Top 10 Social Media Platforms for Businesses in 2020
Posted by Sarah Wai on Feb 4, 2020 7:45:00 AM
Okay, let's be honest, there are so many social media platforms out there that it can be incredibly difficult as a business to know where you should be spending your time and efforts. Heck, it's hard to know which ones to choose as a consumer. Ultimately, as a consumer, the decision usually comes down to which platform provides the most value or is the greatest source of entertainment. Knowing this, as a business, is so important. If you know consumers are looking for value and entertainment, provide those things (within what's appropriate for your industry) on the platforms they're frequenting. Unsure about what social media platforms they're frequenting these days? Well, that's why we've written this blog.
Your first step is knowing who your target audience (aka buyer personas) is right now. When I say right now, I'm not kidding. If it's been a couple of years since you established or refreshed your target audience, I recommend using our Buyer Persona Worksheets to establish new ones. Knowing that information will help you get the most from this blog.
What to Know About Social Media For Business
As you browse the information below, there are a few things you should know.
- These are not the top 10 social media platforms overall (although that difference isn't very notable). These are just the ones that businesses could potentially utilize. There are actually many social media platforms and apps that just aren't, and never will be, conducive to businesses because they can't do anything on them, so we won't bother covering those.
- These stats are worldwide, not just the United States. With the growth and expansion of technology and international bridges being formed as a result, it's important to know (especially if you sell services or products internationally) the whole picture.
- These stats are monthly active users, not total users. The reason why we chose this distinction is that the total number of users per platform doesn't give you an idea of who is currently using them. Most platforms have issues with single individuals creating multiple accounts, fake accounts, bots, etc. "Monthly active users" tells us how many users are actively engaging on these platforms and gives an idea of the potential there is for a business to engage that audience. We have collected these monthly active user stats from Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Oberlo, Statista, and TechCrunch.
Here Are The Top Social Platforms For Businesses in 2020
The top 10 social media platforms for businesses are:
Ready to take a closer look? Let's look at these 10 more in-depth.
According to sources, in 2019, Facebook had 2.4 Billion monthly active users. As such, it remains the most used social media platform of the decade.
Historically, Facebook has been a great platform for businesses to connect with their target audiences, relay information, and share posts to their hearts desire to generate followers and leads. Facebook has always been a default social media platform for businesses to join, but in more recent years that has changed as the platform has changed. Like every other social media platform, Facebook may not be right for every business.
If your target audience isn't on Facebook or they don't expect to see anything from your industry on Facebook, then it isn't the right place for you. For example, if you are in an industry that provides products or services to government agencies, Facebook wouldn't be a good place for you to direct your efforts. If you're a B2C company, then Facebook could potentially be the perfect social media space for you to be in.
YouTube remains one of the top streaming social media platforms with 2 Billion monthly active users. It also is one of the best places for B2C and B2B businesses to place video ads or interactive ads. It's one of the world's top platforms for advertisers.
YouTube is also considered the second-largest search engine after Google. If you're a business that can produce video content, you had better be doing so. Strategize the best ways in which you can create video content that provides value for users. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Do you have customers that are always asking for instructions on something you offer? Create a YouTube video.
- Do you have upcoming campaigns that could use some video content to beef them up? Create a YouTube video and link it strategically across other platforms.
- Do you have processes that users might find interesting? (For example, you're a factory making cheese, or a screenprinting company, or a 3D modeling company, etc.) Make a YouTube video.
These are just a few practical examples of how businesses could use YouTube, but honestly, there are so many more. See what other companies inside and outside your industry are doing and determine if you can create something similar for your target audience.
This is likely a social media platform that you've not heard about if you don't communicate with individuals from around the world. WeChat is one of the top social media platforms globally, having one billion monthly active users, and is great for companies that are trying to network with others in their industry across the globe. Its messaging function is robust and has the capability to bridge communication issues across countries throughout the world.
WeChat works globally and provides free messaging services to anyone who has it. Imagine that you have a Chinese partner that you need to connect with, but you can't call them because of ridiculous long-distance call prices and you can't connect with them on Facebook-operated platforms (Facebook is not accessible in China, in case you didn't know). WeChat allows you to communicate with this Chinese partner without any issue.
Instagram is a Facebook-owned social media platform that, according to sources, had one billion monthly active users in 2019. Originally a simple image-sharing platform designed for adventurers to share their explorations, Instagram has morphed into a great video sharing platform globally, particularly for short videos that have a short life span. The top five countries in 2019 that had the greatest amount of users, in order, were the United States, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia.
Instagram has contributed greatly to the "Age of the Influencer," with many Instagram influencers teaming up with companies to "influence" users to purchase products or services. This has led to a different approach to sales that is likely going to just become more prominent in the years to come.
Instagram is also one of the greatest advertising platforms, although much of its advertisements are coordinated in conjunction with Facebook advertising efforts.
TikTok is a short video community designed to appeal to younger demographics. Although this may seem like a platform that can't be utilized by companies -- it can! Many brands have already jumped on board to create short, fun videos that are more for awareness than anything else. TikTok had 800 million monthly active users in 2019, and that number is expected to grow over the next couple of years. It is currently seeing more app downloads than Facebook and Instagram, so you know it's big.
A great feature of TikTok for businesses, in particular, is the ability to use hashtags to be found in search. Themed hashtags are particularly popular in TikTok, with challenges to other users booming. Take a look at how seven brands are currently using and dominating TikTok and get ideas for how you could too.
Nerd alert!! But for real, this is the ultimate nerdy social media platform, having 430 million monthly active users in 2019. Redditors love this platform because it allows them to create niche, searchable content and then gain popularity through votes from other members.
Although technically money cannot be made on Reddit itself, Redditors are getting creative. A company can utilize a Redditor to create content that aligns with awareness and consideration campaigns, therefore drawing leads to do business with them. As a company trying to spread awareness and get consideration from leads, it benefits you to create content that is answering the questions they are asking. This can be done on Reddit. Although Reddit is definitely a niche social media platform, it can be incredibly beneficial for particular industries.
Twitter is a well-known social media platform at this point and is used by many businesses. Real stats speak volumes though, so let's look at those. In 2019, it had 330 million monthly active users, and of these:
- The average Twitter user followed at least 5 businesses
- 80% of all Twitter users had mentioned a brand in a tweet
- Users engaged most with tweets that provided value
Twitter numbers have leveled out over the last few years, but that is primarily because its user base has become more defined. In the United States, 22% of adults use Twitter, with the primary age of users being between 18-49 years, with most of them living in urban areas. Most of the users are very well educated (having graduated from college) and make between $30,000-$75,000+ a year. As a business, here's why that information is important for you:
- If you are a B2B business, you should be on Twitter.
- If you are on Twitter, you should be creating and sharing content that is aimed toward your personas that are well-educated and are searching for valuable, shareable content.
- You should utilize a tool like Click-to-Tweet to make your content a little more shareable by your personas that are browsing your digital content and are active on Twitter.
Pinterest, as you likely know, is a unique social media platform that had 322 million monthly active users in 2019. It is a visual-driven search engine that serves as a productivity tool and a platform of dreams. "Pinspiration" drives Pinners to plan dream vacations, home decor designs, outfits, holiday dinners, weddings, and so much more. Because of its unique platform, Pinterest users are not only receptive to branded content, but they find it valuable and search it out.
If you are a B2C company that can help users discover their dreams and give them products or services to make those happen, you should be on Pinterest.
As the top business networking platform on the social media scene, LinkedIn was home to 310 million monthly active users in 2019. This platform is particularly of interest to B2B companies looking to connect with prospects or B2C companies looking to connect with others in their industry. It is a powerful platform for showing industry expertise as a company and the expertise of your employees (for prospects scoping out your teams).
As a social media platform geared toward career professionals, LinkedIn is a great platform for businesses to share content they've created that shows their expertise and is shareable by other professionals in their industry. It is also a great place to advertise career openings within your company, showcase your brand, and boost your reach through paid advertising.
With 293 million monthly active users in 2019, Snapchat drives results for B2C companies with fullscreen ads that are tailored to the mobile-first generation. Snapchat is especially popular with brands that frequently host large events for younger generations or that frequently hold contests that younger demographics will jump on board with.
Snapchat has also been a contributor to the "Age of the Influencer" with its account takeovers and influencers sharing products they love with their following. If you're a B2C company looking to reach young buyer personas, we highly recommend looking into using Snapchat to do so!
Where Do We Go from Here?
As you have now reviewed the top 10 social media platforms that businesses are using, we're curious to know your thoughts! Are you feeling inspired? Overwhelmed? Let us know in the comments below!
If you're looking for more information on social media, we have some for you. If you're in need of social media help, we may be able to work with you. No matter how you feel after reading this blog, we encourage you to ask yourself the important question: Where do we go from here? Your next steps could potentially revolutionize the way you engage your target audience on social media!
Written by Sarah Wai
Content and Email Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. B.S. in Media Communications. Certified in Hubspot, Inbound Marketing, Contextual Marketing, and Email Marketing.