Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter—you may already use these social media websites in your personal life to connect with friends, share photos with family, and follow the exploits of celebrities and politicians. But are you using them in your business? If not, you may be missing out.
According to a Nielsen survey, 46 percent of online consumers use social media when making purchase decisions. And a DigitalSherpa survey found that 63 percent of consumers prefer businesses with information that can be easily accessed on social media.
While you should create a business profile on every social media network, actively engaging with consumers through multiple sites is naturally time consuming. Instead, use the information below to determine where to focus your efforts.
This popular social network has 1.35 billion active users every month worldwide. While the Facebook user base is dominated by those over the age of 25, it still has over 50 million who are younger. The gender breakdown of Facebook’s users is roughly 53 percent female and 47 percent male. It’s an excellent platform for businesses interested in building a community of customers and potential customers online.
This social network is not as big as Facebook, but Twitter still has 284 million monthly active users. Its demographics skew young, affluent and predominantly male. Twitter can work well whether you want to connect with other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C), and it attracts plenty of mobile users. If you want to engage people directly—while communicating breaking news, product updates or soliciting questions and opinions—Twitter may be for you.
LinkedIn is the premier social media career networking site. It’s also the most popular social media platform among 50- to 64-year-olds, though most of its users fall into the 30- to 49-year old age group. Overall, 22 percent of Internet users over the age of 18 have used LinkedIn. If you want to use social media in your recruiting and hiring efforts, LinkedIn may be your best option.
Pinterest is a content-sharing service that allows members to pin or post photos, videos, and other images to their pinboards. It’s a fantastic social media platform for businesses that provide a product or service that lends itself to visual communication (think restaurants, hotels, hair salons, doggie daycare centers, clothing retailers, wedding planners, photographers, etc.). The site has 70 million users, and 80 percent of them are women. According to one Pinterest survey, 52 percent of the social media platform’s users look to Pinterest before they make a purchasing decision.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is also best suited to businesses that can communicate visually. Twenty-six percent of online adults use Instagram, with 53 percent of 18- to 29-year olds online now using the service. In fact, 90 percent of the 150 million Instagram users are under the age of 35. Sixty-eight percent of its users are female. According to Business Insider, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream was able to reach 9.8 million people in the U.S. in eight days using Instagram.