How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Brand

Kylie FennellSocial Media Marketing

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Too much choice can be a curse, especially when it comes to marketing.

We know that customers can be overwhelmed by too many choices and buying decisions, but the same can happen to marketers.

There are so many marketing channels and tactics that it can be difficult to decide on the right ones for your brand.

This is especially the case for social media networks.

The most effective way to narrow down your options is to understand your audience and the demographics of the users of each platform.

You want to focus on the social media platforms that your target audience is most likely to use.

Social Media Platform User Demographics

Around seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have at least one social media account, with each platform appealing to slightly different audiences.  

Here is an overview of the major social media networks you may consider and a breakdown of user demographics for each platform, sourced from the Pew Research Center.

social-media-platforms-demographics

Facebook

If you only want a social media presence on one platform, Facebook may be a safe choice for you.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that Facebook is the most-widely social media platform, with its user base representative of the broadest range of the population.

Facebook boasts more than 2 billion active social media users per month and typically suits every type of industry and business.

Brands can create their own Facebook Page and share written, audio and video (including live video) content, which followers can engage with.

It also offers various advertising tools with the ability to target specific types of users and optimize your ads for them.

Facebook User Demographics

  • Used by 68% of people who have a social media account.
  • It is slightly preferred by females.
  • 18-29-year-olds are the largest user group with 81% using Facebook.
  • 30-49-year-olds are close behind at 78%.
  • Around 65% of social media users aged 50-64 use Facebook, and 41% of 65+ users.
  • Users have a broad range of education levels with similar distribution across high school or less, and college educated.
  • It is preferred above other major platforms by users in rural areas.
  • Around 70% of social media users in urban and suburban areas use Facebook.

Instagram

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is used by over 800 million active users to share photos and videos.

 More than 50% of users follow at least one brand, making it a great medium for marketers to speak to their audience.

As a visual platform, it tends to suit brands that can showcase physical products and locations.

However service-based businesses can also find creative ways to showcase their brand, their people, and their customers.

One of the best ways of getting noticed on Instagram is consistent, quality content and an amazing hashtag strategy.

In terms of advertising, it offers the same variety of options and audience targeting tools as Facebook.

And with its Shoppable Posts and latest Shoppable Stories, Instagram is a one-stop shop for discovering and purchasing products!

Instagram User Demographics

  • The second most popular major social media platform among all users (35% of users).
  • The majority of users are female (39% vs 30%).
  • 18-29-year-olds are the largest user group at 64% followed by 40% of 30-49-year-olds.
  • 21% of 50-64-year-old social media users use Instagram, and 10% of 65+ users.
  • There isn’t a significant difference in education levels of users, though there are slightly more college educated users.
  • Usage is slightly higher in urban and suburban areas (42% and 34% respectively). One in four rural users though are on Instagram, which is relatively high compared to other platforms.

Twitter

Twitter is suited to instant and real-time updates, trending news and sharing opinions.

Users can follow accounts if they want to be notified of updates in their Twitter feed.

Tweets are usually a maximum of 140 characters long (some may be up to 280 characters) and can be liked, commented on or retweeted. Images and video can also be shared on Twitter.

Hashtags are also used to categorize content using keywords or trending topics.

Due to the immediacy of this platform, you may want to tweet multiple times a day to reach more of your target audience.

Considered a micro-blogging platform, it averages around 330 million monthly active users and has targeted advertising tools as well.

Twitter User Demographics

  • Used by only around one in four social media users.
  • Almost equally used by men and women.
  • 18-29-year-olds are the largest user group with nearly twice as many users compared to the next age group (30-49-year-olds at 27%).
  • Only 19% of 50-64-year-old social media users use Twitter, and 8% of 65+ users.
  • Most users tend to be college educated – around 30% compared to 18% of high school or less educated users.
  • It is preferred by urban users (29%), followed by suburban users (23%). Only 17% of rural social media users are on Twitter.

LinkedIn

One in four social media users have a LinkedIn account.

This platform is used equally by males and females and particularly suits B2B marketing going well beyond an online resume or job hunting tool.

LinkedIn posts and articles generate 15x more impressions than the job-related content.

It has more than 250 million active users each month with the majority of users being college educated.

YouTube

According to Hubspot, nearly one-third of all online activity is spent watching videos, with YouTube, and its more than a billion active users, accounting for much of that.

The platform is wide-reaching with access in 76 different languages.

With loads of advertising options on this platform, nearly one in every two marketers plan on including it as part of their promotional and content strategies.

It’s equally used by men and women, with 25-44-year-olds being the largest user group.

Pinterest 

This platform is designed to showcase inspirational images, similar to the concept of a vision board.

It is preferred by women, with more than twice as many female users compared to males.

Pinterest users are also reported to be more likely to convert to a purchase on this platform than users on other networks.

An amazing feature of Pinterest is its Buyable Pins which allow users to directly purchase the product without ever leaving the app.

Snapchat 

Gone are the days that Snapchat appealed only to self-obsessed teenagers.

Over the last few years, usage has grown overall and particularly in older age groups.

Brands too have been drawn to its popularity and fun-loving filters.

It has around 300 million active monthly users with the biggest user group by far, being 18-24-year-olds and females.

Although there are many creative ways to advertise on Snapchat using Snap Ads, filters and lenses, Snapchat reaches a limited demographic and the costs are much higher than Facebook Ads or Google Ads.

When it comes to social media platforms, they are always changing with different usage trends and new networks being launched.

The important thing to remember is to be open to trying out new features and platforms.

Monitor what platforms your target audience is most active on and switch up your content and posting strategy as needed.

Manage Your Multiple Platforms

Once you’ve identified the best platforms for your brand, you will want to find the most effective way to manage them.

MavSocial lets you schedule content across the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn, as well as manage social media advertising and repeat posting campaigns.

Sign up for a free MavSocial trial today and schedule your content across several social media platforms, all from the one easy-to-use dashboard.

About the Author

Kylie Fennell

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Kylie Fennell is a Marketer and Publisher of small business news and resource site InJust5.com. She loves creating content and marketing strategies that will make your day.