There are a variety of social media platforms available, and each cater to different audiences and serve different purposes. Instead of spreading your resources thin across a variety of platforms, it is best to focus your resources. That way you can create a strong presence on the platforms that best fit your customer base and goals. This post outlines the most popular social media platforms to help you identify which best suits your small business.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with over a billion active users. You can create a company page with important company details like hours, locations, and contact information. You can post and share content to reach existing and new customers. Businesses can also use it as an advertising platform to publish digital ads and push sponsored content to targeted audiences.
Facebook has 1.71 billion monthly active users, and 71% of U.S. adult Internet users use Facebook. Approximately 80% of 18 – 49 year olds use Facebook, while 56% of online users age 65 and up use Facebook. There are slightly more females than males on Facebook.
Facebook is best for the following business objectives:
- Promote brand awareness
- Drive online sales
- Find new leads
- Social customer service
- Educate your audience on your business
Since Facebook is the most popular social media platform for all ages, it is a platform often recommend for all businesses. If you’d like to develop your business’s Facebook page, read Facebook’s useful guide.
Instagram is a visual platform used for uploading crafted photos or videos. While Instagram has a website, the App must be used to post photos and videos. Therefore, users often prefer to view Instagram from their phones. In fact, Instagram is the second fasted growing mobile app. Most users use Instagram for entertainment and as a tool for visual inspiration.
Instagram has over 500 million monthly active users, up from 400 million in September of 2015. The app is more popular for users under 18 than Facebook, and it is the most used social platform for teens. People who live in urban and suburban locations are slightly more likely to use Instagram.
Instagram is great for brands that rely heavily on images, such as restaurants or clothing stores. It is also great for small businesses hoping to achieve the following goals:
- Drive brand awareness with creative ad formats
- Optimize ads
- Reach customers through mobile
- Showcase product offerings
If you think Instagram will be a useful tool for your business, Instagram provides this great guide for getting started.
Pinterest is an image sharing and bookmarking tool. It allows users to visually share and discover new interests by posting images or videos to their profiles. Pinterest is often called the “world’s catalog of ideas,” and over 60% of posts featured on Pinterest are created by commercial sites.
Pinterest has over 100 million active users. Far more women use Pinterest than men – 42% of U.S. online adult women use Pinterest, while only 13% of U.S. online men use the site. Users under the age of 50 are more likely to use Pinterest. Individuals living in rural and suburban communities are slightly more likely to use Pinterest over those living in urban areas.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is great for companies that rely heavily on images. You can use Pinterest to reach the following goals:
- Increase brand visibility and awareness
- Drive online conversions (73% of users have purchased products because they saw it on Pinterest)
- Learn audience behaviors and trends
- Increase website traffic
For tips to starting your Pinterest presence, you should read the Pinterest Business Guide.
Twitter is a social networking tool that allows users to publish and share short posts called tweets. Twitter is known as the modern newsroom of social media. People use it to share their thoughts, as well as to learn current updates and happenings around the world. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, and can include text, photos and links.
Twitter averages at 313 million monthly active users. Unlike other social media sites that we’ve discussed, there are more men than women on Twitter (24% of U.S. online men, versus 21% of U.S. online women). Twitter is a popular site among young adults, and only 9% of users are over 50 years of age.
Twitter is a great tool for the following:
- Inform customers of events, sales, and business updates
- Network with relevant influencers and brand advocates
- Increase traffic to website
- Stay up to date on current happenings in your industry
For tips on starting your twitter profile, you should check out Twitter’s guide.
LinkedIn is a social networking site and app designed specifically for the business community. The goal of LinkedIn is to allow members to establish networks of professionals and connect with their peers. It allows users to share ideas and discover professional opportunities.
LinkedIn has 450M members, most of whom are educated professionals and companies corporate pages. The largest age group on LinkedIn is 30 – 49 year olds, and like Twitter, there are slightly more men than women on the site. There are over twice as many urban users on LinkedIn than rural users.
LinkedIn is the best for the following objectives:
- Announce product launches
- Recruit new employees
- Make new business connections
- Generate new leads
To learn more about LinkedIn, download LinkedIn’s Business eBook guide.
Choosing the right social platform is central to an effective social media strategy. By focusing your resources on the right social media channels, you will save time while improving the quality of your overall social media presence.