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Best social media platforms for business

Social media has become a big part of our lives, but there’s more to it than sharing holiday snaps or catching up with old friends. If you’re a company owner, then you should definitely be looking at social media platforms for business and trying to understand how it can improve your brand.

Why are social media platforms important for businesses?

Any successful company needs to stay ahead of the game when it comes to trends, and there is nothing more current in the online space than social media platforms. Any solid marketing strategy needs to have social media in-built if you hope to compete in modern times. Here are just some of the ways that social media can help your business grow and reach a wider audience, with many of these benefits being unique to an active social media presence:

  • Brand awareness

  • Brand identity

  • Brand perception

  • Increase site referrals and traffic

  • Boost sales

  • Access influencer marketing

  • Interaction with competitors

  • Cross promotion of your other channels

  • Potential to go viral

  • Increased accessibility and communication channels for customers

Types of social media platforms

Social media platforms are more than just Twitter and Facebook, there are endless sites available now that give users unique ways of expressing themselves. Social media refers to any media platform that allows for social interaction, including:

  • Blogs

  • Networking sites

  • Streaming sites

  • Video sharing

  • Image sharing

  • Social networks

  • Product review sites

  • Forums

  • Collaborative platforms

  • Virtual worlds

Most popular social media platforms

Within all the above social media types, here are the most popular social media platforms by active users:

Name

Type

Total active users (millions)

Facebook

Social networking

2,740

YouTube

Video sharing

2,291

WhatsApp

Instant messaging

2,000

Instagram

Image sharing

1,221

TikTok

Video sharing

689

Pinterest

Image sharing

442

Reddit

Social networking

430

Twitter

Social networking

353

However, you shouldn’t just tap into the leading platforms – the more channels you have, the more people you can reach. It’s not uncommon for businesses to have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest accounts, as well as a dedicated WhatsApp chat to send special offers right to your customers’ phones.

List of social media platforms for business

Almost all social media platforms can be harnessed to help grow your business and widen your audience, but some lend themselves to this task better than others. Here are the best social media platforms for business and how you can best utilise them:

Facebook

Facebook can serve as a one-stop-shop for key information about your business. It’s not as buzzy as Twitter, where you can be expected to post multiple times a day, but it should definitely be considered the anchor of your internet presence when it comes to social media platforms. A Facebook page lets you input key business information like your contact details, address, and business hours.

Facebook also lets you tap into on-site marketing and powerful analytics to better understand your audience.

Twitter

Twitter is a popular choice for brands looking to show a more human face. From quickly responding to customers who reach out, be it for positive or negative reasons, an effective tweet can prove you are as engaged in customer satisfaction as the customer is in your brand.

However, as social media platforms go, Twitter can be the most demanding, as it opens up the most two-way conversations between brands and customers. It can also be tricky to navigate, as Twitter isn’t known to be forgiving if you say something inappropriate, so it’s important to monitor all tweets that your social media team is sending out on the platform.

On the other hand, Twitter is also an excellent tool for staying on top of trends. Just keep an eye out on the trending hashtags to see what matters to the Twittersphere on any given day, and chime in if you think your brand can contribute to the conversation (even if it’s just a well-timed meme).

YouTube

Depending on your offering, a YouTube account can be a useful tool for your brand. Whether you’re sharing tutorials, recipes, or helpful and informative shorts, high-quality video content can help improve a customer’s perception of your brand. You may find you aren’t able to churn out YouTube content as quickly or with as much relevance as you can on other platforms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take advantage of it in other ways.

YouTube influencers have enormous audiences, and collaborating with these personalities in an influencer marketing campaign can help spread your brand name to a whole new audience.

Instagram

The biggest of all the social media platforms when it comes to images and influencers, Instagram opens up a world of marketing possibilities, but there is a lot of competition. Staying afloat on Instagram means you have to be very much into your aesthetics and your hashtags, if that doesn’t sound like something that suits your business (for example, you’re operating in a fairly traditional niche, such as manufacturing or logistics), you may be wasting your time.

Businesses that do well on Instagram are visually led, from inspiring homes and delicious food to creative makeup looks. Influencers are aspirational idols like fitness models and others who break beauty conventions. Your business should be able to appeal to one of these areas to really make the most of this channel.

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