There's no denying it: Social media for business works. It's not only effective, it's arguably essential for businesses to have an active social presence if they want to compete in today's digital age. But with so many social platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones are right for you?
Let's take a look at the top social sites, what they're used for, and how to choose the right platforms to align your social media strategy with your business goals and your particular audience.
Top Social Platforms, Ranked 
Most Popular Social Channels by Age Group 
Breakdown by Platform
Facebook has dominated the social media landscape for some time. It's a platform that performs well for a variety of functions, including engaging with followers, generating interest, and expanding your presence through paid and organic content. Because it's so robust and touches nearly every demographic, it's a great starting point for building your social presence.
Great for: Building brand advocacy, sharing interesting content, communicating with followers
74% of Facebook users visit the site daily — higher than any other platform 
Widely used across most age groups, making it the best option to reach a broad audience 
74% of women, 62% of men use Facebook 
YouTube may not fall under the traditional definition of a social platform, but the fact remains: Americans are using it more than any other channel. Why? Because people love videos. According to Hubspot Research and the University of Virginia, people primarily use YouTube for discovery , so it's a great place to post attention-grabbing content that aligns with your followers' interests, such as how-to videos, industry updates, and helpful tips or insights.
Great for: Educating viewers, encouraging discovery, informational content
Daily visits are less frequent — only 45% of YouTubers visit the site daily 
Also widely used across age groups, and pretty evenly split between men and women 
72% of women, 75% of men use YouTube 
Instagram is a bit more personal; it's where people go to share an inside look at their lives and to gain a peek at their followers' lives in turn. This makes it an excellent channel for sharing insight into your day-to-day activities, such as new listings, successful sales, and even anecdotal tidbits about you as a person. Instagram allows you to build brand loyalty through authenticity.
Great for: Encouraging brand investigation and advocacy, sharing trends and new offerings, geotagging to drive local traffic
60% of Instagram users visit the app daily 
Most popular among young adults aged 18-24 
39% of women, 30% of men use Instagram 
Pinterest is a niche platform that, if used right, can be a powerful tool for generating leads. People go to Pinterest to gain ideas and inspiration about topics that interest them, which you can use to your advantage by posting informative content that links back to your blog or website. This website traffic gives you the opportunity to capture leads, as well as boost your SEO.
Great for: Driving traffic to website, lead generation, establishing a local presence
Most popular among ages 25-29 
Predominantly female: 41% of women, 16% of men use Pinterest 
250 million worldwide monthly active users 
Particularly popular among young adults, Snapchat lets you share quick bites of information through ephemeral images and videos; that is, the content you post disappears after it's viewed. Because of the temporary nature of the content, you're able to capture viewers' undivided attention, and the laid-back vibe allows you to infuse a human touch to your brand.
Great for: Storytelling, connecting with customers, relationship building, geotagging to drive local traffic
63% of Snapchat users visit the app daily 
High concentration of young adult users — 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, compared to just 26% of 30- to 49-year-olds 
31% of women, 23% of men use snapchat 
LinkedIn is a social networking platform for professionals. In addition to showcasing your personal experience and accolades, it can be used to position you as an industry thought-leader and expert. Use LinkedIn to connect with like-minded professionals, target potential business partners, and share highly relevant, actionable content to add value to your network.
Great for: Building your professional network, marketing to industry partners, becoming an influencer
Popular with adults ages 25-49, as well as high-income earners 
Evenly split between male and female: 25% of women and 25% of men use LinkedIn 
260 million worldwide monthly active users 
Twitter is where people go to engage with others and keep up on the latest buzz. Despite its 280-character limit, it's an excellent place to build community connections and brand exposure through conversation. Posting interesting or newsworthy content, retweeting other tweets, and using relevant hashtags will get you in on the right conversations and help you connect to the right people.
Great for: Developing brand loyalty through word-of-mouth, growing your network
46% of Twitter users visit the site daily
Most popular among ages 18-29
24% of women, 23% of men use Twitter
While you don't have to be on each platform listed above, it's a good idea to diversify. Integrating your social media campaigns across platforms will bolster your marketing efforts and increase your visibility. If you have the bandwidth to manage multiple platforms, go for it, but it's ok to start small with just two or three. Once you've selected which social channels to focus your energy on, be sure to make a plan and post consistently. Most importantly, use every chance you get to engage with your followers. It's called social media for reason.
 Pew Research Center, Social Media Use in 2018.
 Hubspot Research and the University of Virginia, “How Consumers Want to Engage with Brands on Social Media: A Framework,” December 2018.
 Pinterest Newsroom, “Helping a quarter billion people find inspiration,” September 2018.
 Omnicore Agency, “Linkedin by the Numbers,” January 2019.
*The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official position of any specific entity or organization. All opinions stated in this article are suggestions and are not intended to provide expert advice.