Are you wondering if you are on the right platform to connect with your audience? Or maybe you’d like to expand your social media presence but not sure which social media platform to add next?  In this blog post I will share some information to help you decide.

Below I summarize the basic nature of the major four social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) and share useful statistics of each.

Should Your Business Have a Presence On Facebook?

People use Facebook to connect, be entertained, share and learn. By sharing interesting, entertaining and valuable content, you can get into conversations, foster relationships and connect with your customers on Facebook.

The audience on Facebook is so wide and varied that most businesses need some kind of presence, especially if they have a consumer market. Potential customers will check to see if your business has a Facebook page before searching for you on any other social platform.

Reasons You Might Want Your Business to be on Facebook

If you are looking for a place to get started with social media marketing, this is it. The world of Facebook is immense. According to a recent article in Recode, the average users spends nearly an hour on Facebook.  The combination of having a huge audience and a dedicated audience makes Facebook a tempting place to be for most businesses.

Social Media Stats on Facebook*

Here are some additional statistics to help you decide if Facebook is a place your business should be:

As of June 2018, Facebook has 2.23 billion monthly active users, according to its website.

As shown by the bar graph, people of all ages are on Facebook, with a high percentage of people age 18 to 49 being active.

Nearly 70% of Americans use Facebook and three-quarters of them access Facebook on a daily basis.

Facebook is the go-to platform for most small businesses and is one of the easiest entry points to kick off your social media marketing. In fact, 67% of marketers choose Facebook as the most important platform, according to Social Media Examiner’s  2018 “Social Media Marketing Industry Report.”

Should Your Business Have a Presence On Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows users to broadcast very short snippets of content in 280 characters or less. Twitter is very busy, and you need to be active to be successful on Twitter. This means you need to post, repost, and interact with others. Users post a combination of images, links, video, text, and hashtags to get the most out of their 280-character limit.

Businesses and professionals use Twitter in a variety of ways. Some use it as an outlet for frequent news and updates about their businesses, giving people a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on. Some are more formal, announcing press releases and other more polished information about their company. And some use Twitter primarily as a learning tool: they watch for industry news using hashtags and keywords and retweet what they like.

Reasons You Might Want Your Business to be on Twitter

Twitter is a wonderful place for up-to-the-minute news. If you can keep up with the trends and news surrounding your industry, Twitter folks will appreciate it. Some of the top industries sharing news on Twitter include tech, sports, business, health and politics, but the list truly goes on and on.

On Twitter you can find others in your business niche. By searching and using industry hashtags, you can connect with influencers, prospective customers, and potential partners all over the world. Whether you are learning from others, conversing with others or sharing what you know, Twitter allows small businesses to have a big reach.

Social Media Stats on Twitter*

Here are some additional statistics to help you decide if Twitter is a place your business should be:

As of March 2018, Statista reported Twitter had more than 336 million monthly active users worldwide.

As shown below, a relatively young adult audience flocks to Twitter, with 45% of US adults age 18 to 29 being active.

There are slightly more men using Twitter than women (24% of men and 21% of women).

Only 30% of Twitter users have graduated from college, which may be due to Twitter having a younger audience.

In terms of income, 27% of adults who make over $75,000 and 27% of adults who make $50,000-$74,999 are on Twitter.

A full 79% of Twitter accounts lie outside the US, with the site supporting 40 languages.

Should Your Business Have a Presence On LinkedIn?

If you could take a networking “meet and greet” event and transfer it to an online setting, you would end up with something that looks a lot like LinkedIn: professional, purposeful, and an opportunity to show off your best self.

Most people know LinkedIn as a platform for personal networking with other professionals, but it’s also a powerful tool for getting more company exposure and brand recognition. The tone of LinkedIn is more business-like than other social media platforms.

Reasons You Might Want Your Business to be on LinkedIn

All professionals should have an individual profile on LinkedIn. Your business should also have a company page. LinkedIn company pages don’t require the same level of maintenance as Facebook business pages. Check in periodically to ensure your business profile is stable, but focus your valuable time and energy on the platforms that best reach your target audience.

Many people use LinkedIn to stay in touch with people and news in their industry, especially those with a business-to-business focus. Because they are expecting business announcements and messages, it’s a great place to share your business news.

Social Media Stats on LinkedIn*

There are more 106 million monthly active users on LinkedIn.

The professionalism of LinkedIn attracts an older audience than the other platforms. As the bar chart shows, LinkedIn is visited by 33% of people age 30 to 49.

In addition, LinkedIn users tend to have a high level of education and a higher income level. 50% of US adults with a college degree are on LinkedIn.

People in urban or suburban areas tend to use LinkedIn. 30% of US adults in urban areas use LinkedIn and 27% of US adults suburban areas use it.


Should Your Business Have a Presence On Instagram?

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, and it’s easy to see why. Instagram is just plain fun and entertaining. While Twitter and Facebook let you tell stories and share news, Instagram lets you create and share a digital scrapbook of your experiences. Your visual story can be as funky, artful, playful or serious as you want it to be.

Instagram lets users scan hundreds of eye-catching creative photos and videos. The best accounts don’t just show company products, they also capture how it feels to use their products, whether they bring joy, relaxation, contentment or amusement.

Reasons You Might Want Your Business to be on Instagram

Visually appealing businesses are the most successful on Instagram. Some of the more popular niches are fashion, retail, design, food, nutrition and fitness. Basically, if your business niche is visual, you have the potential to amplify it with Instagram marketing.

Your nonvisual business could have a place on Instagram too. It just requires more creativity. The Instagram profile for Red Bull energy drink is a great example of getting creative with a simple product. After all, how many artful photos of a canned drink do we want to see? Red Bull instead focuses on their tagline: Red Bull gives you wings. Their Instagram account reflects scenes and video of high-energy stunts and activities. If you have a creative side you want to explore with your business, Instagram may be your place.

Social Media Stats on Instagram*

There are over 1 billion monthly users on Instagram, and they are active.

On this highly interactive platform, over 95 million photos and videos are shared daily.

Once seen as a social media platform for teenagers, Instagram now has users of all ages, but remains popular with the younger audience as shown below. 64% of US adults between age 18 and 29 are on Instagram.

Instagram also has a huge teen following. According to Brandwatch, 32% of list Instagram as their most important social network, more than any other social network.

What’s Your Next Step to Expand Your Social Media?

The opportunities to reach your customers via social media are more expansive than ever before.

Are you looking for more details on how to use each of these platforms as your business grows?

I’ve recently updated my book, The Social Media Cookbook: Strategic Marketing Recipes for Small Business Success.  In the book, I dive into each of these platforms with strategies and tactics to help small businesses establish and grow their presence.

Be sure to grab a copy of my book here:

*Unless otherwise indicated, these statistic are from the Pew Research’s Social Media Fact Sheet published in February 2018.

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