Social media platforms are plentiful and participation on just one can be time-consuming. These platforms come and go, but currently the major ones include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Deciding on which platform or platforms to participate on can be challenging, but one thing is for sure. Consumers expect an online presence, so plan to have a social media marketing plan.

Social Media Platforms – A Breakdown

Facebook

With over 2.74 billion active users monthly, Facebook is pretty much a must for your business to have a presence. While Facebook is popular with all age groups, about 10 million less users in the 13-17 age group participate on Facebook this year from last year. The 55 and over demographic is the fastest growing segment on the platform. Furthermore, 66% of Facebook users visit a local business page at least once a week, and in 2020, 18.3% of users made a purchase through the Facebook platform.  Facebook algorithms make it difficult to stand out organically, so Facebook ads can help you target your customer, drive leads, and make sales.

Twitter

This is the place to go for breaking news and to find out what people are talking about right now. Posts are limited to 240 characters or less. 84% of businesses use Twitter. 82% of B2B marketers used Twitter for organic content in the span of one year. Twitter has an advertising audience of 533 million users. In 2020, Twitter ad engagement was up 27%.Twitter uses hashtags to help group Tweets around a similar topic so that users can do a search on the hashtag and find posts that have to do with that particular topic or interest.

LinkedIn

This site is for business networking. It’s a place where people share expertise, and where you can look for employees or find a job yourself. This site boasts over 740 million users. 44% of users are between 25 to 30, and 37% are aged 30 to 49. Additionally, 49% of internet users who make more than $75,000 annually use LinkedIn, while 26% of those in the $30,000 to $74,999 range use the platform. 51% of internet users with a college degree or higher use LinkedIn. This platform is the most popular one among B2B (followed by Twitter). LinkedIn’s visitor-to-conversion rate was 2.74%, compared to .77% for Facebook and .69% for Twitter.

Instagram

This platform shares photos and video. There are over 1 billion users worldwide on Instagram. About 81% of users use the platform when deciding whether to purchase a product or service. 50% of users visit a website to make a purchase after they have seen the product on Instagram. For example, 55% of fashion shoppers have purchased an item after seeing it on a post. 90% of users follow brands on Instagram. The demographics are almost evenly divided between genders.

Snapchat

This image and video messaging app sees over 280 million users daily. About 53% internet users ages 15-25 use Snapchat. 57.4% of all Snapchat users are female and 40.9% are male. The average daily active user accesses the Snapchat camera more than 30 times per day. While photos disappear in seconds on this platform, and stories after 24 hours, businesses can use this platform to give users sneak peeks into their business, sponsor a lens or geofilter, and engage with users. Also, this platform provides an opportunity to showcase a business’ playful side to a younger demographic.

YouTube

Video is everything these days, and over 1 billion hours of video are watched every day on YouTube. 70% of people bought a brand after seeing it on YouTube. YouTube ads targeted by intent have a 100% higher lift in intent to purchase than those targeted by demographics. To illustrate, last year, beauty tutorials increased by 50%, bike repair and maintenance by 90%, and 215% increase in self-care videos. 72% of people on YouTube watched fitness videos last year. The demographics are about evenly divided by gender. Some statistics related to age of who uses YouTube: 74% of adults in the United States, 77% of 18-35 year olds, and 80% of U.S. parents say their children 11 and younger use YouTube.

Pinterest

Like Instagram, Pinterest is a platform for sharing photos and videos. While Instagram is about sharing your own photos, Pinterest is a curation platform where users group similar content by pinning the content to boards. Every photo or video you click on leads you to an external website. About 70% of Pinterest users are women, and about 66% are ages 18-39. Pinterest can help generate web traffic, while Instagram is good for raising brand awareness.

TikTok

On this platform, you’ll find short videos, about one minute long. Challenges are big here. Hashtag challenges cost brands $100,000+.  This platform has attracted a younger demographic, typically under the age of 30. The app has about 689 million users worldwide.

How to Decide Which Social Media Platforms to Be Active On

This is a simple but maybe not an easy answer: Determine where your customers are.

That means you first need to answer the question: Who are your customers? And your answer can’t be: Anyone can use my product or service.

You’ll need to drill down deeper.

One of the best ways to do this is to create buyer personas, semi-fictional characters based on research into who buys your product or service. Name each persona and describe why they would buy your product or service, their goals, their pain points, their common behaviors, and their common personality traits. In other words, flesh out your persona as best you can.

Now figure out where your persona or personas hang out online. That will guide you in deciding where you should place your social media marketing efforts.

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