Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms For Your Brand

6 min read

This is part one of a four-part series on social media marketing. In this chapter, you will learn the basic demographic information of the top five social media platforms. We will also cover the state of social media as a whole.

Get Started with social media

Why should I care about social media?

You should care because your clients are there. In a world where everyone is vying for the attention of prospective customers, you need to go to them. Here are some numbers to help you rally the team:

  • As of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. This number rises to over 82% when considering adults aged 18-49.
  • Social media isn’t just for young people! For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. 
  • Teenagers, as expected, are heavy users of social media. Of those polled, 71% reported using more than one social site, with the most popular being Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
  • We’re logging on every day. Each day, 71% of Facebook users, 49% of Instagram users, and 36% of Twitter users are logging on (at least once).

With these mega numbers in front of us, it may be surprising to hear that the “Top Five” social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter – are all, incredibly, still growing.

Let’s run through the basics of each of these platforms. The information below is intended to help you decide which platform(s) work best for your brand.



  • A significant amount of the traffic to Facebook is through mobile devices. Facebook logs 25 billion monthly active users through mobile devices.
  • Women are particularly likely to use Facebook. This trend has continued to develop from prior years.
  • The largest age groups represented are ages 18-29 and 40-49. However, 63% of online adults aged 50-64 use Facebook and 56% of online adults aged 65 and over use Facebook.
  • As of April 29, 2015, there are 40 million active small business Pages on Facebook. If you’re not already one of them, it’s time to get started!


  • There are currently 364 million LinkedIn users. Of those, 97 million are actively using the social media platform on a monthly basis.
  • Nearly 11% of LinkedIn’s users are students and recent college graduates. They are the platform’s fastest-growing demographic. Additionally, nearly 40% of LinkedIn’s users have attained a college degree or higher.
  • 27% of U.S. Internet users aged 30-49 years are active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the only social media platform to have higher activity from the 50-64 year-old age group than the 18-29 year-old age group.
  • The social platform skews toward men. LinkedIn is used by 24% of male Internet users versus 19% of female Internet users.


  • Pinterest is one of the few social media platforms where brands are wildly followed. In fact, 83% of active users prefer to follow a brand than a notable celebrity.
  • This platform is absolutely dominated by women. Women are more than four times more likely to use Pinterest than men. Although men account for 19% of Pinterest users, they account for only 7% of pins, indicating that female users are far more active than male users on this platform.
  • Moms are particularly active on Pinterest. In fact, 61% of active moms on the site have tried more than five Pinterest-inspired activites.
  • Wealthy consumers prefer to spend their social time on Pinterest. Half of Pinterest’s users make $50,000/year or more, with 10% of Pinterest’s users making $125,000/year or more.


  • 53% of young adults ages 18-29 actively use Instagram.
  • Most active groups: women, Hispanics and African-Americans, and those who live in urban or suburban environments.
  • Brand engagement ranks highest on Instagram. The app delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 more engagement per follower than Twitter.
  • Its users are very active. Instagram now has more than 300 million members who share more than 70 million photos and videos each day.
  • Instagram is almost an entirely mobile platform. The company plans to perfect its iPhone and Android services before it will consider expansion into tablets and desktop devices.


  • Particularly popular for those under 50 and the college-educated.
  • Growing in the following demographics: men, whites, those aged 65 and older, those with an annual household income of $50,000 or more, college graduates with an annual household income of $50,000 or more.
  • Twitter is skewing predominantly male. In fact, 22% of U.S. males are currently active on Twitter, compared to only 15% of women.
  • People turn to Twitter when considering retail purchases. Twitter’s market research survey found that nearly half (49%) of female Twitter shoppers say Twitter content has influenced their purchase decisions, which makes the platform prime real estate for brands.
  • Twitter provides helpful insights to gear brands toward the most successful conversion techniques in their industry. Here’s what they found:
    • For big-box retail centers, the best way to drive conversions is through demonstration of quality customer service. Companies like Walmart frequently take advantage of this insight by recognizing employees.
    • To check out more of this research, click here.



Not sure where to get started? We’ve compiled a list of rockstar brands that are dominating their respective platforms. Check out these social media role models to get ideas for content and ways to engage your target audiences.

Listerine On Facebook:

  • Brand to look to for inspiration: Listerine. This oral health brand uses its Facebook page to encourage fans to take “21-Day Challenges” while promoting the use – and sales – of its products. They do a great job of regularly posting meaningful content, which is both engaging and relevant to their brand.
Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.29.16 AM

Wells Fargo On LinkedIn:

  • Brand to look to for inspiration: Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo does a great job of using LinkedIn to connect with job seekers while sharing information about how the institution understands and is learning from the concerns of Small Business Owners. Well Fargo also hosts contests on its page to encourage engagement.
Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.16.21 AM

Jetsetter On Pinterest:

  • Brand to look to for inspiration: Jetsetter. As a tourism company, Jetsetter’s ultimate goal is to encourage its customers to travel. On its Pinterest page, Jetsetter shares tempting images of luxurious getaways and encourages its followers to turn to Jetsetter when they need help planning the perfect vacation.
jetsetter pinterest

Gopro On Instagram:

  • Brand to look to for inspiration: GoPro. When it comes to adventure, no company has the upper hand like GoPro, which uses its Instagram page to show off the incredible adventures of its customers. In doing so, they encourage followers to dare to achieve incredible pursuits with a GoPro in hand. Why? Because they might be featured on Instagram and become a bonafide adventurer.
instagram gopro

runner’s world On Twitter:

  • Brand to look to for inspiration: Runner’s World. Runner’s World uses its Twitter page to share helpful resources like training plans and nutrition guides while inspiring runners with interviews from great marathoners like Kara Goucher and Meb K. They also share reviews of the latest and greatest in running shoes, watches, and attire so customers can be sure they’re getting their money’s worth.
Runners World Twitter


Now that you’re well versed on the basics of social media, it’s time to talk best practices. Check out the next edition of Getting Social on the Well Done Marketing blog.