Believe it or not – 72% of all internet users are active on social media. But with no strategy and understanding of the different channels, social media marketing can be used ineffectively – and choosing the wrong platforms for your business can be hurtful to your brand. With so much time put into sharing and posting content on social media, it’s crucial to know what audience you are targeting on each channel. Social media is no longer used by the young and restless – in fact, 60% of 50-60 year olds are now active on social media, and 43% of the 65+ age bracket.

Another increasing trend is mobile – 38% of internet users access social media via mobile device. Ensure your social media accounts and images (and of course your website!) are optimized for mobile. Best time to target customers on their mobile devices is around 8:30 am (morning commute) and 12:30 pm (lunch break).

Social Media Target Audiences
What platforms are you using?

It’s also important to realize that your company does not need to be on all social media platforms. For instance, a photographer is better off starting a Pinterest account, rather than Twitter. A bakery is better off posting blog content on Facebook or ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, rather than making a company page on LinkedIn. By understanding what audience is on each channel and what each channel is used for, it will help you create a successful social media marketing strategy and target potential customers in a more efficient manner.

Here’s some statistics and pointers to help you target your audience and understand the most popular platforms:

Facebook like
•    Active users: 1.28 billion+
•    83% of 18-29 year olds who use the internet are on Facebook
•    Growth of users age 55+ is growing by 80% – younger audience declining.
•    75% of engagement on a Facebook post happens in the first 5 hours
•    Attractive platform for consumer packaged goods and product-based companies
•    Share valuable and relevant content with your followers – but don’t forget to interact!
•    Most common reason to unlike a Facebook page is uninteresting posts

Twittertweet
•    Active users: 255 million+
•    23% of users make less than $30,000 per year
•    83% of users see news on Twitter – most people tend to use Twitter for news consumption
•    Most popular among adults age 18-29
•    Ages 55-64 has grown by 80% since 2012
•    Transform your lengthy blog posts into small snippets of useful information
•    Best time to Tweet: Monday-Thursday between 1:00-3:00 pm.

Google Plus – +1
•    Active users: 540 million+
•    67% of Google+ users are males
•    Average age is 28 years old
•    Next to Facebook, Google+ is second most active social network
•    Tends to be used by professionals and users interested in discussions and trends
•    Few companies have Google+ profiles – so your content will have less competition

LinkedInshare
•    Active users: 259 million+
•    ‘The Professional Facebook’ – network for white-collar professionals
•    High-income and highly educated user base
•    54% of Millennials use LinkedIn to read industry news and seek professional advice
•    80% of users are age 30+; gender is 50/50
•    Industry news is the top reason for users under 35 to check LinkedIn
•    Connect not only with customers and clients, but also with other businesses
•    Best time to Post: Tuesday-Thursday at the start or end of the workday

Pinterestpin
•    Active users: 70 million+
•    48% of all social sharing is on mobile devices
•    80% of Pinterest users are female
•    23% of internet users aged 50+ use Pinterest
•    High income earners – avg. $75k+ per year
•    Visual content from pictures to infographics

Instagramcapture
•    Active users: 150 million+
•    90% of users are age 18-34
•    74% of users are teenagers
•    Attractive platform for apparel, entertainment and media brands

YouTubebroadcast
•    Active users: 1 billion+
•    40% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile
•    78% of users are male
•    67% of users are age 18-34
•    Great opportunity to go viral
•    Utilize for presentations, webinars, testimonials, and company announcements

Blogspost
•    Number of blogs via blogging sites: 6.7 million+
•    77% of internet users read blogs
•    12 million+ people blog via social networks
•    23% of internet time is spent on blogs and social networks
•    Companies with a blog have 97% more inbound links than others
•    B2B marketers using blogs generate 67% more leads

Jay Cameron | @camconsultingco

Sources: Agile Impact; Business 2 Community; Business Insider; Impact BnD; Media Bistro; and Our Social Times.

Use the Right Social Media Platforms
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