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Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon

Director and founder

Author Kevin is director of Digital Technology Labs and has been published in NET magazine, the UK’s leading Web Design and Development magazine monthly. Here he talks about DTL’s approach to dyslexia testing and accessibility.


Which are the most popular social media platforms and how can you, as a business owner, get the most out of them? The amount of people using social media is mind-blowing. Knowing the figures can help you focus your business advertising.
most_popular_social _media_sites_2021

Most Popular Social Media Sites

Everyone uses social media these days, from the toddler next door to your granny. People around the globe are spending hours scrolling through and posting content on a myriad of social sites, from Facebook and Snapchat to TikTok and Twitter.

But which are the most popular social media platforms and how can you, as a business owner, get the most out of them? Let’s dive in!

The social media headliners

In a surprise to absolutely nobody, Facebook was the number one social media site of 2020 with 2.5 billion users. It held the top spot as the most used social media site from the year before that (and the year before that… you get our point, right?), while video-sharing site YouTube held on to second place in the social media ranks, grabbing more than two billion users.

Now, here’s where it starts to get really interesting. Between 2019 and 2020, WhatsApp jumped from lowly fifth place to third, reaching more than 1.5 billion users, and could become one of the top social media platforms of 2021.

Meanwhile, Messenger – which wasn’t even in a twinkle in the eye of the 2019 list of social media platforms, smashed it to fourth place last year. Could it be because they’re both owned by Facebook?

It might even surprise you to learn Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms comes in a smidge behind Chinese network WeChat, with around one billion active users, while business-based social networking site Linkedin has yet to reach that magical billion mark.

As the months roll by, it will be fascinating to see how these most used social media sites fare during 2021.

The social media supporting acts

The data for last year also demonstrates how other platforms – which are also some of the top social networking sites – have yet to really take on the big boys. TikTok, ByteDance’s monster video-sharing app continues to be one of the fastest-growing social media sites, storming toward its first billion active users.

Meanwhile, Snapchat, with around half a billion active users, has its nose slightly ahead of the chasing pack, which includes popular social media sites Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest.

Whether they will clamber up the list of social media platforms, only time will tell.

The loyal social media fans

Okay, now we know who the top social media sites are, the next obvious question is how do you get the most out of their business marketing potential in 2021? Let’s take a quick look at the benefits to start with.

Obviously, the most popular social media platforms and sites offer a huge audience. Last year saw an average of more than 3.8 billion people engaging with or posting content to the main social media platforms – which is a LOT of potential customers for a wide range of businesses.

The UK stats for 2020 are mind blowing! Check out this list of social media platforms’ active user figures:

  • Facebook – 44.8 million
  • YouTube – 39 million
  • Linkedin – 27.5 million
  • Instagram – 24.4 million
  • Snapchat – 18.7 million
  • Twitter – 13.7 million
  • Pinterest – 10.6 million
  • Tumblr – 9.5 million
  • TikTok – 3.7 million

Don’t be fooled by TikTok coming in last, there’s plenty of growth in the video-sharing site. It was the fastest-growing social media platform in 2020 and looks set to repeat the feat in 2021. Did you know 90% of TikTok users access the app daily, while nearly 70% watch other people’s videos and 55% create their own? Food for thought, isn’t it?

That’s why it’s crucial to know not only which are the most-used social media apps, as well as the fastest-growing platforms, but also who is using them and why.

Maximising social media marketing

We’ve established that Facebook is the world’s most popular social network site by a massive margin, and around 86% of smaller businesses use it for marketing, according to data from Clutch. It’s a solid base for social media marketing, but it’s wise to feather in the other major social media sites, depending on who you want to engage.

Instagram and YouTube, which offer very different experiences to Facebook and have become major social media platforms in the process, were popular with 46% and 48% of small businesses, respectively, in 2019.

If your business is aimed at 16-30 year olds, then fast-growing site TikTok should be a port of call. Or, if your marketing is image-led, then make sure you’re posting to top social media sites Instagram and Pinterest.

Taking the social media band on tour

So, you’ve identified the most popular social media sites for 2021. You know your audience. You have your brand and product or service. You’re looking for solid social media market shares. Now’s the time to put it all together with a kick-ass marketing campaign.

This is where we come in. We all know how easy it is to fall down a rabbit hole on the social media platform of your choice, endlessly scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… That’s how it is for many would-be customers too. So how DO you make your business stand out from the crowd?

You could opt for one of the array of tools that can help you automate posting and monitor social media shares and performance.

Or you can talk to us about your online presence. We can point you in the right direction so you get everything you need to break through the noise on even the most used social media platforms and maximise the opportunities from the fastest-growing sites in 2021, so YOU stay ahead of the curve.

We are Digital Technology Labs. Your business, beautifully crafted online. Book a discovery call with the team here: https://www.digitaltechnologylabs.com/contact/

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