The 9 Best Social Media Platforms All Digital Marketers Should Know in 2024

Rosie Allabarton, contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

Ever wondered how you can leverage social media platforms to boost your digital marketing strategy? With over 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, now is probably a good time to start thinking about it! 

Whether your target audiences are millennials, parents, small business owners, or emerging professionals, you will find them on social media. In fact, such is the popularity of social networking with every type of user that, by 2025, it’s projected that approximately half the entire global population—a whopping 4.41 billion people—will be using them. 

If you’re considering incorporating social media platforms into your digital marketing plan, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ve put together a detailed rundown of the top ten most commonly-used social media platforms and how you can use their unique features to grow your audience, promote your brand, and increase traffic to your website.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about why each of these ten social channels are so popular, and to get your hands on the concrete steps you’ll need to make the most of these sites for your own marketing purposes. 

In this article, we’ll go over the top 10 social media platforms. You can skip ahead to your favorite one by using the clickable list.

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Twitter
  4. WhatsApp
  5. Instagram
  6. TikTok
  7. Reddit
  8. Pinterest
  9. LinkedIn

Ready to begin? Then let’s get started! 

1. Facebook

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform. The reason for its popularity is the number of engaging (and addictive) features the platform offers to users, from the famous Like button, to Stories, the Feed, comments and tagging. 

While some users enjoy using the social media platform to check in with friends and family, others use it to buy and sell goods, learn about events happening in their local area, or watch a live video interview with their favorite celebrity. There is something for everyone on the platform, and it’s this—combined with its neat, easy-to-use, and enjoyable interface—that keeps users coming back again and again. 

Use in digital marketing 

Facebook offers numerous tools to marketers, both paid and organic. Falling into the paid bracket are sponsored posts, ad campaigns, and promotions, while marketers can also take advantage of the numerous unpaid options Facebook has to offer, such as Groups, Stories, and posts. While Groups are an extremely effective way of creating a community and conversation around your brand, it’s also worth considering using the Messenger function to interact directly with visitors to your Facebook Page. In addition, you might want to consider posting video content that promotes your brand as an authority in your field, or hosting a live webinar to answer users’ questions.   

2. YouTube

Launched in 2005, YouTube, the well-known video sharing service for watching, liking, sharing, commenting and uploading videos, is also—thanks to its global community of one billion monthly users—a hugely successful social media platform. In fact, as of last year, YouTube was the second most-visited website on the internet, which speaks volumes for its influence over users and businesses alike. Consumers flock to video because it’s quick and easy to digest (not to mention hugely entertaining) while marketers are drawn to it because of its accessibility, impactfulness, and low production costs. 

Use in digital marketing 

With users bombarded with so much text-based content these days, marketing departments are turning to video to connect with their audiences on a whole new level. It’s an opportunity to engage them, show the human side of a brand, and provide some entertainment—all in one package. Video is also extremely shareable and embeddable into other forms of content.

If you’re thinking of using YouTube in your digital marketing strategy, it’s worth bearing these best practices in mind:

  • Use engaging (but not clickbaity) titles that align with your SEO strategy and answer commonly searched-for queries
  • Provide value to users with your content 
  • Engage with the already-thriving YouTube community to see what’s popular with viewers and your competitor’s audiences
  • Test different types of video content and study your analytics to understand what your audience wants to see

3. Twitter

There’s no denying the power of Twitter. As a place for discussion, entertainment, news, opinion, business updates, and much more, it’s a hub of activity populated by professionals, academics, organizations, journalists, your neighbors (probably), and just about every celebrity on the planet. With an average of 326 million monthly users, as a digital marketer, it’s not a social media platform you can afford to ignore. 

Use in digital marketing 

For digital marketing, Twitter presents a massive opportunity. With so many users in one place and topics as easy to find as entering a hashtag, brands can use the site to engage users and followers, increase brand awareness, promote products, boost conversion, build communities, and increase consumer trust. Not only is it free to use, you can share content in seconds, provide immediate customer support and conversation, reach new audiences, and use it to study closely the strategy your competitors are using. For paid marketing efforts, Twitter offers promoted tweets and Twitter Ads, giving your brand more visibility in the feeds of target audiences. 

Some actionable marketing tips to try on Twitter: 

  • Use keyword targeting in your ads
  • Always use relevant hashtags!
  • Put together a schedule for sharing valuable content (or use a scheduling tool)
  • Build a Twitter campaign
  • Share eye-catching images and videos that provide value to your targeted audience
  • Engage with your followers, reply to all comments, and start discussions
  • Retweet all mentions of your Twitter handle by others 

4. WhatsApp

Most of us have used WhatsApp at some time in our digital lives—after all, it’s the number one messaging app in more than 100 countries. However, despite its enormous popularity as a personal instant messaging app (boasting over 2 billion active users worldwide) its value as a marketing tool is often underrated by brands and businesses. What many don’t know is that, in addition to instant messaging, WhatsApp has a lot to offer its business customers, and is investing heavily in growing the marketing functions of the app. 

Use in digital marketing 

If you’re hoping to use WhatsApp to boost your digital marketing efforts, then you need to get acquainted with WhatsApp Business. WhatsApp Business is a feature-packed app for the small or large business owner that enables a brand to personally connect with their customers, create catalogs of available products and services (which can be highlighted and promoted individually), and enable support staff to answer customer queries while they shop. The app also offers companies the option of sending relevant and important notifications directly to their customers’ devices. 

5. Instagram

With ​​over 1.16 billion active monthly users, Instagram is the place for photo and story sharing. 

In addition to regular users (who typically use the site to share photos and videos with friends and followers), Instagram also plays host to brands, businesses, celebrities, and influencers. Due to its wide reach and popularity with a range of age groups and interests, Instagram is a dynamic opportunity for advertisers and marketers to create eye-catching content to promote their products, brand, or services. 

Use in digital marketing

With an Instagram Business profile, business customers and digital marketing teams can gain valuable insights into their marketing efforts with access to statistics which include impressions and engagement data. For the marketing campaigns themselves, there are a few different options to choose from: from sponsored ads which can take the form of photos, videos, carousels, and stories, to product teasers or partnering with an influencer. 

Make sure to follow these best practices for Instagram marketing: 

  • Keep image quality high
  • Stay informed about platform updates and trends
  • Keep track of high-performing posts 
  • Don’t just push products—tell stories with your content

6. TikTok 

Describing itself as “the destination for short-form mobile videos”, TikTok is a relative newbie to the social networking scene, having officially launched in its current form as recently as 2017. Despite its reputation as a social media platform for younger generations, with one billion active users worldwide, the impact of the site should not be underestimated; TikTok actually ranks higher than both LinkedIn and Twitter in terms of users

Use in digital marketing 

As a creative and collaborative space, TikTok offers plenty of opportunities for marketers to connect with younger audiences on their own turf. It may be famous for dance challenges and lip-synching but there’s plenty of educational and inspirational content on there too. 

Here are some ways to take advantage of TikTok for marketing: 

  • Work with influencers to create content
  • Create a branded channel
  • Build a TikTok advertising campaign 

7. Reddit 

Reddit is a community-focused content aggregator which hosts a community of over 48 million monthly active users. Users publish posts that cover a wide range of topics, which are then down or upvoted by other users. Despite its very basic design and interface, Reddit is incredibly popular, because it is a social news site that gives users the power to determine the type of content they see and discuss. 

Use in digital marketing 

Despite being the ninth most-visited website in the U.S., Reddit is still massively underused by marketers. The reason for this is that the very active community can spot a promotional post a mile off, and will not be shy about getting you kicked off the site if you try to advertise there. In order to penetrate this fierce community you have to become one of them. You can do this by posting useful, relevant content, responding sincerely to others’ posts, and offering advice or insights that others find worthwhile. Your goal here is to become an authoritative figure who can eventually guide other users towards quality products or services, including—but not exclusively—your own. 

8. Pinterest 

Pinterest is the ultimate visual inspiration discovery platform for everything from fashion, celebrities, beauty, and hair, to interiors, nature, crafts, recipes, and lifestyle. Users can save images and ideas into their own lists and collections (called ‘boards’), to keep their ideas well-organized and categorized. They can also easily share their boards or collaborate using ‘group boards’ with other users. 

Use in digital marketing 

One of the advantages of using Pinterest as part of your digital marketing efforts is that it has great search capabilities. For marketers, this means that investing time in researching an audience’s commonly searched-for questions and keywords really pays off. With optimized titles, users can easily find the content they want, and brands can present themselves as reliable and trustworthy sources for solving specific user problems. 

Other best practices for marketers to use on Pinterest include: 

  • Create vertical images. Why? Because on Pinterest, images are formatted to be the exact same width, but they can be as tall as you wish. Statistically, taller images are more likely to be repinned.
  • Don’t forget to link back to your website in your pin description and source
  • Embed pins on your own blog (you’ll get more repins that way)
  • Get a Pinterest for Business account! You’ll get all the analytics your heart desires.

9. LinkedIn

LinkedIn describes itself as the world’s largest professional network,boasting 310 million monthly active users. Originally launched as an online networking site for jobseekers and career-changers, today LinkedIn offers numerous additional features related to business and employment, including online training courses and business services which include finding talent, growth solutions, and customer acquisition. 

Use in digital marketing 

There are lots of features which digital marketers can use on LinkedIn to find leads, increase awareness,  and convert users into customers, with the site responsible for an impressive 64% of all visits from social media sites to a company’s website. Marketers can position their brand as a thought leader in the field by crafting and publishing insightful pieces on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform, while LinkedIn Groups offer businesses the opportunity to connect and possibly collaborate with influencers. In addition, a LinkedIn Company page adds credibility to a brand and provides an opportunity to educate customers on what you can offer them. 

Takeaways and next steps

We hope our guide to the top 10 social media platforms has answered all your burning questions on the advantages of each social network and how to utilize each one to meet the digital marketing needs of your business or brand. 

If you’d like to learn more about social media and marketing, check out CareerFoundry’s free 5-day course. You may also be interested in the following articles: 

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to digital marketing with a free, self-paced short course comprised of five short tutorials.

  2. Take part in one of our FREE live online digital marketing events with industry experts, and check out digital marketing student Adelina’s portfolio project.

  3. Become a job-ready digital marketer in just 3-7 months—all backed by the CareerFoundry job guarantee.

  4. This month, we’re offering a partial scholarship worth up to $1,365 off on all of our career-change programs to the first 100 students who apply 🎉 Book your application call and secure your spot now!

What is CareerFoundry?

CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back.

Learn more about our programs