Social media is ever-changing. Almost every day, we’re introduced to new features, emerging trends, and even new social media platforms. It can be an exciting challenge for marketers to tackle and learn, but it can be quite overwhelming for small businesses to keep up with.
For example, take a look at Instagram. Once just a cool photo-sharing app, Instagram has evolved into the fourth most popular social media platform with Stories, IGTV, live streaming, shopping, Reels, etc.
Due to the numerous features listed above, it is also a critical marketing channel for most businesses, especially brands using influencers.
Other popular social media platforms that work well for businesses include:
Whether your business is big or small, a social media presence can be helpful to connect with current and potential customers (brand building), reach a broader audience (brand awareness), share your story (brand personality), and ultimately drive more sales (return on investment). It can also be an essential tool for customer service and recruitment!
The big question is, which social media platforms should your business be using? That’s what we plan to help you with today.
How to Choose the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business
Let’s be clear. You do not have to be on every social media platform, and definitely not all at once. We recommend starting slowly by choosing one or two platforms that best suit your brand or industry, then developing an effective social media strategy and executing it well before adding on.
Team Strategy Tip: It’s better to be in fewer places than everywhere poorly.
Start by figuring out who is your ideal customer. Where do they spend their time? What do they want to see from you? What are their pain points? How does your business solve them?
Every social media platform has its own unique audience with varying expectations for content. So, once you know your audience, you can know where to go and what to post.
What Should You Post on Each Social Media Platform
Now that you have a better idea of where your audience is, which social media platforms should you use for your business, and what do you post on each channel?
Team Strategy Tip: Focus on sharing quality content over quantity.
With more than 2.9 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook is the largest social media network. The platform is primarily used for connecting with friends and family but is also a powerful tool for businesses. With a Facebook business page, businesses of any size have access to analytics, advertising, Facebook Messenger Live Chat to help with customer service, and the ability to highlight reviews. Facebook also has an advanced suite of community forum features — such as Facebook Groups, Messenger Rooms, and Live Events.
You can use Facebook to share everything from photos to videos, live streams, and attention-grabbing articles. Share essential company updates and information on new products or services, shine the spotlight on staff, and publish educational videos or Q&As. Content should be engaging, presenting an organic experience for users on the platform instead of being too sales-heavy.
As mentioned before, Instagram is a visual platform, one that’s been placing more emphasis on videos. From Instagram Live to Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories, 9 out of 10 users watch Instagram videos weekly. Use Instagram to take your followers behind the scenes and showcase your products or services in action with high-quality photos and videos.
Reels — These are short, engaging videos up to 60 seconds (sometimes the shorter, the better). Reels content can include participating in trending “challenges” and dances, sharing quick product tutorials, industry tips, and educational content… all while using trending audio. As Instagram evolves into more of a video platform, the app has been putting Reels front and center, so this format generates more reach than other formats. Reels also create a cycle of engagement because as users react to the Reels in their feed, Instagram rewards brands with increased reach of all posts.
Stories — 58% of users say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing it in a Story. Stories are timely in-the-moment content (video or photos) available for viewing view up to 24 hours before disappearing (unless saved to your highlights). Suggested content includes time-sensitive announcements, behind-the-scenes moments, polls or votings, product teasers, countdowns/reminders to product launches or events, etc. When it comes to Stories, content can be less polished, showing the human side of your business.
The platform is also known for its huge community of influencers and social media creators. Influencers are this generation’s version of word of mouth on steroids. They are a great source of quality user-generated content, testimonials, and a much more organic way of advertising your products and services to new and relevant audiences. It’ll also help to have a unique brand hashtag your customers can use to find related content and expand your reach.
Twitter is a good place for trending topics, including staying up to date on the latest news and monitoring events in real-time. It’s also an excellent customer service tool.
Twitter is a fast-paced and engaging platform. You need to have time to consistently tweet original updates, retweet relevant content, interact with your audience, and address customers’ concerns. It’s also a good place to inject more humor into your brand voice.
Posts on Twitter are limited to 280 characters, which means your Tweets should be short and to the point. Share company updates, news releases, quotes, stats, blog posts, polls, and even photos and videos. Hashtags help to expand your reach, increase your visibility, and help you find relevant conversations to join.
LinkedIn is a business-centered social media platform with over 800 million users worldwide. It is the ideal platform for B2B marketing and positioning yourself as an expert or leader, connecting with professionals in your industry, and recruiting and hiring talent for your business.
The audience on LinkedIn relies on the platform for learning and networking, so content should focus on important company updates, industry news and articles, job openings, and posts that reflect your company culture and establish thought leadership.
Similar to Facebook, there are industry-specific LinkedIn Groups you can join, and just like Instagram, you can also follow relevant hashtags to monitor industry trends and conversations and share interesting content from other LinkedIn users.
Team Strategy Tip: LinkedIn’s algorithm may show a post from three months ago, so the platform may not be the best option for time-sensitive content.
With 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors, YouTube is the world’s second-most visited website right after its parent company, Google, and the most popular video-sharing social platform.
Primarily a search engine, the site is perfect for businesses with strong visuals and entertaining and educational content. Users who search for and discover your content are more likely to have a strong interest in the topic and a genuine intent to engage. Your business can share anything from in-depth interviews or Q&As and instructional videos or tutorials to live streaming conferences and industry events to tips and tricks or customer vlogs. Similar to IG Reels, YouTube also has Shorts that receive 15 billion daily views.
When it comes to YouTube videos, quality and consistency matter. So before creating a YouTube channel, consider if you have the time, effort, and resources needed to produce frequent and quality. Partnering with a YouTube influencer may be a better option for some businesses — they have a large following that trusts their opinions and recommendations and already publish videos on a frequent scale.
With 433 million active monthly users, we can’t ignore Pinterest for businesses. Pinterest visitors have a clear goal in mind: to find inspiration for their next project or purchase. In fact, 97% of top Pinterest searches are unbranded and 80% of ‘Pinners’ say they’ve discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.
Similar to YouTube, Pinterest is a visual-first platform optimized for search. It allows users to save and display content by “pinning” to boards organized by category. Vertical images, videos, and infographics perform really well on Pinterest. Use relevant keywords and content that not only stands out but educates, informs, and inspires to encourage pinners and drive traffic to your website
Pinterest users typically start their planning process and pinning ideas months in advance. For example, Christmas planning usually starts in September, but in 2020, holiday searches, including “Christmas gift ideas” jumped 80% in April — 8 months before December. So, this platform is a great way to reach your target audience before your competitors.
Google My Business
Google My Business or GMB is a free digital billboard that allows users to find you via Google search. It literally puts you on the map, which means every business should have a GMB account that is accurately maintained and monitored.
GMB supports your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, allowing people searching for a particular product or service to find you. Not only does it show your location, business hours, services, customer reviews, and other critical information for customers, but you can also post updates similar to LinkedIn that last for a week.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is one of the most used social media platforms worldwide. It is also very popular for users 40 years old and under, making it the ideal platform for brands and businesses targeting millennials and Gen Z.
Authenticity and creativity go hand-in-hand on TikTok. Businesses must first examine how TikTok works and consider if their brand translates well to the platform before diving in headfirst.
Content that works well on TikTok includes participating in hashtag challenges, trending dances, or using trending sounds. Do not try to use corporate jargon or LinkedIn content on TikTok and think adding a trending sound will help. It’s all about connecting to your audience in a way that feels genuine, relatable, and true to your brand — not pandering. When posting, be sure to include the relevant hashtags to boost your visibility and increase your chances of being shown in users’ “For You” feed.
If you need help getting started with a social media strategy and choosing the right social media platforms for your business, contact us today.