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The advancement of social media advertising is unlike anything traditional marketing can achieve. It is no longer a question of if your business should be on social media, but rather which social media platform your business should be on. Around the world, 67% of the total population (or 5.32 billion people) have a mobile device and 5 billion of those have access to the internet. And it is estimated that 4.65 billion people, which is 58.7% of the population, are active social media users. In the U.S., the average time a user spends on the internet is a little over 7 hours per day.

While that might sound a little excessive, you do have to keep in mind that 7 hours includes any internet usage: scrolling social media, watching videos, checking emails, reading articles, searching on Google, etc. Across all ages 18-65+, there are less than 1% of consumers in the United States who are not using the internet.

The need for and impact of social media advertising on a business is obvious, but many owners might struggle to determine just where their business needs to have an online presence. Some don’t have the time to be on multiple social media platforms and others think that creating a business account on every social platform will work. The best strategy is to identify who your current customers and target audience are to determine what platform they are most likely to be on. People use social media platforms for a variety of different things; even if a user has both a Facebook and Twitter account, they will use each platform differently. Therefore, a business would have to market to those users differently on each social media app. Let’s take a look at the top 10 social media platforms and how users interact on them.

1. Facebook

With 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook has remained a dominant social media platform, and for a good reason. Users of the platform regularly use it to engage with family and friends, as well as to interact with other businesses. It is consistently used as a news source for users to find information quicker than if they actually watched the news itself. The average age of Facebook users is 40.5 years old, with 65% of users being 35 or older. Less than 10% of users are 17 years or younger and even fewer are 65 or older. If your business has loyal customers, Facebook is a great platform to reach and interact with them, both paid and organically.

2. YouTube

With 2.2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the original video social media platform that still dominates today. Video advertising is the #1 best way to advertise to consumers because it engages them through sight and sound, whereas most forms of social media advertising only engage their sight and no other senses. A compelling message with dramatic music can be enough to appeal to a consumer’s emotions and make a lasting impression. YouTube’s numbers and potential audience reach are unrivaled with 81% of U.S. adults using the platform. It is also an optimal marketing platform to advertise to the difficult-to-reach 65+ demographic, as 49% use the platform. Any business of any industry can benefit from YouTube advertising and the platform is commonly searched as much as the Google search engine, with 122 million daily active users. People searching on YouTube want to visually see the answer, rather than read it on Google. If your business has interesting or complex products and services, YouTube can help bridge the gap with your consumers so they have a better understanding of how it works.

3. WhatsApp

With 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is the preferred messaging app, even dominating over Facebook Messenger. There are over 100 billion messages exchanged on WhatsApp daily. The app is commonly used by friends and family who live in different countries and want to make video or voice calls and send text messages. All a user needs is Wi-Fi and they can cancel their international cell phone package. Users also utilize the app to message businesses directly with questions, reviews, or complaints about products. Email has a 20% open rate, but SMS has a 98% open rate. Being able to message your customers immediately, in real time, makes the customer feel special and builds a better impression of your business. The app is mainly used by consumers aged 26-35 years, with 19% of users between 15-25 and 17% of users between 46-55. If your business has a strong focus on customer service and retention, WhatsApp is an ideal platform to build and maintain those customer relationships.

4. Instagram

With 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram grew quickly in the late 2000’s because it focused more on aesthetically pleasing images and less on long form content. Instagram introduced shoppable posts in 2018 and has become the ideal platform for businesses with ecommerce products. Instagram is a gold mine for businesses who are targeting consumers under the age of 35, as 67% of Generation Z and 58% of Millennials use the app daily. After purchasing Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, Facebook bridged the gap between the two platforms to make it easier for businesses to advertise simultaneously. If your business is in the retail industry, Instagram is a fantastic platform for reaching younger audiences who will buy your product.

5. TikTok

With 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is moving up in the world of video advertising for its fun, short clips. Unlike YouTube videos, TikTok videos are quick and to the point, with most videos averaging 10 seconds or less. Of the 80 million monthly active users in the United States, 60% are between the ages of 16-24 and 26% are between the ages of 25-44. While many associate TikTok with its silly dances, many users like the platform because they can search for tips, tricks, and life hacks. Covering everything from fitness and home décor to books and finance, TikTok users also enjoy the app because of its funny, relatable jokes about life. The app also offers a variety of editing features so users can mesh together different effects, sounds, and transitions. Some TikTok users are so skilled that their magical videos look comparable to real life movies, like Harry Potter. Since the app is mainly used by Generation Z, they want businesses to be real with them. Salesy video clips won’t work; TikTok users want genuine videos that show the reality of using the product, common thoughts one might have, and suggestions of what one should do. If you have the creativity and humor to make funny videos, TikTok is a great platform to reach those younger audiences.

6. Snapchat

With 538 million monthly active users, Snapchat is another video advertising platform that captivates younger audiences. With a variety of filters, quirky audios, and snapchat streaks, users communicate on a daily basis with their friends to maintain ongoing conversations. The most active Snapchat users are teenagers, with an average age of 13 years old spending up to 30 minutes a day on the app. Within the last few years, Snapchat also added its own version of “channels,” where influencers can create videos to post as their own TV-like series. It is also a platform for users to easily share information with their friends and offers video and phone calling capabilities. If your business can create cool behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive offers, or influencer takeovers, Snapchat will help you win over younger audiences.

7. Reddit

With 430 million monthly active users, Reddit is heralded as the online newspaper for internet users. According to Alexa rankings, it is one of the top 20 most-visited sites and is commonly used as a forum for asking questions. Roughly 64% of users are 19-29 and 29% are 30-49 with users under 18 being extremely rare. Reddit users like the platform because of its ability to get answers and insight from others who have experienced a similar problem or feel the same way about a trending issue. It is a fickle platform that won’t tolerate blatant self-promotion, and users will attack businesses if they feel like they are out of line with their responses. If your business has a strong backbone and a sassy sense of humor, Reddit is a platform that can help cultivate relationships with new or existing customers.

8. Pinterest

With 444 million monthly active users, Pinterest is a popular platform for women. The app is well known for housing a variety of user generated content for fashion, food, décor, weddings, exercise, and DIY projects. So, it’s no surprise that 60% of users are female. While the average age of Pinterest users is 40, the majority of active “pinners” are under the age of 40 and 80% of U.S. mothers use the app. Businesses and influencers have been known to use the app to share their written blogs and videos. If your business is targeting women or mothers, Pinterest is a platform that can easily reach those target audiences.

9. LinkedIn

With 830 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is the first platform choice for business professionals. In fact, 61 million users are in senior positions at their company and 50 million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs every week. More than 56% of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 25-34 and 23% are in the 35-54 age group. Its popularity with younger audiences is slowly picking up as Generation Z graduates from college or high school and needs a more professional platform for business prospects. Ideal for business-to-business marketing, LinkedIn is the best platform to reach other business professionals who are career driven and in higher company positions. If your business specializes in business services or products, LinkedIn is the best platform to reach your target audience.

10. Twitter

With 217 million monthly active users, Twitter is commonly used to spread news and messages faster than any other platform. It is popular among sports broadcasters and politicians who want to voice their opinions to the world. The majority of users are between 18-49 years of age, with 18-29 making up 37% of users and 30-29 making up 25% of users. The platform is most popular among men with 56.4% of users being male. Twitter is a popular platform for sports, entertainment, politics, tech, or marketing. If your business is targeting men and sports enthusiasts, Twitter is the platform your business needs to be on to reach them.

New Social Media Business Account Strategy

Now that you have more information about each of these platforms, it is time to create your business account. The best strategy is to pick one platform and focus all your attention on it. Post, comment, share, and interact with your target audience while focusing on growing your business account page. Creating accounts on any of these platforms is free, but don’t jump to create an account on every platform at once. Doing so will spread yourself thin and make your audience feel neglected when you don’t respond back to their messages in a timely manner. Once you build a suitable following on one platform, then you can consider adding another platform to grow your audience base on. As technology and trends evolve, so will consumers and the social media platforms they use. For now, these are the best social media platforms your business can be on to reach your customers and target audiences.

Social Media Advertising through Walker360

Need help creating your social media account? Or maybe you don’t want to manage the daily monitoring and postings? Walker360 offers social media advertising and management services, contact us today to get a free quote!