When you’re trying to build a business from the ground up, then all your resources matter. That’s why, when starting small, you need to make sure you’re investing your efforts smartly and efficiently. That means you must follow the lead of your target.

When it comes to social media, you might be inclined to go all out and promote your business on every single platform. A little bit here, a little bit there. But stop. That’s not the way to go, especially if you’re at your mere beginnings. Instead out hectically distributing your time and effort between 3 or 4 platforms, a better strategy might be to pick the one (or two) that suit your profile like a glove (or any other piece of clothing you’re keen on).

Sure, in the long run, you might do better by reaching different targets on different platforms. But until you get to the point where you can easily achieve that without neglecting the core of your business, there’s nothing to gain. And it’s better to recognize from the start that even if a platform is great, it might not serve your purpose. So let’s have an honest look at the statistics that can help you advertise on the right social media platforms.

Facebook, a platform that’s maturing

Facebook has been through some rough times lately. Privacy issues are no laughing matter and we should all be highly aware of what info we share and what info we digest. And as a business, you need to make sure you’re as transparent as possible. If you want to grow and maintain a steady flow, then you need to be authentic and post quality content. Okay, okay, but is Facebook what you need as a business?

Core audience

Statistics show that Facebook attracts the largest variety of demographics, appealing to young and older users alike. Since it’s already a social medium platform reaching maturity, it now attracts not only the innovators and early adopters. On the contrary, it has become mainstream. However, while users range from 18 to 65+ years old, the most active ones are millennial and GenX. These are the ones that keep the game running. Surprisingly, since 2014, engagement has been boosting for all age categories and demographics. There’s a new rising mentality among teenagers that start to call Facebook a platform “for old people”, although 76% of 12 to 17 year-olds still use the platform.

Type of businesses it favours

Thus, if you’re a business and your core target are teenagers, winning them over might work better on another platform. Starting on Facebook might give you a dusty overall feel and you might miss the success wagon. On the other hand, if you’re targeting an older audience (say above 35 to 50), worry no more! These people are now on Facebook and from what we can tell, they’re loving it. What’s more, they are also very engaged in brand pages and like to get the conversations started or going.

When it comes to business types, retailers seem to have it best on Facebook. actually, statistics show that 30% of retail shoppers who recently purchased items discovered a new product on Facebook. That’s not to say retailers cannot have it good on other platforms as well. However, Facebook’s a great place to start. With more than 2 billion monthly active users, you just can’t say no.

Best for: Retailers
Core users: 18 – 34 years old, with a developing 35 – 54 age group

Instagram, the platform where the young and restless dream big

Instagram is in full-bloom process. Just recently it reached the milestone of 800 million monthly active users, counting an astonishing 500 million daily active users. The majority of users on Instagram are between 18 and 29 years old, making it a very young platform indeed. Since Instagram is just beginning to seriously stick to people’s habits, it still has that new and cool vibe attached to it. Mix this with its essence (mainly a visually driven platform) and you’ve got yourself the reason why Instagram is preferred by fashion, travel, beauty, entrepreneurs, start-ups and other creative brands and businesses with an edge to them.

Tools and hooks

Instagram has supported a continuous growth for brands by introducing a number of variate advertising tools. In addition, the combination of sponsored feed ads with Instagram Story ads makes for a powerful marketing mix that can help original, fresh brands express themselves as they should. In addition, Instagram also offers a lot of other tricks and gimmicks that offer a different type of engagement and encourage users to interact more. And, for retail brands, tools such as the shoppable posts and the native payment capability are amazing additions that can help them get ahead.

Encouraging statistics

Another encouraging statistics is that 80% of Instagrammers have voluntarily connected to a business, as reported by Instagram’s COO, Marne Levine. She continued by saying that businesses on Instagram have, on a monthly bases, almost 180 million interactions consisting of direct messages.

Thus, if your brand is on the funkier, fresher and edgier side or if it’s classic with a twist, Instagram not only offers various creative ways of expression but also some very ingenious strategic tools. With a growing user base and a young overall feel, Instagram promises unlimited possibilities for those who dare to take them.

Best for: creative brands and businesses, start-ups and young entrepreneurs
Core users: 18 – 29 years old

Pinterest, where millennial get inspiration on what to buy

Pinterest has become a staple for millennials who say they often turn to the platform in order to back-up a purchase decision. But they are not the only ones to use Pinterest as a piece of advice when doing in-person shopping to find reviews and do some in-depth research. Actually, 67% of Pinterest users declare they are into this habit, with 10% o consumers declaring that they are more likely to purchase if they’ve seen the product on Pinterest.

Pin the statistics

If we have a close look at the gender statistics, we’ll soon notice that the bar is more skewed towards women users, with 45% of online women using Pinterest and an average of 20% of online men. However, as of lately, more and more men have begun to sing up and use the platform. Pinterest is usually used with intent and usually adds value to things we’re already interested in. And the fact that Pinterest results are more tailored to users is a big, big plus.

The businesses that use and gain the most engagement out of Pinterest are in the auto industry. Almost 52% of Pinners have searched for car-related products and 67% declared they have searched for tips related to automobiles. Next in line are businesses in the beauty niche. Out of all Pinners, 40% have created boards for products they want to buy and 67% have searched for inspiration related to new looks. Other businesses that could highly profit by advertising on Pinterest are in the entertainment, finance, food and drink, home decor, style, and travel business.

The most amazing statistic that encourages you to direct your efforts towards Pinterest? Well, 1 in 2 people made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin. And, with 61% of users discovering new brands, things are looking up for you on Pinterest.

Best for: auto, beauty, home decor, style and entertainment businesses
Core users: millennials

Twitter, the voice of generations

Twitter is especially effective for building reputation and trust since it’s main driving motor revolves around powerful opinions. When it comes to political perspectives, this is the social media platform to be on (Donald Trump aside). With almost 400 million active users,  Twitter is doing a great job.

Although its scope and creative capabilities are more limited than those of other platforms, its specific makes it a great tool for those who run magazines or publications. Entrepreneurs and companies are also highly advantaged by the platform. Twitter is a great place to build employer branding and show off your company assets so don’t be afraid to use it for recruitment purposes.

Another industry that does really well on Twitter is the IT niche, with programmers and software engineers around the world loving its format.

Best for: magazine, publications, entrepreneurs, IT
Core users: 18 – 24 years old

Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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