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This article is the second in our social media introduction series. If you’d like to learn more about the social media world, check our blog for the first article in the series and come back soon for the rest!
Among online adults, 62% of men and 71% of women use social media sites. In order to know where to focus your social media efforts, you need to know what the biggest sites are all about as well as what demographics use them the most. So, without further ado, here is your introduction to the three biggest social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The undisputed leader of the social media world, Facebook boasts an astounding 1.15 billion monthly active users (and 699 million daily active users). Facebook doesn’t fit into any particular niche since it provides personal profile pages, fan/business pages, group pages, applications (including games), instant messaging and email services. In other words, Facebook has been trying to make itself the hub of the average person’s social experience on the Internet.
The breadth of Facebook’s user base is unmatched, with 67% of online adults among its ranks (#1 overall), and if you want to specifically advertise to women and 18-29-year-olds, it can’t be beat. But Facebook also allows you to target advertising based on demographic, so you can’t go wrong with it.
Twitter is a “microblogging” service that lets users send out public messages that are restricted to 140 characters. It has gained particular notoriety both for its celebrity users who use it to manage their presence as well as its use as a citizen’s reporting network, with users from countries in social turmoil tweeting about riots and revolutions (easily beating any standard news network to the punch).
Twitter is smaller than Facebook, with a user base spanning only 16% of online adults (#3 overall). However, it’s a prime place to court 18-29-year-olds, African-Americans and urban residents. Twitter is also a platform for many companies’ “quick response” PR efforts, where companies perform proactive customer support and retention efforts by keeping up with what people are tweeting about them.
LinkedIn is a specialized site for business professionals, and lets workers and companies network, show off their resumes and post/search job openings. LinkedIn isn’t a general social media site like Facebook and Twitter; it’s used purely in the business world and is well respected because of its focus.
LinkedIn weighs in between Facebook and Twitter with an audience of 20% of online adults (#2 overall). Since LinkedIn is a specialized network, it’s used for networking and recruiting as opposed to reaching out to a certain demographic or advertising for general purposes.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the current, established big players in the social media world and are a good starting point for any business looking to get into the social media game. There are other sites out there like Pinterest and Instagram, but they don’t have the same reach as the big three and don’t boast the same established presence and advertising schemes that they have. So if you want to begin building your presence in the social media world, start here.