Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for Your Small Business

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

One of the biggest mistakes a small business can make is diving into the social media waters with abandon, signing up for profiles left and right that they’ll later abandon to become arid ghost towns, filled with irrelevant posts featuring pop culture references from 2017 and-worse-obsolete business hours and broken links. Don’t let the tumbleweeds obscure your marketing efforts. Here is where you should be focusing your social media marketing resources.

Facebook

Does your demographic skew female and sit in the nearing-retirement to golden-years age range? Then putting time into developing your Facebook presence could be a good business investment. But honestly, with the most users of any platform, according to the Smart Insights Global social media research summary August 2020, this is a good place to be if you want to engage with your audience.

I believe that most businesses can benefit from having at least a basic Facebook profile. In fact, some businesses find this more useful to reaching customers and answering questions than even a traditional website, and it can be a great resource if you’re just starting out and don’t have the money or know-how to put into a professionally-designed web presence yet.

Instagram

Do you have a millennial audience and a visual-friendly brand? A business in a photogenic location, or a product you can pimp out in beautiful spots? Worldwide, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks according to Sprout Social, so if your marketing efforts include an international segment, you want your brand to be on the platform.

Instagram can be a powerful tool to use as a compliment to a blog as well, since the 2,200 character limit lends itself well to lengthy wordsmithing. And the more compelling your caption, the more likely you are to increase engagement on the platform, which the algorithm rewards.

Google

We’re not talking defunct Google + here-this is about your Google Business listing. If you have a brick-and-mortar business that operates out of a specific location, a robust Google Business listing is a must. This is the first thing prospective customers see as they search for your business. I’ve worked with companies that have had customers mistake Google Business info for the company website, so you want to make sure this information is up-to-date and compelling.

Snapchat

You probably don’t need to be using Snapchat unless you’re looking to capture that Gen Z market. Sure, plenty of businesses have found success on Snapchat. But if you own a local business that caters to an adult crowd, and you have limited marketing resources, Snapchat probably isn’t going to be a helpful strategy to pursue as you get started.

Twitter

This is a place for timely posts, and many people use it to access breaking news. Brands have embraced the platform for customer service efforts, since it’s easy for customers to get in touch and engage publicly and privately. Unlike many other social media platforms, Twitter’s demo skews male, with only 35% of its users being female.

Pinterest

Travel dreaming, design inspo, and tasty recipes fit in well in this visual search engine. The platform has a heavier base in the high-income range, so luxury hotels and real estate agents with high-end clients may find success marketing here. This platform has a predominantly female user base, and younger adults (18–36) are its main demographic.

TikTok

Do you have the trend-following know-how to capture what the kids are into, and a strong Gen Z demo? Then you’re probably not reading this article, you’re already slaying (does anyone say that anymore?) on TikTok.

YouTube

If you have the budget for video production, a good intuition for current trends, or staff with the know-how to produce quality content, YouTube can be a great place to put some content marketing efforts. According to YouTube’s published stats, the website has over 2 billion users, and viewers watch more than a billion hours of video daily, making it the most widely used social network out there.

This can be a perfect spot for hotels to host room walkthroughs, real estate agents to give a visual compliment to their listings, or personal finance gurus to dole out valuable information. But if you don’t have the resources for high-quality production, you’re probably better off dabbling in Instagram Reels or IGTV instead, where viewers better tolerate a shorter format and slightly lower production value.

LinkedIn

Is your business focused on B2B, with a corporate voice and professional brand messaging? Are you actively recruiting professionals to fill vacancies? LinkedIn is a great place for B2B marketing efforts, but B2C can probably steer clear if you don’t have the resources right now.

Blog

Though blogs may reside on your own website, these technically land on the social media side, especially since informative posts can be great fodder for your feed. This is your brand’s way to tell its story authentically on a platform that you own (your website) while creating posts that can draw new customers to you via content marketing.

tl;dr

If you have limited resources, you at least want to have your Google Business listing sorted and a Facebook page fleshed out with your business info, with Instagram as a powerful tool for collaboration and visual impact.

Blogs and YouTube channels are great outlets for your content marketing efforts if you have the resources.

Younger audiences are at home on TikTok, SnapChat and Instagram, but you’ll find your older demographics (and much of the world) on Facebook.

It’s far better to focus on a few platforms and do them well, posting regularly and keeping information up to date, than to spread your resources too thin. Find the social networks that best fit your target audience, and hone in on what you can accomplish there. To get started on a social media plan tailored to your business, get in touch for a free 30-minute consulting call.

Originally published at https://juliabsmit.com on October 25, 2020.

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