Comprehensive Look on the Top 7 Social Media Platforms

Social Media Platforms 

It’s quite normal these days to see brands and businesses maintaining an online presence, particularly on major social networks. Many may have heard the success stories several businesses achieved using this digital marketing platform and would like to cash in on the opportunity themselves. However, many are not finding the results they envisioned, getting inconsistent results from all their efforts and investments.

The problem may lie not with social media in general but in how they choose the right social media platform to use with their business. Each platform has their own unique sets of features that allow businesses of certain types to attract and engage with their kind of targeted user. Another pitfall businesses fall into is joining these social networks all at once, spreading their social media resources and manpower too thin – resulting in sub-par results.

The key to social media marketing success is to select the best social media platforms that would work well with your type of business and targeted audiences, and focus your efforts into optimizing each of your campaigns in these channels. The following provides a detailed overview of various social networks available to provide business owners and digital marketers valuable insights on which channels to choose for their brand’s campaign.

1. Facebook

Facebook ranks high in the social media pedestal and is one of the most powerful digital marketing channels from almost every aspect available. By size, it is undoubtedly the strongest force in the social media world, backed by an estimated 1.28 billion monthly users which include up to 73% of the adult population in the United States.

General Description

Facebook provides businesses with various channels where they can engage with targeted users and present their brands, products or services. However, business success at Facebook is achieved not by bluntly selling or pushing your products, but in developing long-term relationships with your audience. It’s still a network of people and not brands or logos. So connecting with real people in a more meaningful way through Facebook can help businesses generate valuable leads that would often end-up as loyal customers or followers.

Ideal User

Facebook is one of the most widely spread or diversified social network in terms of demographics. Almost all demographics that matter from business perspective can be found here, even senior citizens. Because users are required to include real identities and personal details upon registration, it would be easier to use targeted advertising intended for certain demographics when you make use of Facebook’s advertising tool.

Ideal Content / Post Frequency

Almost all types of content can be posted on Facebook and digital marketers just need to know how to harness the power each of these types of content can deliver. For example, photos on text posts can generate 120% more engagement. Another example is generating up to 60% more engagement by keeping posts shorter than 250 characters. Ideal post frequency is once or twice a day with posts on Thursdays and Fridays getting engagement rates by as much as 18% higher than other days.

2. Twitter

If you’re looking for a platform where you can quickly send short, direct updates to targeted users, Twitter would be the proper channel to use. Breaking news and trending topics marked with hashtags make it possible for brands to harness this channel made up of more than 255 million monthly users. Twitter is the fourth largest social network in terms of usage, with up to 46% accessing the site every day and use the features and services more extensively than other platforms.

General Description

Like text messaging in mobile phones, Twitter is the ideal platform for sending out quick and short messages to a wide number of people. In other platforms where users can set aside content for later viewing, Twitter relies on real-time updates, breaking news, call outs, questions or immediate comments or opinions to connect with other users.

Ideal User

Twitter is ideal for businesses who want to make frequent connections with targeted audiences, like businesses related to sports, news, showbiz, marketing and online service providers. Businesses relying on up-to-date or real-time information and information would do well using this platform.

Ideal Content / Post Frequency

Relying on real-time updates or breaking news, Twitter posts would do well if done multiple times a day and on strategic time frames within the day. The graph below from BufferApp indicate various spikes in use and Click Through Rates, usually during commuting times, and dips during lunch and dinner.

  twitter post frequency

3. LinkedIn

Branding itself as the “professional social network”, LinkedIn sets itself apart as the social network for business people and employed professionals. Up to 38% of online users with $75k yearly income and above are registered in this network along with 27% of Americans who are currently employed in various trades and professions. User demographics are on the higher-aged range, with up to 79% aged from 35 years old and above.

General Description

Originally intended as a portal where prospective job applicants can connect with managers and executives of various corporations, LinkedIn has evolved as the main social network where professionals and business people can connect and build relationships within the channel. It maintains a more serious atmosphere compared to Facebook or Twitter and focuses mainly on professional, trade or business-related discussions and sharing of information.

Ideal User

Businesses and service providers focusing on the B2B market may do well in social media marketing through LinkedIn. Dominant industry sectors with a strong presence at LinkedIn include the high tech industry at 14.3%, followed by finance at 12.4% and manufacturing at 10.1%. It’s an ideal network for companies, employers and headhunters looking for skilled or professional manpower, as well as professionals, freelancers and service providers looking for employment or projects.

Ideal Content / Post Frequency

LinkedIn is not the site for posting funny pictures, memes and hilarious videos. It is geared towards informative materials related to industry niches, trades and professions. Job postings are of course welcome as well as informative materials on products, services and technologies posted at least two times but not more than four times a week.

4. YouTube

YouTube is definitely the leading force when it comes to online video. There are over a billion users on YouTube watching up to 6 billion hours of video each month, with at least 100 hours of new video materials uploaded every minute.

General Description

The success of YouTube was drawn from the natural tendency of people to rely or lean more towards visual content. And when it comes to visuals, nothing beats video compared to other forms of media. It is a good channel to deliver compelling visual materials to targeted audiences, with really good ones going viral and have the potential of reaching millions of Internet users across the whole social media sphere.

Ideal User

Brands and businesses with great video materials can use this channel.

Ideal Content / Post Frequency

sVideos should be short (not more than 1.5 minutes) and interesting for online users to take notice and watch your content in its entirety. Videos that are dragging, too long or uninteresting will not work well for business wanting to send their message across. A good frequency is to publish new materials at least once or twice a week, with tutorials, how-to’s and demonstrations favored over videos that are obviously marketing in nature.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest has only 70 million active users on a monthly basis but it can generate more referral traffic than other social networks combined, including Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Reddit. Up to 21% of adults in the United States are using this platform, and interestingly more than 84% of these users are females.

General Description

Pinterest was originally known as a site where housewives can share recipes, photos of bags, dresses and cosmetics on pinboards during the early days of its conception. Since then, the network has evolved into one of the fastest growing site for sharing visual content that includes photos, images, and videos.

Ideal User

With up to a 4:1 female user ratio, Pinterest is an ideal site for businesses focused on products and services geared towards this market. This includes fashion, food, travel, events, interior decoration, jewelry, home improvements, DIY, and other related content most females would be interested in. But aside from its platform suitable for e-commerce businesses, products and services relying on visual elements for branding can do well using this platform.

Ideal Content / Post Frequency

Visual content in the form of videos, photos, graphics and other images that are creative and visually stimulating in nature are ideal for posting in Pinterest. Unlike other social networks that lean heavily towards popular content, Pinterest automatically pushes old content down in lieu of fresh and more recent content. Thus, businesses should focus on posting multiple times each day during strategic hours where engagement and click-throughs would be at their highest.

6. Google+

Google+ now has more than 300 million active monthly users from a 540 million registered user base. 67% of these are male and the average user age is 28, many of which are in the technical and engineering fields or industries.

General Description

Another Google product, the strength of Google+ is its compatibility with other products from the same company, including YouTube, Google Hangouts, Circles and Communities. This makes it an ideal channel for sharing relevant content for targeted users who are present in these resources.

Ideal User

Google+ is another ideal channel for B2B marketing or those targeting individuals and companies that are focused or related to the technical and engineering industries. Those marketing high tech products and applications can find potential clients here.

7. Instagram

Instagram is another platform focused on visuals, with up to 17% of adults in the United States using this site as well as 43% of mobile users aged between 18 and 29. Interestingly, Instagram is the only platform where a large number of Hispanics and blacks are registered and using the site.

General Description

Just like Pinterest, Instagram is another social platform focused on more visual content, except for the difference in user majority. Businesses should take this fact into consideration particularly when planning their content posting campaigns.

Ideal User

Instagram is ideal for businesses relying heavily on visual content for marketing. This includes restaurants, clothing, technology, architecture, lifestyle and design related businesses.  Brands targeting the 18-29 age group may do well in this platform.

Ideal Content / Post Frequency

Great, interesting and compelling visual content is obviously the main recipe for success at Instagram. Once a day posting of photos, images and short 15-second videos will do well in creating good branding for your business.

There are so many social media platforms available on top of those listed above. Again it all boils down to choosing the best platform to use that would work best with the kind of business you have and the type of targeted audiences you want to reach. It would be hard and impractical to maintain a presence on all social networks, so choose wisely and select only the best – those that deliver the best results.

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Jomer Gregorio

Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.
  • Good work, Jomer! Using this as a client guide; got way too many who over-compensate on the self promotion!

    • Thanks for the positive Feedback Kieren. Glad you liked this content.

  • Social media platforms have dissimilar goals, use and
    purpose. Regardless of their unlikeness, one thing that ties them, they have
    goals to help individuals or businesses, to engross users and connect people.

    This comprehensive look on the top seven social media
    platforms is jam-packed with knowledge, which can give readers idea to gear up
    in his or her social media campaign effectively with the use of timing and
    smart ideas that shared here.

    • Metz,

      Thanks for the feedback! Yes this post was intended to teach people how to approach the top 7 platforms specifically.

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