If you said, “Facebook,” you are not alone. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform –– attracting 71% of adult internet users. But with today’s continually expanding social media networks, you have plenty of choices. These new and mature networks fill multiple niches and interests, providing even more opportunities to reach diverse online audiences––from consumers to specially targeted groups, such as healthcare professionals and patients.

The September 2014 survey gathered data on White, non-Hispanics, Black, non-Hispanics and Hispanics. Asian Americans were not specifically cited in the research. The survey found that social media preferences vary by race and ethnicity. While Hispanics, African Americans, and whites use social media about equally. They vary in their preference for specific social media sites.

About 8 in 10 Hispanic, African American, and white adults who are online use at least one of five social media sites – Facebook, Instragram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter. While Facebook still enjoys a commanding lead among these sites, the popularity of Instagram (whose parent company is Facebook), continues to grow, especially among younger adults. According to the survey, 53% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use the service. This is important to note when considering social media use by race and ethnicity as Latinos are significantly younger than other racial/ethnic groups. About one-third of online Hispanics use Instagram, as do 38% of African Americans.

Meanwhile, about one-third of white internet users prefer Pinterest. The site is especially popular among white females. LinkedIn is dominated by college graduate users. An equal number of whites (29%) and African Americans (28%) use the site, compared with 18% of Hispanics. According to the survey, Twitter has a more equal distribution. About 25% of Hispanics and African Americans use the site, compared with 21% of whites.

Analyzing available social media data and users online habits can help us decide the most-effective channels for reaching culturally and racially diverse audiences worldwide.

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