Which Social Media Network Should You Use?

One of the most consistent conversations I have with potential clients is the discussion of which social media networks they should be on for their brand or small business.

It usually goes something like this:
Brand: "Should I be on Twitter (insert any platform here)? I really don't get it, don't like it, and don't want to learn it. Do I have to use it?"
Me: "Well, that depends...are your clients and potential customers on Twitter?"

It does not matter which social media networks you like and/or use personally. If your clients are on Twitter, you damn well better be on Twitter.

Identifying your target audience first, then determining which social media network to use for your brand based on those demographics, is the only way to know you are where you should be in the social media universe.
I typically recommend that brands only use 2-3 social media networks for quite some time. Building a following and consistent, relevant content takes time and lots of effort. If you are trying to use 6-7 different platforms, you'll drop the ball and inevitably let a few of those accounts die a slow, painful death.
It is of note, however, that as soon as a new social media network pops up, or you even maybe, kinda think you might want to use it in the future - you should create an account to claim your name/business immediately.
If you have no immediate plans to use a social media account, in whichever about/info section it provides, you should let people know which social media networks you ARE on, or point to your website.
For example: "Hey peeps! Thanks for finding your way here, but my social media party is over on instagram.com/carachace - see ya there!"

Ok cool - so now this begs the question, "Which social media network should I use?"

I created a super snazzy, easily discernable infographic to tell you just that.
It includes decision trees for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
You could come to the conclusion that you only need to be on one social media network to start - that's totally cool and you can/should rock the shit out of that network.
Regardless of how many social media networks you decide to use, remember that EACH account should align with your brand voice and brand topics. You must know the types of content you are going to share on each account - some overlap is ok, but all the same content across all accounts is not.