Quick Reference Guide to the Top Social Media Sites for Brands

By eleventy marketing group

Social Media StrategyIn the old days (5 or 6 years ago), assembling your social media strategy was simple. Head over to Facebook. Maybe add Twitter and LinkedIn too. Then a long came Pinterest. And Google+. And Instagram. And Snapchat. And on and on and on… Suddenly there are a lot more options.

These days, social media strategy has to be a lot more strategic. With more social networks catering to different audiences and doing different things, you have to choose your social networks wisely based on your goals. The sites that work for one organization may not work for another.

In today’s post, we’ll give you a quick primer on the top six social media sites to help you determine which ones might be the best choices for investing your social marketing time.

What You Need to Know About the Top 6 Social Media Sites

As a handy resource, here is some basic info on the top social media sites (in terms of total users) and when they may be most beneficial to your brand:

Facebook1. Facebook

  • Founded in 2004
  • 1.28 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2014
  • 802 million daily active users on average in March 2014
  • Approximately 81.2% of our daily active users are outside the U.S. and Canada

Ideal for: B2C companies; businesses offering daily or weekly deals; nonprofits sharing how they are making a difference

Twitter2. Twitter

  • Founded in 2007
  • 255 million monthly active users
  • 500 million Tweets are sent per day
  • 77% of accounts are outside the U.S.

Ideal for: Content marketing—sharing content on your subject matter and driving people to your blog content; connecting with local businesses or customers

LinkedIn3. LinkedIn

  • Founded in 2003
  • 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories
  • 67% of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States
  • Over 39 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn (the social network’s fastest-growing demographic)

Ideal for: B2B marketing; employee recruitment; reaching young professionals and recent college graduates

Pinterest4. Pinterest

  • Founded in 2010
  • 70 million users
  • 80% of users are women
  • 84% of female users still active 4 years after they signed up

Ideal for: Nonprofits and B2C businesses looking to reach females ages 25-34 with highly visual content (food, crafts, etc.)

Google Plus

5. Google Plus (Google+)

  • Founded in 2011
  • 540 million monthly active Google+ users
  • 300 million monthly active “in-stream” users

Ideal for: Content marketing; SEO (it has been suggested that posting your content on G+ can increase the likelihood it will turn up in Google searches)

Instagram

6. Instagram

  • Founded in 2010
  • 200 million monthly active users
  • 60 million is the average number of photos shared on Instagram daily
  • 65%+ of users are located outside the U.S.

Ideal for: B2C businesses; nonprofits with strong visuals of donations at work; visual marketing aimed at younger generations

Construct Your Social Strategy Based on Audience and Product

As you start assembling or revising your social media strategy, focus on the 2-3 best sites for:

(1) reaching your target audience, and

(2) presenting your products, services or content.

If you have a visual product, choose a more visual social media site. If content marketing is your top goal, focus on sites ideal for sharing your content with your audience. And don’t be afraid to venture beyond the bigs to newer or more niche social networks.

Remember, it’s not about getting likes. It’s about connecting with your audience.