Whether you are just getting started out in marketing or an experienced professional, there’s no doubt you understand how important it is to include social media as part of a successful marketing strategy.

According to the latest numbers from Oberlo, 3.5 billion people are active on social media every day, and those numbers continue to rise. With over 45 percent of the world's population using social media, brands and marketers must focus their efforts to create engaging and actionable content to attract and entice their target audience.

When determining which site to focus your efforts on, it’s essential to first understand that, like users, each social media platform has a specific voice. Therefore, content that’s shared must be tailored to meet the voice of that social networking site to find traction and attract the interest of its users. 

Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program

Advance Your Career as a Digital MarketerEXPLORE COURSE
Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program

Which Social Networking Sites Are Important to Marketers?

1. Facebook

At a mere 16 years old, Facebook is considered the grandfather of social networking sites (sorry, Myspace) and is often the first choice for brands who have something to say or sell. 

Launched in 2004, Facebook claims the market share of social media users with over two billion and focuses on community building and information sharing. In recent years, Facebook activity has moved beyond the days of posting pictures of cute dogs and high school yearbook photos to a more robust social media platform. 

Marketers now have numerous options to connect with an audience in the form of live streams, groups, local marketplaces, stories, dedicated shops, and more. 

2. Instagram

With more than one billion active users and 72 percent of them reporting to have made purchasing decisions based upon viewed content, Instagram is an essential weapon in today's marketing arsenal. 

The Instagram app began as a social media platform for artists to share their content and quickly adopted many who wanted a more straightforward and visual-heavy focus to share their content. The social networking site has grown since its inception in 2010, and like Facebook (which owns Instagram), now offers a variety of ways for marketers to join in conversations and reach their target audience.

3. LinkedIn

Centered around career building, networking, and sharing with other business professionals, many marketers tend to forget the power that comes from active involvement in LinkedIn.

Boasting over 600 million users, this social media platform provides many options for marketers to reach their target demographic. As with all social networking sites, the marketing approach must be adjusted seamlessly with the user's expectations as they navigate the site.

Little to no obvious eCommerce is promoted; yet, LinkedIn is an excellent way for brands to share their knowledge, connections, stories, and innovation through posts, articles, group participation, and more.

4. Twitter

While Twitter doesn't have the growth of newer social networking sites like TikTok, it's benefits cannot be discounted by marketers—especially those whose demographics cater to politics, events, journalism, and small businesses. 

Twitter's algorithms are less complicated than other sites, and sharing is much simpler, but mastering this social media platform can be a challenge. Like Facebook, Twitter offers reporting. An effective strategy on this site can be a gold mine for savvy marketers. 

5. Pinterest

Unlike other social networking sites, Pinterest is unique because more than 80 percent of its users are female. This social media platform focuses on sharing ideas and acts as an interactive vision or bulletin board where users can gather and compile their favorite recipes, shoes, bathroom renovations, and so much more.

Pinterest offers less opportunity for discussion among users but more chance for marketers to guide potential customers through the sales funnel to website conversions. It’s also the go-to for eCommerce businesses targeting female shoppers. 

6. YouTube

It’s all videos, all the time on this social media platform. While numbers vary slightly, it’s reported that one billion hours of YouTube videos are viewed every day, and over 75 percent of those viewers are men. 

YouTube offers videos of everything from fixing a clogged drain to quantum theory, and there’s no limit to the creative ways marketers can use their skills for brand promotion and reach. Because videos often get the most engagement on social networking sites, YouTube is the starting point for brands that rely heavily on video marketing

7. TikTok

The baby of social networking sites, TikTok has become a powerhouse since it merged with Music.ly in 2018 and is close to hitting the one billion user mark. While controversy has followed TikTok recently with government threats of bans, it’s doubtful this app will soon go away. 

Initially adopted by Millennials and Generation Z, TikTok has successfully merged social and video that enables users to flex their creativity by creating mini-videos with popular music tracks.

Are you well-versed with social media marketing and its nuances? Try answering these Advanced Social Media Questions and find out now!

Reaching Your Audience in Various Regions

Depending upon the target audience, marketers need to focus their energies on the social media platform that provides the most accessible pathways of connection to their future customers. It’s necessary to understand each site’s nuances and numbers, as well as how those customers can act based on content shared. A brick and mortar boutique with 10,000 followers on Instagram may be killing it with hashtags, but with 70 percent of Instagram users being outside the United States without a robust eCommerce shop, that boutique is ultimately losing out on customers in their backyard. 

Marketers must consider the activities of the brands they represent, and then create and share content based upon the reach of social networking. According to Global Data, global social media use hasn't quite reached the 50 percent penetration mark yet, but the latest trends suggest that could change before the end of 2020. 

Understanding the following is crucial as user numbers increase on social media:

  • Where your potential customers are
  • How your target audience interacts with social content
  • What catches the attention of your target audience
  • Why a potential customer might click through to your website or shop

What’s more, the following strategies will enable marketers to connect with people and achieve brand success:

  • Geotargeting
  • Paid ads
  • Hashtag analysis
  • Understanding SEO 
  • Selling without giving the perception of selling

It can feel like an overwhelming task to navigate such a volatile industry, but familiarity and mastery begin by training with the experts who can share lessons learned and provide real-time education and information when you need it.

Learning how to use social media to represent your company effectively is simple with self-paced, affordable online programs like Simplilearn’s Advanced Social Media Certification Training, your best bet to get the level of professional training needed to navigate the social media seas.

The course provides everything beginner and intermediate social media marketers need to know and teaches you how to schedule and manage various channels, design ads, and leverage web analytics so you can keep posting content your audience loves. What are you waiting for?

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors