The most effective social media platforms to target your market

4 minute read

Social media marketing can easily become a full time job for small businesses. Creating and maintaining a steady flow of engaging posts, experimenting with social ads, replying to comments and engaging with other brands is a lot for anyone to manage – especially while running a business.

When you put a lot of effort into something, you want to see those efforts pay off. That’s why strategically targeting customers via social media is so critical. If you don’t focus your efforts and strategize, the end result can be a lot of wasted cash flow and frustration when your sales don’t reflect the time and energy you’ve invested.

Targeting consumers on social media isn’t a perfect science, but some platforms are more useful than others when you want to take aim at certain demographics.


Facebook is a social network where you can connect with friends to share thoughts, photos, events, and life moments. Facebook is an enormous platform. It has a jaw-dropping 2.23 billion monthly users! If you’re trying to target a well-educated audience, you’ll be pleased to learn that 82 per cent of college graduates are on Facebook.

Facebook is a great advertising platform – especially for small businesses hoping to target customers by location and interest. You can reach thousands of potential customers for a small cost.

Facebook Ads are very affordable in comparison to Google Adwords advertisements. The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook Ads is just $1.72, the average click through rate (CTR) is 0.9 per cent and the average cost per thousand (CPM) is $7.92.


YouTube is a massive video platform. With 1.9 billion active monthly users, you have the potential to reach the masses here.

If men are your target demographic, it’s key to note that 62 per cent of YouTube users are male.

Before you jump for joy, what you share on YouTube matters. Most male YouTube users primarily use the platform to watch soccer or strategy games. Most females primarily watch lifestyle videos on the platform. YouTube is a “fun” content channel and as a result it is not well suited to sharing hard-hitting content.


Instagram is a social network that allows users to share photos and videos with their followers. Businesses can create accounts that allow them to track data and performance, while also connecting their products to their account so individuals can easily complete purchases. Instagram is THE platform to find young customers. A whopping 1 billion people use it, and 71 per cent of the platform’s users are under 35.

If young women are your main target, this is the channel for you too. 68 per cent of Instagram users are female.

If you’re looking to connect and grow viewership, consider running a simultaneous campaign in YouTube as 95 per cent of American Instagrammers also use YouTube.  They are the perfect two platforms to master re-targeting advertisements.

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Twitter is a social network where you can share thoughts in 280 characters or less. It isn’t as massive as Facebook or Instagram, but engages a hefty 336 million active monthly users – which is nothing to scoff at. It is a great platform to use to target the younger generation.

Twitter is a great place if your aim is to target well-educated consumers. 45 per cent of users who consume news on Twitter have college degrees.

If your goal is to reach men, it’s important to note that Twitter is the most popular major social media platform used by men in comparison to women. Of all internet users, 25 per cent of men are on Twitter, versus 21 per cent of women.

Twitter ads are useful and affordable when it comes to targeting individuals by location and interest. Twitter’s main downside is its character count limit. Tweets must be under 280 characters, so if you need to say a lot in every post, this is probably not the platform for you.


LinkedIn is the professional social network where you can share ideas, post jobs, and connect with colleagues. With 260 million active monthly users, LinkedIn is a fabulous niche social media platform. It is targeted to professionals and businesses, so this is the ideal platform for business-to-business (B2B) companies!

If affluent customers are your target, LinkedIn is a great platform. 44 per cent of LinkedIn users earn more than $75,000 per year, and 40 million LinkedIn users are in decision-making positions.


Pinterest is a social network where individuals can get inspiration for events, fashion, home, and hobbies. Pinterest reaches 250 million individuals each month and high income and educated households are twice as likely to use Pinterest compared to any other demographic.

Pinterest reaches over 83 per cent of women aged 25-54 in the U.S., and 85 per cent of women use Pinterest to plan “life moments.” If you’re looking to market a product or brand to high-spending and well educated North American women, then you will want this channel in your marketing mix. Especially if your business has high usage in weddings, graduations and other milestone events.

You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Now that you have a sense of which platforms reach certain consumers, you can better focus and consolidate your efforts online. We hope 2019 is your best year yet.

23 Pinterest Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2019,” Hootsuite, February 2019.
5 Social Media Stats on Demographic Targeting in 2018,” Adstage, 2018.
22+ Instagram Stats That Marketers Can’t Ignore This Year,” Hootsuite, March 2019.
Facebook by the Numbers: Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts,” Omnicore Agency, January 2019.
Top Twitter Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers,” Hootsuite, January 2018.
Linkedin by the Numbers: Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts,” Omnicore Agency, January 2019.
YouTube by the Numbers: Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts,” Omnicore Agency, January 2019.
The Demographics of Social Media Users,” Pew Research Centre, August 2015.