Businesses often believe that more is better when deciding on social networks. This is a mistake.
Most businesses can't make consistent quality content without the sin of duplication and repurposing content.
A choice is necessary to keep the number of networks you use to a handful to keep quality and audience high.
In this article I outline the most used networks, their types of user and good and bad points for your business.
Over 2 billion people log into Meta apps daily (this includes both Facebook and Instagram). Facebook is the most popular social network for men and women aged 35-44. As with Twitter the audience using Facebook skews more male with 56.6% of users.
Facebook is good for community, sharing offers and driving traffic to a website or app. If you have a business that has both an online and offline offer having a Facebook page is ideal. It's far more difficult for service businesses, especially those servicing the B2B market.
Typical businesses suitable for Facebook include restaurants, coffee shops, beauty salons, florists etc.
More than a billion users use Instagram every month. 61.6% of users between the ages of 18 – 34 years of age. There is a 50.7% / 49.3% split between male and female use. Instagram has reach of 31.75m people in the UK with its biggest number of users in India, USA and Brazil.
Image is everything on Instagram. A business with a strong visual identity or that can generate the content necessary will do well.
Accountants will struggle, but hairdressers, clothing retailers or travel companies will excel.
Twitter has 166 million monthly users with the UK having a monthly reach of 16.7 million. Users on Twitter skew male being double the percentage of female users from the age of 25 onwards. 80% of Twitter users is under 50 years of age but a significant number of users are 65+.
Twitter is a difficult platform for businesses. The time-limited lifespan of tweets and politics make avoiding negative issues a challenge. Many companies use Twitter for customer service, for news and for social listening. Service companies, programmers, tv production companies etc can work well on twitter. Your average local beauty salon will not.
Users of Pinterest are more than 60% women with a small but growing number of male users and millennials.
Pinterest is great for establishing links to evergreen content on your site. Although not a social network in the Facebook mould, Pinterest does allow commenting. Pinterest users are aspirational and tend to share content that interest them. Subjects such as home renovation, beauty, holidays and other lifestyle topics dominate. As such Pinterest is great for businesses in these industries.
Aimed at Millenials and GenZ, TikTok is moving beyond this base now. It has a growing band of older contributors with 36% of users in Q1 of 2021 being between 35 and 54 years old. TikTok has its dance / music video content but has since grown beyond this. It has the highest engagement rating for any social app. Users report opening the app and finding themselves still scrolling videos hours later.
TikTok is difficult as contributors need to find a voice that is different to other platforms. You need to be more edgy and embrace the chaos. Think of TikTok as Channel 4 programmes "The Word", "TFI Friday" or "The Tube" and you are pretty much there.
Businesses such as Travel firms, online stores and hair and beauty salons can do well on TikTok. But you need to remember the need for a more personal and entertaining voice. You will not get anywhere without displaying some humour or special interest. A dull and straight delivery will get nowhere.
LinkedIn has 675+ million users with over 30 million companies having a presence. Age demographics map to the working age, with the largest number of users found in the 46-55 years bracket (37%).
Businesses seeking B2B connections use LinkedIn. Service businesses including accountants, web developers, digital marketeers will have a presence. B2C businesses much less so. Your average hairdressing or nail salon won’t be here, although their staff might be.