Aside from potentially connecting with the billions of people who use social media daily, businesses can increase their exposure, traffic, and conversions with an effective social media marketing strategy. That said, one of the hardest parts of creating a solid social media strategy is choosing the proper channels.
This article will help you choose your small business’s best social media channels. But first, let’s go over different social media channels and how they can impact a business.
Different social media channels for businesses
Which social media channels you use for your business depend on your customer base, business offerings, and goals. Even when you’ve defined these things, it can still be challenging to determine which of the top social media sites are worth the investment.
Let’s try to make the decision a little less daunting.
The top three
Facebook, Youtube, and WhatsApp are the most popular social media platforms worldwide. Each has at least 2 billion monthly active users. Facebook allows various media, Youtube is all video content, and WhatsApp is a messaging platform.
A big feature for Facebook and Youtube is ads. Facebook provides one of the highest ROIs for paid marketing channels for most businesses, with 1 in 3 saying it’s their best performer. And YouTube ads can potentially reach 2.56 billion people.
Whatsapp’s business advantage is customer communication. Recent statistics revealed that “54% of users prefer WhatsApp to track order and delivery updates, followed by appointments, webinars and event notifications, a preference of 50% of users.” In addition, 39% of users like Whatsapp as a customer service channel.
Businesses can use one or all three of these popular social media channels to reach a broad audience, promote products and services, and personally connect with customers.
LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media platforms. You can post status updates, share your personal life on Linkedin, and socialize with others on the platform.
But you can also look for a job and build a brand. Fifty-two million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs every week. More than 57 million companies have a LinkedIn page. And marketers see their conversion rates double on the platform.
There are a whole lot of business decision-makers on LinkedIn. So, B2B businesses benefit tremendously from building a presence on the platform. Moreover, any company hoping to build a team of top talent, bolster a professional reputation, and network should consider LinkedIn.
Twitter is another social media channel that can boost a business’s marketing strategy. It’s a social media platform as much as it is a micro-blogging platform. Although people post pictures, short videos, GIFs, and memes, Twitter relies heavily on the written word.
Twitter can bridge the gap between a business and its audience on a more personal level than many other social media channels. Users can directly tweet and message businesses. And those 1:1 conversations matter.
Twitter is also suitable for businesses looking to create a community. In particular, Twitter spaces can bring all your followers and customers into one room for conversation and connection, giving your business a chance to drive sales too.
A little over a billion people use Instagram. This platform is all about visual content and social connection. Users post images and videos, participate in live streams, and post on their stories.
If your business relies heavily on visual content, Instagram is a top choice. Clothing brands, photography businesses, marketing firms, restaurants, and real estate are the kinds of businesses made for Instagram.
Also, most Instagram users are between 18 and 34, with a pretty even amount of women and men on the platform. The same list of statistics also revealed that India houses the most Instagram users worldwide.
If your customers are a mix of men and women between the above ages, and you do business internationally, Instagram is a top choice.
TikTok seems like the new kid on the block regarding social media. However, it’s been around since 2018. The app’s monthly active users have grown to over 1 billion.
Businesses that cater to a younger audience should consider using TikTok. 32.5% of the platform’s users are aged 10 to 19, while 29.5% are 20 to 29. Ads are especially effective on TikTok, too, with 67% of respondents of a survey agreeing that TikTok ads capture their attention.
So, if you’re looking to experiment with ads and cater to a younger audience, TikTok is a good choice.
Pinterest came into the picture in 2009. It’s primarily an image-sharing social media platform, but short-form videos are also allowed. Pinterest is less focused on 1:1 conversations and people sharing their personal lives.
Instead, users save images and “pin” them onto “boards.” The nearly 445 million monthly active users on this platform share anything from how-to videos to infographics to still images.
Like Instagram, visually heavy businesses can benefit from using Pinterest in their social media marketing. In addition, 76% of Pinterest users are women. So, if your audience is primarily women, this might be a good channel. Moreover, you can shop on this platform. So, e-commerce businesses may fare well.
How to determine which social media channels are best for your business
The above channels aren’t an exhaustive list of social media channels. There are a lot more out there. And that makes the decision for which to prioritize in your business even harder. Still, you’ve got to choose.
Answering these five questions will help you determine which social media channels are best for you to prioritize in your business.
Who is your target audience?
Which social media channels you prioritize in your small business largely depends on who your target audience is. It’s incredibly unproductive to create a presence on social media platforms your target audience isn’t on.
So, define your target audience and research which social media platforms they frequent the most.
What resources do you have available?
You could absolutely have five social media profiles for your business. But if it’s one person doing everything on each one, and you don’t have the financial resources or professional partnerships to make those profiles impactful, it isn’t going to work.
It’s best to lay out the resources available to you to get your social media profiles up and manage them appropriately. Determine your budget for each platform, the team members available, and if you have any external resources or partnerships that could be helpful.
Can you create content effectively?
Creating content is a massive part of developing an influential social media presence. But in case you haven’t heard, it’s quality content and consistency that matter most.
Creating high-quality content and consistently putting it out to your audience on various social media platforms isn’t a one-person job. If you create multiple social media profiles, you must make sure you can create the kind of content necessary for high engagement.
How many are too many?
Good question. Prioritizing too few channels restricts your reach and alters your ability to create a solid social media presence. On the other hand, too many channels can become overwhelming to manage.
The answer depends on your target audience, the resources, and the team you have available to you. Determine the most popular platforms for your target audience. Then, narrow your choices to how many you can successfully manage based on your team’s capabilities and resources.
What would you use each platform for?
Lastly, dive into what you would use each platform for and how high these are on your priority list.
For example, let’s say you’re running a remote business. One of your biggest goals is to improve your recruitment efforts. You realize social media could be a great way to recruit and hire top talent looking to work remotely. LinkedIn becomes an obvious choice at that point.
Figure out what you want to use social media for. Then pick the channels that support those goals.
Any small business can benefit from an effective social media marketing strategy. The social media channels you use are a significant part of ensuring that the strategy is successful. Further, analyze the platforms we mentioned above and use your answers to the questions to determine which channels to prioritize for your small business.