The Top 5 Social Networking Sites for Business: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Brand and Increasing Your Online Presence Through Social Media

Each day, billions of people all over the world use the top social networking sites and apps to connect with friends and family, and businesses everywhere also use those same platforms to reach current and prospective customers. But social media can be confusing if you’re not sure where to begin and how to make the most of your online presence. If you’re a social media novice, check out this list of the top social media marketing tools for business to help you build your brand on the internet.

#5: Pinterest
  • What is it? A social media tool that lets users collect ideas and pictures for projects, hobbies, or other interests -- like a virtual inspiration board.
  • Who uses it? The majority of Pinterest users are female: approximately 80% of their 70 million+ total users.
  • Why is it useful for business? Pinterest is useful for retail businesses, especially., an online jewelry and accessories retailer, reported that users visiting their site from Pinterest spent an average of $180 (vs. $85 for users visiting from Facebook). Why? Because those shoppers had already seen potential purchases on Pinterest.
#4: Google+
  • What is it? A social networking and identity site that operates across all Google products, including their video sharing site, YouTube, and Google My Business, a local business listing service.
  • Who uses it? Just about anyone with a Google account. With a grand total of over 1.6 billion users, it’s potentially the top social network in terms of size.
  • Why is it useful for business? According to one study, using Google+ has enormous benefits for a company’s search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Google+ usage helped websites gain 14.63% in Google search if they received 100 Google+ followers; receiving 300 Google “+1” votes can help a site gain 9.44% more search engine traffic.
#3: LinkedIn
  • What is it? The top social networking site solely for business, used primarily for professional networking.
  • Who uses it? Over 300 million businesses and job seekers alike; it is also relevant for B2B companies looking for new customers.
  • Why is it useful for business? LinkedIn is excellent for hiring: recruiters can view the profiles of their potential employees, and job seekers can research businesses before applying. Companies looking for new clientele can also establish connections via LinkedIn.
#2: Twitter
  • What is it? A “microblogging” site used for sending short 140-character messages known as “tweets.”
  • Who uses it? There are currently over 1 billion Twitter users.
  • Why is it useful for business? Twitter encourages business owners to use their platform as a promotional tool with their Twitter 101 guide. On Twitter, users can share information immediately with those using mobile and desktop devices, so it’s perfect for giving information on events and sales or making connections with customers and/or other businesses.
#1: Facebook
  • What is it? By far the world’s top social networking site, which lets users share content, create events, and, for businesses, use targeted advertisements to appeal to specific sets of customers.
  • Who uses it? There are approximately 1.28 billion monthly users; the total number of users is still being counted. To put that into perspective, that’s over 1/7 of the world’s total population using Facebook! It’s also popular for mobile, with 3 out of 4 smartphone users accessing Facebook through an app.
  • Why is it useful for business? Given the amount of active users and the ability to advertise, it’s a natural fit for both small and large businesses. It’s also great for fostering relationships with customers, increasing brand awareness, and promoting sales and events.