Its going to be a big year for social media and content marketing. Businesses and consumers alike will use social media as a platform to be in the now, get in the now and stay in the now. Social media are major resources for businesses of all sizes to promote and sell their brands. And some of the most popular sites that started as a fun, social place to communicate, have grown up into a terrific opportunity to advertise, promote and grow your business. SEE ALSO: The Impact of Social Media on Business Here are 10 of the most used social media platforms for you to be in the know for 2017.

1.  Facebook:

Facebook is by far one of the most popular social media networking sites in the world. It is easy to use, easy to navigate and an easy, effective platform for consumers and business alike. There are more than 1.6 billion worldwide active users so this is definitely an important platform for marketing your business. Research by Pew Research Center indicates that 79% of internet users (68% of all U.S. adults) use Facebook. Facebook will continue to grow, change and increase their exposure and so should businesses who are interested in growing too. The site offers paid advertising opportunities to target specific audiences and provides analytics to see how engaging posts were as well as other analytics and tools to help  marketers.

2.  Twitter:

This is one of the top social media sites today, especially for younger Americans. Twitter just turned 10 years old in 2016 and became a way a president elect communicated to millions of followers. Twitter is a social media platform that limits posts to 140 characters and this short and sweet platform has more than 320 million active monthly users. The opportunities are limitless for businesses who learn the art of the tweet and the # hashtag. Instant messages, content and promotions can be accessed almost immediately so marketers can have one on one intimate relationships with their followers and offer content that keeps their message in the “hands” and mobile devices on a personal level. #Rio2016, #election 2016, #pokemongo

3.  Snapchat:

Snapchat, now Snap Inc. recently changed their name to encompass the growing services it offers users. Snapchat relies on images and photos and is a messaging application released in 2011. It now has more than 150 million users and growing. According to Nielson research, on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18 – 34-year-olds in the United States. Their logo is a friendly looking ghost that turns into a camera that takes photos and videos that are instantly shared and in a few seconds disappears. Their claim to fame is fun geo filters, storybook and other photo altering screens that alter the image. Some major companies who have already gained success from Snapchat promotions include Bud Light, Kraft and RetailmeKnot. Marketers will take note of these statistics and tell their story on Snapchat to engage this age group like no other platform available today.

4.  Pinterest:

Pinterest is a hugely popular visual digital bulletin board where businesses can “pin” their information. Known as pinning, photos, videos, tips and how to articles are all divided into boards or themes. Users can collect their pins and browse and like other boards as well. Pinterest focuses in on a person’s lifestyle so like-minded people and those with common interests and connects, discover and be entertained. Users can like, share and re-pin content which makes the site social. Most The long standing trend that women use Pinterest much more than men continues into 2017. Pinterest is a must have for anyone interested in reaching millions of potential customers. This highly visual medium offers businesses the opportunity to engage customers with images, video messages and infographics like no other.

5.  Instagram:

Like Pinterest and Snapchat, Instagram is a visual social media platform and one of the most used social media sites. Intagram is now owned by Facebook and boasts millions of active users. Instagram focuses on simplicity and creativity and has grown into an extremely popular platform for visual storytelling. Instagram has more than 500 million monthly active users and an engaged audience that is interested in visual storytelling. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to reach Instagram users in an instant. Businesses should use creative story telling, videography and stories to capture a younger demographic and have fun along the way.

6.  LinkedIn:

LinkedIn, launched in 2003 is the most popular social platform for professional networking. This platform is the place to connect with professionals all around the world, but can also be a great asset to promote yourself and your business. It’s a place where anyone from a top corporate executive, small business owner or a college student can explore their professional opportunities, learn more about their industries or strengthen professional abilities. People like to do business with people they know are socially connected to. LinkedIn works with connections instead of friend requests like Facebook. Simply stated, it’s easy social networking. LinkedIn contacts can come from other social sites so the possibility of your product posts having organic reach is increased.

7.  YouTube:

YouTube, founded in 2005  by former PayPal employees, is the largest and most popular video social media platform. It has become a household name and has some fabulous marketing opportunities especially because of the giant search engine, Google owns it. There are millions of YouTube videos watched each and every day so it is a smart place to be to market products and services. It’s also a place where customers go to find products, another important reason to be on YouTube. Make it social by embedding videos onto your website and blog so customers can easily find out more information and share it with their friends. An online retailer, ModCloth successfully uses YouTube to promote its brand.

8.  Google+:

Google+ may be considered the most powerful social media platform for business, especially from an SEO (search engine optimization) standpoint. Google+ is owned by Google, a hugely popular search engine and being on their social media platform will increase your search-ability. Why? Because they get billions of searches each and every day. It’s important to use keywords associated with any industry and create content that is valuable to readers for Google+. Google is known for linking all of its services to one another to maximize a user-friendly appeal. Google+ also has the ability to connect a business page to all other Google products and services and a map will be included as well. Links back to a website or blog is also beneficial to getting the most from Google+ as well as being active on the site and socially connecting with customers and potential customers.

9.  Reddit:

Reddit may not be as popular as Facebook and Twitter but it is one of the top social media sites for news and entertainment. They have 234 million unique users and eight billion monthly page views. They consider themselves, “the front page of the internet.” Registered users and submit and share content like links and posts to bridge ideas, digital trends and breaking news. They say their mission is to help their users be knowledgeable and current. Reddit is a logical site for marketing strategy because businesses can find target audiences by using authentic campaigns.

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