2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms: 5 Key Trends

Top 2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms [Research]

2016 Social Media Marketing PlatformsIf you’re like most of the people in the world, you visit at least one social media marketing platform at least once a month.

I know that’s not a news flash.

But what do you do if you’re a marketer?

You can’t just engage on social media like an individual.

(BTW, here’s the data on how people use social media via Global Web Index.)Usage_of_Social_Media_Networks-Global_Web_Index-Chart

Which 2016 social media platforms do you use for your marketing?

Which 2016 social media marketing platforms yield the best results for most businesses?

Which 2016 social media marketing platforms yield the best results for your business?

7 Top 2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms

Social Media Examiner Chart- 2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms

1. Facebook: 93% of marketers use

  • Size matters. Facebook continues to evolve incorporating video, long form content and messaging.
  • Facebook thought leaders to follow: Mari Smith, Jon Loomer, Amy Porterfield and Andrea Vahl.

2. Twitter: 76% of marketers use

  • Twitter keeps going and growing despite a lack of internal leadership. Twitter has expanded into video with Periscope (live) and Vine (short form).
  • Twitter thought leaders to follow: Kim Garst and Madalyn Sklar.

3. LinkedIn: 76% of marketers use

  • Business lives on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is today’s resume and networking meeting place. Don’t underestimate the power of your business’s alumni.
  • LinkedIn embraces the latest in long form content and forums (aka LinkedIn Groups.) LinkedIn Slideshare is where presentations and video attract user attention.
  • LinkedIn thought leaders to follow: Jason Miller, Alexandra Rynne, Melonie Dodaro, Stephanie Sammons, Viveka Von Rosen and Neal Schaffer.

4. YouTube: 53% of marketers use

  • YouTube is understated from a social media perspective since it’s often classified as a video platform.
  • YouTube thought leader to follow: Steve Dotto.

5. Google+: 49% of marketers use

  • Google+ benefits from its Google association. It could use more corporate love from its parent Google.
  • Google+ thought leaders to follow: Martin Shervington and Peg Fitzpatrick.

6. Instagram: 43% of marketers use

  • Instagram is unique among 2016 social media marketing platforms since it’s a mobile app. It’s a visual darling including photos and video.
  • Instagram thought leader to follow: Sue Zimmerman and Jenn Herman.

7. Pinterest: 40% of marketers use

  • Pinterest tends to be underutilized by merchants and content marketers. (Don’t worry I’m with you.)
  • Pinterest thought leaders to follow: Rebekah Radice, Donna Moritz and Vincent Ng.


5 Key trends for 2016 social media marketing platforms

Based on the Social Media Examiner research, here are 5 key 2016 social media marketing trends.

2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms

1. Social media marketing has matured

According to the SME research, there were only minor changes in order and magnitude of social media marketing platforms used.

Deeper analysis by Social Media Examiner revealed 2 related trends:

  • Longer experience with social media resulted in a greater number of social media platforms used. Note: There’s a survivor’s bias here. People who aren’t around or counted among these respondents don’t count.
  • Greater time investment allows for more social media platforms. Intuitively, this makes sense. This means more people or greater dedicated resources. 2016_Social_Media_Marketing_Platforms-Hours_Per_Week_Chart 2016_Social_Media_Marketing_Platforms_Chart-_Time



Social media has reached Internet middle age. Social media marketing is a stable element of your marketing mix. (This shouldn’t be a surprise. Even Zuck’s a dad.)

As social media continues to evolve and change, continuously refine what you’re doing to yield measurable success. Better social media results will come from smaller incremental improvements and overall marketing integration.

2. Video continues to grow

Social Media Examiner data understates video’s expanding reach. (BTW, I called this trend back in the beginning of 2015 on SME!)

Social Media Marketing Video Chart via Social Bakers

Social Media Marketing Video Chart – It’s not just YouTube any more


Most of these 7 top 2016 social media marketing platforms support video in at least one format.

More importantly, regardless of age and background, you and your audience were weaned on video. We’ve got screens everywhere (in case your computer, smartphone and/or television weren’t enough.)


Add video to your marketing plans now!

The challenge:  Quality video is difficult.

But just start! Even top social media influencer Kim Garst talked about her fears with live video at Social Media Marketing World 2016.

3. Blogs (still) rock social media

Yes they’re missing from this list of third party social media marketing platforms.

Blogs are owned media. It’s even more important to incorporate them into your overall marketing plans. At a minimum, publish one element from every marketing campaign on your blog.

Also, keep promoting your blog content.


4. Social media review sites are understated

The Social Media Examiner research tightly defines social media review platforms to websites such as Yelp.

This undervalues the power and strength of ratings and review sites.

For most businesses, B2B and B2C, there’s at least one rating and review site that is critical to their business.

The caveat: The rating and review site may not be classified as a social media marketing platform.

Among the sites that fall into this category include:

  • Amazon. It’s the granddaddy of review sites. Over 40% of people start product searches here.

    Google VS Amazon Where US Customers Start Product Purchases - Chart

    Google VS Amazon Where US Customers Start Product Purchases – Chart

  • Apple. It’s the app, podcast and music gatekeeper. If you don’t make it here, well…
  • TripAdvisor. This travel site just keeps growing. It’s gold for hotels and inns. What happens on the backend is opaque to most users.
  • Ravelry. It’s the go-to site for knitters, crocheters, spinners and other yarnies.

There are many, many others, especially in the tech space.


  • Find the relevant ratings and review sites in your category and actively participate.

Need help? Check Daniel Lemin’s ManipuRATED.

5. B2B and B2C marketers use a different mix of social media marketing platforms.

No surprise.

Earlier in the social media evolution, use of the most popular platforms like Facebook was necessary just to reach prospects, especially outside of the US.

2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms: B2B vs B2C (Chart)

2016 Social Media Marketing Platforms: B2B vs B2C (Chart)

The 2 big business winners are:

  • Facebook for B2C.
  • LinkedIn for B2B.

LinkedIn has evolved and expanded its ability to support businesses.

Small businesses use LinkedIn the most of all 2016 social media marketing platforms based on UMass Dartmouth Research.

2016 Small Business Social Media Use - UMass Dartmouth Chart

At its core, LinkedIn is useful for human resources and business partnerships and sales.

But, as I mentioned above, your blog should be at the top of the 2016 social media marketing platforms you use.

The 2016 social media marketing platform bottom line:

From a marketing perspective, think of social media holistically. Integrate a variety of social media marketing platforms into your marketing plans.

Of course this mix should include both your owned media, namely your blog, and third party social media.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/gapYVvUg1M8

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