In the world of dozens of various social media channels, it can be hard to choose the best ones for your business. But because social media plays a vital role in every marketing strategy, understanding these channels and measuring the impact of each are the main priorities for many digital marketers.
This blog will give you an overview of various social media channels. We will explain which are the most popular ones and give you an idea about how to boost engagement on your social profiles even if you don’t have extensive marketing budgets.
The World’s Top 3 Social Media Channels
Before we dig deeper into the more extensive list of social media trends and channels, let’s first understand which ones are the world’s most popular. The most common metrics marketers use to identify the most popular channels is Monthly Active Users (MAUs) so we decided to make our list based on this metric.
📚 Before we moving forward, check out our guide for implementing a killer social media strategy in 8 steps!
Even though its popularity may not be growing as exponentially as with some other platforms, Facebook is the largest social media site today. Facebook is used by more than two billion people every month. To get a better sense of its audience size, we can say that Facebook is used by 36.9% of the world’s population.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Because of this fact, it is not surprising that most of the world’s businesses are also on Facebook showcasing their products and services, and more than seven million advertisers actively promote their business on Facebook.
Video marketing is probably the fastest growing social media marketing trend, and it has been growing in its popularity continuously. If you are in video marketing, YouTube must be your favorite social media channel.
YouTube is a video-sharing platform where people consume over a billion hours of videos every day, and it is the second-largest social media channel based on the monthly active users (2.2 billion MAUs).
YouTube is used by marketers in various areas. Performance and social media marketing professionals often use it to place paid ads and retarget their existing audiences.
Furthermore, because YouTube is also considered the second largest search engine after Google, marketing professionals see it as an important part of SEO strategy.
Some people don’t consider it a social media channel, but WhatsApp is exactly that. It may not have some common social media features and functionalities, but it still belongs to this list.
In some parts of the world, WhatsApp is very heavily used for advertising purposes as well, making it one of the most preferred marketing and sales channels for many organizations.
WhatsApp is used by people in over 180 countries of the world, and that makes it the most widely used messaging platform out there (2 billion MAUs).
Unlike some other social media channels, its primary use is to communicate with family and friends. Businesses also like to use it to promote their products and services or provide seamless support to existing customers.
💡Are you using social media to attract and recruit new talent to your organization? Check out our social media recruitment guide!
Other Social Media Channels with Over 1 Billion Monthly Active Users
In the section above, we have covered the world’s most used social media channels. But there are many more you should consider for your brand and business.
Let’s take a look into another four social media channels with over a billion monthly active users. 💡Before we move forward, check out our infographic about what people like to share on social media.
With over 2 billion users, Instagram is the fourth largest social media channel in the world. Moreover, based on total website traffic, Instagram is one of the world’s top 10 most-visited websites globally, with 2.9 billion total visits per month.
If you are a B2C marketer, Instagram is probably one of your top advertising channels. Many small businesses don’t even have websites because Instagram profiles can almost completely replace them.
But why is Instagram one of the most popular social media advertising channels out there?
Because 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and because 58% of users say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing it in a Story.
To add, Instagram is fun to use! You can share a wide range of content such as photos, videos, Stories, reels, live videos, and IGTV for longer-form videos.
Facebook Messenger used to be a part of the main Facebook app. In 2011 it became a separate app with lots of new features that enable businesses to connect with their customers, create chatbots, and send newsletters.
Today, Facebook Messenger is the world’s second most popular messaging app after Whatsapp, and it has over 1.3 billion active monthly users.
But what’s so interesting about Messenger to marketers?
If you are in digital marketing, email marketing probably makes an important part of your strategy. But is it successful? Are you getting the results you want?
While email marketing may not be as popular as it used to be, messaging platforms have taken a big piece of the market share.
According to research, Facebook Messenger marketing has a 10-80 times better engagement rate than email. No wonder marketers are turning to it more and more.
With 1.26 billion monthly active users, WeChat is the 6th largest social media channel. While the rest of the social media channels on this list are used in most parts of the world, WeChat is mostly used in China and some other parts of Asia.
Originally, WeChat was a messaging platform only, but with time, it turned into an all-in-one social media platform.
Besides messaging and calling, users can shop online, pay bills, buy groceries, transfer money, make reservations, book taxis, and more.
What’s also interested about WeChat is that many people prefer it as a mean of workplace communication. According to research, 70% of the Chinese rely on WeChat for work-related communications instead of email.
Even though TikTok was only launched in 2017, it is one of the fastest-growing social media channels used in over 150 countries across the globe. The fact that TikTok overtook Google as the most visited internet site in 2021 is just unbelievable!
For companies targeting a younger audience, TikTok is an absolute must; about 47.4% of TikTok users in the US are aged 10-29.
TikTok is very fun to use as it allows users to create and distribute video content between 15 and 60 seconds long, and the app has a vast catalog of sound effects, music snippets, and filters to enhance the videos and make them more appealing.
Other Popular Social Media Channels
The list we shared earlier in the blog is far from complete. There are still dozens of other social media channels with hundreds of thousands of monthly active users. Sometimes, smaller, niche channels make more sense for businesses. They allow them to target their audiences better and deliver more personalized content to their buyer personas.
Here is the list of some other popular social media channels:
- Sina Weibo
- And the list goes on
📚 If you are in B2B business, LinekdIn is probably an important social media channel for you. If so, don’t miss our ultimate guide on LinkedIn marketing.
How to Boost Engagement on Your Social Media Channels
With more and more competition entering all markets, it gets harder and harder to reach the right audience on social media and drive higher engagement.
There are plenty of ways and best practices for doing so, and we have prepared the ultimate social media engagement guide for you. This blog will guide you through the importance and challenges of driving social media engagement on various channels. It will also teach you about the top 5 ways to improve engagement on your social media profiles.
But what is one of the most efficient, and affordable, ways to drive this engagement?
It’s employee advocacy!
Yes, your employees can be your best brand advocates. If you are a social media marketer in a large organization, such ambassadorship programs can give you unbelievable results at a very low cost.
Many organizations are not aware of the ROI of employee advocacy and its impact on increasing brand awareness, generating more high-quality leads, and driving more sales.
According to Entrepreneur, social media content shared by employees gets 8 times more engagement than content shared through the brand’s own social channels, and is shared 25 times more frequently.
The only thing you need to do is to drive employee engagement, implement a clear social media policy, and provide people with the right set of tools and technology.