The past decade has seen the rise of social media as a valuable and indispensable tool to promote businesses and enhance customer relationship. But not all social media platforms are created equal as each cater to different audiences and niches. Thus, determining which social media platform your target market mostly hangs out and what they are interested in is important in determining the best platform for your business.

Facebook, with over 2 billion users and 1.15 billion on mobile, is by far the biggest social media platform. Its most common age demographic at 29.7% is between 25-34 and almost even distribution among males and females. Considering its reach, Facebook is a great platform for B2C (Business to Consumer) and some B2B (Business to Business) companies to generate leads, create brand awareness, or generate website traffic. It provides an effective channel to build relationships and turn followers into customers.

Some of the industries that have been actively using and benefiting from this social media platform are e-commerce, retail, entertainment, beauty and wellness, information, real estate, electronics, and hospitality.

The ability of Twitter to reach and interact with followers quickly makes it a great platform for handling customer service. With its over 300 million active users and a great number of them being millennials, businesses can benefit from its reach to enhance brand awareness as well as customer relationship. Twitter’s ability to make a content go viral is great for businesses to spread the word through creative and interesting contents.

Industries like e-commerce, travel, hospitality, beauty, fashion, retail, and wellness are some of the industries that could benefit from this platform.

Instagram is a platform dedicated to mobile users and is based on visuals, specifically photos and videos targeting mostly the younger crowd. It is important therefore for businesses who want to use this platform to pay special attention and perfect its visual content.

Creativity and artistry are key to be successful on this social media channel. Whether its promoting events, tradeshows, exhibits, or the latest product, high-quality images and captivating videos are surefire ways to spark sharing frenzy among your followers. Instagram is perfect for events planning, travel, hospitality, arts and crafts, food, e-commerce, beauty, and photography business.

Pinterest, about 175 million users, targets the hobbyists and enthusiasts and is highly dependent on images. Because audiences here share common interests, it very targeted and a rich source of potential and likely buyers.

Since a great number of its users are women, industries like décor, art, beauty, fashion, travel, hospitality, landscaping, events planning, real estate will find Pinterest a great platform to be on. Businesses should not discount the opportunities of Pinterest. The platform can provide a visibility to showcase templates, visuals and industry support documents that may not otherwise get the same uptake via other social media platforms.

LinkedIn, 500 million members strong and 250 million active users, is essentially a B2B and B2C employment social media platform and popular among college graduates. It sets itself apart from other social media platform in that it caters to professionals and business. It is a great platform to find talents, experts, and promote business, ideal for lead generation.

Because of its nature, targeting the right audience would be based on information related to one’s profession such as job function, employer, and job title. A lot of industries use LinkedIn to promote their business and establish credibility and brand authority such as finance, legal, manufacturing, professional services, technology, and employment.

There are many other social media platforms available, but those listed above are listed as the top for engagement for businesses. Content is a major driving force of social media. To be successful on any platform, businesses and entrepreneurs should be committed, be authentic, and listen to what their customers have to say.

For any marketing effort to be effective, it is important to streamline and focus only on the platforms that give the best results and return on investment.