Facebook or Twitter? Google+ or YouTube? What about Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare? It seems everyone is going social these days (and you’re right, they are) and choosing where your business should be can get overwhelming. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be.

To cut through the clutter, I have compiled a list of social networks most commonly used by businesses today as well as the best uses for each. As you review the list, take a look at your agency. What are the demographics of your target market? What are your current goals and how can social media help achieve them?

Facebook

  • 845 million+ users.
  • Largest user segment is 21-24 year olds, closely followed by 18-20 and 35-44 year olds.
  • Baby Boomers and seniors (55+) are the fastest growing age demographic on Facebook.
  • Users are fairly evenly split between male and female.
  • Facebook is great for interacting on a personal level with contacts and personifying a brand.
  • Share photos, videos, blog posts, relevant articles, and ask questions.

Twitter

  • 140 million+ active users sending 340 million tweets per day.
  • 42.3% of users are between the ages of 31-49 and 41.5% are between the ages of 18-29.
  • Users are predominantly women.
  • Twitter is great for short, to-the-point updates, finding potential customers, and monitoring conversations about your brand and product.
  • Twitter is an excellent supplement to customer service departments. Many companies are using it to handle customer concerns quickly in front of an audience.
  • Share links to relevant content, follow important hashtags, and follow leaders in your industry.

YouTube

  • 800 million+ users uploading about 72 hours of video per minute.
  • 60% of social users are between the ages of 18-44.
  • Users are fairly evenly split between male and female.
  • YouTube is great for educating your customer base.
  • Share videos.
  • YouTube greatly benefits your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts since it is a Google-owned product.

Google+

  • 100 million+ users.
  • Users are predominantly professional males.
  • Google+ is great for starting relevant conversations with separate groups of followers.
  • Share insights, blog posts, and also ask questions.
  • Google+ greatly benefits your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts since it is also a Google-owned product.

LinkedIn

  • 150 million+ users.
  • Largest segment is 35-44 year olds.
  • Users are predominantly working professionals.
  • LinkedIn is great for showing off your company to potential employees and customers.
  • Share job opportunities or important company updates.

If you would like to humanize your brand, Facebook would be a good fit. If you want to become a source of breaking information for your customers, then Twitter is likely the place for you. Whichever network you choose, I recommend starting with just one or two. Use the platforms to build your strategy, find your brand’s voice, and grow your audience. Share regularly and learn what types of content engage your audience. Over time, you will build a loyal audience, your customer base will grow, and you can expand into new social networks as your agency’s goals evolve.

Ashley Kennedy

About Ashley Kennedy


A 2007 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Ashley Kennedy began her career as an Account Manager with Flint Communications and received her MBA from North Dakota State in 2011.