The near-unprecedented ascension of social media has been a boon for personal and professional accounts but has also made it difficult for people and companies to determine which platform(s) are necessary to be on.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria of all the social media giants and heavy hitters. Social media is fickle. Not all brands need to be on every platform. Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? Pinterest?

There are many variables and factors in this equation. Who and where is your audience? Are you B2B, B2C, both? How do you talk, engage, and interact with them on each platform? What’s your social media goal?

Each platform has it’s purpose, and it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Staying on top of the new channels, trends, and best practices takes time, patience, and dedication. Once you’ve filtered through these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what social media platforms you should be on.

We’ll give you a rundown of who should be using which platform, what to share, and post frequency.

Facebook: This is the site for everyone in the literal sense. From your long-lost cousin to every company you can think of (B2B and B2C). All types of content can be shared, whether it’s a blog, linking your Instagram post, an upcoming event, ads… You want to inspire conversations, likes and shares by creating content people want to engage with (ex. polls, questions, contests). While being popular at all hours of the day, Facebook peaks outside of regular working hours. It’s best to share and post a couple times a day to see the highest level of engagement and to the broadest audience.

Instagram: Instagram has a younger demographic than the other social media platforms but comes with a massive reach. You upload and share images and videos, can do polls and go live. It packs a punch. Instagram is a great tool for visual companies: restaurants, bakeries, art and photography, retail, etc. Haven’t we all bookmarked we saw something on IG and then done at a later time, whether it’s a place to visit, hike, restaurant to try, or that local ice cream shop for those hot summer nights. You want to share high-quality images, short videos (15 seconds), once a day for the highest engagements. The best time to post is on someone’s commute, evenings, and early weekend mornings. Hashtags are another great feature that can benefit who you’re trying to reach.

LinkedIn: This is the perfect platform for B2B, networking with old college friends, sharing relevant content in the business world, and job-searching. Company descriptions, employer/employee research, and job postings are frequent on LinkedIn. It is slowly making its way into being more social and relaxed, which changes up the pace. Your network of employee and contacts is just as valuable as the content. You want to share about 2-4 times per week, targeting the morning commuters before they get to the office. More and more professionals are spending time here, with Gen-Z discovering its networking powers.

Twitter: Twitter is a great platform to share articles and content that you create and is best for B2B and B2C. With unique and interesting audiences, you’re rewarded with a larger following and increase in engagement, likes, RTs, QTs, all which help grow your brand. Twitter is also well-known for using popular hashtags so people making it easy to find and engage with content. Everyone from the average Joe to large corporations should be using Twitter. It’s a place to start, lead and join conversations and interact with brands. It’s best to post multiple times per day. Don’t forget, you only get 280 characters.

Pinterest: Predominantly known for targeting females, and female-focused companies, Pinterest is great for hobbyists or someone looking for that new eye-catching dish to show off at the next family dinner. There are many demographics to reach. It’s great to pin a vacation idea, or look for meal-prep tips, workouts, clothes, crafts, and life hacks. If your products include fashion, art, home décor, this is your go-to site and app. Post multiple times per day to stay relevant, but don’t be surprised if your post from three years ago suddenly gains traction again. You can ‘pin’ and ‘re-pin’ to Boards, which is then grouped and divided into appropriate categories. The Pinterest buy button makes it easier than ever to encourage users to purchase your product or service.

Finding and researching where your company fits on the massive social media spectrum and what platforms to be a part of can be daunting, but can and will yield results. It’s worth the time to be in the know of this ever-changing and evolving climate.

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