Author: Jack Dolan, WhiteHot Marketing Intern

Social media has an ever-increasing presence in our world. From the creation of Myspace in 2003 (does anyone reading this even remember that?) by Tim Vanderhook to the eventual founding of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, we started to build digital connections amongst people across the world. Then Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey and his associates in 2006, creating what we now term the hashtag, inspiring the following #currentmood:

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But enough of the history lesson. What does this have to do with marketing? At WhiteHot, we’re responsible for our clients’ social media presence, which we use to extend our reach and help build relationships with clients’ current and prospective customers, partners/shareholders and media. Believe me when I say a lot of work goes into creating and maintaining an engaging presence for a business on social media – mostly because of all the clutter. So many people use social media to market their own businesses, essentially shouting about (with little listening) their own ideas, opinions and products. Social media, in a nutshell, can feel a lot like standing in a small room stuffed full of people with no attention spans and all armed with megaphones.

A recent study by digital strategist Ayaz Nanji shows how foundational social media is becoming to a business’ digital presence. The following article discusses the top social media platforms and content types for businesses in 2016. Understanding how to best use each platform (hint: you won’t have a presence on ALL of them) is the first step in creating the most effective strategy and reaching overall business goals.

whitehot-marketing-social-trendsFacebook is the most used social network by businesses for marketing purposes, and 67% of companies plan to further increase their Facebook marketing activities this year, according to recent data from Social Media Examiner.

The 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report was based on data from a survey conducted in January of 5,086 marketers. Some 65% of survey participants focus primarily on attracting consumers (B2C) and the other 35% primarily target businesses (B2B).

Below, key findings from the report.                                                                

Top Social Networks

Some 96% of B2C respondents say their business uses Facebook as a marketing tool, and 88% of B2B respondents say the same.

YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are more popular with B2C marketers; LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and SlideShare are more popular with B2B marketers.

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Some 66% of B2C marketers say Facebook is the most important social network for their business. LinkedIn ranks as the top network for B2B marketers, with 40% saying it is the most important platform.

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Paid Channels

The most used paid media channel by respondents is Facebook ads (87% use), followed by Google ads (39%) and Twitter ads (18%).

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Content Types

Visual content such as images/graphics is the most used content type by marketers on social media (74% say they use), followed by blog posts (68%).

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Marketers rank blog posts as the top content type they share on social media (38% cite as most important). However, that’s down from the 45% who ranked blogging as most important in 2015.

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