Choosing Your Social Media Networks

More isn’t always better when it comes to social media, in terms of how often you post, as well as how many sites you post to. Generally speaking quality trumps quantity, and as Jay Baer says in a post for Convince&Convert “Just because a new social network – or even a new ‘trend’ like real-time marketing– crops up, it doesn’t mean your company is required to test it and create a presence . . . each time you add a shiny new ornament to your social media participation tree,  you are taking effort away from your existing outposts.”

To preserve your business’ virtual reputation and conserve internal resources used for generating content and monitoring social media identity,  it is a good idea to put careful consideration into deciding which sites best fit your business’s needs before embarking on your SM campaign.

In making this decision, three primary considerations are a) what types of marketing media you will be using, b) what demographics you wish to reach, and c) what your goal is with your social media campaign. Once you’ve answered those questions for you business, there are some great resources choosing which SM networks to engage.

In choosing how/when/where to use various media, consider that according to market researchers Millard Brown, “Video is better at driving salience than communicating key messages or driving engagement or recruitment,” and  “Static display is better at communicating key messages, or driving engagement or recruitment, than driving salience.”

You’ll likely use a mix of media, so choosing which sites to populate with which types is another important consideration. If the chart below from  on isn’t enough, This article from Mashable can help.


The next chart, a result of surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center,  can help you identify which of the most popular social media networks your demographic is using most. For greater depth, check out the full report.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 10.50.20 PM



For good in-depth breakdown of how different demographics use the top six social media sites, with some insight into which sites will help you reach particular business goals, check out this article from



“Digital Media Planning: Some Evidence-Based Guidelines.” Millard Brown

“Social Media Marketing: More isn’t better.”

“When is Social Media Experimentation a Waste of Company Resources” 

“How to Determine which Social Media Network Fits you Business.”

“The top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends that will dominate 2014”

“The State of Social Media Users” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.


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