Social Media is Paramount: But Which One?

Social Media Marketing has truly reached a level of importance in the business communitythat rivals the Yellow Pages of old. The difference is that social sites fulfill many purposes: a living/breathing representation of your business & brand, a way for you to communicate with customers (or potential customers), and to inform today’s generation (hours, location, how to contact you, etc.). However, the question on every business owner’s mind is a big one…

Of all the social media sites out there, which one do I choose?!

If hiring a Social Media Manager (Employed or Contracted) is out of the question, then the answer “All of them” is quite simply out of the question.  After all, you have a business to run!

Here is a bottom-line breakdown, showing what each of the top Social Media sites have to offer. Find the group that best represents your customer base and focus there.  (Important note: because social media is a living culture, this information is subject to change.)


Without-a-doubt, this is the biggest asset in your Social Media Marketing arsenal with the largest number of active users. If you only choose 1 (not advised!), Facebook is clearly it. Growth of Facebook has slowed over the past few years, but engagement has grown. Here is a general age breakdown:

  • 87% of adults 18–29
  • 73% of adults 30–49
  • 63% of adults 50–64
  • 56% of adults 65+

Facebook also skews more heavily toward women, with 77% of adult females on the site & 66% adult males. As a business, it is important to note that Facebook only delivers a small percentage of posts to your followers at no cost. A budget of $30-$100/month may be necessary to get real visibility.


Considering the high-volume, fast-paced nature of Twitter, expect a younger demographic. Here is the age breakdown:

  • 37% of adults 18–29
  • 25% of adults 30–49
  • 12% of adults 50–64
  • 10% of adults 65+

Gender demographics: 24% of adult men & 21% of adult women use Twitter.  As a business, all tweets are delivered to followers (no filter).


Boasting a community that shares over 60 million photos every day, Instagram is one of the rising stars of social media. Instagram has overtaken Facebook and Twitter as the network with the largest population of younger users (and smallest of older users). Here’s the breakdown:

  • 53% of adults 18–29
  • 25% of adults 30–49
  • 11% of adults 50–64
  • 6% of people 65+

As a business, all photos are delivered to followers (no filter).


The wide majority of Pinterest users are female, with 42% of online women & 13% of online men. The network also skews toward a younger demographic:

  • 34% of adults 18–29
  • 28% of adults 30–49
  • 27% of adults 50–64
  • 17% of adults 65+

Pinterest users tend to also have more disposable income. So if your product is a leisure good (or tourism), this is a smart network for you. 34% of adults making over $75,000 & 30% of adults making $50,000–$74,999 use Pinterest.


Think of this as the social media network for professionals. The higher average income of users and working mindset of the network make it an ideal social network for professional businesses. This is the first social network where the majority of users don’t fall between the 18–29 year old category.

  • 31% of adults 30–49
  • 30% of adults 50–64
  • 23% of adults 18–29
  • 21% of adults over 65

Perhaps due to the higher education of the LinkedIn audience, there is also a higher level of users making a sizable income with 44% of adults making over $75,000.

Source: Pew Research 2014 Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms

Hi, I’m Travis Ford, owner of Rock Harbor Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency on California’s Central Coast. I welcome opinions, helpful critiques and comments of admiration. Leave me one here, Follow me on Facebook, or tweet me and we can chat further. As always… I like to end each post by jumping a-top my fiery steed with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi-yo, Silver.

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