Which Social Media Channels are Right for your Business?

By Cathy Wassell

Share on: 

Whether you’re a new business just starting your social media journey or one that has been around a while, it’s important that you are maintaining a presence on the right social media channels for you.

And how do you know which ones are right? They are the ones where your target audience hangs out.

So where exactly does your target audience hang out?

Well, first we hope you have a really good idea of your target audience. This means their age, their gender, their location, their parental status, their income level, their job. A detailed user persona will go much deeper than this, but these are the important points you need to know in order to assess where they are likely to be hanging out online.

Let’s take a look at the different social media channels.



  1. Facebook has 2.3 billion unique monthly users.
  2. It has 1.4 billion active daily users.
  3. 88% of 18-29-year-olds are on Facebook in the US.
  4. 62% of over 65s, 72% of 50-64-year-olds and 84% of 30-49-year-olds are on Facebook in the US.
  5. 70% of all internet users also use Facebook.
  6. 75% of Facebook users spend at least 20 minutes on the platform.
  7. 64% of Facebook users are female.
  8. A Facebook post has an optimum viewing time of around 90 minutes.

So as you can see, it’s likely that your audience is on Facebook somewhere, which is why Facebook advertising and retargeting is so important. If you have a target audience in those demographics it’s worth looking to see if Facebook is the right platform for you.

In order to be seen organically on this social media channel (ie, not with paid posts via Facebook Ads), your business page needs to be producing content which invites consistent engagement (likes, shares and particularly comments), otherwise the new algorithm will condemn your posts to invisibility.



  1. There are 330 million monthly active users on Twitter.
  2. 22% of all adult men in the US use Twitter.
  3. Time spent on the platform is relatively low compared to other platforms, with an average of 2.7 minutes per day on the app.
  4. Reports on the average amount of time tweets spend on people’s feeds vary between 19 and 24 minutes. This is a fast-moving social media channel.
  5. The biggest category of Twitter users are in the 18-29 age group.
  6. Character limits for tweets are now 280 characters, up from 140 last year.
  7. Less than half of Twitter users regularly tweet.

Tweets disappear from the feed very quickly as this is such a fast-moving social media channel, so they need to be compelling and you need to post more frequently on this social media channel than on others. It’s great for B2B businesses and those that benefit from the immediacy of Twitter. It’s also excellent for customer service, although you need to be careful with the tone of voice used – friendly banter works better on here than on other platforms. Good also for social listening, so that you can monitor what people are saying about you and your competitors. Many a social media crisis has begun and ended on Twitter.



  1. Instagram is the social media channel which is growing the fastest, outstripping its most similar competitor Snapchat.
  2. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
  3. 38% of female internet users are on Instagram, and the majority of its users are women.
  4. Instagram has 500 million daily unique users and 800 million monthly unique users.
  5. An incredible 90% of Instagram users are under 35.
  6. The average daily use for Instagram users under 25 is much higher than for those over 25, at 32 minutes and 24 minutes respectively.
  7. In great news for businesses, 53% of Instagram users follow brands.
  8. Instagram Stories is growing the fastest. It grew by 50 million in a few months to 300 million daily active users. This is more than Snapchat’s entire user base.

You can see that Instagram is where it’s happening for younger internet users. For brands which appeal to teens or to under 25s, this social media channel is a must unless you have no imagery to use. Instagram, like Snapchat and Pinterest, is a highly visual social media channel and you do need a steady supply of high quality and appealing images to stand out here. It is also a channel which appeals particularly to women and to creatives so businesses in these niches should also consider a presence here.

If you want to use insights and analytics to inform your social media strategy you will need a Business Instagram account. Native analytics on here are now fairly good. Most schedules are rolling out direct posting on this channel too since Instagram adjusted their API in February 2018, which will make it an easier social media channel to manage. 



  1. 28% of all internet users in the US are on LinkedIn.
  2. The majority of LinkedIn users are male, although the gap has decreased in the last couple of years.
  3. LinkedIn has a total of 500 million users (133 million of them in the US) and 250 million unique monthly users.
  4. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, and they have begun to make changes to the algorithm now after leaving it alone for a while.
  5. In 2018 LinkedIn announced a big overhaul in the way Groups are managed which was widely welcomed – mostly because Groups had become much less used due to lack of moderation and the proliferation of spam.
  6. 40% of LinkedIn’s users visit this social media channel daily.
  7. Almost half of LinkedIn users have an income of over $75,000 per year.

LinkedIn underwent big changes in late 2017/early 2018 and is widely thought to be better as a result. Certainly, there has been big growth in engagement across the platform which can only help businesses looking for leads or candidates. LinkedIn is the number one social media channel for B2B and you would be wise to actively use your personal profile and engage with others so that the algorithm improves your reach. However, business pages can find it a struggle. You need employee buy-in to make your business page a success so that employees agree (or are incentivised) to share posts to their personal profile where they will get a wider reach.

LinkedIn can move slowly as some users don’t check their feeds every day, so don’t necessarily expect fast results.

Advertising on LinkedIn can work well, targeted to job titles or business name because people tend to complete their profiles fully and carefully on this social media channel. However, it is considerably more expensive than Facebook Ads.



  1. Pinterest has 317 million unique monthly users, of which 200 million are active.
  2. Currently, more than 1 billion pins are posted on Pinterest.
  3. Users prefer mobile, with over 85% of searches being conducted via mobile phone.
  4. Pinterest users are mainly women, and 45% of female internet users in the US are on Pinterest.
  5. Over half of Pinterest’s users are located outside of the US.
  6. In contrast to the other platforms, pins are massively evergreen sticking around on people’s feeds on average 151,200 minutes.
  7. Pinterest users are 10% more likely to buy than users on other platforms.

If you are a product-based business with a strong B2C focus, there are big advantages to being on Pinterest. Although you need to pin a lot each day, a high percentage of repins is perfectly acceptable. Pinterest is also good for driving traffic to your website, for example to your blog. There are new features being introduced in 2018, such as Shop the Look, which promise to add to Pinterest’s allure as a retailer paradise. 



  1. 30 million people visit YouTube every day, and the platform has 1 billion monthly unique users.
  2. There are 2 million video views per minute on YouTube, and 5 billion per day.
  3. Men make up 62% of YouTube users in the US.
  4. YouTube is bigger than cable TV in the US, with more viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 than any Cable station.
  5. Each minute of the day 300 hours worth of video get uploaded to YouTube.
  6. On average, 8 of 10 users aged between 18 and 49 watch a video on YouTube every month.

If your business produces a lot of videos, YouTube could be the place for you regardless of industry. That’s a lot of potential eyes on your content! Marketing is quite different on this social media channel and you would generally use it in conjunction with another social media channel.



  1. Poor Snapchat. The last 12 months have been a disappointment, with growth plummeting as Instagram copies all their best moves.
  2. Still, Snapchat has 301 million monthly unique users and 178 million daily active users.
  3. By far the majority of users are in the 18 to 24 age group.
  4. The platform has a relatively high daily use average of 30 minutes, with users checking multiple times a day.
  5. In the US, 79% of teenagers are on Snapchat.
  6. On average there are 3.5 billion snaps a day posted.
  7. Females make up 70% of Snapchat users.
  8. A streak on Snapchat is consecutive posting every day, and the longest streak recorded is 629 days.


Snapchat is very much B2C oriented as far as brands go, and it suits an audience with a young, fun, dynamic product. If your target audience is over 25, this is not the platform for you.

We hope this overview has given you an idea of the right social media channels for your target audience. Speaking in your tone of voice, in the place where your audience is, is the most important step for your brand to begin building a relationship on social media with your potential customers.

If you would like to learn more about making your social media channels perform to their optimum levels and attract new leads and sales, check out our comprehensive webinar here: https://www.social-hire.com/view/social-media-lead-generation/ .


About the Author:

Cathy Wassell is a Social Media Marketing Strategist with over 20 years’ marketing experience. She's one of Social-Hire's newest team members and spends her free time walking her mad spaniels.

About the company...

The Social Hire team never just do social media marketing.

Our group of specialists are an organisation that helps our clients boost their online marketing by offering social media management services on a monthly basis.

You might like these blog posts Marketing Your Side Gig as a Digital Nomad, 9 Phrases Said By Amazing Bosses, How to Create a Successful Marketing Team, and How are Businesses Using Social Media Generated Big Data for Market Expansion?.

  Back to Small Business blogs