Which Social Media Platforms Work Best For My Business?

social media, platform, business

A Social Media Platform Overview

Perhaps your business is at the beginning of its social media journey, and you don’t know which platforms to choose. Or maybe your business has been on social media a while but you’ve tried to be on all the platforms and it’s completely overwhelming. Whichever is closest to your situation, read on through this overview of the platforms and we’ll help make things clearer for you.

Facebook

  • Facebook has over 1.15 billion daily active users, & 1.9 billion unique monthly users so your customer is very likely to be on this platform somewhere.
  • 64% of users are female. 83% of adult women in the US use Facebook, compared to 75% of adult men.
  • 88% of 18-29 year olds are on this platform, along with 84% of 30-49 year olds, 72% of 50-64 year olds and 62% of those over 65 (in the US).
  • There is little difference in usage between urban, suburban and rural areas.
  • Usage is slightly higher among those earning less than $30K per year (likely because usage is higher among younger people) but there is not a huge differential.
  • 70% of all internet users log into Facebook.
  • 75% of users spend 20 minutes or more on Facebook every day.
  • The half-life of a Facebook post is 90 minutes.

So Facebook is likely to be a good fit for your business as long as you can find your audience. It works for both B2B and B2C. Organic growth on this platform is very difficult though so you will need to allocate a Facebook Ads budget in order to see significant success.

Instagram

  • Instagram is the fastest growing social media channel.
  • It has 700 million unique monthly users.
  • Most of its users are female and 38% of women online are using it.
  • 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35.
  • 53% of Instagram users follow brands.
  • Average daily use is 32 mins per day for under 25s & 24 mins per days for over 25s.
  • Instagram Stories has 250 million daily active users, more than Snapchat’s entire app (and an increase of 50 million in just a few months).

Instagram is a visual platform popular with creatives, women and the young. If you have a regular supply of good quality, beautiful, original images which would appeal to these demographics Instagram is probably for you. Instagram’s business profiles now give you reasonably good insights and analytics too.

Twitter

  • Twitter has 328 million active monthly users.
  • Most Twitter users are in the 18-29 age group.
  • The audience is mainly male, with 22% of male adults online on this platform.
  • Only 47% of Twitter users regularly post updates.
  • Users spend an average of 2.7 minutes per day on the Twitter app.
  • The half-life of a pin is 24 minutes.
  • Each Twitter post has a 140 character limit.

Twitter has a huge audience, but your tweets needs to be compelling to last longer than that depressing shelf life of 24 minutes. If they don’t get any engagement they will very quickly disappear from the feed. For this reason you need to be posting much more often on Twitter than Facebook. But it’s great for customer service and relationships, and second only to LinkedIn for B2B. It’s also very good for social listening, monitoring what your customers are saying and what your competition are doing.

YouTube

  • YouTube has 1 billion unique monthly users.
  • 55% of YouTube users are male.
  • YouTube has 2 million video views per minute.
  • YouTube has more viewers between the ages of 18-49 than any US cable TV channel.

YouTube is only for those brands who have lots of video content, and is generally used in conjunction with another platform as it performs a different function to a platform like Facebook. But look at that user total! If you can just get eyes on your content, YouTube is the place to be for video.

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn has 106 million unique monthly users.
  • It has slightly more male users than female, and 31% of all men online are on this platform.
  • Because it is a professional platform 45% of users have an income of over $75K per year. That’s double the number making $30K or less.

LinkedIn is very much a B2B platform. If you have a lot of employees who will help get you traction on this site it can definitely work well. It’s much slower moving than the other channels, as people often check their accounts infrequently, so don’t expect to see fast growth. LinkedIn advertising can work well but tends to be expensive and is much less developed than Facebook Ads. However as people tend to fully complete their profiles it has excellent search possibilities by job title or company name.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest has 150 million monthly active users & 317 million unique monthly users.
  • The audience is mainly female with 45% of online women being on the platform.
  • It isn’t dominated by any particular age group.
  • It has the best referral rate of all the platforms for shopping – 10% more likely to purchase than other platforms.
  • The half-life of a pin is massively more evergreen than other platforms at 151,200 minutes.

Pinterest can be particularly good for retailers, especially those in the home, craft and design markets. You need a large number of pins, but some of these can be pinned from elsewhere. Pinterest can also be great at driving traffic to your website using blogs. Running a Pinterest account at maximum voltage can be hard work though, as it needs more pins/posts than any other platform.

Snapchat

  • Snapchat’s biggest audience segment is 18 – 24 year olds.
  • Snapchat has 166 million daily active users.
  • Average daily use is about 30 minutes.
  • 71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old. 45% are under 24.
  • 70% of Snapchat users are female.
  • In Norway, 50% of smartphone owners are on Snapchat.
  • More than 20,000 photos are shared on Snapchat every second.

Snapchat’s growth rate has plummeted as Instagram copies their every move, and some companies are abandoning it as a marketing platform. It could still be right for you if you have a young audience and a dynamic, creative brand. It’s very much a B2C platform and a fun approach to marketing is a necessity.

We hope this has allowed you to evaluate the best platforms for your business. A word of caution: it’s much, much better to do one or two platforms well than to do lots badly. Pick a couple and make sure you are rocking those before moving onto more.

Demographic insights from here, here  and  here.

Examples of #SocialDoneRight

In order for you to assess if you can run a platform well, it’s always good to see examples of social media being done well in your field. One example of #SocialDoneRight from an engineering firm is GE.

According to a report from Engineering.com  firms were allocating more of their budget to digital media this year. 37% of all those who took part in the survey said they would have a larger video marketing budget, 23% a bigger social media marketing budget and 26% planned to publish more blogs. A survey from Roper Public Affairs recently showed that 80% of top executives preferred articles to adverts in terms of receiving information.

They manage an educational but entertaining feed which is kept at the right level for the average reader. Their Vine videos are rightly famous and they have a beautiful Instagram feed.

There are a few retailers who are showing us how #SocialDoneRight looks. Innocent is a great example of a brand posting entertaining content and engaging with their customers. And boy do they engage. Quick thinking and snappy one liners are a must-have for the social media managers working here.

I looked long and hard for an example of a big PR firm with #SocialDoneRight and this proved quite difficult! I was looking for multiple posts every day, visuals, sharing interesting posts from elsewhere rather than just tweeting about yourself and most of all engagement. In the end, I went with a smaller example local to me who are showing their larger counterparts how it can be done. Take your bow Delicious PR.

 

To understand more about what constitutes #SocialDoneRight, have a look here.

And if you’d like a chat about what social media channels would be right for your business, get in touch!

Cathy Wassell
I help businesses with social media & marketing strategy and management.

2 Responses to “Which Social Media Platforms Work Best For My Business?

  • Very interesting and helpful, Cathy. Thanks for sharing the stats too. Some of those are quite mind-blowing (1.9 billion unique monthly users on Facebook). I’m off to go and post something on there, quickly!

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