[guest post by Susanne Loxton]

Who uses what, and how many people use it? What kind of content works best with certain audiences? In order to tailor your approach, you’ll need to investigate the statistics of the most popular social networks. With over 2.3 billion active social media users to cater to, it helps to concentrate your efforts appropriately.

Facebook

Facebook is home to 1.65 billion active users. This is the most thriving social network, and it is divided evenly among male and female users. Just over a quarter of users sit in the 25-34 age range, with the minority of users being age 17 or under. Since the user base is so large, it works as an effective sampling of the world’s population. Occupations vary greatly, as do interests. Facebook allows specific targeting for advertisements because of this.

YouTube

There are over one billion YouTube users, and the platform only continues to grow. YouTube is especially popular among individuals between the ages of 18 and 49. In fact, as watching television has decreased in popularity, YouTube views have increased almost 75%. Since YouTube is divided into content niches, it’s easy to target either male or female users on the site. Overall, there are slightly more male users. Millennials comprise the majority of YouTube users.

Twitter

There are 310 million active monthly Twitter users, and slightly more of them are male. This platform is most popular among users aged 18-29, with 30-49 being the second most popular age category. The typical Twitter user has attended college, and lives in an urban or suburban area. The careers of Twitter users vary significantly, though jobs that are related to IT or computer technology, bookkeeping, software, and business development rank among the most popular.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn falls just short of Twitter, with over 300 million users. This membership is nearly half male and half female. Approximately half of people who use LinkedIn live outside of the United States. This platform caters primarily to professionals in specific industries. While LinkedIn is designed to be used by everyone, the site sees most of its activity from individuals working in IT, health care, construction, education, and accounting. 21% of LinkedIn users are under the age of 35.

Pinterest

Pinterest is home to 100 million users and counting. The majority of these users are women between the ages of 18 and 29, with the 30 through 49 bracket trailing right behind. The majority of users have attended at least some college, and most of them live outside of urban areas. A significant number of stay-at-home mothers and part-time employed mothers use the platform, with many of the site’s image boards tailored to the motherhood niche. This community specifically serves individuals interested in DIY projects, recipes, and hairstyles.

As a final word of advice, always pay attention to what’s trending on a platform. Just because the majority of a site’s users don’t belong to the demographic you’re attempting to cater to, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Make sure to use the proper tags on your posts and follow trends to stay relevant and boost your presence.

**About the Author: Susanne Loxton is a social media and modern technology enthusiast who combines her interest in all things new with a passion for writing. On a daily basis, Susanne works for Aubiz, a compendium of knowledge about companies in her native Australia. Follow her on Twitter @LoxtonSusanne