Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around. Facebook – 2.23 billion MAUs Facebook is the biggest social media site around, with more than two billion people using it every month. WhatsApp has been building out its business platform to allow businesses to have a proper business profile, to provide customer support, and to share updates with customers about their purchases. For small businesses, it has built the WhatsApp Business app while for medium and large businesses, there’s the WhatsApp Business API. Instagram – 1 billion MAUs Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media app. It seems that while QQ, a desktop-native platform, used to be the top social media platform in China, WeChat, a messaging app from the same parent company, has taken over its place. Sina Weibo – 392 million MAUs Sina Weibo is often known as Twitter for Chinese users (since Twitter is banned in China). Over to you: Which sites are your brand on? Which social media sites are your brand on? Buffer Publish lets you schedule social media posts to six of these 21 social media sites — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around. This will allow you to maximize your brand reach on social media, engage with the right people, and achieve your social media goals.
Of course, it isn’t only about the size of the social media sites. It’s also whether the social media site is a right fit for your business and you. Does it fit your brand image? Is your target audience using that social media site? How many social media sites can you manage at once?
To make things easier for you, I did some research and compiled information about the 21 top social media sites in 2018. Some will be familiar to you, others might sound foreign to you. It might be worth reading more about the social media sites that might be great for your brand but that you have not explored.
And remember that you don’t have to be every social media site!
Let’s dive in.
The 21 most popular social media sites in 2018
(MAUs stands for Monthly Active Users, and MUVs stands for Monthly Unique Visitors.)
1. Facebook – 2.23 billion MAUs
Facebook is the biggest social media site around, with more than two billion people using it every month. That’s almost a third of the world’s population! There are more than 65 million businesses using Facebook Pages and more than six million advertisers actively promoting their business on Facebook, which makes it a pretty safe bet if you want to have a presence on social media.
It’s easy to get started on Facebook because almost all content format works great on Facebook — text, images, videos, live videos, and Stories. But note that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between people, especially those from family and friends. If you want to learn more about succeeding with the updated Facebook algorithm, Brian Peters, our Strategic Partnership Marketer, shared the secrets of the new algorithm and what you can do to thrive on Facebook.
Also, remember to optimize your content for mobile as 94 percent of Facebook’s users access Facebook via the mobile app.
2. YouTube – 1.9 billion MAUs
YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users watch a billion hour of videos every day. To get started, you can create a YouTube channel for your brand where you can upload videos for your subscribers to view, like, comment, and share.
Besides being the second biggest social media site, YouTube (owned by Google) is also often known as the second largest search engine after Google. (So if you want your brand to be on YouTube, I would recommend reading up on YouTube SEO.)
Finally, you can also advertise on YouTube to increase your reach on the platform.
3. WhatsApp – 1.5 billion MAUs
WhatsApp is a messaging app used by people in over 180 countries. Initially, WhatsApp was only used by people to communicate with their family and friends. Gradually, people started communicating with businesses via WhatsApp. (When I was in Bangkok to buy a new suit, I communicated with the tailor via WhatsApp.)
WhatsApp has been building out its business platform to allow businesses to have a proper business profile, to provide customer support, and to share updates with customers about their purchases. For small businesses, it has built the WhatsApp Business app while for medium and large businesses, there’s the WhatsApp Business API. Here are some stories of how businesses have been using WhatsApp.
4. Messenger – 1.3 billion MAUs
Messenger used to be a messaging feature within Facebook, and since 2011, Facebook has made Messenger into a standalone app by itself and greatly expanded on its features. Businesses can now advertise, create chatbots, send newsletters, and more on Messenger. These features have given businesses a myriad of new ways to engage and connect with their customers.
If you are thinking about using Messenger for your business, here are seven ways you can use Messenger for your marketing.
5. WeChat – 1.06 billion MAUs
WeChat grew from a messaging app, just like WhatsApp and Messenger, into an all-in-one platform. Besides messaging and calling, users can now use WeChat to shop online and make payment offline, transfer money, make reservations, book taxis, and more.
WeChat is most popular in China and some parts of Asia. If you are doing business in those areas (where social media platforms like Facebook are banned), WeChat could be a good alternative.
6. Instagram – 1 billion MAUs
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media app. It allows you to share a wide range of content such as photos, videos, Stories, and live videos. It has also recently launched IGTV for longer-form videos.
As a brand, you can have an Instagram business profile, which will provide you with rich analytics of your profile and posts and the ability to schedule Instagram posts using third-party tools.
To help you get started and succeed, here’s our complete guide to Instagram marketing.
7. QQ – 861 million MAUs
QQ is an instant messaging platform that is extremely popular among young Chinese. (It is used in 80 countries and also available in many other languages.) Besides its instant messaging features, it also enables users to decorate their avatars, watch movies, play online games, shop online, blog, and make payment.
I have to admit I don’t know much about QQ but Carrie Law from ClickZ has written a helpful brief introduction to QQ for marketers. It seems that while QQ, a desktop-native platform, used to be the top social media platform in China, WeChat, a messaging app from the same parent company, has taken over its place.
8. Tumblr – 642 million MUVs
Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking site for sharing text, photos, links, videos, audios, and more. People share a wide range of things on Tumblr from cat photos to art to fashion.
On the surface, a Tumblr blog can look just like any other websites. So many blogs that you come across online might be using Tumblr!
If you want to consider Tumblr for your marketing,…