In order to have an effective social media marketing strategy, it is not only important to focus on a target audience; it is also imperative to know where to find that target audience. With the increase use in social media platforms over the last few years, we have seen a variety of content come our way. Not only are social media platforms emerging left and right, but the way in which people are consuming their content is evolving as well. Portable devices become more and more popular with each passing day, and people are absorbing media “on-the-go.” Keeping this in mind, knowing which social media platforms are most frequently used by your target audience will allow you to create impactful and effective content that will make your brand thrive and generate revenue.


Facebook


No matter what industry your business is in, it needs to be on Facebook! Unmistakably the most popular of all social media platforms, Facebook remains in the lead as far as the number of active users throughout the world. The most effective aspect of Facebook is probably in creating brand awareness; this is specially useful for small businesses who can target advertising methods on the platform to fit their intended target audience by utilising more specific market segmentation details.

The demographic for Facebook gears more towards older generations, and less used by young teens. It is a highly visual platform, as photo content generates about 120% more interaction than content with solely text. Furthermore, calls to action made by businesses in posts tend to double engagement.


Twitter


Next to Facebook, Twitter is probably the most identifiable social media platform. Users on Twitter are more likely to engage with brands and “follow” their favourites, than they are on other network. Brands and businesses utilise this to their advantage by advertising most of their latest products, offers, and news through Twitter. Due to its “instant” nature, and the fact that it is a continuous feed that offers the most up to date information, businesses that have a plethora of current events, latest news, or any connection to what is happening “at the moment” will benefit the most from Twitter. Another great benefit from this platform is the ability to be “mentioned” by users and reply to them in a more personable way, nurturing a relationship between brand and consumer.


Instagram

Facebook’s offspring Instagram is not far behind as far as user engagement. Its users are highly active, with about 56% utilising the app daily. The demographic for Instagram is quite young, with most users being between the range of late teens to late 20’s. Businesses and brands that work with content that is visual, such as the food industry, design, infrastructure, travel industry, etc., will be the most benefited by an Instagram account that allows its users and consumers to view their products in an interactive way.


Pinterest


As a creativity inspired platform, users of Pinterest go on this social network with purposes of being innovative and generating ideas on which products to buy and how to use them. This is a great platform for small businesses that like with Instagram, are visually appealing. The Pinterest demographic leans strongly towards females and is an effective tool for businesses that can incorporate their product or service with “DIY” projects, images, “how-to” tutorials, and visual arts and design, among other interests. Pinterest is useful for brands that conduct a majority of their business through online sales, as a “Pin” will often lead to the actual website where the product can be purchased.

Depending on the product, service, and audience that your business caters to, your social media needs will differ. The consensus is that Facebook is the basic social media platform needed for all businesses; it allows brands to generate an awareness, and a voice. Other platforms can be explored and tested accordingly. The most important factor to keep in mind is that social media is not about being on every single platform, but instead being successful and efficient in those that actually benefit your business.