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We know deciding which social media platform is a good fit for your business can be tricky. Every time you blink, it seems there’s a new player in the game vying for your audience’s attention. How do you know where to invest your time?

Here’s two helpful questions to keep in mind as you consider all the available options:

  • What’s the purpose of this social media platform? Each platform has unique features and capabilities that help you connect with social media users in different ways.
  • Who uses this social media platform? Know what audience you’re trying to reach and find out which platform they use the most.

Below, we’ve provided profiles of the top social media platforms, including their strengths, user demographics, and a few tips for using them effectively.

Facebook

On Facebook, you can easily engage with customers and build brand loyalty. You can share blog posts, launch advertising campaigns, and stream live videos. In short, Facebook is a good fit for any business who regularly engages in long-format posts, video sharing, and social media advertising.

There are 1.9 billion monthly users on Facebook. They range in average age from 18 to 49, making this one of the best places to reach Millennials and Generation Xers.

Pro Tip: Adding photos to a post can generate 50% more likes and double the number of comments on Facebook.

Instagram

If you like to get creative, Instagram is the place for you. This platform is designed for posting high-quality photos, inspirational quotes, and stories. It also has retail features, so it’s easy to build relationships and trust with customers. Restaurants and caterers, graphic designers, artists and illustrators, travel agents, and home and interior designers find this platform useful.

Instagram has 600 million monthly users, ranging in average age from 18 to 29. Instagram users are also predominately female.

Pro Tip: Use the photos you post on Instagram on other social media platforms, and link back to the Instagram community whenever possible.

demographics-chart

Twitter

Twitter is the perfect platform for anyone who likes to cut to the chase while still getting their message out. The newly expanded 280-character limit gives you more space than ever to say something clever. You can also enhance your Tweet by using GIFs. A GIF is worth a thousand (or more) words since it’s basically a moving picture. These features make Twitter a good fit for news media, publishing companies, healthcare organizations, government organizations, and IT companies.

Twitter has 317 million monthly users, ranging in average age from 18 to 29 years old.

Pro Tip: If you want to connect with a younger audience, you should use Twitter.

YouTube

Video marketing is expected to make a huge impact in 2018. You can catch your audience’s attention with tutorials, product reviews, fan videos, and commentaries.

YouTube boasts 1 billion monthly users. The audience ranges in average age from 18 to 49. YouTube reaches more Millennials and Gen Xers than any cable network in the United States.

Pro Tip: Help viewers find your YouTube video through a search engine by uploading a video transcript.

best-time-to-postLinkedIn

LinkedIn is great for building business-to-business relationships. You can post job listings, company news, and professional content. Any business that engages in B2B interactions will find this platform handy.

There are 106 million monthly LinkedIn users, ranging in average age from 18-49.

Pro Tip: Post relevant news stories and articles with calls to action regularly on LinkedIn.

Company Blog

If you’re looking to attract website views and build community around your brand, you should consider increasing the content on your blog. Or, if you don’t have a blog, you should think about starting one. You can post articles focused on solving problems, sharing experiences, and teaching your readers something new.

An estimated 409 million people read blogs each month.

Pro Tip: Repost all your blog articles on your other applicable social media platforms. You’ll get more views this way.

 Now … go forth and conquer! Use this guide as a roadmap as you plan your 2018 social media strategy. If you need more information or would like help with content writing, video production, and shareable infographics, reach out to the Write Place. We’d love to help!

Thanks to Buffer, Digital Style, Scrunch, Tracx, Sprout Social, Quintly, Kissmetrics, Herox, Social Media Examiner, and HubSpot for the tips, info, and statistics curated for this article.

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