Social media is an incredible resource for those looking to market their business and promote their brand online. Not only are social media platforms free to use, they offer paid advertising options to help you reach your intended target audience. However, not all social media platforms are the same. When it comes to your business, it’s important to choose the right platform based on the kind of audience want to reach and how your business can best utilize the features they offer. That’s why the team at Thrive Web Designs has put together the following list of the most important social media platforms of 2017.

#1 Facebook

Facebook is the biggest and most active social media platform with approximately 1.8 billion active users worldwide. Not only is it a great platform to connect with friends and family, it’s a great medium for businesses looking to expand their brand while gaining the attention of their intended audience. As the most versatile social media platform to-date, Facebook is a great starting point for those looking to market their business online. With features that allow you to go live, share photos, videos, articles and important industry updates, you have the ability to engage directly with your customers through real-time conversations while promoting your brand in the process.

Even better? Facebook is a low-maintenance option that supports a wide variety of content without imposing restrictions on post lengths, comments, likes, etc. Whether you post several updates a day or only a few times per month, customers will have the ability to find you quickly and easily with minimal effort.

Limitations – It’s important to keep in mind that nearly 45% of Facebook users are between the ages of 35 and 55+. So, if your intended target audience is on the younger side, you may want to consider other social media platforms to market your business. Additionally, your content is limited to a maximum of 90 characters when using Ad Manager so you’ll want to come up with an appropriate message when creating ads.

#2 Twitter

Coming in second with over 320 million active users worldwide, Twitter is another social media platform that allows you to connect directly with your intended audience using short updates, videos, pictures, links, and more. Because of its ability to reach people quickly, Twitter can also be used as an effective medium for handling customer service while the ability to retweet and share other user’s content works to increase brand awareness.

Want to go viral? Increase your chances using #hashtags to boost posts and categorize your tweets. Doing so will make them easier to find when people search for content using relevant keywords or phrases. By maintaining an active Twitter presence you can increase your online marketing efforts by reaching farther, and faster in real-time.

Limitations – Twitter users expect a quick response when it comes to addressing their concerns.  If you are unable to react quickly, you may find yourself dealing with a storm of complaints. Another drawback? When it comes to general tweets, you’re limited to the widely known (and often aggravating) 140 character limit per post.

#3 Instagram

With over 600 million active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for posting photos and videos. While other platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to share pictures, Instagram has its own unique advantage by offering exclusive photo editing features. Additionally, much like Twitter, posts can be categorized using #hashtags while the ability to place ads in users news feeds has boosted its marketing appeal.

Limitations –  While Instagram is extremely popular it offers a limited audience of users between the ages of 15 and 35. Additionally, if you don’t have the talent or energy to post constant photos, this social media platform probably isn’t right for your business. Posting poor pictures could easily cause people to skip your page entirely making it a huge waste of time and effort.

#4 Pinterest

Increasing in popularity, Pinterest has approximately 150 million users worldwide. As a virtual bulletin board where you create pins based on specific categories, it differs from the traditional aspects of other social media platforms. However, people tend to use this platform as a source of inspiration when it comes to specific topics like fashion, lifestyle, and travel. Depending on your business, Pinterest can be a great marketing tool for those looking to strengthen their brand and increase customer loyalty.

Limitations – Depending on your intended audience, Pinterest is mostly comprised of women with nearly 80% of its users being female. This means if you are trying to market to both men and women you may want to consider using a different social media platform to promote your business. Additionally, Pinterest relies heavily on images. Like Instagram, people will easily skip your page entirely if you don’t have the time to post good pictures.

#5 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an employment-oriented social media platform dedicated to business professionals. Though different than other social media options, this network can work to your advantage if your aim is B2B marketing. As a valuable medium for professional networking, this platform helps build valuable relationships with other experts in your field and can be used as a great employment recruitment tool.

Limitations – With over 300 million users, you may be asking why this platform isn’t higher up on the list when it comes to marketing your business. In essence, the answer is simple. While LinkedIn offers a good sized audience, people who use this platform are usually there for one specific purpose – to advance their careers and businesses.

Thrive Web Designs

No matter the size or industry, every business should be using social media to connect with their intended audience. With so many free tools, social media can be used to stretch your marketing efforts substantially at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods. However, it’s important to understand how fast the social media landscape is moving in order to use it to your advantage.

If you’re looking for ways to expand your reach using social media, contact the team at Thrive Web Designs. We can help you learn more and come up with a customized strategy to boost your social media marketing plan.

 

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