The Only Social Networks That Really Matter -
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The Only Social Networks That Really Matter
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Are you going crazy trying to figure out which social networks your business needs to be on—or trying to maintain a presence on all of them? Using social media to market your business is a smart move, since nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of all online adults use at least one social networking site, reports the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. However, if you’re going nuts trying to tweet, pin, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Tumblr, Vine, link in and more, you can probably slow down. According to Pew data, there are five social networking sites that matter most.

Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla in the room, used by 71 percent of all online adults and dominating all social media sites in terms of sheer volume of users. Twenty-two percent of online adults use LinkedIn; 12 percent use Pinterest; 18 percent use Twitter and 17 percent use Instagram.

However, more than four in 10 (42 percent) of all online adults use more than one social networking site, while 36 percent use just one.

Among those who use only one social networking platform, for 84 percent that network is Facebook. Eight percent use LinkedIn, 4 percent use Pinterest, and 2 percent each use Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook also boasts the most engagement, with 63 percent of Facebook users using it daily and 40 percent using it several times a day.

Although it’s nowhere near as popular as Facebook, among those who do use it, Instagram boasts impressive levels of engagement. More than half (57 percent) use it daily and 35 percent do so multiple times per day. Twitter does nearly as well, with 46 percent of its users checking it daily and 29 percent doing so multiple times a day.

In comparison, Pinterest and LinkedIn are used sporadically. About half of each site’s users say they use it less than once per week.

Not surprisingly given its reach, Facebook is popular among just about every demographic group. However, the other sites tend to attract specific demographics:

  • Twitter and Instagram are more likely to be used by young adults and African-Americans.
  • Pinterest is more likely to be used by women and by affluent online adults.
  • LinkedIn is more likely to be used by those with a college degree or higher, with an annual household income of $75,000 and up, and by older users (aged 50 to 64).

What’s the takeaway? For most consumer-oriented businesses, starting with Facebook will put you in good shape. If you target B2B buyers, try LinkedIn first. Figure out if your target customers fit into the demographics of Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram users; if so, give those a go as well. But because Pinterest and LinkedIn users visit the sites less often, you won’t need the same volume of content as you do on the other sites.

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Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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