Social media is an integral part of any marketing campaign. If you want your business to get noticed you need to have a presence on at least one of the major social platforms. Posting to all of them, however, may be too time-consuming for the average small business. Wise business owners will focus their efforts on the platforms that will get the best results for them.

Which Platform Should You Choose?

Post on the Platforms Your Demographic Uses

According to Pew Research, 72% of Americans use some form of social media. Facebook and YouTube are the most popular platforms in the USA, with Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and other major platforms having smaller but still significant market shares.

The user-bases of those sites varies significantly, however, and it pays to know which platforms your target demographic prefers to use. For example, according to Sprout Social’s breakdown of social media demographics, teens tend to be more active in Snapchat and Instagram than they are on Facebook, and Twitter’s demographics skew quite heavily male.

Choosing the platform that your target audience spends the most time on makes you appear more switched-on to your target audience and will increase the response rate of your campaigns. To view the demographics for each platform, check out the infographic at the bottom of this article or click here.

Choose the Platform that Matches Your Industry

Context is everything. People using Pinterest are there to browse for inspiration and ideas. Those who log on to LinkedIn are in a work-related frame of mind. Facebook and Instagram are quite social, as are Tik Tok and Snapchat. Events get a decent response on Facebook. B2B ads may work well on Twitter or LinkedIn. Fashion and luxury items do well on Instagram thanks to their aspirational nature.

Yes, the executive you’re selling a cloud services package to probably does have a presence on Facebook to stay in touch with his college-aged kids, but he’s more likely to be in a working frame of mind at 11AM when he’s browsing LinkedIn on his coffee break. Think about how you make use of each platform, and work accordingly.

Play to Your Brand’s Strengths

If you’re selling clothes or decorative items, it makes sense to market on visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re promoting an event and have a skilled videographer, make use of them and share video content on YouTube, Tik Tok, and Facebook. For long-form text content, LinkedIn and Twitter are good choices. Don’t forget Medium, Reddit and other platforms on the border of social.

This is particularly important for smaller brand owners. If you have limited resources, don’t try to do everything. Focus on what you’re good at and make the most out of that. If you failed art in high school and you have a cheap camera and no video editing software, stick to simple content and long-form text posts. If you’re hiring someone, ask them to augment your brand’s strengths, rather than hide your weaknesses. You’ll get better, faster results that way.

Social Media Network’s Demographics

2019 Social Media Network Demographics Infographic