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Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Use?


By Taryn Grisham, Senior Project Manager (Social & Digital Marketing)

It’s true – marketing on social media can be time-consuming. If you’re stretched thin, you might be wondering which platforms to spend your time and energy on. The truth is, the answer is different for every business. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing is one of the worst mistakes you can make.

To determine which social media platforms will give you the most bang for your buck, consider your type of business, industry, target audience, and overall goals. Then, you can begin to pare down the platforms to find the right fit for your business needs. Below, we’re breaking down five of the best social media platforms for marketing so you can select the right ones for you.


Founded by a quartet of Harvard University students in 2004, Facebook offers free online social networking services for users around the globe. It became the largest social network in 2012 and had 2.32 billion monthly active users as of the fourth quarter of 2018. Here’s how to decide whether Facebook is right for you:

  • Best for: B2C (and some B2B)
  • Top industries: Financial Services, Retail & E-Commerce, Gaming, Entertainment & Media, Telecom, Technology, Consumer Packaged Goods, Auto, and Restaurants
  • Target age and gender:25-55+, both men and women
  • Goals: Brand Awareness, Reach, App Installs, Engagement, Video Views, Lead Generation, Messages, Website Traffic & Conversions


While this online microblogging service was introduced to the public in 2006, it didn’t gain popularity until three years later. Today, Twitter reports that it has 126 million daily active users. Many journalists use this platform, and several brands take advantage of its customer service capabilities to serve their online audience. Consider using Twitter if this set of criteria aligns with your company:

  • Best for: B2C (and some B2B)
  • Topindustries: Music, Entertainment, Aviation & Aerospace, Computer Games, Farming, Sporting Goods, Animation, Political Organization, and Broadcast Media
  • Target age and gender:18-29, both men and women
  • Goals: Engagement, App Installs, Measurement, Website Traffic & Conversions, Video Views


The newest of the major social media platforms, Instagram launched in October 2010. Just two years later, the photo- and video-sharing app was acquired by Facebook. To date, Instagram has over 1 billion active users and over 500 million daily story viewers. Here’s how to know whether to incorporate ‘Insta’ into your social media marketing:

  • Best for: B2C
  • Top industries: Entertainment & Media, Fashion, Beauty, Auto, Sporting Goods, and E-Commerce
  • Target age and gender: 13-49, both men and women
  • Goals: Brand Awareness, Reach, Video Views, Mobile App Installs, Website Clicks & Conversions


This professional networking service launched in 2003. Over the years, LinkedIn has experienced several transformations in its appearance and functionality. Its network of over 332 million users continues to grow today, solidifying its title as the largest online professional networking service. Should you be using LinkedIn? Here’s how to know:

  • Best for: B2B
  • Top industries: Information Technology & Services, Marketing & Advertising, Human Resources, Computer Software, Financial Services, Staffing & Recruiting, Internet, Management Consulting, Telecommunications, and Retail
  • Target age and gender: 18-49, both men and women
  • Goals: Talent Acquisition, New Business Acquisition, Lead Generation, Professional Targeting, Conversion Tracking


Entering the digital world at the beginning of the recession in 2008, it took Pinterest three years to secure its space among credible social media marketing platforms. With over 250 million users to date, Pinterest continues to master the visual innovation space for businesses and consumers alike. It’s a social media channel you may want to add to the mix if this sounds like your business:

  • Best for: B2C
  • Top industries: Auto, Beauty, Education, Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Home Décor & Furniture, Household Goods, Luxury, Restaurants, Retail, Style, Technology & Telecom, and Travel
  • Target age and gender: 18-49, mostly women
  • Goals: Brand Awareness, Engagement, Reach, Audience Targeting, Website Traffic & Conversions

Every company or brand needs to have a presence on social media platforms, but you don’t need to be everywhere. We find that dedicating time to two or three platforms that align with your goals is smarter for most companies than merely existing on all of them.

Are you ready to take your social media marketing to the next level? Check out seven ways to win with social marketing and contact our Madison-area digital marketing professionals for help making social media work wonders for your business.

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