8 Best Social Media Platforms for Business in 2021
When it comes to business marketing, social media has continued to grow in importance. Now in 2021, with so many choices available, there are two main questions:
Which social media platforms are best for my particular business?
How can I possibly manage them all effectively?
Great questions, but we need some further clarification. It’s important to understand each of the top social media platforms and with whom they are most effective. For instance, if you’re an attorney looking for new clients — where you spend your energy will depend on what type of law you practice.
If your focus is family law, divorce, or estate planning, then Facebook might be a great solution. However, if you practice corporate law, save your energy on Facebook and try LinkedIn, Medium, and YouTube instead.
The Best Social Media Platforms for Business
Let’s look at the eight best social media platforms for business to more fully understand how they might be leveraged for marketing purposes. Then we can look at how to develop a strategy that works.
1. Facebook — Monthly Users: 2.7 billion Worldwide
Facebook is the granddaddy of them all with the highest utilization rate by far. In the US, their fourth-quarter 2020 active monthly user number was 258 million. That may seem like a lot less than the worldwide number but remember — there are only 331 million people total! That’s a 78% saturation rate (probably much more since the total number includes young kids and members of the Silent Generation – although the ‘Silents’ are big Facebook users too).
Because of its high utilization rate, every business should have a Facebook page. Consumers expect to be able to reach you there and they also expect that you will respond to their questions or concerns. Facebook is great for engaging your audience, advertising products and services, and collecting reviews.
Whether you consider Facebook as a major component of your marketing strategy or more of a necessary presence, it still requires diligent management and upkeep, including frequent posts and monitoring of comments.
2. LinkedIn — Monthly Users: Over 65 million
LinkedIn has found its niche with businesspeople and professionals. It’s the #1 place to connect with B2B prospects and potential employees and is second to none when building a professional network.
For advertising, the LinkedIn platform is terrific at targeting decision-makers and boasts a 2X higher engagement rate than other social media platforms. On LinkedIn, you can target quality audiences and drive awareness for B2B lead generation. If you are uncertain if your product or service would find a market on LinkedIn, consider talking to a brand specialist to bring a laser focus to your marketing plan.
3. Instagram — Monthly Users: Over 1 billion
Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the hipper, trendier sibling that is de rigueur for brand awareness in the B2C marketplace. A great place to post visual content and to engage with customers, Instagram has expanded its shopping functions and now can really compete on the e-commerce front.
Created for mobile use and driven by hashtags, stories, and frequently updated content, Instagram requires committed focus and an aggressive posting schedule to pull off successfully. However, its advertising is related to Facebook’s ad management system making it an easy transition if you are familiar with the sister company’s process.
4. Twitter — Daily Active Users: Over 186 million
Things move lightning fast in the ‘Twitterverse’ and you need to be on top of your game to make this fast-paced platform work with multiple posts per day. Twitter is great for posting links to other content like events, fresh blog posts, or new product pages. It’s also a great part of a social media strategy if you want to build your reputation as a thought leader in your area.
With Twitter, you have to be concise — there’s a 280-character limit per tweet (up from the old limit of 140 characters) and it also helps if you’re funny! One big plus is free targeting with “#” and “@” but recognize that Twitter is better at driving traffic more than sales.
5. YouTube — Monthly Users: Over 2 billion
As one of the largest sources of user-generated content (more than Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok), YouTube is great if you are good with creating video content like demonstrations, tutorials, instructional content that connects with visitors. YouTube has evolved into a visual library for not just entertainment, but also instruction and learning new things.
With a little creativity and some good camera skills, you too can be a YouTube Star! It’s a great way to show off brand personality and is a natural complement to other social media strategies.
6. Pinterest — Monthly Users: 400 million active users
If you want to engage with millennials between the ages of 25 and 45, Pinterest is the place. What used to be a primarily female user group has become about 40% men and rising — who would have guessed?
Being successful on Pinterest takes consistent posting and image creation (and it can be difficult to stand out), but there are low-cost tools that are designed to boost traffic and their advertising is less expensive than Twitter or Facebook/Instagram.
7. Reddit — Monthly Users: Over 1 billion
Think of Reddit as more of a way to do market research than a place to advertise or engage new customers. In fact, the Reddit community has strict rules about self-promotion and advertising. That being said, Reddit has a big audience where you can target your research to specific subgroups for honest feedback.
8. Medium — Monthly Users: Over 153 million
Unique in the social media realm, medium.com was started by one of the Twitter co-founders and is a site where you can publish written articles on whatever topic you choose (a great platform for professionals and tech people). But unlike a personal blog or new website, medium.com has a domain authority of 95 which is a search engine ranking score (out of 100) that shows how likely a site is to rank on search pages.
That means that your content has a proven audience and a great shot at viral participation. To sweeten the pot, even more, 95% of Medium readers have college degrees and more than 45% earn six figures or higher. Less a place to advertise and more a place to publish quality content, Medium’s strength is establishing authority and driving site visits.
How Do You Manage an Effective Ongoing Social Media Campaign?
So we’ve looked at the premier social media sites, but how do you manage an ongoing social media strategy that provides success?
First, you need to consider two components:
- Social media marketing — focusing on the actual creation and distribution of content, videos, visual media, etc., that you want to use to reach new and existing customers.
- Community management — engaging with customers through your chosen social platforms where people will have questions, comments, discussions (which itself can be a full-time job).
Next, you need an effective way to schedule and process the content, posts, and tweets that you have developed on a schedule that provides consistency. For that, there are editorial calendars and social media management tools, but a far more effective option may be a social management app that allows you to automate, analyze, and control your overall plan leaving you open to create content.
To Sum Up
Social media marketing is a powerful tool in today’s business climate. Choosing the right social media platforms is easy once you understand your product or service, as well as your customer. The more challenging part is creating an ongoing stream of content suitable for your business and posting that content at regular intervals for effective results.
Successful social media campaigns are time and resource-intensive for both large and small companies. The good news is they are highly impactful when done well.
Contact Lounge Lizard to learn more about social media marketing, brand development, and improving your digital presence.