The Many Faces of Social Media

People often talk about social media as though every site were essentially the same. In reality, each social media site has its own core demographic, culture and content strategy – and only by understanding how each site works can you choose the right social media platform to connect with your audience and craft a brand message that will resonate with them.

Below are the three social media platforms most helpful for businesses, with tips for crafting the right content to engage with those users.


The largest social media site, Facebook is used by more than 70% of all adults in America. Users are fairly evenly split between male and female, although there are slightly more women on the site. Facebook is built around the concept of a “wall,” a personal space where a user can post text, images and video. These wall posts will appear on the “feeds” of their friends, who can interact through comments, likes and shares.

Facebook posts are short-lived. Although they will live on your wall’s timeline indefinitely, most of the interaction occurs when they appear on the feeds of friends and followers. This means that the most successful Facebook content invites sharing. Shareable content includes humor, political statements, quotes and advice that resonate with the user’s life, almost always in the form of an image.

Sharing on Facebook is a form of self-expression, almost like a bumper sticker. To create content that will do well, think about your target audience and decide what values they hold; craft your message in a way that aligns with their values, and make that content attractive and shareable (ie, image-based).


The second-largest social media site on the Web, Twitter has about a third of Facebook’s users, with around 23% of adults online having an account. About 40% of Twitter’s users are silent or only post rarely; for many people, the allure of Twitter is following an influential person – like a celebrity or brand identity – instead of interacting with their own friends and followers.

The 140-character limit for tweets favors brevity. Quotable, snappy insights about current events – usually coupled with a trending hashtag – do well on Twitter. Links, especially to news pieces and informative articles, also perform well on Twitter as many users turn to the site as an alternative news outlet. If you think of Twitter in terms of delivering news and commentary to an audience particularly interested in the subject, you can craft messages that will invite retweets and followers.


The 4th-largest social media site, coming in just behind LinkedIn in popularity, Pinterest is used by roughly a quarter of all adults on the Internet. It is a site dominated by women, with 44% of women online using the site (compared to just 16% of men).

Pinterest involves the collection or “pinning” of images to virtual “boards,” making it a powerful bookmarking tool. Boards can be shared or kept private, and the majority of activity on Pinterest comes from repinning – or seeing something on a friend’s board and pinning it to your own.

Users are more likely to browse Pinterest than search it directly, and they are more likely to save a pin if it provides a useful resource or inspires them in some way. For some users, a Pinterest board is like a collection of things they enjoy; for others, it’s a to-do list of projects they’d like to try. In either case, the more useful and informative a pin is, the more likely it is to gain traction. Infographics are especially popular on Pinterest for that reason.

Putting it All Together

The point of social media for business is customer engagement. If you’re not going where your core audience can be found and creating the type of content they’re likely to engage with, your campaign doesn’t have the impact it needs.

Our team at has experience with a variety of social media sites, and we can help you to create a social media strategy for creating and sharing content that will boost your visibility and help you connect with your clients, wherever they spend time online.