Most marketers remember a time before social media — but social media has so revolutionized not just the digital space but all marketing strategy that marketers must stay abreast of social media trends. Though the Big Four social sites remain strong, there are a handful of other social media platforms that remain a valuable space for publishing content as well as building and engaging an audience.
Especially considering the impact of COVID-19 — which has driven most consumers out of stores and online — marketers need social platforms now more than ever. Here are the most prominent social sites worth investing in over the coming years.
Though Facebook might no longer be hip and young, it remains the largest social media platform on the web — by a large margin, boasting over 2 billion active users. What’s more, Facebook is incredibly business-friendly, offering a straightforward path to creating business pages which can be advertised across the platform. Facebook is an excellent space for both creating and promoting content, but because there are so many options, most businesses do well to use professional content marketing services to leverage Facebook properly.
Instagram is the fastest-growing social platform of the Big Four, and some experts predict that Instagram will overtake Facebook as the most popular social site in the coming decade. While some businesses do maintain thriving IG followings, Instagram is most effective for marketing when businesses leverage the power of influencers. Influencers are real people who have captured the attention of a large audience, and partnering with them can help revive businesses’ wider digital marketing efforts.
The strengths of Twitter are its real-time information sharing, which is a convenient way to establish and confirm a brand over social media. Different businesses use Twitter in different ways. JetBlue demonstrates how effective Twitter can be for managing customer service; DiGiorno Pizza is well-known for creating funny Twitter content that engages a wide audience; and Major League Baseball shares important statistics and video clips of games to keep their followers in-the-know. The platform’s straightforward use makes it more flexible than others, especially for a business marketing strategy.
The last of the Big Four, YouTube is only part social network; its other part is video streaming, on par with paid services like Netflix or Hulu. The difference between the latter examples and YouTube is that anyone can invest in high-quality video production and gain a space on the platform. Because audio and video are likely the future of marketing, businesses should begin exploring their options for YouTube sooner rather than later.
TikTok is the social media platform that has replaced Vine — and it is equal parts difficult for non-zoomers to understand and controversial given its Chinese ownership. Even so, the youths are using TikTok frantically, and engaging with the app could be a quick way to access a new, young, hip audience.
Reddit is a sprawling social media platform that has more in common with old-school forums than with Instagram or TikTok. Every business can find at least one relevant Subreddit to engage with, which will connect them with intelligent and loyal followings in a meaningful way.
Often LinkedIn is written off as a next-to-useless recruitment tool, but in truth, LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for businesses looking to improve their reputations as employers or their authority within a particular industry. Businesses can purchase LinkedIn ads and promote content in other ways to reach the right audience.
Many people expected Snapchat to die in 2018 after Kylie Jenner announced her departure from the app, but the social platform is still alive and well. Like TikTok, Snapchat is best for interacting with a more youthful audience, and it requires a particular style of marketing to feel authentic and fun.
Like Snapchat, Tumblr experienced a brief decline in popularity in 2018, and like Snapchat, Tumblr survived. Marketing on Tumblr can be difficult because it typically caters to young, fringe groups that might not neatly fit into buyer persona categories, but businesses good at authenticity should consider Tumblr as a valuable social media platform.
Many marketers see Pinterest as the Wild West, an unstructured social media space that is difficult to leverage in a marketing campaign. However, Pinterest is important for visual content, which means that many businesses can and should find ways to take advantage of Pinterest to push their products and services.