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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Pacella

Beginner's Guide to Social Media: What, When and Who?

If you’re a small business, you know all too well the challenge of finding enough time and resources to do everything the internet says to do for your company’s success. Sometimes, you make sacrifices on the way to finding the best way for you and your team to spend your time and resources.

If you’re looking to ramp up your social media strategy but don’t have a large, dedicated social media team, this guide will help you decide where to focus your time and energy to get the most bang for your buck.

Keep in mind though, that social media best practices are constantly changing as evolving. Make sure you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of each social platform; you might find yourself wanting to branch out to new ones as you refine your brand and target audience.


Since Facebook is the largest social media platform, it's pretty much a must-have in terms of social media. Even with the low engagement rates for businesses of .09%, it's still important to be posting unique, engaging content on Facebook regularly. Video does especially well on Facebook, with it being the second largest video consuming platform behind YouTube. The audience on Facebook is beginning to skew older, with 68% of US adults using the platform in 2018 (staying stagnant from 2016), but only 51% of US teens using it (down from 71% in 2015). Most active users are on Facebook every day, so make sure you are keeping content fresh, relevant and up-to-date.

  • B2C

  • 2 billion active users

  • 68% of US adults used Facebook in 2018, the same as 2016

  • ¾ of active users use Facebook on a daily basis

  • 51% of US teens use Facebook, down from 71% in 2015

  • 2nd largest video consuming platform (after YouTube)

  • Median engagement rate of .09% on posts for businesses

  • Post once per day, evenings are best for engagement


Instagram is smaller than Facebook currently, but growing rapidly. Instagram has about 1 billion active users - 50% of which follow brands. That's right. 500,000,000 Instagram accounts follow brands. This platform skews younger, with 72% of US teens using Instagram, up from 52% in 2015 (opposite of Facebook, if you noticed). The median engagement rate with brands is 1.6%, almost double the engagement rate of Facebook. The audience is there and willing to engage, and it's up to the brand to post engaging and relevant content to interest their followers. With over 100 million photo/video uploads per day, it can be easy for your content to get lost in the shuffle. Luckily, Instagram has an entire page dedicated to letting users find interesting new accounts to discover (Explore page), so posting cool content with relevant hashtags can get you in front of hundreds of potential new followers per day.

Video and carousels (more than one image in a post) have much higher engagement rates than photos alone, so these should definitely be integrated into your content strategy. You can post once or twice a day on Instagram, using trial and error to figure out the best times for your followers. And remember that consistency is key on your Instagram page - 60% of the top performing brands use the same filter for every post.

  • B2C

  • Rapid & steady growth - in contrast to Facebook

  • 1 Billion active users, 50% of which follow brands

  • 72% of teens use Instagram, up from 52% in 2015 (opposite of Facebook)

  • Median engagement rate of 1.6% with brands

  • Over 100 million photo/ and video uploads per day

  • As of June 2018, there were 400 million active daily Instagram Stories users

  • Carousels (posts with multiple images) get 2.2% more interaction than photos, and videos get 18.6% more interaction than carousels

  • Consistency is key – 60% of top performing brands use the same filter for every post

  • Video is key – video has the best engagement rates for stories, IGTV and posts

  • Post 1-2 posts per day. Timing differs so best to use trial & error and find the best time for your followers


Twitter is an interesting platform. Built on short, 140-character thoughts and now up to 280 characters, it can be difficult to establish a brand presence on Twitter. You have to really commit to a unique Twitter strategy, posting up to 5 or even 10 times per day. Twitter has 326 million active monthly users, who send out 500 million tweets per day. Even though they released a new feature that sorts your Twitter feed by relevance instead of latest tweets, it can be really difficult to get in front of the right audience. Using hashtags will help your tweet show up in Moments and Trending.

  • B2C OR B2B

  • 326 million active monthly users

  • Users send out 500 million tweets/day

  • $575 million in ad revenue 2018 Q1

  • Post multiple times per day (even with new algorithm)


LinkedIn in seeing a surge in activity as a social network. With 590 million active users, 260 million of which are active monthly, LinkedIn gives you a huge opportunity to grow a brand following among a professional community. LinkedIn is 227% better than Facebook or Twitter for visitor-to-lead conversions, with 80% of all social media B2B leads coming from LinkedIn. If your brand deals with the professional community, LinkedIn is the platform to focus on. Post original content weekly like videos, blogs, press releases, etc. Companies that post weekly see a 200% increase in engagement vs companies who post less frequently.

  • B2B OR B2C

  • 590 million users, 260 million are active monthly

  • 277% better than Facebook & Twitter for visitor-to-lead conversions

  • 80% of social media B2B leads come from LI

  • Post original content weekly; companies that post weekly see a 200% increase in engagement


Pinterest in a unique social media platform in that the "feed" is comprised mostly of images. If your brand has an established aesthetic and engaging brand look & feel, create a couple of Pinterest boards that highlight that look & feel. Pinterest has 200 million monthly users, made up mostly of millennials and women aged 25-54. Pinterest is great for your brand especially if your business is selling a product, as 93% of users admit to using the app to plan purchases. High quality imagery and graphics should be the focus here, posting new content once per day and "pinning" other content to your boards daily.

  • B2C

  • 200 million monthy users

  • Half of US millennials use Pinterest, and 68% of women 25-54

  • 93% of users use the app to plan purchases

  • Focus on great quality imagery, on-brand graphics

  • Lifestyle images > Product images

  • Mobile app used most often, so use vertical images

  • Use once per day, post new Pins or repost Pins

Hopefully, this guide gave you an idea of which social media platforms are going to be the best for your brand and how you can use each one most effectively. If you have questions, or want some guidance on how to get started, contact us for more information!



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