Choosing the right media channels is one of the most important steps of the digital marketing process. In order to get the best possible ROI, you need to understand the social media channel’s potential to connect your brand with its desired audience.

There are so many new and upcoming social media platforms in the market that it becomes difficult to know which one will work best for you. Let’s examine some of the most popular social media platforms for 2021:

Facebook

One of the biggest social media channels around, Facebook sees around 2 billion users every month. This amounts to around a third of the total world population. Most of the content forms work great on this platform including stories, live videos, text, images, and videos. The Facebook algorithm ranks content that stimulates meaningful interactions and conversations between users, especially from friends and family.

YouTube

This video sharing platform (owned by Google) is also the second-largest search platform after Google’s text-based search engine. Billions of video hours are watched every day by people all around the world. YouTube allows you to create and customize your own channel. When you upload videos, users can view, share, comment, and subscribe to your channel. YouTube is known for being one of the best options for creating cost-effective advertising campaigns. Think of it as an affordable alternative to television ads with several different ways to reach your audience.

Instagram

Known as a video and photo-sharing platform that allows you to share videos, photos, stories, and live brand stories, Instagram also recently launched reels, a new way to create and discover short videos. As a small business owner, you can start with an Instagram business profile and make use of the various analytics tools offered by the platform. Third-party tools such as Buffer, Later, or Hootsuite allow you to manage and schedule posts as well as track social media engagement. You’ll need a Facebook account to post paid ads to Instagram. Facebook purchased Instagram many years ago.

LinkedIn

This job search and resume site has now evolved more into a professional social networking platform where experts network and build their brands. Users can easily network with other professionals, read and share content posted by thought leaders, and build personal brands. LinkedIn is an excellent site for establishing your authority and thought leadership in your particular industry. This helps attract new talent to your business/company. The site offers numerous advertising opportunities like personalized ads, content boosts, and ad displays.

Twitter

This is a platform for sports, news, entertainment, politics, and much more. Twitter is unique due to being the only social media channel that allows only 280 characters per post, which they brand as ‘tweets.’ It places a strong emphasis on real-time tweets and things that are happening right now. Twitter is frequently used as a customer service network. According to Salesforce, Twitter is similar to a 1-800 Customer Service number. The platform also has social media customer service tool tools like Buffer Reply which helps you manage conversations.

TikTok

TikTok is the newest social media channel. Its popularity has risen since the worldwide lockdown. Currently, it has over 1.5 billion downloads in both the App Store and Google Play Store. The app enables people to make short-form videos in a variety of genres such as education, dance, comedy, etc. The duration of the video varies from 3 to 180 seconds. The app has more recently begun transforming into a marketing and advertising haven.

Alignable

This social media platform is geared towards small business owners. It works similar to a referral network where businesses connect with other small businesses. It enables them to ask for suggestions, refer customers, share expertise, etc. Alignable has two memberships: free and premium. With the free version, business owners can network, create a profile, seek support, etc. Currently, there are over 6 million businesses listed on Alignable.

Reddit

Reddit is considered to be the internet’s front page, where people can post questions, images, links, and vote for others. It operates like a bulletin board. Registered users may submit a variety of content like text posts, links, images, etc. These are voted down or up by other users. Posts are categorized according to subjects called “communities”.These address numerous topics like pets, fitness, health, etc. Submissions with high votes appear at the top of the bulletin board. If they get sufficient votes, they may end up on the site’s front page.

Pinterest

Pinterest is where users go to seek inspiration and learn new things. It is quite different from others where the primary focus is on engagement. The site is primarily used by individuals and small businesses. Visitors who want to buy or try new things, often visit Pinterest. Having your small business represented on Pinterest allows you to get your brand in front of your consumers and shape their purchasing decisions.

Snapchat

The Snapchat social media app is a platform that lets users share short videos (snaps) and photos between friends. Snapchat was the first social media platform to use the stories format. Setting up a business account on Snapchat allows users to create several different types of ad campaigns. One thing that sets Snapchat apart is the ability to create ads with augmented reality experiences.

Although there are many more social media channels out there, the ones listed here are the most popular and useful for small business. Regardless of how big or small the platform is, select one based on where your target audience is active in order to achieve the best results.