Comparing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Social media is an important tool for connecting with and engaging your audience. But not every social media network may be right for your audience. Understanding the types of people who use each network and what they use it for is essential for determining if it is right for your brand, and what type of brand voice and content you must create for that network.

This blog will help to guide how (and if) your business should be using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Facebook is still the top choice for reaching the broadest audience, but Facebook is rising in popularity with older generations and in rural areas. 41% of Americans over the age of 65 are on Facebook, and it’s the most popular social media platform amongst middle-aged adults. Despite being heavily used by older generations, 33% of its users are under the age of 25.

Facebook is great for content that encourages sharing and conversation, especially video and Facebook Live. Usage for news is declining due to recent scandals and the growing belief that news on social media is misleading, but in 2018, 42% of people still used Facebook for news (Pew Research Center)

Paid posts and ads can be targeted to specific ages, genders, locations, interests and behaviors. In addition to fine-tuning your targeting, Facebook allows you to create a detailed business page. This is where potential clients and customers can find your contact information, hours, reviews, photos, events, website, and additional information they may need to learn about your business.


  • Older generations in rural and city areas
  • Highly targeted ads
  • Informative business page


Twitter is more popular amongst younger generations, specifically in urban areas. 40% of Twitter users are 18-29-years-old. People turn to Twitter to receive quick and real-time updates about current events, and 43% of 30-49-year-olds report using the platform as a news source. Twitter is a great platform to quickly respond to customer concerns and questions as well as comment on a trend or news story. Twitter allows for creativity in brand voice – you can decide if your business will tweet serious or humorous content, quirky or sarcastic remarks, depending on makes sense for your brand and audience.

Like Facebook, Twitter also offers targeted ads based on demographics and interests. It’s more effective to use Twitter to reach a younger audience in cities, and more effective to use Facebook to reach an older, rural audience.


  • Young generations in urban areas
  • Commenting on current news and trends
  • Communicate quickly and uniquely with your audience


Instagram is a visual platform that allows businesses to share videos, photos, gifs, collages, and other creative content as well as pay for targeted promoted posts. Like Twitter, it’s immensely popular with younger audiences, with 59% of American users being under the age of 30, and 72% of US teens using the platform. Its population of users is growing, and ways to market products and pay for ads is too.

B2C businesses like restaurants, cosmetics brands, and designers benefit by showcasing their services and products on Instagram, but all companies can utilize the platform. 80% of all users follow at least one business. User Generated Content (USG) is an effective way to give a real life to your products and create meaning and trust with your consumers. Be sure to keep the focus on the visuals and employ relevant hashtags.

Instagram stories are photos or video that disappear after 24 hours, so these are great for providing short updates to your audience. Content can be anything from conferences and speaking engagements to product overviews and tutorials. Instagram Live allows for more engagement with your audience. When you start streaming, Instagram will notify your followers so they can tune in, and viewers can comment during the live streaming. Everyone can see comments, when someone joins, and how the number of people viewing.


  • Younger generations
  • Focus on visuals and video
  • All businesses have engaging content to share—be creative!


LinkedIn can be used as a job posting and recruitment platform, but also allows businesses to share professional content about industry news and trends. It’s great for B2B marketing and outreach as well as scoping out talented employees. 61% of LinkedIn users are between 30 and 64-years-old, an age group made up of professionals that have amassed strong skill sets within their fields and extensive experience. The “groups” feature helps you join conversations within your industry and connect with other professionals.

LinkedIn advertising allows for targeted ads based on industry, job title, as well as age, location and other demographics. This sponsored content can be anything from jobs to articles, videos, or events. Creative posts will help to stand out from the crowd.

LinkedIn is different because it’s solely for professional use, therefore not the best place for B2C companies to reach consumers. However, it’s still important to create a detailed company page with updates about your business as well as posts that share your thoughts on relevant news.


  • Great for recruitment and B2B
  • Share relevant, professional content
  • Make connections with professionals in your industry

Social media is an essential tool for businesses to use in order to connect with their audience, establish their brand, and start conversations. Social media is still new in comparison to other forms of media and is constantly changing. Stay informed about trends and tools on different platforms and utilize them according to your company’s needs.

41 Facebook Stats That Matter to Marketers in 2019, Hootsuite, 2018
Top Twitter Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers, Hootsuite, 2018
24+ Instagram Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2019, Hootsuite, 2018
Top LinkedIn Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers, Hootsuite, 2017

Forrester Data Consumer Technographic’s North American Youth Survey, 2017 (US)

Melanie Gross