Updated: September 2023
With the Internet and technology changing often and quickly, we are often asked what social media platforms are important for a business. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or a newbie, it’s helpful to know about the most popular social media sites out there right now. This will allow you to maximize your brand reach on social media, engage with the right people, and achieve your social media goals. Here are our top five:
Facebook is the uncontested King of Social Media. It was number one back in 2020, and it is still number one today. Starting off as an online space exclusively for university students in America, the team at Facebook HQ, recognized the potential and quickly expanded their network for everyone to connect with friends, family, and colleagues.
This social media platform quickly became a must-use network for smaller businesses. With features such as Groups and Pages, and their advertising tools, Facebook has planted itself firmly among other titans of the industry like Google. The latest statistics are:
- 2.96 Billion monthly active users (Facebook, January 2023)
- Over 80 Million small business pages around the world (Facebook, 2023)
- 57% of Facebook users are under the age of 35. (DataPortal, July 2023)
- 98/5% of active users accessed the platform from a mobile device (SocialPilot, 2023)
- Users spend an average of 33 minutes per day on Facebook (SocialPilot, 2023)
- A video post increases interaction by 600% on Facebook (SoicalPilot, 2023)
- There are 250 million Facebook Shops worldwide (SocialPilot, 2023)
For businesses, big and small, Facebook is impossible to ignore. Its impact due to the number of users as well as the amount of engagement those users bring is vital on a low budget. Facebook allows your business to connect with your customers on a personal level at a minor cost.
Back in 2020, when this post was original written, we didn’t include YouTube, and placed Instagram in second position. YouTube is a video-sharing platform. Besides being the second largest social media site, YouTube is often called the second largest search engine after Google, its parent company. The latest statistics are:
- 2.2 Billion monthly active users (Global Media Insight, August 2023)
- YouTube Premium and YouTube Music together have more than 80 million subscribers around the world (Global Media Insight, August 2023)
- India has the largest number of active users (467 million) than any other country (DataReportal, 2023)
- Hong Kong has 6.64 million active users (DataReportal, 2022)
- 54.4% of YouTube’s global users are male (DataReportal, 2023)
- Users aged 25 to 34 account for the largest share of YouTube’s advertising audience (Kepios, 2023)
YouTube is without a doubt, one of the longest-standing video social media platforms in the world. While you may not consider YouTube to be a typical social media platform, it’s still a place for people to connect with one another through videos and in the comments section. If you create video as part of your businesses marketing content, then we highly recommend you posting your videos on your own channel.
WhatsApp is a messaging app used by people globally. Initially, used to send text messages, now a popular way of communicating with businesses, especially in Hong Kong. WhatsApp’s business platform allows businesses to provide customer support and share updates with customers about their purchases. The latest statistics are:
- 2.78 billion monthly active users in over 180 countries (Demand Sage, 2023)
- It is predicted that this number will reach 3.14 billion by 2025 (Demand Sage, 2023)
- There are over 50 million WhatsApp Business accounts worldwide (WhatsApp, 2023)
- WhatsApp is known for its high user engagement, with 71% of users checking the app multiple times a day (Facebook, 2023)
- In Hong Kong, 79.7% of the population utilise WhatsApp (MeltWater, 2023)
As the most widely used messaging platform, WhatsApp can be a great customer service channel for your business.
Instagram has dropped from second to fourth position since 2019. The platform started off as an iOS-only app but since its inception, it has gone on to become a massive social network bought out by Facebook.
On the surface, Instagram is just an app that lets you edit and share photos. Their curation is what has set them apart from other competitors. Using hashtags (#), users can find and create trends. The latest statistics are:
- 1 Billion monthly active users (Statista, 2018)
- Instagram is the second most engaged social network (Emarketer, 2018)
- 71% of the billion monthly active users on the Instagram app are under the age of 35 (Statista, 2019)
- 83% of Instagrammers say they discover new products and services on Instagram (Facebook, 2019)
- 500 million Instagram accounts use Instagram Stories every day (Instagram, 2018).
- 1/3 of the most viewed IG stories are from businesses. (Oberlo, 2019)
- Instagram helps 80% of Instagrammers decide whether to buy a product or service (Facebook, 2019)
Businesses can gain important and useful insight from the hashtags such as consumer insight, new ideas and feedback from people in your industry.
Pinterest is basically a social scrapbook. You “pin” images into specific categories and you can “pin” as much as you want into however many categories that you create. The unique feature of Pinterest is that globally, 83% of its users are female (Source: Engage). The latest statistics are:
- Pinterest currently has 445 million monthly active users (Social Pilot, 2023)
- 55% of people use Pinterest to shop and buy (SocialPilot, 2023)
- Seven out of every ten Pinterest users are female (eMarketer, 2018)
- There are over 200 billion pins saved on Pinterest (Pinterest, 2019)
- Pinterest users are 7x more likely to purchase products they’ve pinned (Buffer, 2023)
Food and Drink is the most popular category on Pinterest and its users tend to trust the information they receive through their pinboards. Users also receive price updates for their pins – a very useful tool for businesses to drive purchases.
Bonus: 6. LinkedIn
LinkedIn calls itself “the world’s largest professional network.”
Since it is a platform geared for business, it has a more formal and professional approach. Therefore, a LinkedIn strategy will differ greatly from that of other popular social media sites.
Job seekers and brands alike use LinkedIn as an important part of being a full-fledged professional in any industry. The latest statistics are:
- 660 million users in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe (LinkedIn, 2019)
- 57 percent of LinkedIn users worldwide are male, compared to 43 percent of females (Statista, 2019)
- An average LinkedIn session lasts six minutes and seven seconds (SimilarWeb, 2019)
- LinkedIn has more than 30 million companies listed on the platform (LinkedIn, 2019)
LinkedIn is so valuable because it hosts more than 660 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities.
Understanding what each platform has to offer should be a significant focus in every brand’s marketing strategy.
The ability to reach people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally should be utilized to its fullest extent. Researching the platforms will allow brands to make informed decisions about which platform is the most appropriate tool for their objectives.
Understanding a brand’s target audience and the unique characteristics of the chosen platform will allow a business to personalize its messages so it resonates with that audience most appropriately.
If you are struggling to identify the social media channel that is best for your business, reach out to us. We can help you leverage these powerful marketing tools.
Psst. We haven’t forgotten about WeChat, Tik Tok, Twitter, or the others. We’ll share more of them in an upcoming post.
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.