The rise of social media platforms is one of the biggest phenomena of the 21st century. More and more people sign up for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat accounts and spend hours a week scrolling their feeds. As a result — apart from entertainment — these social media platforms have also proved to be great marketing tools.

Here are five examples of leading industries in the world and how they approach social media:

Entertainment industry

The entertainment industry naturally goes hand in hand with social media; the two have a lot in common. Both are intent on catching the viewers' attention and providing a source of fun.

The entertainment industry largely relies on video content to do this. A recent 2019 Buffer Report concluded that, on average, video posts on Facebook get 59% more engagement than other types of posts. Moreover, of the 500 top posts on Facebook in 2018, 81% contained videos!

It is evident that, for the entertainment industry, video is crucial. The film industry uses trailers and teasers to promote new releases and the music industry survives off music videos on YouTube.

Retail industry

The retail industry took a while to adopt social media platforms, but now it is thriving off of them. It is important to note that retailers don't rely on social media to make direct sales. According to Adweek, Custora analysed $100-billion worth of sales from 500 million shoppers and concluded that only 1.5% of sales came from social media.

Even though retailers cannot make direct sales via social media platforms, they are crucial as a means of communication between brands and their customers. According to this SproutSocial's report from 2016, the majority of people (34%) chose social media as their primary form of customer care.

Other uses of social media in the retail industry include promotional activities, building brand awareness and gaining a better understanding of the market.

Gambling industry

The gambling industry is one of the strongest and most influential ones in the world. Naturally, it has a strong presence on social media. But this industry has a harder time than others due to strict regulations that are in place worldwide.

For instance, the United Kingdom's Gambling Commission came up with a long set of rules that cover topics such as misleading advertising, promotional marketing and the age of actors in the posts. These rules apply not only to casino games, but to lotteries as well.

Companies such as Lottoland are not allowed to suggest that participating in their games can provide an escape from personal or financial problems, that playing the lottery is a priority in life or that it will enhance personal qualities.

In South Africa, the rules brought by the National Gambling Act are even stricter, as no form of promotion of gambling is permitted in the country.

Hospitality industry

The value of social media in the hospitality industry is huge. In order for hotels, hostels, motels or restaurants to survive, they need to be present on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Customers making travel plans tend to consult online reviews before booking a place to stay. Moreover, social media platforms, such as Facebook, automatically promote businesses to friends of people who like or follow a certain page. If your friend likes a hotel, you will see that on your news feed and might wish to do the same.

Pharma industry

The pharmaceutical industry has a similar problem to the one that the gambling industry has when it comes to social media and advertisement. Strict rules are in place that explain what is possible for the pharma industry to say, claim and advertise to their customers online.

According to a recent report conducted by Unmetric, the companies in the pharmaceutical industry mostly rely on Twitter and LinkedIn to promote themselves. Facebook and YouTube follow closely behind.

They also found that these companies use different social media platforms for different purposes — such as corporate social profiles, careers in pharma, promotion of products and community pages.