What is Social Media in Simple Words?
Social media refers to the platforms and applications people use to connect with other people, brands, and organizations in a “social” online setting. Social media allows for personal interaction, engagement, and even marketing with people across the world.
While many people may think of social media as the place for sharing silly photos, posting life updates, or engaging in political banter, it is so much more than that. Social media platforms – like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – have revolutionized how people interact with each other and with their favorite brands.
In simple terms, social media gives everyone a platform to share their thoughts with the world and discover new opportunities to connect on a global scale.
Social Media Statistics
Social media platforms boast over 3.5 billion users worldwide, which equates to about 45% of the population. And while social media has a place in many of our lives, we often underestimate the power these platforms have on a personal level as well as in business.
To better understand the impact social media has had on our world, consider these eye-opening statistics:
- 68% of all US adults have a Facebook account.
- 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users.
- People spend an average of 3 hours per day on social media.
- The average person has 7.6 social media accounts.
- Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp manage over 60 billion messages per day.
- 81% of all small and medium businesses use social media.
Not only has social media changed how everyday people connect with friends, loved ones, and strangers, but it’s shifted how brands do business. While many brands may loathe the rise of social media, there’s no doubt that it is a powerful online marketing platform.
Is your business on social media? Let’s check out the top social media platforms.
Top Social Media Platforms
A recent report by Buffer compiled the top social media platforms based on Monthly Active Users (MAUs) and Monthly Unique Visitors (MUVs). Most of these may be familiar to you, but they’re worth covering so you can have an idea of which platforms may be best to market your business.
Facebook – 2.23 billion MAUs
Facebook has been the #1 social media platform for quite some time, and for good reason. Facebook makes it easy for users to connect with friends, loved ones, organizations, causes, and brands, all within a single platform.
Facebook’s algorithm shows users the content they want to see most, boosting engagement and driving users to explore new companies and products. With Facebook’s wide reach, businesses can generate new customers through high-targeted Facebook Ads.
YouTube – 1.9 billion MAUs
YouTube is a popular video creation and marketing platform that helps users find interesting content and producers attract new subscribers. With YouTube, users can learn anything from how to change a car tire to how to start an online business to how to cut their own hair (not recommended).
On the flip side, brands and content creators can use YouTube to market their content, generate organic views, and grow their following. These views can then translate into new customers or help YouTubers generate a passive income with YouTube Ads.
Instagram – 1 billion MAUs
Instagram is a highly visual platform where users can post videos, photos, memes, and more. Many users turn to this platform because it’s easy to use and provides that “#inspo” that brightens their day.
Influencers have taken over Instagram by posting attractive content that earns them likes, followers, brand deals, and revenue. But regular businesses can also monetize with Instagram by running paid ads or directing followers to their website.
Tik Tok – 500 million MAUs
Many Gen Z-ers and marketers say Tik Tok is “the next best thing” because it seems to have blown up over night. While it does attract a younger demographic, people of all ages are flocking to this platform for entertainment and/or to drum up recognition for their own brands.
With a relatively new, unexplored algorithm, Tik Tok allows users to generate a ton of organic reach through hashtags and high-quality content. A video-based app, Tik Tok presents new opportunities for businesses to get their videos and offers seen by potential customers.
Twitter – 335 million MAUs
Twitter is known for being a rather punchy platform due to its short character limit, but it’s one of the leading social media platforms for brands. Brands can post engaging content to garner retweets and follows, as well as provide support directly to customers.
Twitter also attracts some big names – major brands, politicians, and celebrities – so business owners can bump virtual elbows with leaders in their industry. Through association, connecting with thought leaders makes it easier to drum up publicity and get noticed by potential customers.
LinkedIn – 294 million MAUs
Last but not least is LinkedIn, which is a leading Business to Business (B2B) social networking platform. LinkedIn is a favorite among professionals, business owners, and major brands.
LinkedIn also hosts great organic reach, making it easy for brands to attract potential customers or clients. By posting high-value content and forming authentic “Connections”, brands can use LinkedIn to generate more traffic and B2B leads with ease.
Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Social media gives businesses a wide range of opportunities to reach potential customers. With so many platforms to choose from, it’s likely that you’ll find at least one that can facilitate business growth.
The key is in establishing an effective social media marketing strategy based around your unique audience. Rather than posting random content, you’ll want to consider what your audience wants to see and what’s going to entice them to like/follow/subscribe/buy.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a social media marketing pro in order to see results. Many business owners choose to partner with a social media marketing agency that can dig into the data and establish a truly customized marketing plan.
How do you market your business on social media? To kickstart your own social media marketing strategy, contact Hennessey Digital for a free consultation.