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What social media platforms are best for your small business?

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What social media platforms are best for your small business? Tips to get you started.

Busy? Never mind, we know the answer. That’s why we’re willing to bet that if you’re taking the time to read this article, you know the importance of having a strong social media strategy for your business. We also understand that it’s hard to know where to start and what platforms to use. So, at the risk of sounding like know-it-alls, we’d like to share a few tips on where to focus your energy and resources to help establish your online presence.

Know where to focus

Firstly, you don’t have to do it all. Spreading your time and content across all of the major social media sites will only spread you thin. When starting out, it’s best to decide what social media platforms make sense for you and your potential customers.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you targeting B2B, B2C or a mix of both?
  • Is your business brick and mortar or ecommerce?
  • What social media sites are your dream customers using?
  • What do you want to post? Photos and videos, or do you want to share blogs and articles?

Choose your own social media adventure

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all social media platform for all businesses, even when comparing brick and mortar to ecommerce. Instead of just thinking about your industry or the things you sell, think about the types of customers you serve or are hoping to attract.

  • If you’re looking to reach the over 55 crowd, consider Facebook. It’s growing in popularity among seniors, but is still primarily used by those aged 18-29 on both desktop and mobile.
  • Instagram users (primarily those aged 18-34) love the platform’s visual content and use it as a medium through which to make purchases.
  • LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B. Those who like to make professional connections are active on this platform. It’s also a great conduit for those looking for lead generation.
  • Twitter is where users go to connect with people who share their interests and for news and entertainment information. Similar to other social platforms, users’ average age ranges from 25-34.
  • Younger demographics (18-24 year olds) are spending a lot of time on Snapchat—an average of 25-30 minutes daily. Since it’s mobile only, you know that they’re always on the go.
  • YouTube is an entertainment and information destination that’s most popular with 18-24 year olds. From music streaming and movie watching to how-to queries, it connects users with a wide range of video content.
  • Pinterest is popular among women, but has seen a strong increase in male users. The average age of users skews a little bit older than other social sites, with the average user age between 25-34 years.

Do what you love

You’re more likely to succeed at something you enjoy doing. When choosing social media platforms for your business, think about what excites you and will motivate you to maintain fresh and interesting content.

  • If you enjoy sharing photos, videos and exchanging ideas, consider Facebook.
  • Want to focus on imagery? Instagram is all about photo and video sharing and is a great platform for businesses that want to show off their stuff visually.
  • Love to learn from like-minded business professionals? LinkedIn gives you access to a variety of professionals as well as group discussions—use them as a sounding board for new ideas. Plus, share your insights through articles and blog posts.
  • Picture yourself sharing a lot of industry news? Twitter is your go-to platform. It’s centered around news and social networking and allows you to upload photos and videos that support your views.
  • Have a playful side? Snapchat allows you to post disappearing content to create a buzz and keep things fresh.
  • Wildly popular for video sharing is YouTube. If you’re excited to record and share how-to videos and tutorials, this will be your niche.
  • If you love creating visual storyboards, Pinterest offers small businesses a platform to bring the look and feel of their brand to life. In addition to pinning great visuals, you can also post how-to’s and drive traffic back to your site.

Reach them in-store and online

Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or ecommerce site, it’s often best to focus your efforts on beefing up one or two of the platforms that your ideal customers use most frequently. Keep in mind that the platforms they choose may change when they shop online (i.e. purchases through their Instagram feed) or visit you in-store (where they may capture their experience through a Snapchat or Instagram).

There you have it! The not-so-simple answer to what social media platforms are best for your small business. Start by posting content you’re passionate about on platforms your potential customers use and you’ll be sure to make an impression.

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