Deciding what social media channels to use is a dilemma all business owners face. I say “dilemma” because there are so many options now, how do you figure out which ones are most important to your business and brand?

A lot of factors go into making this decision. Factors like what kind of company you have, the type of products or services you sell, what your brand stands for, and the demographic you appeal to the most. We know that people twenty-five and under are on Snapchat (79%) and Instagram (73%). We know everybody loves Youtube and that video is exploding with popularity, and Gen X loves their Pinterest.

But did you know that Facebook tops the list as the favorite social network across all generations?

Yep, that’s right. Not only that, about 50% of Gen X and the Millennials say they follow their favorite brands on Facebook, as well as the companies they enjoy doing business with. About 25% of Baby Boomers do the same.

This means, out of all the social networks, Facebook should always be on your marketing list. If you’re targeting Baby Boomers and Gen X, your social media lineup might be Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube. If you’re targeting the Millennials or Gen Z, you might go with a Facebook-Snapchat-Instagram trio. Regardless of the route you choose, let’s talk about how Facebook can help your marketing efforts.

There are more than one billion people—active users—on Facebook. And Facebook is one of the first places people go to research your business. In fact, there are some smaller businesses that don’t even bother having a website now. They simply use their Facebook page as a web presence, an easy place to provide information and interact with customers. For larger businesses, it’s an opportunity to connect directly to customers with interesting information, humor, personality, and messaging.

Every business can benefit from the role Facebook plays in boosting your search ranking. Facebook impacts SEO by:

  • Building links through social shares
  • Driving relevant, engaged traffic to your site
  • Increasing visibility through keyword optimization

Now, keep in mind that social media itself does not have a direct impact on Google’s search algorithm. But it does help effect search ranking indirectly. For instance, if a lot of followers share your post, your content reaches a larger audience. That audience will click on your link, visit your site, increase your traffic, and engage with your content—all important to influencing your ranking.

SEO within social media doesn’t have a direct impact on the Google search algorithm, either. For instance, if you look up keywords in a regular Google search, you’ll get a list of websites, but no social media channels. However, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, and users (just one billion!) perform searches in Facebook daily. This is where optimizing your business Facebook page’s SEO matters—it improves your search ranking in Facebook. Basically, optimizing your SEO increases your visibility to Facebook users, who are your potential followers and customers.

Overall, Facebook can have a very positive impact on your ranking through social sharing and SEO optimization. And out of all the social media channels, it’s so big, and so popular among every age group, that it’s definitely one you should include as a part of your marketing strategy.