There are more social media sites coming online every year, and each one of them has a particular niche and a particular following. If you are new to social media, you can save a lot of time learning about each of the top social media networks by consulting the guide below. There will be a synopsis of the eight most popular sites, along with some pros and cons of using each site. With this knowledge, you should be able to determine which sites you want to check out first, and which sites you really want to spend some time on.
This is the oldest site, and it's the one that's been around the longest. It has an enormous following, and it is used by people to stay connected with friends and family. On this site, people post brilliant images, engaging posts, and live streams. Given the fact that it has several billion (yes, that's billion) subscribers, it is also a fantastic site for advertisers, because it has the potential to reach so many people in a short period of time. The gender breakdown of all those subscribers is 44% female and 56% male, in case you're thinking of advertising here. One of the big advantages of using Facebook is the fact that it has so many registered subscribers, which allows you to reach huge numbers of people very quickly. It is also flexible enough to reach a small, local target audience if needed. A downside is that the site has become infested with unreliable news and click-bait in recent years, and this has turned off younger participants. Facebook Ads can also get to be fairly costly if you want your ads to appear in people's news feeds.
This is a popular haunt for many small business owners and social media influencers. A great deal of content such as video, images, and posts is shared among the one billion active users. It is known for its well-curated profiles and high-quality photos, and has a fairly even distribution across genders. The majority of its users are under the age of 35, so advertisers targeting this demographic make significant use of the site. Instagram is good about posting meaningful information that subscribers can use to improve the quality of their own posts. Its 'stories' feature allows users to increase engagement and share meaningful aspects of their lives. One drawback might be that it can become quite time-consuming to regularly post high-quality content. It's also not link-friendly, meaning that you can't load links into your content, and have them reliably direct traffic to an intended site.
Most Snapchat users like this site because it allows them to post temporary (meaning they disappear after a set time) content to inform and entertain family and friends. While your content is still available, it's a great way of updating your circle of friends about your activities. It has 300 million users, 78% of which are under the age of 24. It's the ideal site for sharing engaging content like videos and images, and its 'discover' feature is used by many small businesses looking to gain online exposure. One downside is that you never really know if your content is being read, so advertisers are in the dark about the success of ads. You are also limited to 10-second videos - anything larger has to be split into multiple videos.
This site is very popular for people who want to quickly express their opinion about trending topics, and these are often witty and entertaining. It has 300 million active users, the majority of which are between the ages of 35 and 65. An agreement between Twitter and Google now has your tweets appearing at the top of search pages, so this is ideal for business advertisers. Your reach can be expanded even further because Twitter uses targeted keywords to attract audiences outside your main audience. One downside is that the number of users that show up in your feed can be quite overwhelming, nullifying much of the usefulness of attracting new people.
Pinterest has 320 million active users, 80% of which are female. It is formatted in a bookmark style, and is ideal for advertising fashion, home furnishings, and cooking applications. The site offers great SEO opportunities, because all the images are clickable and will direct you to another site where you can read useful content or even make a purchase. Pins tend to hang around a long time on the site, so they can be re-pinned by many others. One of its greatest strengths - the clickable pins - is also one of its biggest downsides, because there can be lots of spam linked to those pins.
The 800 million active TikTok users are mostly under the age of 25, and most of them enjoy creating and sharing videos of 15-second duration or less. The most popular form of content is funny videos or music clips that are shared among users. There is obviously a high volume of traffic on the site, so naturally businesses are attracted to it for advertising purposes. It also has a very laid-back approach, which suits the nature of its youthful audience. Of course, it can be a downside for businesses that the nature of the site doesn't always align with business objectives.
YouTube has two billion active users, and 73% of all adults in America use the site daily. It is the second most popular site when searching for video content, and it has tremendous potential to reach vast audiences. You don't really even need to create your own channel to reach a target audience, because you can just work with social media influencers who already have their own large followings. A disadvantage of using the site is that you can't rely on having your content seen by your target audience, because of the saturation of user exposure. This competition for exposure can make marketing much more complicated for your business.
This site is primarily used by business professionals for networking and for finding jobs. You can upload your resume, and have it seen by tons of companies who may need your services. It has 600 million active users, 57% of which are male and 43% of which are female. It is the second most used platform for B2B marketing, and that alone has increased its popularity. An advantage of using the platform is that it is very good at making connections between business personnel, and achieving desired results. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to using the site is that it is not ideal for reaching younger audiences, given that the majority of users are older, and in the workforce.