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Social Media Marketing: Which Platform is Best for Your Business?

Updated on January 5, 2014
Social Media Networks continue to grow.
Social Media Networks continue to grow. | Source

Not All Social Media Networks Are Created Equal

It is clear that social media networks are the place to be whether you're an individual connecting with friends or a business reaching out to customers. Each social media platform, however, has different purposes, reaches different audiences, and offer different features to help people stay connected.

Audience Identification

Knowing that there are differences, it is therefore important for businesses to take some time to think through what audience they are really targeting. Some will want to focus on drawing attention from broad, general audience. Others will want to focus on a certain niche to get the best return on investment.

Determine the Platform

More is not better. It is wise for businesses to start off small when entering the world of social media. Starting off well is better than getting in over your head right off the bat. Many have fallen into the trap of immediate overwhelm and abandoned their projects in frustration. To prevent this from happening, it may be best to start off with just one or two platforms. Taking on too much at once can hurt more than help.

Consult an Expert

If there are no employees familiar with social media marketing, it is a good idea to hire a freelance writer to help with the content. Freelancers will save businesses money as they are paid as independent contractors. Many of them will agree to work long-term and create weekly posts for companies. If the company has the capacity to dedicate an employee to the task, even better.

It is best to make sure the vision of using social media networks is clear to everyone involved in creating the posts. Consistency goes a long way. It is best to become familiar with each platform and learn about the possibilities and limitations of each one.

66% of the adults online have a Facebook account and use it to stay connected.
66% of the adults online have a Facebook account and use it to stay connected. | Source

Facebook: Believe It or Not!

  • 95% of Facebook users logged in every single day in 2013.
  • 23% of Facebook users log in more than five times a day.
  • The Facebook population is triple that of the United States.
  • 751 million users access Facebook using 7,000 different devices.
  • 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook daily.

- From Digital Insight, with specifics from Facebook, ExpandedRamblings, MediaBistro, and SocialMediaExaminer.


Facebook is the largest social media network on the Internet. Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes were students at Harvard when they created the platform.

In 2008, Facebook saw 100 million users. By the end of 2013, the number has increased to 1.31 billion. The company is worth $104 billion in 2014 dollars. The number of new users continues to increase, making it one of the most visited sites on the Internet. It is rare to find someone who doesn't have a Facebook login, and even rarer to find someone who doesn't know what it is.

Facebook users are from every corner of the earth. 86% are from outside the United States, with 29% from Asia alone. It is truly an international social media networking platform.

Although Facebook reaches the broadest audience of all the networks, the average user is between the age of 18 and 34. These young and middle-aged users spend roughly 18 minutes on the network each time they log on. The length of their visits indicate that they are not just briefly checking in, like people do with email, but actually spending time connecting with others.

For businesses, this is great news. If people are spending more than just a minute or two on Facebook each time, then it is an ideal place to connect with customers and earn their trust and loyalty.

Twitter is great for news bits and succinct communication.
Twitter is great for news bits and succinct communication. | Source

Twitter: Believe It or Not!

  • The fastest growing demographic that tweets is 55 to 64 year olds, realizing an increase of 69% in 2013.
  • 60% of tweets originate from a mobile device.
  • 400 million tweets are sent per day.
  • There are an average of 208 tweets per account.

- From Digital Insight, with specifics from Facebook, ExpandedRamblings, MediaBistro, and SocialMediaExaminer.


Although there is controversy over whose brain Twitter was born from, it is clear that those involved in the venture included Noah Glass, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Jack Dorsey. Most had been affiliated with Google in the past and were brought together to work on Odeo, a now defunct podcasting platform. The dream was developed in early 2006 and later that year, it was launched and on its way.

Twitter provides a great place for people to share news bits with and promote businesses online quickly to a wide audience. More than a quarter of the users on Twitter are between the ages of 18 and 29.

It is easy for businesses to track what is being said about them through the system of hash tags used throughout the platform. Location-tagging is also a common practice, giving businesses information about their customers' demographics.

Of all the social media networks, Twitter is the most time consuming to use effectively. Businesses have to dedicate quite a bit of time each day to strategically send out their tweets. Twitter is, however, the best platform to use if businesses want to stay in close communication with their clients and build a trusting relationship with them. It's the relationship that keeps customers coming back for more.

LinkedIn attracts the business-minded, well-educated user.
LinkedIn attracts the business-minded, well-educated user. | Source

LinkedIn: Believe It or Not!

  • There are 259 million LinkedIn users.
  • LinkedIn users represent 200 countries and territories.
  • 38% of all LinkedIn logins are from mobile devices.
  • 40% of LinkedIn members log in daily.

- From ExtendedRamblings.


In 2002, Reid Hoffman rounded up some former colleagues from Paypal and SocialNet to share his social network idea with them. Within six months, in 2003, LinkedIn was launched.

At first, membership was slim and grew slowly relative to how quickly some things "go viral" on the Internet. Over time, as new features were added, such as the ability to upload address books, sign-ups to the site started to increase. Professional profiles were included in 2006 and the network took off. LinkedIn started to make itself a name as a network that housed people's professional profiles of record.

Particularly attractive to business professionals, LinkedIn's users are predominantly between the ages of 30 and 64. Roughly 36% of LinkedIn's members have earned college degrees and 34% make more than $75,000 annually.

LinkedIn strives to serve as a thought leader for creatives looking to take their businesses to the next level. Entrepreneurs and small business executives lean on LinkedIn to build their networks and connect with other like-minded businessmen and women. Today, it is even used as a place to find human resources and leads.

Pinterest is a great way to organize and share photographs and other graphics.
Pinterest is a great way to organize and share photographs and other graphics. | Source

Pinterest: Believe It or Not!

  • More than 69% of Pinterest users are female.
  • Food is the most highly discussed topic, ringing in at 57%.
  • 80% of all pins are actually repins.
  • Garlic Cheesy Bread is the most repinned photograph on Pinterest.

- From Digital Insight, with specifics from Facebook, ExpandedRamblings, MediaBistro, and SocialMediaExaminer.


Starting off with 5,000 users in August 2010, Pinterest has now grown to over 70 million in 2013.

Rather than pursue his medical degree, founder Ben Silbermann started Pinterest as a response to the recession. He was frustrated with his experience with Google and started to go out on his own. His perseverance and willingness to learn from his mistakes has brought him to the next level of greatness.

Pinterest provides a predominantly female audience with a venue to organize and share visually appealing photographs. Nearly 19% of all online women are Pinterest members.

In addition to sharing personal photographs, Pinterest members also tag or pin photos onto their boards from others as well. It is a great place for small businesses and other establishments to put all their found graphics in one place for future access if needed. In that sense, Pinterest is a photo album of sorts that keeps things organized.

From a business standpoint, Pinterest is a great place for companies to brand themselves. They can pin up visuals that represent the core values of the company, including its mission and vision. In addition, products and services can be visually displayed to catch the eye of potential customers.

At A Glance

Extremely broad audience.
Young audience -- ages 18 to 29.
Middle-aged audience -- ages 30 - 64.
Female audience.
Low time commitment. 4 - 6 times a week.
High time commitment. 8 - 10 times per day.
Low time commitment. Update and post as needed.
Low time commitment. Update and post as needed.
Great for branding, advertising and sharing multimedia.
Great for news bits and flash information.
Great for business networking and finding employees.
Great for branding and advertising.

Social Media Marketing

Which social media network do you think is the most effective for your business?

See results

The Future of Social Media Marketing


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