Choosing the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Small Business

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When you are busy running a business, finding time to be active on every social platform seems almost impossible. Narrowing down your selection to a couple of networks will enable you to concentrate your efforts and get the most out of social media marketing.

 

But how do you decide which platforms are the best suit for your small business? In this article, we are offering 5 tips that will help you make the right choice. 

  • Start by Defining Your Goals

The first step is to establish a link between your strategy’s goals and your selected social media platforms. If you are unable to say why you’re using a certain platform or how it will help you accomplish your objectives, then you should probably stop using it. 

For instance, if your objective is to raise brand awareness, you’ll need to choose well-established social networks with a big following. One of the best tactics for extending your reach and increasing brand awareness is paid promotion. Take a look at the advertising options available to you depending on your budget. For instance, Facebook advertising is known for generating great ROI.

If, on the other hand, you want to boost lead generation, you should consider using LinkedIn. This social platform is well-known for being a leader when it comes to B2B lead generation, whether by using advanced search filters or by joining groups and taking part in discussions. To make the most out of LinkedIn, consider using an automation tool. LinkedIn automation tools provide a wide range of opportunities to reach out to professionals and businesses, grow your network, and increase your potential customer engagement levels. 

  • Find Out What Networks Your Competitors Are Using

Determining which social platforms your competitors are using will provide you with a general direction and tell you where you should focus your efforts. 

Check what types of content they post, how frequently they post, and how many comments, likes, and shares their posts get. Knowing how active your competitors are and how they engage with their followers will give you an idea of how your own social media strategy should look like. A great platform for this is Oktopost

Using social media monitoring tools can be very helpful here. These tools can let you determine which brands in your field have the biggest influence. They can also be helpful in analyzing your competitors’ best-performing content in terms of which type and length of content best engage users, as well as in terms of social shares. 

  • Find Out Where Your Audience Is Present

The next step in your journey is to determine where your target audience hangs out. For example, if your biggest customer segment is comprised of 50-year-old men, focusing your social media efforts on Snapchat will probably be a huge miss. 

Analyze your current followers to determine their age, location, and gender data. Then, use this data to decide which social platforms are worth focusing on. You’ll also want to consider how active your audience is on those platforms. For instance, while younger users might have Facebook profiles, they are more active on Instagram.

Data-driven insights will make sure that your strategy and the networks you select yield the desired results. 

  • How Many Social Platforms Should Your Use?

According to digital marketing stats, more than 90% of retail brands use at least two social media networks. But while using only one social media channel might not be enough to showcase your brand and products, finding a balance can be challenging. Using too many channels might dilute your efforts, whereas using too few of them might negatively affect your reach and visibility.

You should aim to be on 1-2 networks initially but, as we said earlier, you need to ensure that these networks are the ones your target customers are likely to be on.

  • Pick the Type of Content You Share

This is an especially important question as certain types of content are more suited to certain social networks than others. 

For instance, whitepapers, business news, and industry updates are most suitable for B2B audiences who are present on professional networks like LinkedIn. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, LinkedIn is the best choice for you. Studies have shown that publishing articles on this platform can expose your brand to more than 300 million users. Medium is another popular publishing platform, with nearly 45% of its readers earning 6 figures or more.

On the other hand, if you produce short-form video content targeting younger audiences, you might want to consider Snapchat and Instagram. If your videos are longer and have a more universal appeal, Twitter and Facebook can also yield engagement.

These two platforms are great to reach a wide audience. They each have their own benefits.

  • For example, Facebook gives you the space to create a  long-term, interactive platform where you can really engage with your customer base.
  • Twitter lets you share information quickly and start conversations with your target audience.
  • In turn, your audience might find your Tweets and content very valuable, and if marketed the right way even retweet and share with their followers.
  • For Twitter marketing to work, you need the right tools to manage your business Twitter account. There are several tools that can be used with Twitter, such as Tweetdeck, Postplanner, Hootsuite, Hypefury, etc.
  • Many of these allow scheduled tweets through which it is possible for businesses to post at the best times to reach followers and engage with them in real-time. Some have more benefits and functions than others. For example, Hypefurautomatically retweets your best tweets to maximize your engagement and impressions with their unique Evergreen feature.

Of course, don’t forget about YouTube, the video-sharing platform with more than two billion logged-in users each month.

Finally, if your content is mostly image-based, you should consider using Pinterest. Research has shown that nearly 95% of users leverage this social network to plan their purchases. Instagram is also great for building a visual brand story. In fact, Instagram has the highest average engagement rate of all the main social networks, beating Twitter and Facebook, which shows that the audience on Instagram is more open to use branded content than they are on other platforms.

Final Thoughts

We hope these 5 tips will help you choose the best social media platforms for your small business. Remember, it’s all about your personality. It’s quite possible to achieve success on an unexpected network if you are tuned into your audience’s taste!

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President, @B2BNewsnetwork (launched Nov 2014). Content, community and analytics obsessed. Inventor @squeezecmm. Past chair, @itac_online @whiteribbon