The Best Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses
Do you remember when MySpace was a thing? If you do, can we borrow your walker and join you for your 4 pm meal at the retirement home? Maybe you could offer us a hard candy on our way to play bingo, where you can tell us all about growing up during the great depression. Ow, my back.
We’re just kidding; it wasn’t actually that long ago that MySpace surrendered its crown as king of social media, but it certainly feels like it was a lifetime ago. Sometimes it can feel as though there are new social media platforms popping up every few days and it can be difficult for anyone to keep them straight. Despite this constant shift in social media trends and platform prevalence, there are a few mainstays that are exceptionally useful for businesses and continue to perform well year after year. If you operate a company and want to know about the best social media platforms for small businesses, the team of social media marketing experts at FirstPage Marketing is ready to help!
Which Social Media Platform is Best for Small Businesses?
Although most social media systems were designed primarily for personal use, many platforms have adapted to include offerings for businesses. Over the years, social media companies have discovered that the main money to be made lies with appealing to companies, as few personal users are willing to pay to use social media. Most revenue that social media companies accrue comes through advertisements that are paid for by businesses. Whether your company has a B2B or B2C business model, there are usually applications to use social media platforms to push towards your marketing goals.
It is important to note that the best social media platforms for any small business to use will be dependent on a wide variety of factors. There is no single one-size-fits-all social media solution for businesses to employ. The platforms that different companies with varied goals and cultures should use will need to be assessed individually, as should the tactics that each company will need to employ to reach their marketing goals. With that being said, there are a couple of social media platforms that have clear advantages for small businesses over other platforms.
The Top 3 Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses
There are many social media platforms out there, so it is important to inspect a few vital criteria before picking which ones to move ahead with. While some social media platforms are extremely recognizable, the return on investment that they offer for small businesses might not be worth pursuing (this is often the case with Twitter and Pinterest). Some platforms are directly targeted at specific industries (like Houzz) and are not a good fit for the majority of companies. Other platforms might not connect with the right target demographic or age group (as is often the case with Tik Tok and Snapchat) or they might have a strong presence in the wrong geographic areas (like WeChat, Line, Viber, Sina Weibo, or Baidu Tieba). Even the type of content a company wants to create should be considered, as some platforms deal well with pictures and video (like Instagram and YouTube) while others do not.
Regardless of industry, region, goals, and target audiences, there are a few social media platforms that stand out above the rest. When deciding which platforms to use, be sure to inspect:
Facebook is the current heavy-weight champion of social media, and it has held this title for over a decade now. It brings in the highest revenue, has the most active users in most areas and demographics, boasts a comprehensive advertising structure, the content posted can be diverse in nature, and its analytics system is impressive. While it may not be the coolest platform out there and sometimes its Big Brother vibe gives the general public the heebie-jeebies, it is an effective marketing tool for small businesses. Regardless of what you are selling and to whom, Facebook can usually be used. Small businesses can make easy use of Facebook’s Business Manager and Ads Manager tools in order to expand reach and the posting and page/profile building capabilities that Facebook offers are ideal for small companies.
Instagram is the friendlier, more casual little brother to Facebook. This social media platform is owned by Facebook, and thus it has many of the same advertising and posting capabilities. The benefit of Instagram is that it has a newer vibe and connects with a slightly different audience. It is designed for visual content, making it a perfect advertising platform for small companies with highly visual offerings, like home builders, landscapers, or clothing designers. It is the second-rated platform for the average amount of time spend on social media (following Facebook) and it has a better appeal to younger audiences without missing out on too much of the older demographics. Small businesses can easily use visual content to build a better brand and story for themselves through Instagram’s visual presence.
Although LinkedIn began as an employment-based social media platform that strove to link professionals and hopeful employees with prospective companies, it has evolved into a great B2B social media platform. It boasts a wide range of users and has a more professional newsfeed than other platforms, making it more limited in who should be using it regularly, but it remains a great way to reach professionals between the ages of 18 and 49. LinkedIn’s audience is made up of higher-earning and higher-educated individuals, making it perfect for most companies with B2B business models.
As we mentioned, there are dozens of other social media applications out there that can be investigated beyond these three recommended platforms. Some other platforms that are often worth looking into but require a very special type of company, content, or user demographic to be effective include:
If you would like to learn more about social media marketing or to get started with your own completely customized social media strategy tailored for your company, give the experts at FirstPage Marketing a call. We would love to work with you to achieve your marketing goals.