Which Social Networks Are the Most Important?

It is essential for businesses to have a social media presence, but which ones should you use? There are a lot of options out there, but some may be more important for your business than others. Your social media strategy can reach new heights of success when you carefully consider which platforms to use when.


Defining “Important”


When it comes to promoting your business online, “important” can also mean “efficient.” The goal is to amplify your voice, define your brand and get more customers or clients interested in what you have to offer. Every social network has something a little different to offer in terms of tone, medium and audience, so different businesses will naturally need to target different social networks as the most important for their needs. That being said, reach is also important. Using obscure or unpopular social networks can be as big a mistake as not using any social media at all.


Who’s Using What?


So where is your ideal audience? The Pew Research Center took an in-depth look at the people who use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, and the results may (or may not) surprise you. Of the five, Twitter is the least popular overall, and Facebook the most. Women tend to use all five sites more than men, though that difference is dramatic when it comes to Instagram and Pinterest. Aside from Facebook, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for people age 65 and older, and Instagram is the most popular social network for people ages 18-29. High income earners use LinkedIn more than any other financial demographic, and suburbanites are the biggest fans of Pinterest.


Shaping Your Strategy With Statistics


Based on both the Pew study and statistical insights from other sources, it’s clear that Facebook is the one social network to rule them all. However, less-popular social networks can help you zero in on a particular audience, and users’ habits on those networks can also guide you toward a useful engagement schedule.


For example, research has shown that, of the most popular social networks listed above, people tend to spend the least amount of time on Pinterest and LinkedIn. In the case of LinkedIn, some people only visit the site every few weeks. This means that if your target audience isn’t focused on either of these social networks—marketing to DIY enthusiasts makes Pinterest an important platform, for example—you don’t have to put a heavy focus on your posts for these sites. A few small bursts of activity here and there could be sufficient to engage with your audience and make your voice heard.


Making use of demographic usage statistics can also be a useful way of determining which social networks are the most important for your particular needs. Having a target demographic in mind will not only help you use the right platform to reach the right people but can also help you determine the right voice and approach for your ideal audience.

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