Can You Hear Me Now?: Using Social Media Platforms Effectively

January 2, 2021

The importance of social media use in brand marketing has been stressed nearly to the point of overkill. We get it—social media is crucial to a company’s exposure. The term “social media” is applicable to a vast and complicated playing field. It’s not enough to blindly attack the social media game. You have to be smart. The best way to ensure your social media efforts are most effective is to strategically evaluate each platform and customize your messaging to what works for each. Below is helpful use and demographic information regarding the top six most widely used social media platforms:

Facebook

Platform Overview

Facebook is the most dynamic of platforms—originally intended for personal networking, Facebook is open to the sharing of almost any type of content—videos, images, blurbs, articles, etc. Companies also have a huge opportunity when it comes to running paid ad campaigns on Facebook.

User information

Facebook, originally home to tech-savvy young adults, has begun to attract an older audience. Despite this trend, the amount of young users remains strong. While women are statistically more likely to be on Facebook, studies show that 66 percent of adult males are active Facebook users. The site continues to grow internationally, as well. The top 5 countries represented by Facebook users are: the US, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico. These 5 countries, however, only makeup 39 percent of the Facebook user database, indicating a widely international reach.

Pros

  • Widest potential demographic reach
  • High ad-engagement rate
  • Very few content limitations

Cons

  • Crowded with competition
  • Harder to promote messaging—Facebook favors organic posts over promoted material.

Recommended for:

Almost any company-type can find success on Facebook. The trick lies in knowing how to rise above the clutter.

Twitter

Platform Overview

Primarily used for information sharing, Twitter limits posts to 140-characters. While images and links can be shared, they eat a chunk of the available character space, limiting room for your message.

User information

Twitter has recently taken over as the primary social media platform used by young adults. Very few Twitter users are above the age of 30; the over-50 crowd is incredibly slim. The majority of Twitter users say their newsfeed is their primary news source.

Pros

  • Fast way to spread news and share information
  • Higher visibility—the use of hash tags revolutionizes the concept of “topical posting.”

Cons

  • Quick irrelevancy factor—a tweet reaches its peak after 18 minutes, so it’s important to have an arsenal of material at the ready.
  • Limited post length

Recommended for:

Businesses with a younger, tech-savvy target audience find more success on Twitter.

Instagram

Platform Overview

Instagram is used to share images. The basic app layout leaves your message at the mercy of user timing.

User information

In tandem with Twitter, Instagram is overwhelmingly used by users under the age of 30. The ratio of males to females on Instagram is consistently balanced, as females are only 7 percent more likely to be a user of this platform.

Pros

  • Fastest growing database

Cons

  • Limited to image posting
  • No “sharing” options
  • Inability to use links in posts

Recommended for:

Companies with visually-focused products, such as clothing or cosmetics, have more relevant material for this platform. As 90 percent of Instagram users are under the age of 35, this is a good platform for companies with messaging geared toward younger audiences.

LinkedIn

Platform Overview

LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Individuals using this site treat their profiles like a resume or portfolio, and use the platform to increase their legitimacy in their chosen field.

User information

LinkedIn is home to the majority of online users who are between the ages of 30-64. These users are more likely to be higher educated and higher paid than users of any other social platform. With more than 111 million LinkedIn users, the United States sweeps the board as the country with the highest number of users. Other countries with a high LinkedIn user count include: India, Brazil, the UK and Canada.

Pros

  • Filled with valuable users
  • Opportunity for joining niche communities

Cons

  • User interest is very limited

Recommended for:

B2B companies or companies looking to promote internal job opportunities will find the most success on LinkedIn.

Pinterest

Platform Overview

Similarly to Instagram, Pinterest is an image sharing site. However, the content sharability of posts on Pinterest is significantly higher. Very few users upload original content, opting instead to share—or “repin”—the things that interest them.

User information

Pinterest most commonly attracts the adult female population. In fact, 42 percent of female web users are active on the compared to the 13 percent of men who use Pinterest. The average age of Pinterest users sits somewhere in the upper-30s. Similarly to LinkedIn, Pinterest users are statistically more likely to come from a higher-income-earning household and have a higher educational background than users of other platforms.

Pros

  • Mobile-friendly—almost half of all social media sharing over an iPad takes place on Pinterest.
  • Easiest to promote sharing

Cons

  • Generally limited to female-oriented content
  • Not universally applicable to all industries

Recommended for:

Companies who have female-oriented messaging are most successful on Pinterest. Blogs, retail shops and other informational sites benefit from higher site traffic when using Pinterest.

Google+

Platform Overview

A rarely-used social platform that incorporates all Googles app users, Google+ is primarily used for SEO purposes.

User information

Google+ has an overwhelmingly male database; only 26 percent of users are female. American users makeup more than half of the total number of Google+ accounts.

Pros

  • Positively impacts search engine optimization
  • Low competition rate
  • Longer character allowance

Cons

  • Limited exposure opportunities

Recommended for:

If you’re looking to boost your company’s SEO, Google+ is the way to go.

Most digital marketing companies can helpfully evaluate your company’s use of social media. What’s more, they can help get you started on an effective, strategic social media campaign.