Know your Socials – A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Channels

Know your socials

While you might be au fait with social media on a personal level, do you know which platforms are best for your business? When it comes to investing money into your digital marketing, it pays to know which platform is likely to give you the best ROI. After all, no two businesses are the same and neither are social media platforms as a whole. Understanding this by targeting your approach can work to pull in those vital followers and engagement.

Below is a beginner’s guide to the most prominent social platforms, how you should use them and examples of paid advertising using them.


Key Stats: 2.45 billion monthly users

Demographics: 18-39: 87%, 30-49: 73%, 50-64: 63%, 65+: 56%

The slogan ‘follow us on Facebook’ is very familiar and with good reason. Despite some fierce competition from newer emerging platforms, Facebook remains the king of the social media scene. From a branding perspective, it gives you the greatest scope to unleash your personality. Whether you create a group or a business page, you can share a wide range of content to a large audience with ease. Advertising said content couldn’t be easier with Facebook Ads Manager either, which is trusted by corporations all over the world.

The numbers don’t lie, and Facebook’s mammoth ever-growing audience currently standing at 2.45 billion monthly users is testament to that. With the potential for your business to tap into such a widely populated platform, it’s often the number one destination that businesses turn to. From posting organic content to doing Facebook lives as well as paid for advertising – the platform gives business owners plenty of tricks up their sleeves to play with. Better still, users can share this content directly to their own pages or within Facebook’s messenger platform.

Paid advertising example:


Key Stats: 1 billion monthly users

Demographics: 13-17: 72%, 18-29: 67%, 30-49: 47%, 50-64: 23%, 65+: 8%

If a picture says a thousand words for your business, then Instagram is where it’s at. Instagram is primarily a platform in which users share images, videos or stories to their followers. One of the things Instagram does well is it uses hashtags and geolocation tags in much greater depth than other platforms. As a result, it is one of the best platforms for social media marketing especially when you are trying to build up engagement. Businesses of all types use Instagram to visually show off their products and services. An example is the before and after shot of a building project, or a before and after of a haircut etc. It really allows the customer to visualise how that company’s service may work for them.

On the demographics side of things, it’s clear that Instagram predominantly appeals to users under 30. While the spread is not as even as Facebook, it does have a lot of unique benefits, such as the visual appeal. When you view a profile on Instagram you can quickly scan lots of images, making it a much more effective way to consume what the business is about compared with text-heavy posts. Another great feature for businesses is Instagram Shop, which allows you to directly link products within an image for people to be able to buy. Overall, Instagram is one of the best platforms for building a brand that has a strong visual presence.

Paid advertising example:


Key Stats: 330 million monthly users

Demographics: 13-17: 32%, 18-29: 38%, 30-49: 26%, 50-64: 17%, 65+ 7%

Messages sent on Twitter are known as ‘Tweets’, which are short lines of text. You can include images, video or gifs in Tweets or create a poll. Like Instagram, Twitter also benefits from the use of hashtags and the platform was actually the first to embrace them. For those who are new to Twitter, it can be a difficult nut to crack as users best warm to content that provokes a reaction. In the case of your business, your post needs to be something users will want to favourite or retweet to gain any traction.

Twitter is most popular with users aged between 18-29, though as many celebrities and high-profile people use the platform, it can be one of the easiest ways to connect with people. It can be argued that given how simple it is to share content on Twitter, it’s one of the most effective platforms for quickly growing your business. That’s because you don’t have to navigate endless privacy settings as you do with Facebook, and with Instagram, it’s not as easy to repost content, especially showing the original source.

Paid advertising example:


Key Stats: 229 million daily users

Demographics: 13-17: 69%, 18-29: 62%, 30-49: 25%, 50-64: 9%, 65+ 3%

The premise of Snapchat is that users send each other photos that delete a few seconds after the other person receives them. Users can also send stories which delete after 24 hours. Snapchat’s biggest audience is those under 30, specifically those aged between 13 and 17. From an advertising standpoint, 229 million daily users is an attractive prospect. But, given content only lasts a short time frame it can be difficult to build a brand message, especially for those companies who don’t have an existing presence.

For example, if you post content on Facebook and your customers don’t log on until the next day, the likelihood is they’ll still see it. If they aren’t glued to your Snapchat feed, they are likely to miss it. Instead, Snapchat relies on users being dedicated followers to the brand so they do catch all the updates. This is another reason why brands with younger demographics have success on Snapchat because teens are likely to spend more time on the platform. However, brands can use Snapchat Ads to send targeted content to users who are online.

Paid advertising example:


Key Stats: 575 million users

Demographics: 18-29: 28%, 30-49: 37%, 50-64: 24%, 65+11%

Out of all the social media platforms, LinkedIn has a very different tone because it’s primarily for professional use. For example, people’s profiles are their CVs – not pictures of their kids and pets. Also, when people share content it’s usually directly related to their organisation or industry. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise your business through LinkedIn, in fact, as a networking platform that’s exactly what it’s designed for! The only difference is reading the mood, as people may frown at ‘Facebook like’ statuses or images.

The main users are those aged between 30 and 49, showing a clear difference between the more youth-centred platforms. Like any piece of marketing you wish to put out there, it’s about lining up the audience with your brand. That’s why professional content works best on LinkedIn, rather than trying to go viral. Interestingly, LinkedIn is a great place to share industry insights through the likes of articles which can add a real voice to your brand. As a place where people also look for new careers, LinkedIn is also a great place to market your business with the intention of sourcing new talent too.

Paid advertising example:


Social media is just another way to talk to your target market, so don’t be shy! Having a marketing plan that is tailored to each platform (or those specifically relating to your demographics) is one of the best ways you can communicate with your customers. After all, the more you put your brand out there, the more likely it is people will sit up and listen. As with any marketing plan, the key is identifying what would work best for your brand.

Need more help in understanding how social media can help your business? Digital marketing is just one of the services we provide here at Yarra Web. If you’re located in Melbourne, give us a call on 1300 554 687 or drop us a line at

*Above stats compiled from Sprout Social

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