fact, according to BrandWatch, 50% of users follow brands on Instagram.

To determine if Instagram will be one of the best social media platforms for your business, let’s look at the demographics. Here is an easy-to-read breakdown of Instagram users:

best social media platforms

As you can see from the chart, Instagram’s audience skews a little younger than some of the other social media platforms with 53% of people ages 18 to 29 on Instagram. This makes Instagram a great channel for businesses that are aiming to reach an audience that’s 30 or younger. There are also more female users than male users, making this a great channel for brands that are targeting female consumers.

You’ll notice that 31% of users have “some college” experience and 28% of Instagrammers make less than $30,000 a year. This is most likely due to the large portion of younger users logging into the channel each day. However, as you can see from the chart above, there is a somewhat even spread across income ranges and educational background, suggesting that you can still reach more diverse audiences beyond younger consumers.

Best Features for Your Business

Instagram’s unique social media platform can provide some powerful benefits for your business. One of the best benefits of Instagram is that it allows you to tell your brand’s story with unique and engaging visual content. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram is focused on visuals, both images and video. No matter what industry your company is in, you can use Instagram to showcase your products and tell your brand story in a way that’s visually appealing.

One interesting feature that can be useful in social media marketing in 2018 is Instagram stories. With Instagram stories, you can take live video and share it with all of your followers. With this feature, you can easily provide behind-the-scenes footage of your business and share important news and updates with your followers.

Like Facebook, Instagram also allows you to message users directly. This can be a great tool for customer service. For instance, if a consumer finds you on Instagram and has a question about your products or services, they no longer have to navigate to your website or pick up the phone to ask. Instead, they can direct message you through Instagram, which allows you to answer questions and address concerns instantly. If this excites you, Instagram may be your best social media platform for business.

3. Twitter

With an average of about 328 million active Twitter users worldwide, this channel is yet another one of the best social media platforms for your 2018 social media marketing strategy. As one of the top 10 websites in the United States, Twitter is the go-to place for the latest news and trends on a variety of topics. This makes it an excellent channel for sharing brand updates and being a part of the online conversation surrounding your industry.

24% of men and 25% of women use Twitter. This makes it a viable option for brands that target male consumers, female consumers, or both. The audience on Twitter also tends to be a bit younger with 36% of users between the ages of 18 to 29. However, as you can see from the infographic below, there are also a good amount of Twitter users in older age groups as well, which means that the channel can be valuable for brands targeting a wide range of customers in terms of age.

From this chart, you’ll notice that the majority of Twitter users have at least some college experience and make between $50,000 and $75,000 or more. There is also a pretty even spread between users in urban, suburban, and rural areas. This indicates that the social media platform is ideal for brands that are trying to reach a wide audience online.

Best Features for Your Business

When it comes to Twitter, there are a few valuable features that may help it qualify to be one of the best social media platforms for business. Brands can use Twitter to reach and engage their audience. Hashtags allow you to follow and participate in conversations about trending topics in your industry. You can use hashtags to reach new audiences who might be interested in your content. Your brand can also take advantage of topics that are trending to expand your reach.

Twitter also offers advertising opportunities for companies that want to deliver digital ads to their target customers on the social media platform. They have multiple options for ad formats, depending on your unique digital advertising goals. You can promote your account, which will show up in the left column or promote a tweet from your brand, which will appear in the user’s Twitter feed. There is also the option to promote a certain trend that your company may be using to start a conversation among target users.

best social media platform

4. LinkedIn

Acquired by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for professionals. Companies use this channel to post a variety of different types of content from job openings to company updates to different content assets like whitepapers and case studies. This has also become a popular platform for job recruiting as recruiters can see which users are open to new job opportunities while having a readily available overview of their job experience.

Given the fact that LinkedIn is a social networking platform for professionals, it should come as no surprise that this channel is best used for business-to-business or B2B brands that aim to reach professionals and business decision-makers. The demographics show that 50% of users have a college education, with an additional 27% having attended “some college.” In addition, nearly half of all LinkedIn users make over $75,000 a year with an additional 32% making between $60,000 and $74,999.

Though B2B brands are often not targeting a certain gender or age group as they are often more interested in the individual’s industry or job title, looking at gender and age demographics reveals that there is a fairly even spread when it comes to LinkedIn. As you can see, 31% of men and 27% of women in the United States are using this channel to network and identify new opportunities. When looking at general age groups, 34% of users between the ages of 18 to 29 and 33% of users between the ages of 30 to 49.

Best Features for Your Business

One of the best qualities of LinkedIn is that audiences on this social media platform are business-minded. This means that they are often open to networking opportunities and hearing about ways to improve the way they work or make their job easier. This provides an excellent opportunity for B2B brands that would like to connect with business decision-makers across different industries.

Another feature that makes LinkedIn one of the best social media platforms for B2B social media marketing is digital advertising opportunities. Though digital ads on LinkedIn may be more expensive than ads on Facebook, this ad opportunity allows B2B brands to reach individuals from the specific industries that they are targeting. Similarly, LinkedIn allows you to deliver ad content to those with the job roles that are involved with making purchasing decisions related to a company’s B2B offering.

LinkedIn also has groups that users can join and participate in based on their industry, job function, or career interests. This provides an excellent opportunity for brands to drive real engagement with influencers and decision makers across different industries.

5. YouTube

Founded in 2005 and acquired by Google in late 2006, YouTube has quickly become the second largest search engine in the world, right behind Google. What’s more is that YouTube users are watching a billion hours of video each day and generating just as many views. This makes YouTube an excellent channel for reaching and engaging target consumers by creating and publishing compelling video content.

With over one billion users, this video sharing platform reaches more 18 to 49-year-old consumers than any cable network in the United States. When looking at gender demographics, YouTube users are predominantly male, with 55% male users and 45% female users. The graphic below offers additional information that can help you better understand the YouTube audience, taken from “The YouTube Generation Study” by Google and Ipsos Connect:

best social media platform

As the data shows, 74% of YouTube users will watch brand channels weekly. This presents a great opportunity for companies to reach an active, engaged, and interested audience on a consistent basis. Further, the data shows that 63% of users have taken action based on a brand or creator video on YouTube, suggesting that this is one of the best social media platforms for influencing conversions.

Best Features for Your Business

Perhaps the greatest perk of YouTube is that it allows brands to access an unlimited amount of video hosting. This makes it an affordable way for businesses to publish video content that can drive more engagement and influence conversions. YouTube content can also be easily integrated onto your website or shared on other social media platforms for greater reach.

Not only does YouTube allow you to reach a wide audience of viewers across the globe, but it can also help with your search engine optimization (SEO). The content that you post on your brand’s YouTube channel is searchable in both YouTube and Google. That means that Google may just serve your YouTube video content in its search engine results page for keywords that you are trying to target. Remember, it’s important to make sure that your YouTube videos are optimized for search if you want to get the most out of this helpful feature.

6. Pinterest

Pinterest was launched in March 2010, and has since reached 175 million active users. This social media platform is perfect for brands that have great images to share, which they can link back to their site to drive more traffic. Rather than just being an image-focused social network, Pinterest is designed to be a catalogue of ideas that inspires users start a new project, whether that be beginning a new home improvement project or kicking off new healthy habits through meal planning and exercise.

Pinterest’s user group is predominately made up of women, making it a great platform for brands that are trying to reach a more female audience. In fact, 80% of the platform’s users are women, and about 45% of all U.S. women are using Pinterest to find new recipes, fashion tips, DIY projects, and other advice and guidance on a range of topics.

Another important thing to mention about Pinterest user demographics is that there is a pretty even spread of users across all age groups. With 17% of users between the ages of 18 to 24, 30% of users between 25 and 34, 25% of users between 35 and 44, and 16% of users between 45 and 54, brands that are trying to reach adult females in the U.S. will most likely find that their audience is active on Pinterest.

Best Features for Your Business

One of the greatest aspects of Pinterest is that it has a significant reach among women across different demographics, including age, income, education level, and location. This makes it the perfect platform for any brand with products or services that are targeting women. The image-focus of the platform also makes it ideal for brands in the fashion, home décor, art, food, or fitness industries.

The Pinterest Buy Button makes it easier than ever to sell products directly from your Pinterest page. Users can now conveniently search and pin products on Pinterest, and then, with the click of a button, they can add their favorite items to their shopping bag. This feature makes Pinterest another way for brands to gain visibility and increase sales.

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