Do you have a small business and wondering which social media platform will work best for your brand? Here you’ll find several platforms to consider starting with Facebook and many others.
In this era, we embrace technology more than ever because it allows us to connect with others. We have become socially inclined creatures, and each year there is an increased number of people joining different social media platforms.
As a result, today, billions of people use social media due to cheaper and easier accessibility to smartphones and internet connectivity. If you’ve noticed, marketers find social media possible to reach and engage with a massive audience.
If you’ve not yet decided which social media platform to go with for your brand in 2021, here are our top picks to help you make an informed decision.
15 Most Popular Social Media Sites & Apps
- Monthly Active User：27 billion
- Audience: Studies show that 68% of adults use Facebook, with 51% active multiple times a day.
- The main function: Social
Facebook is the leading social media site around with the largest population compared to other sites. It has over 65 million businesses using the platform’s pages and over 6 million active advertisers promoting their business, making Facebook a pretty safe choice if you’re looking to have an online presence.
Some of the prominent industries on this site include e-commerce, financial services, gaming, retail, media, entertainment, consumer goods, technology, telecom, fashion, and automotive businesses. Suppose your business falls in one of these industries. In that case, the market competition is incredibly high, so the secret is creating more engaging and exciting content for your brand to go viral on Facebook. You can use eye-catching images, short videos, and striking headlines to attract audiences.
New to this site? Starting on Facebook is not complicated because it supports almost all content formats, including videos, images, text, stories, and live videos.
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However, it is essential to note that Facebook prioritizes content with meaningful interactions and conversations between people, particularly those from friends and family.
- Monthly Active User：19 billion
- Audience: A massive 73% of US adults regularly use YouTube, especially those between the ages of 15-34. The usage of YouTube is popular amongst both men and women, aiming to go up with revenue and education level.
- The main function: Video content
YouTube is known as the largest video-sharing platform, where billions of users watch videos every day. The platform is the second most prominent social media site to market your brand. You can create a YouTube channel that allows you to upload videos for your subscribers to view, comment/like, and share.
With this site, you can share both short-form and long-form video content, depending on your target audiences. Don’t worry about the content you share because most viewers tune in for a combination of entertainment and education. However, you’ll have to work extremely hard to retain their attention by creating unique and thought-provoking videos.
If you feel so ambitious about starting a YouTube channel, it would be a great idea to partner with influencers who have the same interest to help you test the waters before diving right in. Also, consider this platform only if your target audience is below 50 years and watches video content.
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- Monthly Active User：13 billion
- Audience: There are 53% of WhatsApp users in the US use the app at least once a day. For every five US adults, one uses WhatsApp.
- The main function: Messaging
As a popular messaging application, WhatsApp is now being used by people in more than 180 countries. Initially, people used WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family, then gradually started to use it for business purposes.
The platform has incredibly unique features where users can post photos, videos, and test statues that disappear within 24 hours. It also allows businesses to build a good profile by providing direct customer support and sharing recent updates with clients.
WhatsApp provides a business app for small businesses and a business API for medium and large enterprises. So, if you’re planning to go with this messaging app, it would be an excellent option for your brand because it allows you to deal with customers directly.
- Monthly Active User：3 billion
- Audience: 11% of the world’s population use Messenger every month. Demographics also show that 27.3% of Messenger users in the US are aged between 25 and 34.
- The main function: Instant Messaging
Initially, Messenger was a messaging feature within Facebook, but now it’s a standalone app that has significantly expanded its features. As a result, businesses can now use Messenger to create chatbots, advertise, send newsletters, etc. These features allow many businesses to connect and engage with their customers.
This app helps your followers to find the most relevant content themselves instead of pushing it. Some of the companies using this strategy include Food Network, Wholefoods Market, and TechCrunch. They use Messenger chatbots to help their followers find articles that they wish to read.
Also, Messenger is a great option if you want to reach your target audience one-to-one. You can do that with Messenger ads, where people can easily view your ad on their Messenger mobile app. Once they tap on the ad, they will be redirected to your website or your preferred destination. Another advantage of this platform is that it provides speedy customer support, which is ideal for most people.
- Monthly Active User：4billion
- Audience: Wechat is popular among people aged between 26 and 35, especially in China.
- The main function: Messaging
Wechat is a recognized messaging app for connecting with others using your app ID. It grew into an all-in-one platform like Messenger and WhatsApp. Besides calling and messaging, users can use Wechat to book taxis, transfer money, make reservations, shop online, and make payments offline.
This platform is commonly used in some parts of Asia and China. Therefore, if your business is based in those areas, Wechat could be an excellent choice since social media platforms like Facebook are banned.
One thing that is quite intriguing about Wechat is that you can talk to strangers without exposing your phone number or any other sensitive information. So, with this app, you can maintain anonymity while connecting with an unfamiliar person due to its unique selling point (USP) feature. Apart from text messages, you can also share videos and photos.
- Monthly Active User：1billion
- Audience: Instagram is most popular among teens and young adults, especially in the US. Statistics show that 32% of users are between 18-24 years, and 33% are aged between 25 and 34.
- The Main Function: Sharing images and videos
Instagram has grown fast over the years and has long been the home of bloggers, friends, brands, influencers, small business owners, and everyone in between. It has inspiring creativity and attention-grabbing visuals. Even though it is mostly app-based, users can as well view their feed through the website edition.
If you’re a business owner and would like to make your brand known, you can create an Instagram business profile to get rich analytics of your posts and entire profile. You can also use third-party tools to schedule your Instagram posts.
However, you need to know that Instagram works best if your target audience is below 40 years, especially if you run an eCommerce, lifestyle, or photography business.
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- Monthly Active User：805million
- Audience: Popular among young Chinese.
- The Main Function: Instant messaging
QQ is a messaging platform used in 80 countries and available in different la languages other than Chinese. Apart from its instant messaging feature, users can use QQ to decorate their avatars, play online games, watch movies, blog, shop online, and make payment.
Today, QQ allows users to find a partner through its dating service, stream music, and also use the Facebook-like Qzone to share posts with friends. While the platform was only available as a desktop app, you can now access it on your smartphone. If your target as a marketer is young users, you’ll be most successful with QQ.
8. Tik Tok
- Monthly Active User：800million
- Audience : Around 50% of Tik Tok users in the US are under 35 years, ranging between 16 to 24 years.
- The Main Function : Video content
Tik Tok is a rising music video social network launched in 2016 by a Chinese company. It is the most downloaded app and the most popular social media platform, currently beating Instagram, Facebook, and others.
It allows users to record short videos, up to 60 seconds, edit them, add preferred music, and other special effects. Although it is more popular in Asia, it is gradually spreading to the west. If you opt for Tik Tok, it is important to know that it works best with contents that are interesting, entertaining, comedic, and sometimes nonsensical short-form videos.
To succeed in this platform, you need to think of catchy and fun music videos or lip-sync videos, especially if your target is a young audience.
9. Sina Weibo
- Monthly Active User：370million
- Audience: Around 80% of users are young people, with the majority being Chinese.
- The Main Function: Microblogging
Sina Weibo is a Chinese version of Twitter since the real Twitter was banned in China. Its features are so much alike with those of Twitter. For instance, it allows uploading videos and photos, microblogging (with a limitation of 140 characters), commenting, and account verification.
Aside from the mentioned features, Chinese Sina Weibo because it provides instant messaging, use of hashtags, Weibo stories, following people, and official accounts and trending topics; just like with Twitter.
Sina Weibo is a great commerce platform, especially for B2C promotions. If you want to attract more followers, you can use Weibo paid Abs, or even Weibo influencer campaigns, to reach a young audience in China.
- Monthly Active User：330million
- Audience: Research shows that 4% of US adults use Reddit, with 67 percent being men. Most users tend to be considerably younger than average.
- The Main Function: Voting on content
Reddit is a social media website that allows users to engage with others on relevant topics. It is a front-page internet platform where users can submit links, questions, and images to discuss them and vote them up or down.
You’ll find a unique blend of content here and over 150k communities dedicated to every imaginable topic. These dedicated forums are known as subreddits, with different levels of engagement. So, it would be a great idea to research various subreddits to know which best suits your brand.
- Monthly Active User：328million
- Audience: 63% of Twitter users are aged 35 to 65 years, with men being the majority. 40% of those users are usually active several times a day.
- The Main Function: Trending topics
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter focuses on real-time information- things that are currently happening. It keeps people informed about politics, news, entertainment, sports, and many more. If your business is related to these topics, you stand a chance to earn tremendous engagement on Twitter.
Since Twitter has become prominent for communicating recent news and digest bite-sized content, you need to create images and videos that stand out best to get a bigger audience. The good thing is that Twitter allows users to share a combination of content types ranging from gripping visuals, discussions offering advice, and education videos.
12. Baidu Tieba
- Monthly Active User：300million
- Audience: Baidu Tieba has a whopping 55% market share, with Chinese being the majority.
- The Main Function: Online commercializing forums
Baidu Tieba is a communication platform commonly used by the Chinese. It was developed by Baidu, one of the largest search engine in the world. Like Reddit, users can use Baidu Tieba to create a discussion thread based on any topic and interact with each other. You can form a forum of people with whom you have the same interests.
If you want to get started in the Chinese market, Baidu Tieba will work best because it is cost-effective for new businesses. The only con with this medium is the rise of its competitors, including Zhihu and Douban.
- Monthly Active User：294million
- Audience: LinkedIn has 57% of male users and 43% female users, with 70% of overall users outside the US.
- The Main Function: search for a job
LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals and popular among the B2B audience. Over the years, this platform has grown rapidly, allowing users to expand their professional connections, search and apply for jobs, and showcase their portfolios.
Also, the site allows industry experts to share content and build their personal brand. With LinkedIn, you can publish a blog post to share your professional expertise. Not to mention, the platform allows members to send personalized ads to individual inboxes.
- Monthly Active User：260million
- Audience: Viber has 30% of users sending stickers daily.
- The Main Function: Instant Messaging
A Japanese company created Viber as an instant messaging platform available on both desktops and mobile devices. In addition to sending messages, you can also use Viber to make free voice and video calls, share GIFs and stickers, etc.
However, the platform is particularly meant for business due to opportunities like promoting brands through stickers, buying ads, engaging with communities, displaying products in the shopping section, and providing customer support.
- Monthly Active User：255million
- Audience: 78% of active users are massively young adults between 18 and 24, with females being the majority.
- The Main Function: Visual content
Snapchat is one of the most heavily used apps allowing friends and family to share disappearing short video and images messages. It is also a haven for behind the scenes videos, user-generated content, influencer takeovers, and exclusive offers.
If your greatest target is a young audience, you definitely need to get in on Snapchat and start creating engaging and bite-sized video content. Your Snapchat will only become successful if you focus on video-driven story-telling and compelling short videos to entertain and educate young youths.
Each of these social media sites are popular for different purposes, so, there is no right or wrong. They are all significant depending on the audience you’ll be targeting to reach. You can choose the one that you think will help you promote your product and brand while expanding your network.