Which is the best social media for attracting the clients you want?

When you’re running a business as a solo entrepreneur time is one of your most valuable assets.  Choosing places where you’re going to shine and connect with the sort of people who you’d like to be your clients is a smart move. In the last week, I’ve heard so many people worried that they don’t have time to be on all social media – and not surprising,

Time is one of the most valuable assets when you are self-employed or running a small business and using it wisely will help you succeed, wasting time will drain your reserves, so no wonder you want to know which is the best platform to post on.

I’m guessing that you’ve probably had the following thoughts at some time

I’ll use the platform that I’m already familiar with.  I’m good at some social media but just don’t understand some other types.  I really don’t know where to start with it and not sure about the difference between a personal profile and a business page. What I really need right now, is clients.  Do I have time for all this social media stuff?

What I’d like to explain is that social media is a way of increasing your online footprint and can be used entirely as a client attraction strategy or as part of your face to face networking.  It becomes especially useful if you have a need to reach out to people who are not necessarily within 10 miles of your geographic base or if you aren’t able to network with them face to face on a weekly basis.

Strategy is the key and your strategy will involve working out exactly who your client is andwhat you offer to that client. Once you have those two parts clear, social media is simply part of the toolkit that can help you reach your aims in business.

What I’d like to do here is lay out some basic information about some of the platforms currently in use. The social media landscape is by no means static and these are the most accurate figures I could find at April 2017


Reasons why people go onto social media

To help with deciding which platform is right for you and your business,  a starting point is to consider why your client may visit social media.  Rose McGrory states that people visit social media for the following reasons.

  • To enter competitions
  • Keep up to date with news
  • Get info on personal interests
  • Loyalty
  • Like the content
  • Show people I like them


Men use the internet to increase their status and women stay in touch

According to Brandwatch men use the internet for making connections that will build interest, research and increase their status whilst women use the internet to make connections and stay in touch with family or friends.  Now this may be very broad statistics and as someone running their own business you make take notice of these figures or your own experience may tell you that your target market is not exactly like the population mass but sits on either side of the curve. As a rule of thumb Brandwatch found that men are heavier users of LinkedIn, Google + and YouTube and women are heavier users of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram but both are well represented and there’s not a huge difference between numbers.


Different countries have different social media usage

It is a face that the more urbanised a country is the higher the uptake of social media.  Social media usage is linked to Internet usage.


Information from:   source   http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/  2016


UK Social Media Usage

The internet was used daily or almost daily by 82% of adults (41.8 million) in Great Britain in 2016, compared with 78% (39.3 million) in 2015 and 35% (16.2 million) in 2006.

In 2016, 70% of adults accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone or smartphone, up from 66% in 2015 and nearly double the 2011 estimate of 36%.

New analysis on the use of smart TVs show 21% of adults used them to connect to the internet in 2016.

In 2016, 77% of adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008, but only up 1 percentage point from 2015.

ONS 2016

In the UK  63% of the UK population use the internet for social networking, and 76% use the internet for finding information about goods and services.   As far as statistics go this means that you have a greater than 50% chance that your audience will be on social media, which is much higher than the readership of many national newspapers.

It’s interesting to note if you are in the business of providing services that in 2016, 77% of adults bought goods or services online. The implications of this is that there are potentially huge audiences on the internet ready to buy goods and services and if you can gain confidence and trust with social media then conversion a possibility.

Here’s some more facts from the 2016 UK Government Survey:

  • The internet was used daily or almost daily by 82% of adults (41.8 million) in Great Britain in 2016, compared with 78% (39.3 million) in 2015 and 35% (16.2 million) in 2006.
  • In 2016, 70% of adults accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone or smartphone, up from 66% in 2015 and nearly double the 2011 estimate of 36%.
  • New analysis on the use of smart TVs show 21% of adults used them to connect to the internet in 2016.
  • In 2016, 77% of adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008, but only up 1 percentage point from 2015.

ONS 2016



Most people access the internet from a mobile phone


The other interesting fact is that 71% of adults are accessing the internet from a mobile phone ( ONS 2016) This makes it very likely that they will have easy access to social media notifications.   In my view  people are likely to check for updates on social media during breaks, down time, commuting and in the evening.  This view is and this is reflected in much of the surveyed information available.

ONS 2016

The dominance of Facebook and Video

The next piece of information I’d like to share with you is the dominance of Facebook.   Statistics are statistics and the graph illustrates worldwide usage of social media worldwide and the number of active users on each channel.  Now you might look at this chart and see for example that LinkedIn has only 106 million active users in comparison to Facebooks 1.9 billion users, however it’s also useful to consider that to have a profile onto LinkedIn you will need to add some information about your education, skills and place of work.  This immediately self-selects those with higher education and income to be LinkedIn users.

Video is also becoming an increasingly important aspect of social media.  I have found that posts with live video get many more views and shares than static posts.  Anecdotally I have heard from journalists and news organisations who tend to be pretty good at analysing their figures that when the create an online story that has even just a minute of video the unique viewers rises dramatically.  This means that getting a presence on You Tube is almost a requisite rather than a desired option.





Here’s information on some of the platforms.


78% users UK

Users Globally   1.86bn Facebook users globally.  Increase of 17% since last year.

Founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg

Type of people it attracts: 76% women internet users are on Facebook

66% male internet users are on Facebook (See https://www.brandwatch.com/2015/01/men-vs-women-active-social-media/)

Recommended time for posting depends on your audience but posting when your audience is engaging would seem sensible.

Highest traffic occurs midweek between 1 pm to 3 pm

On Thursdays and Fridays engagement is 18% higher

People will view Facebook several times a day.

Vide is on the rise in Facebook and this is currently the way to get noticed. https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-2016

Facebook requires good content that is interesting to the audience.

Facebook is monetising its operation meaning that organic reach is declining and serious businesses will invest in advertising to get the reach they want. [https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-2016]


You Tube

85% UK population access You Tube.

Over 1 billion registered accounts (Source YouTube)

Founded in  2005 by three former employees of PayPal Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim.  It was created as a place to share and watch video.

Currently owned by Google.

YouTube audience represents almost every type of person represented.

You can upload video clips of up to 15 minutes.

There are video clips for everything including, music, science, talks, how to etc.

It tends to be viewed once every few days so posting weekly could work well.



Google +

UK   50%

Globally  1.6 billion in 2016 up from  1.17 billion unique searches a month in 2013.  (Search Engine Watch)

114 Amazing Google Search Statistics and Fun Facts (April 2017)

Date founded   1996   by Larry Page and Sergey Brin who were Stanford University Students.  They started working on search algorithms and invented Page Rank – the start of search and the reason now that we include Key words (The words that people search for) into content that will be uploaded to the web such as blogs, slide shares, videos etc.

Google is now a huge company with over 72,000 employees.  Google restructured recently and the search engine part is now a subsidiary of the holding company alphabet   https://abc.xyz/

Type of people it attracts:  Everyone who wants to know something and has access to the internet. Google search engines are used to find the answers to questions and may be viewed daily.


Search Engines Ranking

The question really to ask on this is which are the other main search engines.

Here are some figures from Search Engine Watch August 2016.  The figures show UMV Unique Monthly Visitors

Google   1.6 billion UMV

Bing    400 million UMV

Yahoo   300 million UMV

Web Crawler   64 million UMV

Most people use google + to rank in search engines.  There are some loyal fans of this little understood platform.    When you create blogs your key words will be picked up by web crawler and enable you to be found through search.



What’s app

Globally 1,200 billion

Users UK    48%

Owned by Facebook

It’s a messaging app used to send messages, audio, or visual media.

Viewed several times a day.  You can have group conversations but would need to either set up a group or be invited to join a group.




Users UK   45%

Users Globally    319 million

Date founded    The first tweet was March 2006.  Jack Dorsey started twitter to fulfil a need for short messages that helped people stay in touch through multiple devices e.g. phone, laptop.

Who owns it

Type of people it attracts:    Companies, people interested in sport, companies, TV, news, affairs.

Why do people go onto twitter – quick scan of trends and news.

Report what’s happening.

Recommended time for posting – Any time of day.  Regularity is the key.  Your messages will be picked up depending on the time zone of the audience you are reaching.

Viewed several times a day

Twitter often read during down times at breaks on commutes etc.

140 character updates.  These can contain links to longer material

Search is through # tags




LinkedIn     30 million plus members

Users UK  30% of UK online adults  19 Million members up from 15 million in 2016

founded   2002.  LinkedIn’s founders are Reid HoffmanAllen BlueKonstantin GuerickeEric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant.  10,113 employees.

Head Office:    California

Type of people it attracts:  Business people.  Uses – professional networking.  People develop a profile and use it to connect with others.  There are news feeds and personal mailing facilities.  Media such as video and pictures can be posted in status updates.

Recommended time for posting   Lunchtime and during business hours and between 8am – 10 am

LinkedIn Groups are communities where information is shared.

Viewed once every few weeks




Users UK  29% 10.4 million.  There is now a UK Country manager as this figure is growing.

DIY and recipes are the top topics for Pinterest.

Users Globally more than 12.5 million

Type of people it attracts

Recommended time for posting

Pinterest is more of a personal tool than a social one.  People tend to go there for their own interests rather than to find out what their friends are doing.

Viewed every few weeks




A simple and fun way to capture and share photos and video with friends and family.  Available free on IOS and Android.

Users UK  29% of Online adults (WeareFlint)

Users Globally 600 million

Date founded

Who owns it    Facebook

Type of people it attracts

Recommended time for posting

Viewed several times a day

Posting a video at 9m will get 34% more interaction (https://coschedule.com/blog/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/)



Snap Chat

Majority of users are 18-34 years old.  Not brand loyal.   Users under 25 spend about 30 minutes at a time on Snapchat.


More information on Social Media Usage today at   http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/30-social-media-marketing-stats-2017-infographic


What’s your Social Media  objective – grab attention of build a list?

It’s true that in the first place you must get some attention and your audience know, like and trust you before taking things any further.

The platform you use most may depend on whether you are interested in getting brand awareness or getting people on to your list.

To get people on to your list you will need audience ownership which is likely to be through:  Vlogging, blogging and podcasting.

To attract attention there are lower maintenance platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


The best Social Media platform for you will depend on your aims

Mark Shaefer in  https://www.businessesgrow.com/2015/06/01/best-social-media-platforms/ refers to two dimensions to consider when choosing where to make the effort in social media Time requirement and audience ownership. His findings are:

Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter have lower time requirements and are good for creating connections

Facebook, google +, LinkedIn and Snapchat have a higher time requirement.

Creation of Videos for YouTube, podcasts and blogs has an even higher time requirement.

BUT  the highest audience ownership is from   blogging, YouTube, and podcasts where you own the content, followed by Pinterest and Facebook Live Video.

In conclusion this review has covered the most prominent social media platforms.  There are many more and deciding which is right for your business will be dependent on:  Where you are likely to find your ideal client, which platform they are comfortable using,  how much time you have to create your social media presence and whether you are using it to keep your audience warm and loving or whether it’s to encourage them to move on to a more personal relationship with you so you can invite them to take up the fantastic material you have on offer.  Without a doubt the two leaders at the moment appear to be Facebook and YouTube.  In a year everthing could change again.



Brand watch


Rosemary McGrory




ONS Internet usage in the UK


Pew Research – global statistics


Social Media Today infographic


Social media statistics – some interesting facts


We Are Flint research of 2000 UK Online adults


Search Engine Watch




Did this bring up any questions for you about where you should focus your effort on social media.  Please put your comments in the box below.

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1 Comment

  • Ann Brown

    April 27, 2017

    Great article Gill! Very comprehensive!
    I’m one of those people who likes to stick with the familiar (i.e. Facebook) – but you’ve prompted me to think again about using LinkedIn more actively, and to regularly post video to YouTube!
    Thankyou 🙂

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