To begin, we need to ask the question – what is social media?

Social media refers to websites and applications that have been designed and created to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time.

The sharing of photos, quotes, opinions, events and much more, in real-time,  has transformed the way we live and, also, the way we do business.

Social Media in 2020

Should you go all out on Instagram? Maybe place half of your social media budget into Facebook and divide the rest between YouTube and LinkedIn? What about Pinterest? Should you even be putting any budget into social media advertising?  These are the kinds of questions plaguing small businesses and marketing teams today.

A pivotal part of your planning is outlining exactly which social media platforms you are going to embrace for you strategy.

Here are the top 7 in 2020 to consider before we get into any planning or scheduling.

1. Instagram

Instagram has always been the home of influencers, brands, bloggers, small business owners, friends and everyone in between.

Instagram has topped well over 1 billion monthly users for some time now. If you’re wondering whether a meaningful segment of your audience spends time on this platform, the answer surely is a resounding yes.

2. YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world today.  Its ranking sits right behind its parent company, Google.

A business will truly benefit from producing video tutorials or walkthroughs, visually-driven instructional content, product reviews or interviews on YouTube.  YouTube is a social media platform that has the potential to reach 2 billion users monthly.

3. Facebook

Facebook is the largest and most influential social media site in the world. They have 2.5 billion monthly users and counting.  It is a forgone conclusion that at least some of your audience regularly use the platform, it has recently developed a somewhat negative reputation with younger users.  They are turning to other sites which immediately suggests that analysis of demographic trends is vital when you write your strategy and you embark on your planning.

4. Twitter

While Twitter’s monthly active user numbers have hovered consistently around 300 Million for a while now, a whopping 40% of those users are active on the site multiple times daily, suggesting that if your audience uses the platform, they are most definitely very engaged. The popularity of this social media site remains high amongst tech-savvy users and is particularly active in B2B spaces that are vocal in business, marketing and politics today.

5. TikTok

TikTok is less than two years old.  During the first year of operation, they captured over 1 billion downloads of their video-based app.   I am sure there are a few of you out there that have never ever heard of TikTok, never mind have considered how to use this platform for your business.  Right now, TikTok reportedly sees over 800 Million monthly users, in fact during Covid lockdown in bored households worldwide, TikTok numbers went through the roof.  This instantly places it amongst the top social media platforms in the world in terms of sheer user figures.

6. Pinterest

Pinterest is a social bookmarking tool for storing ideas and exploring creative inspiration.  Ideas, themes and topics include everything from cooking to DIY home projects, vacation ideas, interior design, business and everything in between. Pinterest’s audience is predominantly adult women.  The social media platform is often regarded as an integral part of any product discovery journey.  A product discovery process is vitally important to business as it helps to build products that are essential to their customers, not simply nice to have.

7. Snapchat

Despite seeming to lose some ground to competitor social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, Snapchat still remains one of the most heavily used apps with the under 25 demographic.  Snapchat has claimed to have over 300 Million monthly users in recent months. Most Snapchat users frequent the app in order to share updates and communicate with friends & family through disappearing images and short video messages which is why, it is suggested, to be most popular with the under 25 demographic.

In my next social media newsletter I will  provide information on the latest social media demographics and then detail explain in detail how to go about creating the Ultimate Social Media Plan.