Understanding the Features of Different Social Media Platforms

When it comes to increasing reach and recognition, social media mastery is a must. Each platform has carved its own special niche on the web, providing your brand a unique way to connect with consumers. With this in mind, it’s important to understand each platform on a granular level. Knowing general demographic uses and site functionality can help determine which platform will get you the most bang for your content bucks.

FACEBOOK

Dominant Age Group: 25-45 years old

Sex: 60% female, 40% male

At this point, Facebook is less of a platform and more of an extension of our collective psyche. It’s integrated into almost every facet of life, and the effects are evident: Postdoctoral research in Berlin found that the reward center of human brains respond to Facebook engagement activity in the same way it would to cocaine.

When it comes to online presence though, Facebook is still the social platform juggernaut. It has over 1.15 BILLION daily mobile users and counting, tracking an enormous amount of demographic data in the process. The platform’s highly diverse user base allows brands to connect to hyper-targeted audiences (and can even provide detailed user analytics for a price).

BEST USED FOR:

  • Building brand awareness and developing brand “voice”
  • Establishing authority within a particular industry
  • Strengthening B2C relationships through post engagement
  • Promoting brand-related content and entertainment

 

LINKEDIN

Dominant Age Group: 18-29 years old, 30-64 years old

Sex: 56% Male 44% Female

If big business is your focus, look no further than LinkedIn. As a professional networking platform, it should come as no surprise that nearly 44% of LinkedIn users have incomes over 75k per year. LinkedIn is also the only platform to currently show two large, distinct user demographics: The first being young professionals between the ages of 18 and 29. The second group is composed of those at the peak of their buying potential: C-suite executives and seasoned professionals between the ages of 30 and 64. If that stat isn’t eye-popping enough, Hootsuite has found that 21% of users are over the age of 65 years old.

Possibly the best part about LinkedIn, from a business perspective, is that there’s very little guesswork involved. You KNOW why the users are there. Using each individual’s profile, you have access to their complete professional history and, through deduction, even their interests. If you’re looking to elevate your brand’s authority and target some prime talent in the process, this is your bread winner.

BEST USED FOR:

  • Building relationships with other brands (B2B)
  • Attracting industry talent
  • Targeting C-Suite individuals, marketing managers and key decision makers

 

TWITTER

Dominant Age Group: 18-29 years old

Sex: 50% Female 50% Male

When it comes to brevity and speed, Twitter still reigns supreme. According to Internet Live Stats, the tweet platform receives around 500 MILLION tweets per day. Everything from news updates and link shares to Meryl Streep memes get pumped into the Twitterverse.

With user rates down year over year, many believe the platform is in its last days. The lost momentum could be attributed to a number of issues the company has failed to address: lack of spam control, live stream incompatibilities, duplicate accounts, etc. Despite all of this, Twitter still has a viable user base that can be easily accessed through hashtags and keywords, if you’re savvy.

BEST USED FOR:

  • Sharing breaking news and live updates
  • “Social listening” via hashtags and keyword mentions
  • Establishing brand voice
  • Creating dialogue between your brand and consumers

INSTAGRAM

Dominant Age Group: 18-29 years old

Sex: 31% Female 24% Male (of reported American users)

Let’s get one thing straight: IG is the OG of the “snap app” world. Yes, Snapchat reinvented the picture platform. Yes, Snapchat introduced the idea of a “story.” But there would have been little to redefine without Instagram paving the way.

Created on the idea that everyday people should be able to share quality photos, Instagram turned Sharon from Accounting into @Sher.jpg, trendy food and style photographer. The app (which is still completely mobile-based!) has over 500 million daily active users. Not surprisingly, 80% of the users come from outside the U.S., making the platform a strong contender for global campaigns and initiatives.

BEST USED FOR:

  • Establishing a visual style for your brand
  • Showcasing products in unconventional ways
  • Connecting with female and urban millennials

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Send all your worries and queries to [email protected]


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