Getting Savvy with Socials: Which Platforms Should You Be On?
Today’s brands simply can’t avoid social media. Early 2023 predictions estimate that there will be 4.89 billion social media users worldwide by the end of the year.1 That said, customers are rarely spending their free time idling through shopping malls and food courts these days.
Rather, utilizing socials provides you with a key opportunity to connect with your customers where they already hang out — on their smartphones.
But in a hyper-saturated market, which platforms should your brand focus on as you craft your unique identity? For this month’s edition of Creative Juice, we turned to two of our experts to find out: Content Director Samantha Bucher and Campaign Manager Jesse Macko.
If anyone knows which platforms perform best, it’s these two content connoisseurs.
Today’s Major Players
Before we get into Samantha’s and Jesse’s tips, let’s recap which platforms are thriving in the year 2023:
- Facebook – A mainstay of social media, Facebook is still a prime target for brands’ social media efforts. As of Q3 2022, Facebook touts 2.96 billion users, but the platform does seem to be declining in popularity with Gen Z.2,3
- Instagram – As of 2022, there were 1.25 billion active accounts on Instagram.4 It’s perhaps the most generationally-diverse platform, and most of its users are Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X.5
- Twitter – Despite somewhat negative media attention following the platform’s acquisition in late 2022, Twitter is still a power player in the social media space. Over 300 million users interact on the platform at least once per month.6
- TikTok – TikTok is a relatively new platform, and its growth in popularity since 2020 can only be described as a meteoric rise. Gen Z has a particular affinity for TikTok, representing just under a quarter of its 755 million active users.7,8
- LinkedIn – When it comes to using social media in a professional capacity, LinkedIn is the platform. People use it to find jobs, build stronger professional connections and learn new skills. While it’s had a dip, as of Q4 2022 190 million users in the US were active on LinkedIn9 making it one to keep on your radar.
While there are certainly other players in the social media game (like BeReal and Snapchat), the five all-stars above have the credibility, the infrastructure and, most importantly, the user bases to best support today’s most ambitious brands.
Platform Recommendations from Samatha and Jesse
What do digital marketing experts have to say about social media for business? We asked Samantha and Jesse — two of the Coal Crew’s online culture experts — to answer three critical questions about today’s most promising platforms.
Which Social Media Platforms Should I Be On?
When recommending platforms to our collaborators, Samantha starts with one main factor.
“Our golden rule is to only have accounts on platforms that you can handle,” says Content Director Samantha.
Jesse, our Campaign Manager, says that, “There’s no use signing up for a platform if you can’t dedicate the time and resources to use it properly. It’s all about finding the platform that makes the most sense for you.”
Our aficionados recommend uncovering where your customer base is most likely to idle: “If most of them are on Facebook or LinkedIn, start there,” recommends Samantha.
If you are a newer or smaller business who doesn’t yet know where your current or ideal audience is spending their time, we’ve got you covered.
“If you’re just starting out on social media, our go-tos are Facebook and Instagram — they both have large audiences and their capabilities overlap, making them easier to keep up with,” advises Jesse.
What’s One Thing to Keep in Mind When Deciding Which Platforms to Use?
Samantha says, “Before jumping into a platform, think about how you’ll go about creating valuable content.”
What does that mean?
“For example, if the bulk of your audience is on TikTok, they may be using that platform for entertainment or as a way to unwind. Sales-y videos may not play well there,” she says.
Jesse recommends that brands prioritize efficiency: “You don’t have to be on everything. Learn where your audience spends most of their time and focus your attention on that platform. You’ll save lots of time by only focusing on the apps that matter to your clientele.”
Which Social Media Platform Is Your Favorite? Which Is Your Least Favorite?
You’ve heard their professional opinions, but what about their personal preferences? Where does Coal’s content coterie spend their time when they’re off the clock?
“I like Instagram a lot, especially since I’ve curated my feed and followed a lot of artists and small businesses,” says Samantha. This is certainly one of the best features of Instagram from the user’s perspective: the experience is highly customizable. “My least favorite is probably Twitter. I don’t find the environment there to be very positive.”
Jesse has similar online proclivities: “I spend most of my time on Instagram. I love the fun nature of the app.”
Platform Advantages and Disadvantages
As you craft your social media strategy, consider the pros and cons of each platform:
Feeling Swamped by Socials? Connect with Coal Creative
The social media lineup in 2023 is packed with opportunities to connect with your target demographic. The platforms you send onto the field — and the ones you keep on the bench — will depend on your customer profiles, the type of content your clientele wants to see and your available resources for content marketing.
If you’re not sure where to start, Coal Creative can help. Our roster is full of digital marketing heavy-hitters like Samantha and Jesse — people who understand how brands can optimize their social media efforts to score points with customers.
When you need to crush it in the digital space, Coal Creative can fuel your next big win.
1. Oberlo. How Many People Use Social Media in 2023?. https://www.oberlo.com/statistics/how-many-people-use-social-media
2. Oberlo. How Many Users Does Facebook Have?. https://www.oberlo.com/statistics/how-many-users-does-facebook-have
3. TechCrunch. US Teens Have Abandoned Facebook, Pew Study Finds. https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/11/teens-abandoned-facebook-pew-study/
4. Statista. Number of Instagram Users Worldwide from 2020 to 2025. https://www.statista.com/statistics/183585/instagram-number-of-global-users/
5. Statista. Distribution of Instagram Users Worldwide as of April 2022, By Age and Gender. https://www.statista.com/statistics/248769/age-distribution-of-worldwide-instagram-users/
6. Business of Apps. Twitter Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023). https://www.businessofapps.com/data/twitter-statistics/
7. Statista. Number of TikTok Users Worldwide from 2020 to 2025. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1327116/number-of-global-tiktok-users/
8. Distribution of TikTok Users Worldwide as of April 2022, By Age and Gender. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1299771/tiktok-global-user-age-distribution/
9. Ruby. 101 Must Know LinkedIn Statistics for 2023 (Facts and Figures) https://www.demandsage.com/linkedin-statistics
10. The New York Times. How TikTok Reads Your Mind. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/05/business/media/tiktok-algorithm.html