How should my business choose which social media sites to be on?

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How should my business choose which social media sites to be on?

If your business is just getting started with social media, choosing which sites to spend your time on can be overwhelming.

In this blog, we’ll take quick look at the most popular social media sites and share information that can help you decide where to spend your time and budget. When you’re reviewing these key statistics and information, here are some things to remember:

1.) Think about your audience. Who are they? (Age, Gender, Location, Interests, Issues etc.)  It seems simple enough, but very few businesses think about exactly who their audience is. If you don’t know, how will you know where they are or how to communicate with them effectively?

2.) How do your current customers and clients like to communicate right now? Email? Store visits? Snail Mail? Fax? Do they text? Spend a lot of time on their phone? Prefer meeting in-person? Do they share a lot or are they private?

3.) Don’t get lost in the B2B, B2C shenanigans. One thing we forget is that even in spite of all the data available suggesting certain demographics prefer one social site over another, at the end of the day they’re just people. Even if you’re a B2B, remember that people make the decisions in a company, so while LinkedIn or Facebook may seem like a natural fit for a B2B you may find you get more engagement via Snapchat.

4.) Do your clients & customers want to hear from you beyond controlled conversations? Have you asked your clients how they prefer communicating? What about which social sites they use themselves? Why do they use social sites?

5.) Perform a basic audience search using social site ad tools. A perfect example of this is the Facebook Ads Manager. If you’re a business in Alberta focused on fitness, you can use Ads Manager to gage the number of people in the province who are interested in fitness (you can actually go as deep as postal codes!) This will give you an idea of how big your potential audience is on that specific platform. You can do similar things with Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and search platforms like Google Trends. They’re not perfect, but should give you an idea of where your people are.

6.) Find existing clients online by uploading customer email lists to ad platforms. Tools like Facebook Ads Manager and LinkedIn Marketing Solutions allow you to upload customer email lists – that way you’ll get an idea of whether your clients are on the site or not.

8.) Listen and use social listening tools. Tools like Mention, SproutSocial, Google Alerts, Sysomos, Twitter advanced search, even Reddit are helpful if you have no idea where to start. For one, you’ll get an idea of volume on the sites – is your brand or industry mentioned? Products? Services? Competitors? You may find that the social media sites you originally thought would be popular with your audience are not.

9.) Take a peek at your competitors (large and small.) In one company I worked with, we knew a certain large competitor had mega ad dollars to put toward social. Knowing that they had an agency doing research for them, we tagged along for the journey (and it probably saved us time and money!)

Here are statistics related to the most popular social media sites:


  • 2 billion active monthly users.
  • 83% women & 75% men use Facebook
  • High use between ages 18-29
  • People spend average of 35 minutes per day on Facebook
  • Everyone on Facebook is no more than 3.5 degrees separated
  • 19% of time spent on mobile device is spent on Facebook
  • Facebook gets over 8 billion average daily video views
  • The average CPC for Facebook ads is $1.72
  • Organic reach for branded Facebook page is 2%
  • Brands post an average of 8x per day to Facebook


  • Most Instagram users are between the ages of 18-29
  • Six in ten online adults have Instagram accounts
  • There are over 600 million Instagram users
  • 400 million daily active users
  • 200 million creating stories
  • There are 15 million registered businesses using Instagram business profiles
  • 60% of users say that they’ve learned about a product or service from the platform


  • 467 million users
  • 106 million monthly active users
  • 40% of users use LinkedIn daily
  • 3 million LinkedIn users share content weekly
  • 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn
  • 57% male & 44% female use LinkedIn
  • Average users spend 17 minutes per month on LinkedIn
  • 53% spend 0-2 hours per week on the site
  • 27% of LinkedIn users have between 500-999 first degree connections


  • 36% use for those aged 18-29
  • Evenly split by gender
  • 71% use Twitter multiple times per day
  • 500 million tweets per day
  • 90% of Twitter users access it weekly
  • 86% use Twitter to get news
  • 66% of Twitter users have discovered a new or small/medium business on Twitter
  • 75% feel better about SMB after following a business and reading its Tweets
  • Users send more than 100,000 questions and complaints to major airlines per month.
  • Companies responding to complaints within six minutes saw customers willing to spend $20 more in the future; if they took an hour, it dropped to $2.33 more.
  • 79% of Twitter users have retweeted a SMB; 38% have RT’d a product or service
  • 84% of shoppers on Twitter are searching for deals and reviews


  • 45% of women and 17% of men use Pinterest
  • 36% of users fall between ages of 18-29; 34% of Gen X’ers
  • Millennials prefer Pinterest over any other social platform for shopping
  • 47% have purchased something they’ve pinned
  • 80% of millennials say Pinterest helps them find things they want to buy


  • 166 million daily active users
  • Average amount of time per day is 30+ minutes
  • Most popular among 18-34
  • 70% Snapchat users are female


  • One billion users
  • Reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the US
  • More than 50% of YouTube views come from mobile devices
  • Each day more than a billion hours of video views happen on YouTube
  • 50% of YouTube channels earn six figures per year

When choosing which sites, make sure you’re realistic in terms of the time you have to commit to them and what your goals are. Here are some additional resources:

Social Media Planning

What is a Social Media Competitive Analysis? (And why do small businesses need them?)

Social Media FAQ [Business Version]

Sources: SproutSocial, WordStream, ReadyContacts Blog, Hootsuite, Omnicore

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.