Social media usage has been growing since Facebook’s rise to fame in the mid-2000’s. According to Statista, these social platforms now reunite 4.55 billion users (+9.9% more than in 2020). This is mostly due to the Internet’s accessibility, and the different social platforms, filling everybody’s need for social contact. Today, 62% of the world population uses the Internet.
Thus, it is interesting for companies (not just E-commerce sellers) to be present on social media. These platforms are good for communicating with potential customers, creating a bond between the brand and the target audience. Plus, these platforms can help optimize after-sales services.
Social media platforms’ list keeps getting longer each year. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, … All of these platforms aim at filling different needs for your digital marketing strategy, and don’t allow the same processes. If you want to develop your brand, you need to understand how these platforms work, and who you should target. Each platform isn’t adapted to your company, whether it is because of the features, the posting type, or its users’ relevancy for you.
In this article, we established a list of the most popular social media platforms in the world. We completed this list with stats and figures, aiming at helping you choose the best platform and the right way to communicate on it.
Why should you use social media as an e-commerce store?
First, let’s talk about what these platforms can do for your business. Reuniting millions of users, social media can’t be ignored by companies. Indeed, some of your future clients might be using some of these platforms.
The rise of E-commerce and social media changed consuming habits. People now share what they buy, ask for people’s opinion, exchange with brands, … all of these can be done directly on social media.
Social selling is a way to use social media to integrate social media in your selling process, helping you develop your brand and reach more consumers.
The objective here is to figure out your buyer persona, and target people close to it on social platforms to convert them into potential clients. This is a researching process, followed by selection, interactions with leads, directly on social media.
Be present on social media
Social media helps you get noticed by an audience, then reaching for your brand and your products, helping you develop your notoriety. Once you develop an audience around your company and products, you can promote your products and reach out to new potential customers.
The right way to think is you need to communicate on the right social media, at the right time, aimed at the right segment of your audience.
Moreover, it is a great channel to optimize your traffic acquisition strategy. The more people talk about your brand, the more visibility you gain. The more visible you are, the more people will share your posts and allow you to reach new customers.
Be careful: you need to make the right choice concerning your social media channels. Choose the ones who are relevant to your industry, don’t waste your time communicating on the wrong channels, targeting the wrong community.
Be close to the customers
Social media platforms allow you to exchange regularly with your customers and leads thanks to their targeting opportunities. You will then be able to answer different questions, or thank them for their interest in your products or services, or update them on your news. These platforms help you create and federate an online community around your brand,
Moreover, you will have the opportunity to improve your company’s processes thanks to customers’ feedback, which can be given directly on social media.
Finally, social media marketing helps you with your benchmark. You can easily look at your competition’s content strategy, news, selling strategy, …
Facebook: the leader
Facebook attracts 3.51 billion active users every month. It is a reference, and is particularly adapted to B2C businesses.
Messenger, which is part of Facebook’s tools along with Instagram and Whatsapp, attracts a big audience. Indeed, more than 1.3 billion people use the instant messaging service. More than 40 million companies use Messenger for their activity.
Facebook attracts a lot of users, meaning that a lot of different types of people are active on the platform. Thus, each category of customer is represented. The users’ average age variates between 25 and 34 years old.
Even if we can notice an aging of Facebook’s community, 49% of the daily users are in the 25-49 years old age group. Regarding the gender distribution on Facebook, 43.6% of the users are females, 56.4% of the users are males.
- Build a community and loyalty
- Promote content (like blog articles)
- Advertise products and promotional offers
- Communicate around your company and your news
When should you poston Facebook?
The days and hours of publication depend strongly on the industry in which you operate. Nevertheless, some major trends appear: posts shared at the beginning and the end of the week, like Mondays, gain a lot of traction, just like Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Useful tools for Facebook
- Facebook Ads: the social network’s own ad tool allows you to target precise parts of its users. Indeed, you can use multiple targeting information like age, location, hobbies, …
- Marketplace: allows online merchants to contact each other, applies to B2B / B2C / C2C models
- Facebook Insight: your company’s profile administrators are going to use this tool. It allows you to analyze your audience across different statistics like your reach, likes, …
- Facebook Pixel: analysis tool allowing you to measure your retargeting ads’ efficiency
- Facebook IQ: users’ comportmental analysis tool which also gives marketing insights to develop your strategy
- Prioritize visual communication (videos and images), which gain a lot more traction than written content. According to Digimind, the video has the best engagement rate (8.29% per post)
- Try to gain your followers’ reaction
- Use Facebook Ads’ paid tools to get more traction, as Facebook reach is getting lower
Instagram: bet on the visuals
Instagram was founded in 2010 and bought by Facebook in 2012. This social network, based on images and videos, is popular amongst the younger generation. Instagram gathers more than 1 billion active users every month. Every day, 500 millions stories are shared by its users.
As the years go by, Instagram develops more features to gain traction and to give more opportunities to communicate between the user and its community.
According to Statista, roughly 70% of active Instagram users are less than 35 years old. The 25/34 age group is dominant, followed by users in the 18/24 age group. Contrary to Facebook, the majority of Instagram users are females, representing 51.4% of the user-base.
Instagram is a great opportunity for brands, as 90% of its users follow brand accounts or brand-related content.
- Showcase your business and branding. Your publication feed represents your identity and your universe
- Promote your products to your community
- Create links with its community, by showing the backstage of the company’s life or by communicating around the employees
When should you post on Instagram?
Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post on Instagram, according to multiple studies. As we said for Facebook, it all depends on your industry. Generally speaking, the days of the week should be prioritized for posts on Instagram.
To publish effectively on the platform, you need to understand users’ habits. Indeed, some users choose to publish in the morning, when they wake up from their subscribers, while others choose to publish on the time they leave work. These hours are set between 7AM and 9AM, and between 4PM and 8PM.
Useful tools for Instagram
- Instagram Shopping: this tool allows you to add product page links directly on your posts. These products need to be added to Facebook’s platform beforehand
- Instagram Business: this ad tool is the same as Facebook’s. You can target many new profiles and promote your products
- Snapppt: E-commerce tool aiming at transforming your picture feed into product pages
- Mojo: improve your posts by creating animated stories with this tool
- InShot: video-editing software
- Put your products in situation and prove their usefulness in their use
- Create a visual and authentic universe around your brand with quality pictures and videos
- Use relevant hashtags to your industry, allowing you to reach new audiences
- Use an influence marketing strategy to target different personas
Twitter: micro-blogging platform
Twitter is a social media company specialized in information transmission and micro-blogging, meaning that its users can communicate with a limit of 280 characters. Each month, Twitter attracts 330 millions users.
Each second, 6,000 tweets are made, representing 200 billions in a year.
38.5% of Twitter users are in the 25-34 years old age group. The second most represented group of users is the 35-49 years audience. The majority of these users are male, as of 2021, since 61.6% of the user base is represented by this gender.
This social media site is mostly used on mobile devices, through its application.
- Benchmark your competition and control your e-reputation
- Interact with your followers and created bonds with them
- Create viral content, improve your visibility and develop your brand
When should you post on Twitter?
Your posting schedule on Twitter relies a lot on the type of content you share, and the communities you target. In general, the publications with the best reach are made during weekdays.
Just like Instagram, you should share your content in the morning and at the end of the day, when you have the opportunity to reach a lot of people at once, depending on your community and industry.
Useful tools for Twitter:
- Twitter for Business: the social platform allows you to open a professional account, allowing you to promote your products and services through your content
- Tweetdeck: online management tool which eases your use of the platform
- Tweriod: analyzing software allowing you to learn more about your audience and its activity
- Talkwalker: benchmarking and monitoring tool which allows you to take care of your e-reputation
- Twitter is particularly useful in your after-sales service strategy
- Popular hashtags help you reach new communities
- Your content needs to be efficient, as you only have 280 characters to communicate it
- Visual content is appreciated on the platform
- Humor is a great way to communicate on Twitter, but you need to understand its use
Linkedin: the professional platform
LinkedIn is a social media platform owned by Microsoft, adapted to professional uses and, particularly, B2B sellers. The network has 722 million members, primarily used as a social selling platform and an employer brand tool.
As you may have understood, Linkedin’s audience is majoritarily composed of professionals coming from a lot of industries, like C-level executives. The vast majority of its users (59.9%) are in the 25-34 years old age group, and 57% of the overall population on the network are men.
- Lead prospect and extend your network of professionals
- Promote your company’s products and services
- Show your expertise
- Share industry-related content and news
- Share content about your company
When should you post on Linkedin?
As a professional network, Linkedin’s users are the most active between Monday and Friday. Focus your content-sharing schedule during office-hours, while people are at work, to improve your reach.
Useful tools for Linkedin:
- Campaign Manager: Linkedin’s own tool allows you to access 5 different kinds of ad systems to promote your content
- ProspectIn: automatisation tool allowing you to contact people and prospect easily
- LeadFuze: lead generation tool
- You can also use hashtags on this platform to reach more people. Be careful in this hashtag use, as they need to be relevant to your industry
- Use visual contents such as videos and images to gain more traction
- Bet on quality over quantity
- Use storytelling in your communication
- Tag relevant people in your posts
Pinterest: social media pins
Pinterest is very interesting for e-commerce stores. 55% of the active Pinterest community uses this social media to buy products. This platform is a good way to showcase your products, as it is highly visual.
Each month, the social media gathers 454 million users.
The female user base is more prominent than the opposite gender. 71.1% of the users on the platform are female. In the United States, the most represented age group on Pinterest is the 50-64 years old one, with 38%.
- Give visibility and showcase your products
- Bring traffic to your website and generate leads relevant to your industry
When should you post on Pinterest?
The best days to post on this platform are the end of the week, like Saturdays and Sundays. These days are considered the best periods to drive influence and traffic to your social media account.
Target posting schedules at the end of the day, between 8PM and 11PM, with an estimated peak at 9PM.
Useful tools for Pinterest:
- Pinterest Business: promotion tool on Pinterest
- Canva: useful online design tool to showcase your products
- Tailwind: post scheduling tool for Pinterest and Instagram
- Insert relevant keywords in your board
- Regularly pin content
- As a visual platform, your images need to be high quality and adapted to the social network’s display size
- Create collaborative boards to reach new audiences
Youtube: the video social media
Youtube shouldn’t really be considered a social media, as it could be qualified as a video platform. Youtube is the second most-visited website in the world behind Google. The video website gathers 2.1 billion users each month.
Users watch 684,000 hours of video every minute. Obviously, you need to create video content to post on this platform.
According to Omnicore, 56% of global users are male, and 81% of United States users are adults.
- Create a universe around your company and your products
- Gain notoriety
- Found and federate a community
- Promote your products and services
- Humanize your company
- Bond with customers
When should you post on YouTube?
The best times to post on video platforms are at the end of day for the week-days, or anytime on week-ends. The peak of interest is allegedly located between 9PM and 11PM, allowing you to target multiple time zones at the same time.
Useful tools for YouTube:
- Youtube Analytics: the platform’s own tool to give detailed statistics about your activity and your videos
- TubeBuddy: diagnosis tool for videos and organic optimization
- KineMaster: video editing tool, coming with an iOS / Android app
- Only create a Youtube channel if you’re sure you’ll publish content regularly
- Set a qualitative and authentic universe around your business
- Invest in high quality video equipment
- Same as on your website: optimize your channel and videos like you do for SEO by integrating keywords in your descriptions, titles, …
Snapchat: the mobile network
Snapchat is a social network entirely designed as a mobile app. M-Commerce is thus naturally put forward. Each day, Snapchat attracts 293 million active users. These people send more than 5 billion snaps.
Snapchat is mostly aimed at a relatively young audience. The major part (54%) of users are females. The most represented part of the population is people between the ages of 13 and 17 years old followed by people from 18 to 20 years old.
- Get closer to your community
- Create and share viral / visual content
- Showcase your products and their features
When should you post on Snapchat?
Snapchat is characterized by the youth of its community, meaning that you need to target them at the end of the day. The best time to reach this community should be between 10PM and 1AM.
Useful tools for Snapchat:
- Snaplytics: reporting tool to monitor your Snapchat activity
- Paperclip: this tool allows you to post links directly on your publications to drive more people to your e-commerce store
- Snapchat gives a lot of features and filters to communicate along with your posts, giving you opportunities to be original
- Post multiple times a week
- Video content gain more traction than other types of content
TikTok: the video newcomer
TikTok is the most recent social media of this list. It is a Chinese network and was launched by ByteDance in 2016. In 2021, an estimated 73.7 million active U.S. users are on the platform.
The app has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times in the world. 83% of the active users posted on the platform, showing a great interest from the community.
The video sharing platform majoritarily attracts your people, between 10 and 19 years old, explaining its worldwide success. In the U.S., this age group represents 32.5% of the community, while 20-29 years old represent 29.5%. 60% of the user-base is female, 40% is male.
- Identifying and launching relevant challenges
- Strengthen your bonds with younger communities thanks to viral content
- Bet on creativity and humor
- Humanize your company
When should you post on TikTok?
The end of the day is the best time to post your content. Just like Snapchat, reaching younger generations is easier after 5PM, as pre-teens and teenagers’ day is off.
Useful tools for TikTok:
- LightMV: free video-editing tool
- BeeCut: free video-editing tool
- TikTok being a visual platform, the social media users should play a lot with the network’s features, to gain visibility and experiment
- Share your content on multiple channels
- Organize contests and giveaways to draw attention to your profile and your account
- Don’t forget to bring distraction to the users, they probably don’t want to see too serious content on the platform
Twitch: the number one streaming platform
Even though Twitch is targeting video game players, the platform is regularly adding new categories to reach more and more professionals, whether they are companies or content creators / influencers. Twitch is way more popular than its competitors: YouTube Gaming Live, Facebook or Caffeine.
In 2021, more than 1,190 billion minutes have been spent watching content from more than 7 million unique creators. Every day, Twitch attracts more than 30 million visitors.
Twitch can be seen as a real time visual and interactive social media platform, generating interest from young people, who are retained by this type of content. According to the video platform, 70% of the viewers are between the ages of 16 and 34.
- Reach a connected and young audience
- Differentiate from the competition
- Innovate, bond and share with viewers
- Humanize your company
When should you go live on Twitch?
It is advised that creators start broadcasting their content at the end of days of the week, starting from 7PM.
Useful tools for Twitch:
- Twitch Advertising: the video’s platform own ad platform
- OBS: streaming software to broadcast your content directly on Twitch
- StreamLabs: alternative to OBS allowing you to handle your community, moderate discussions, …
- NightBot: moderation bot for Twitch
- Invest in high quality streaming equipment (computer, camera, mic, …)
- Stream regularly
- Gather your community around online events
- Promote your content through influencers
- Showcase your products and services during live streams
You can also publish content on…
- ClubHouse: vocal social media platform
- Tumblr: blogging platform
- Flickr: photography platform
- We Heart It: photo and video platform similar to Pinterest and Instagram
- Medium: combining blogging and chatting like Tumblr
- Reddit: this network of communities allows you to communicate with the platform’s users
It is almost impossible for an E-commerce company to develop without social networks. Social media allows you to reach more people and gain visibility to showcase your products. Be careful not to spread yourself too thin and focus on the most relevant social networks.