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How to pick which social networks to use for your business

A lot of people start a new business with the notion that they need to set up a Facebook page, Twitter profile, etc. They think that they need social media to be successful. While a lot of businesses can benefit from having a social media presence, it’s not always necessary. An ecommerce company can obviously benefit tremendously from having a strong brand and social media following, but professionals like plumbers and lawyers really don’t need to spend any time building a social following since they rely largely on word of mouth referrals.

Before deciding which social networks you should join, spend some time seriously thinking about if it’s worth your time or not to create and maintain a social media presence. If you come to the conclusion that it’s worth the time and effort, you should start to think about which social networks will benefit your business most.

The blog over at Digital Insights has some stats that are helpful when deciding which social networks to utilize. Below are the top social networks, ranked by how many monthly active users they have:

  1. Facebook 1.28 billion
  2. Google+: 540 million
  3. Twitter: 255 million
  4. Instagram: 200 million
  5. LinkedIn: 200 million
  6. Pinterest: 40 million

Facebook is by far the largest, so it’s definitely a good starting place for building up your social following. Digital Insights provided some impressive stats on Facebook that show why Facebook is a great promotional platform to reach a lot of people:

  1. 1.01 billion mobile monthly active users as of March 31, 2014
  2. 72% of online adults visit Facebook at least once a month
  3. The number of Facebook users in India alone is over 100 million
  4. There are more than 50 million Facebook pages

Picking which network to use by size is a good starting point, but there are some other things you should consider when making the decision of which networks will benefit you and your business most:

  1. Is your demographic using the network you’re considering?
  2. Are your customers using the network you’re considering?
  3. Does anybody else in your industry use the network you’re considering?

These are somewhat broad questions, so to hone in on how the various networks can benefit your business, we broke down what type of content lives on each network in the infographic below: