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  • Mary Callahan

Which Social Media Platforms Does Your Business Need?

It’s no surprise that nowadays social media is a critical component of brand management. Not only is it a means of marketing, but it also grows your audience (and hopefully your customer base), facilitates communication, and provides insights as to what your customers truly want. Would you believe that there are hundreds of social media platforms in the world? Luckily, businesses only need to focus on a handful of those—Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube. But, don’t think your business needs to have a powerful presence on all 8 of these platforms. Especially for small businesses, we believe that focusing your efforts on platforms where your target audience “lives” will provide you with the greatest return on investment.


Social media management is a career all its own, and each social platform operates differently—and serves a unique purpose. Instead of throwing the same content at all of these social media sites to just “see what sticks,” we’ll walk you through the in’s and out’s of each medium. With this knowledge, you can strategize where and how you focus your energy (and figure out the way you’ll get the most bang for your buck!).



Instagram

Global Active Users: 1.44 billion


Demographics: Predominantly ages 18-35 (81.9%), fairly even by gender (50.7% male)


Purpose: Post/share photos or videos, find funny/entertaining content, follow/find information about products/brands


For Businesses: Ideal for high-quality photos and videos that showcase your brand. Hashtags increase reach, generate engagement, and help the algorithm to work in your favor. Currently, the most impactful trends are short-form videos on Instagram Stories (competing with the ephemeral, personal nature of Snapchat) and Reels (competing with the dynamic videos of TikTok). Business profiles allow brands to analyze insights, add calls-to-action buttons, and enable third party integrations.


Key Facts: 90% of Instagram users follow a business profile. 83% of Instagram users use the platform to discover new products and services. 80% of Instagram stories that contain a call to action perform better.


Challenges: Instagram’s algorithms change frequently, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the kind of content Instagram is currently promoting. Instagram also has high advertising costs and prioritizes accounts that post frequently (which can be time-consuming). Additionally, Instagram does not accommodate links in posts (only in stories or in bio).


Facebook

Global active users: 2.94 billion


Demographics: Predominantly ages 25-35 (23.6%) and leaning older, predominantly male (56.6%)


Purpose: Message friends/family, post/share photos or videos, keep up-to-date with news/the world


For Businesses: Facebook is the largest social network, but because it started as a personal network where everyone had to be "friended" to see content - it's difficult to grow their organically. Share information, photos, videos, and other news about your business while you grow your following through targeted ads.


Key Facts: 98.3% of Facebook users access the platform on mobile devices. Video ads perform better than any other ad format on Facebook.


Challenges: Weak organic reach. Becoming increasingly congested with click-bait, fake profiles, and unreliable news.

Twitter

Global active users: 486 million


Demographic: Predominantly ages 25-35 (38.5%) leaning older, predominantly male (56.4%)


Purpose: Keep up-to-date with news/the world, find funny/entertaining content, follow/find information about products/brands


For Businesses: Twitter is all about conversations and connections. Tweet to share company news and product launches. Practice good customer service by responding to tags.


Key Facts: 42% of all Twitter users have graduated college. 83% of all the world’s leaders are on Twitter. 26% of US users check their Twitter account several times per day. Tweets with hashtags receive 100% more engagement for an individual and 50% more engagement for a brand (**The “sweet spot” is 1-2 hashtags. More than that and your engagement will likely decrease).


Challenges: Small ad audience. Tweets typically have a lifespan of 15-20 minutes. Company is experiencing some instability under Elon Musk - so we don't encourage investing time/money on the platform at this time.


TikTok

Global active users: 1.02 billion


Demographics: Predominantly ages 18-24 (45%) leaning younger, predominantly female (56.1%)


Purpose: Find funny/entertaining content, post/share photos or videos, keep up-to-date with news/the world


For Businesses: If you master your SEO, TikTok can be great for brand awareness as your videos will pop up on users’ “For You” pages. TikTok is also working to launch in-app commerce (like Instagram and Facebook). This will make it more convenient for users to make purchases from your business directly in the app.


Key Facts: TikTok took considerably less time to reach 1 billion users than it took Facebook. TikTok makes you feel like part of a community more than other social media platforms. TikTok is the most engaging social media app, with an average session length of 10.85 minutes.


Challenges: Relationship building. TikTok recommends posting 1-4x per day, which is a lot of content creation (especially for a small business).


Pinterest

Global active users: 433 million


Demographics: Predominantly ages 25-25 (38.8%), predominantly female (77.1%)


Purpose: Curate boards that inspire creativity for users, follow/find information about products/brands, find funny/entertaining content, post/share photos/videos


For Businesses: Great platform to sell a product—especially if it’s aesthetically beautiful. The app offers product tags and prices with links so you can generate traffic to your website.


Key Facts: 5.6% of all people on Earth use Pinterest. Amazon refers the most web traffic to Pinterest. It is equally popular in rural areas. 68.1% of Pinterest traffic is through direct search. Shoppers on Pinterest spend more per month than users on other platforms.


Challenges: Brands will likely need a strong graphic designer/photographer to produce stunning images.


LinkedIn

Global users: 875 million


Demographics: Predominantly ages 25-35 (31%) leaning older, predominantly male (57.2%)


Purpose: Keep up-to-date with news/the world, follow/find information about products/brands, post/share photos/videos


For Businesses: LinkedIn has evolved from a job search platform to a social network for working professionals. It is the best social platform for lead generation (better than both Twitter and Facebook combined).


Key Facts: 82% of B2B marketers find the greatest success on LinkedIn. Almost 46% of social media traffic to a company’s website comes from LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s advertising audience reach has grown 8.8% over the past 12 months. LinkedIn posts with images garner 2x higher engagement. If you post videos, make sure to include on-screen captions as many users watch without sound.


Challenges: Highest average cost per click advertising ($5.26). No custom reporting. Building a professional network can be time-consuming. Users don’t engage with the platform as much as other social media.


YouTube

Global active users: 2.48 billion


Demographics: Predominantly ages 15-25 (77%), predominantly male (54.2%)


Purpose: Find funny/entertaining content, keep up-to-date with news/the world, post/share videos


For Businesses: Great for longer, more in-depth video content (but YouTube Shorts now also compete with TikTok and Instagram Reels).


Key Facts: The second largest search engine in the world after Google. On mobile devices, YouTube reaches more adults aged 18-24 than any TV network.


Challenges: Video is resource-heavy to produce.


Still unsure which social media would best suit your business? Schedule a consultation with us and we can guide you through the platforms that will lead to the greatest return on investment. Click here to work with us.


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