As there are numerous platforms to choose from, and it seems like there are new ones popping up every so often, it can be hard to know which ones to focus on in an ever competitive market.
So, whether you are a rockstar social media marketer, a social media guru in training or you are looking to better leverage your marketing efforts on social, it’s helpful to know the different platforms you should look at and seeing if they make a good fit.
So, let’s look beyond Facebook and look at 13 social media networks your business needs to try in 2019 and beyond.
13 Social Media Networks Your Business Needs to Try
Now, before we get into specifics, the big question pressing on many businesses minds is “which social media networks should I invest in?”
To some, it’s all about the size of the platform…to others, it is about the visual elements. But, to truly answer this question effectively, you need to know which is the right fit for your business, audience and business objectives.
To help answer this brainstorm around what your needs may be, look to these key things that will help map out the best social media networks for you:
- What kind of business model are you? B2C? B2B? Both?
- Who is your target audience? What matters to them and where are they online?
- What is your overall business goal?
- What time do you have to manage your social media platforms consistently? (give yourself a number of how many profiles you can manage with this answer).
- What resources do you have to create content 1-2 times a day?
Now that we have started the business social media brainstorm, let’s take a look at the social networks you can dabble with and how they can help reach your target audience. Keep these answers to the questions above in the back of your mind as you scroll through below:
It is not a surprise that Facebook is #1 for many businesses across the board as there are 1.32 billion daily active users on the site, making it the most widely used social platform.
Facebook has a wide user base so literally everyone can find their target audience on the platform and get their content in front of those individuals. Facebook also has a fantastic advertising platform that is well developed and can be beautifully built for niche targeting.
On Facebook, you can target almost anything you want like employment, interests, behaviors, relationship statuses, gender and a whole heck of a lot more. I mean, heck, you can even target friends of friends! With that said, Facebook gives you the incredible power to target the exact audience you want to reach and have your content scrolling through their feed, no big deal.
As a lot of Facebook’s strength comes from a “pay to play” platform stance, know there are also a lot of free features you can take advantage of like Facebook business page groups, Messenger, etc.
Facebook is still king of the social media world and any business should kneel at its wonder.
Now onto my favorite social media platform: Instagram.
Close behind the numbers and impact of Facebook is the visually charged platform, Instagram. As Instagram is owned by Facebook, it has access to the same extensive user base and advertising platform like Facebook does.
In short, Instagram has all the same paid ads benefits that Facebook offers but has a few more organic features up its sleeve.
If you are a business that relies on visual storytelling, this is the platform for you. Instagram is a strong visual platform, as you can only publish posts that include photos and videos (it has also recently launched IGTV for longer-form videos). This works to your advantage as a business since people remember 80% of what they see as opposed to what they read or hear/read!
As a brand, you can have an Instagram business profile, which will provide you with rich analytics of your content and the ability to schedule Instagram posts using third party tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.
Like Instagram, if your business falls within a creative industry or caters more to females, visual promotion and styling then Pinterest is a social media platform you want to be on.
As of December 2017, 175 million people are discovering new possibilities on Pinterest. From recipes, DIY hacks, decor inspiration, to even products to buy, Pinterest helps people find creative ideas for their future. In fact, according to Pinterest, 78% of users say that content on Pinterest from brands are useful (much higher than that on other sites). This gives your brand a unique opportunity to shape their purchasing decisions.
While Pinterest isn’t quite as big as other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, it can be a special place to promote your products and services—especially when it comes to ecommerce. In fact, Pinterest is a non-invasive way to promote products as promoted pins seem like a natural pin on people’s feed rather than a slapped on ad on a Facebook feed.
On Pinterest, every Pin is a possibility that gets people thinking about action and it allows content an evergreen benefit. To learn how to make it more effective for your business, check out my article here.
First things first, if your target market is largely comprised of a younger demographic, then Snapchat may be one of the more effective social media sites for business for you!
There are over 300 million monthly active users, and 187 million daily active users on Snapchat, and 71% of those users are under 34 years old.
On top of a specific demographic, Snapchat offers advertising options where you can pay to have a linkable Snapchat in the Discovery section of Snapchat (a lot like Instagram story swipes).
Between organically posting content on your company’s Snapchat Story and paying to post Snapchat in your target audience’s Top Story and Discovery feed, you’re sure to reach your market on one of the youngest social media platforms!
YouTube has 1.57 billion monthly active users, giving your business the chance to share company content wither over 30+ million daily active users! Wow!
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, YouTube has the benefit of visual content and also being owned by one of the biggest search engines in the world: Google!
What does that mean for you as a marketer?
Well, YouTube has access to Google’s advertising platform which is something that will definitely make your life easier if you choose to run YouTube ads! Another added benefit to YouTube’s relationship with Google is that it mimics the search of Google so your business videos can be easily found with proper keywords.
As a cheap solution to advertising, relatively speaking, you can make your videos have great search rankings by using strategic keywords in your titles, descriptions and in your keyword tool.
Twitter, another powerhouse of a social platform, is a bit different as its content solely focuses on sharing media in real-time. Another unique characteristic of Twitter is that it only allows 280 characters in a tweet, unlike most social media sites that have a much higher limit.
So, if you are looking to share real-time updates to promotions, business news, etc, this is your platform! Short, snappy and to the point!
Twitter is also often used as a customer service channel. According to advertisers on Twitter, more than 80% of social customer service requests happen on Twitter. In fact, Salesforce calls Twitter “the New 1-800 Number for Customer Service“.
Twitter is also awesome at utilizing social hashtags!
By including hashtags in your content, you help social platforms index your content in a way that is discoverable to everyone, not just your followers. So, if you are wanting to answer real-time questions for customer support, share content in real time and be apart of social conversations, give Twitter a try!
Yelp, although not a typical social media platform, is a great place to build up your brand awareness, image and following online!
Yelp has 145 million monthly visitors, and those visitors include people who want word-of-mouth confirmation of whether your business provides a positive or negative experience. In fact, 92% of consumers who use consumer online review sites say they made a purchase after visiting Yelp at least sometimes, frequently or almost always.
With audience behavior like this, Yelp gives your business a place to shine and keep up your reputation by sharing strong social proof reviews and allows you to respond to negative reviews for better customer service!
These two efforts alone help build an organic sense of transparency which is big in a world where there are a lot of scams! This will greatly help retain current customer groups you have as well!
Messenger apps are huge these days, but many stop at Facebook and Twitter when it comes to messaging options and this is a mistake!
Messenger apps are being used for marketing in a lot of different places. The leader in most of the world is WhatsApp with 1.5 billion monthly active users around the world.
WhatsApp, a messenger apps like it, are a great way to share content via dark social which is a more intimate way to share information than through public networks like Facebook feeds!
In fact, users of WhatsApp and similar services are willing to engage with businesses! Messaging apps like WhatsApp have incredible engagement rates: 98% of mobile messages are opened and read, with 90% of them getting opened within three seconds of being received.
So, if you are looking for a unique way to connect with your audience through messages, try messenger applications outside of Facebook and other mainstreams!
You might surprise yourself!
As Blogger was left behind in the early 2000’s, Tumblr is it’s evolved tech-child!
Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking site for sharing text, photos, links, videos, audios, and more.
Many people don’t know that there are over 420 million Tumblr users. That is more than the number of users on networks like Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Tumblr is also accumulating many new users as it continues to grow at a rapid pace.
In fact, the active user base publishes over 59 million posts every day! That’s a whole lot of videos and photos! As we, as a society, have developed more into a visual and interactive media society, this is a platform for sharing all types of content to people who are looking for quick and engaging content!
10. Tik Tok
Tik Tok (also known as Douyin in China) is a rising music video social network. It was the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018, beating Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps.
Although this platform resembles a lot of Instagram, in both design and function, this is a platform to watch as I believe it will evolve into something big as it moves outside of Asia and into more western culture.
In fact, U.S. businesses are already dabbling with the music social network like Coke, who did a successful “Share a Coke and a Song” campaign. This can be an interesting platform to creatively match your content with music!
Reddit, also known as the front page of the Internet, is a platform where users can submit questions, links, and images, discuss them, and vote them up or down.
So, as a conversational social media platform, people are looking for answers—and this is a great place to plant your business as a solution. On top of organic social hijacking that can come from just answering people’s questions in relevant feeds to your business, Reddit has an awesome advertising platform!
Reddit has done a great job building native ads that flow well in a user’s feed, creating an intuitive self-serve ad UI, and enabling targeting around specific subreddits. Reddit is a platform for people wanting to be seen as a solution!
Simply put, Medium is a place to write. Medium is an online publishing platform with a social network element. It’s free to publish on Medium and free to read most articles, as some are reserved for exclusive paying customers.
This is a great place for businesses to republish and re-circulate their blog content on a Medium platform account to extend the content reach. If you are a new business, this is a great option to get your business quick traffic as Medium has a huge built-in audience. This is helpful due to minimizing the pressure of creating and upkeeping your own blog and getting the traction it needs.
With medium, the audience is already in place and your content can shine!
Although it seems like a social platform that is solely dedicated to questions is a waste of time, I think it’s time to reconsider! Quora, the Q&A platform has over 300 million unique visitors each month and with its vast threads of topics, it can be applied to any business! All you have to do is find your audience, answer a question and target your ads towards those people/topics!
Quora’s self-serve portal has two major ad units:
- Promoted Answers, where a specific answer gets promoted in a user’s home feed (but not within the question itself)
- Image/text ads that appear within answer results.
What makes Quora effective is how hyper-targeted you can get. Like Facebook you can get pretty creative targeting keywords, you can even target specific questions! So, if you are a business looking to target questions you feel your target audience might be asking online, this might be a great solution for you!
When you are the solution to people’s problems, the business objectives and goals work themselves out!
Give It a Go: Social Platforms Fit for Your Business
As a modern business, there are plenty of social media platforms to choose from, you just need to test them out to see which makes for a good fit!
If you are looking to expand your marketing into social, or you are looking to expand beyond the big hitters of Facebook, these are the ones to try! The platforms mentioned above have been weighted, measured and have a sizable following ready to make a difference in your marketing efforts.
If you are looking for new ways to experiment with ad dollars are want help with creating social media plans, reach out to us here! We would love to help!
What platforms do you think I missed? What platforms have you tried and seen success? Comment and share below!
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