The Four Best Social Media Platforms for Marketers in 2016

The world of social media marketing is very dynamic; users can move en masse from one social network to another in a way similar to how diners discover new restaurants or how shoppers flock to new stores.

Although social media marketing experts believe that certain platforms are better suited than others for specific brands, the following four networks are shaping up as the most effective for marketing in 2016:

1 — Facebook

In late 2015, the seventh Social Media Marketing Industry Report indicated that 93 percent of professional online marketers are actively using the world’s most popular social network, Facebook.

Marketers, brands and audiences alike consider Facebook the absolute mass market of anything related to modern digital life. Facebook is more than just 1.5 billion active users; it has become the most important digital destination for millions of people who check social media updates more often than they check their email. These days, users interested in enterprise security topics would likely visit the Facebook Timeline of a company such as Blue Coat Systems before they visit their website. Another reason to choose Facebook is that many brands report higher conversion rates when compared to other networks.

2 — Twitter

Whereas Facebook has become the ultimate digital mass market, Twitter has become the ultimate digital broadcast channel. Companies that are interested in reaching younger audiences who are more in tune with technology should consider as marketing channel. As a business, Twitter has struggled to catch up to Facebook in terms of advertising revenue, which is one reason many analysts believe that 2016 will be the year when Twitter will introduce major enhancements such as ranking tweets in accordance to relevance, and this could mean that marketers will be able to boost their promotional tweets to increase their reach and effectiveness.

3 — LinkedIn

Companies that operate on a business-to-business (B2B) model like Zest should make LinkedIn a marketing priority. In 2014, LinkedIn reported 107 million active users in the United States, which is not be an impressive statistic when compared to Facebook or Twitter; however, it is important to remember that LinkedIn users are more likely to actually to engage in meaningful business transactions than in any other social network. One major reason why LinkedIn will become a very attractive network in 2016 is that this is the year when its new Account Targeting feature will go live. What this means for marketers is that they will be able to launch targeted campaigns in a manner similar to Facebook. Until recently, LinkedIn mostly offered Sponsored Stories as an advertising option, which accounted for more than 50 percent of its advertising revenue. Although Sponsored Stories have been very successful, they are not for every brand; Account Targeting, on the other hand, will be a more advertising-focused option that will appeal to greater number of brands.

4 — YouTube

A lot has been written about Google+, the ailing social network that Google could never manage to develop to a level that could compete against Facebook. The demise of Google+, however, does not mean that Google is out of the social media game. The sheer growth of YouTube over the last few years owes a lot to Google’s inclusion of social networking features and tools. These days, YouTube members often stay in touch though the video sharing network, and the advanced search features make it the second most popular search engine after Google. YouTube may not be for every brand due to the costs associated with producing content that can compete with the quality on display these days; nonetheless, marketing experts suggest that brands start out tentatively by making short videos that serve as companions to blog posts.

In the end, most brands will probably benefit from using all four platforms mentioned above as long as they have a solid strategy for content production and social media engagement.