Not all social media networks are created equal. While a strong social media presence offers plentiful benefits for businesses, you should focus your efforts on the platforms that showcase your offering most effectively. Of course, this depends on many things; your business’s size, it’s standing in its community, and what you want to accomplish with it should all be factors.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about what your social media strategy should be and whether you should take it up to the next level. If you’re not currently leveraging the power of social media in your fight to increase brand awareness and grow your online presence, then you’re lagging behind. Each network has its own demographic, advantages, and drawbacks, and knowing them is half the battle. Here’s which social networks are the biggest in which areas.
It’s pretty much unquestionable that Facebook is the dominant force when it comes to social media. Around 2.2 billion people use Facebook, including hundreds of millions in countries like the United States, Brazil, and India. As such, Facebook can probably lay claim to being objectively the biggest social media network in the world. It’s a largely general-interest platform that includes photo, video, and text content, making it perfect for all-purpose social media marketing. Since Facebook doesn’t specialize in any kind of content, though, it can be hard to pinpoint your strengths on this platform.
There’s some debate over YouTube’s status as a social network, but with billions of daily views, it offers huge scope for advertisers. YouTube’s dominance over the video marketing sphere has made it an essential platform for any business looking to create video content. Yes, there are other platforms available, but they’re either far less accessible to the general public or far more niche in terms of their market appeal. YouTube’s dominance over the market is easy to explain: it’s simple to use, accessible to everyone and covers a wide range of content.
TikTok’s star is in the ascendancy. It’s inarguably the fastest-growing social media platform in the world right now. Since Vine’s decline in 2016, TikTok has managed to profit from its legacy in many ways. Although many of Vine’s content creators haven’t returned to the platform’s spiritual successor, TikTok’s emphasis on short-form video content and goofy challenge-style videos has made it a hit among younger people. It’s just a matter of time until older folks start to discover TikTok and make the platform their home as well. Businesses and brands, take note!
Bought for a billion dollars by Facebook back in 2012, Instagram is the premier social media platform for those wishing to share photos and images. If you have any interest whatsoever in visual arts – that is to say, photography, drawing, or video creation – then an Instagram platform is essential. This network became huge largely because of the concept of “Instagram influencers” – people who are in themselves aspirational figures and thus attract brands and advertising deals. It’s also big because of the unique gimmick of the platform, which doesn’t technically allow text-only posts.
You’re probably already familiar with Twitter. While the platform doubled its character limit to 280 characters not too long ago, it still only allows relatively short text posts (although videos and images are, of course, also allowed). Twitter is infamous for arguably displaying both the best and worst qualities of humanity; while there are a lot of arguments and misunderstandings on the platform, it’s also a great place for humor and wry observations. Twitter is still huge thanks to many celebrities using it, which gives people a chance to follow them and see what they’re doing.
It can be a lot harder for brands to break into Tumblr, simply because it’s a platform with a very strong community. Tumblr rose from the ashes of Livejournal, giving that site’s fanfic community an inclusive and welcoming space in which to share their musings and their fan creations. Now, the site encapsulates a lot of subject matter; from fanfiction to fanart to simple meme or comedy pages, Tumblr has it all. It ran into some difficulties back in 2018 when it announced it would no longer accept NSFW (not safe for work) content on its platform, but it’s still going relatively strong.
Reddit is essentially every single forum from the ‘90s and early 2000s rolled into one. It’s a hosting platform for a number of subreddits, each of which revolves around a different subject. Everything from videogames to movies to memes is present and correct on Reddit, and although it certainly has its more toxic areas, it’s by and large a welcoming space for most people. Like Tumblr, Reddit replaced an internet mainstay from the ‘90s, namely disparate forums with different subjects. Today, it enjoys around 330 million users per day.
If you’re a business owner or you’re looking for a job, it pays to have a profile on LinkedIn. This is how a lot of recruiters find their ideal employees. LinkedIn thrives because it’s a social network predicated entirely on the idea of business; it’s not really a platform for users to interact in an informal or friendly way, unlike the other platforms on this list. If you’re looking to build a profile on LinkedIn, it needs to showcase the best of what you are and what you have to offer, because potential employers will be looking at it and will want to see that you’re professional.
So, there you have it: the biggest social media platforms right now. There is no definitive answer as to which one is “the biggest”; they’re all important in their own ways, and while the numbers certainly favor Facebook, fluctuations and different market niches mean that it might not hold its crown for long.