Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Figuring Out Which Social Channels to Use for Your Biz
You might have heard that it’s not a walk in the park for those who have delved into social marketing. Implementing social media for small businesses takes time, effort, and optimization. And learning. AND research. The good news → any small business can learn how to utilize social networks for digital marketing!
Social Media for Small Business
The below social media list in rank order. However, it’s important to note that a social media network’s user count isn’t what it’s all about. Don’t get us wrong; it is necessary because you want as much exposure as possible, but ultimately your unique content, delivery, and audience have the final say.
In other words, you need to be choosy when deciding on which platform to utilize. Each network caters to particular audiences, and the information they share is in a specific context. Think about it; you wouldn’t communicate the same way on Instagram as you would on LinkedIn or Google Plus as you would Pinterest.
7 Top Social Media Networks (in 2019):
- Facebook (2.2 Billion Users)
- YouTube (1.8 Billion Users)
- Instagram (1 Billion Users)
- LinkedIn (562 Million Users)
- Twitter (326 Million Users)
- Pinterest (250 Million Users)
- Snapchat (186 Million Users)
Google Plus (Shut down in Aug. 2019!)
Audience: THE ENTIRE WORLD! Not really. However, 29% of Earth’s population has an active Facebook account (2,200,000,000 / 7,600,000,000 = 28.9%).
So should every business have a presence on Facebook?
It depends on who you ask.
The size of Facebook’s social media network is massive! According to Statista, about 59% of users are between 25-54, 21% are 55+, and 20% are 13-24. In summary, Facebook mostly consists of Millennials and Generation X. If a large chunk of your audience is within this age group, give it a try! If a majority of your audience is under 24, then you might want to consider another social network like Snapchat.
Quick + easy to understand + engaging = YouTube. Videos are the future of social media marketing! Plus, you don’t need to make as many daily posts on YouTube as other social networks. However, make sure to share a minimum of 1-2 videos per day!
What age groups make up YouTube’s audience? Millennials, followed by GenX, Boomers, and Retirees! Also, it’s important to note that most of the U.S. population has either used YouTube previously or still does. In fact, 68% of the U.S. population has tried it since its inception, and most daily users access it via mobile.
ATTENTION lifestyle brands: Instagram = great place to share photos + short video snippets (3 to 60 seconds max)! Plus, it integrates with other apps to make cross-platform sharing a breeze! You’ll initially need to experiment with posting times (as with any social channel) to figure out when your content resonates the best. Our suggestion: start with three posts per day (morning, afternoon, and evening) and adjust the times from there.
According to the Pew Research Center’s social media network fact sheet, 35% of U.S. adults (in 2018) use Instagram!
- 64% are aged 18 – 29
- 40% are 30 – 49
- 21% are 50 – 64
- 10% are 65+
P.S. when we first published this post (July 24, 2017), the above numbers were as follows (as of 2016 research):
- 59% are aged 18 – 29
- 31% are 30 – 49
- 13% are 50 – 64
- 5% are 65+
(That’s a significant shift in only two years!)
Quick Tip: Since Instagram is “hashtag heavy,” create a hashtag list in advance! Hashtags are the best way to get your content noticed on Instagram.
Side note + “disclaimer”: The hashtag limit on Instagram is 30. Don’t use that amount on any other social platform (unless you want to look SPAM-taculous).
Audience: B2B companies! LinkedIn is a great social media option for businesses that rely heavily on networking to find potential affiliates, clients, partners, and employees.
We are frequently asked: “Shouldn’t all businesses have a profile on LinkedIn?” Of course, more exposure is the point here, but it may not be the best for every business. You won’t find many customers there if you’re a B2C company because most LinkedIn users are looking for a job. In short, job seekers are vetting corporations, and companies are vetting other businesses. Ultimately, LinkedIn users aren’t waiting (or expecting) to get sold to on there.
As for creating a business profile to recruit new employees, it’s important to note that posting a job on LinkedIn isn’t free. They do have different plans, though, so depending on your budget, it may (or may not) be worth creating one.
→ Google+ shut down in 2019! ←
First, if your company (B2B or B2C) has a blog, Google+ is an excellent way to share! By following and utilizing Communities within Google+, you can pinpoint audiences with the same interests as your business! However, don’t just share your blog posts and hope for the best. Participate in the various conversations within the communities and put your business out there! Second, if you have a brick-and-mortar company, set up a Google My Business page (different than Google+!). It’ll help boost that oh-so-important local SEO and help customers quickly find your biz! Third, according to an article via the Buffer Blog, Google+ posts are indexed almost instantly (on the Google search engine). However, it takes time for website pages to get indexed! How long? Weeks or even months.
If you have a blog, Twitter is ideal for almost any type of business. It gets your info out there fast (posts must be 280 words or less), and content sharing is easy! To add, when utilizing Twitter, make sure to use hashtags, but don’t use too many (3 max)! As always, don’t forget to add a photo(s) and link for better engagement!
Also, if you’re looking to amp up your customer service, consider using Twitter! Many companies utilize Twitter to add a bit of transparency to their brand and as an additional customer option for feedback and questions. If you try this out, make sure to have someone watching and replying to incoming tweets, because according to the Twitter Blog:
We found customer service response times on Twitter vary from 4 seconds to 221 hours. However, on average, 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their customer service requests within an hour. In reality, brand response times an average of 1 hour and 24 minutes.Twitter Marketing Blog
We’ve seen many businesses thrive on Twitter, some that didn’t and others who struggled at first but then bounced back with a vengeance. Hey, it happens!
Quick Tip: Remember that when choosing social media for small business: CONTEXT. IS. KEY., and it’s different for every social network!
Audience: The younger group of Millennials (24 and under)! In fact, 28.5% of Snapchat users (in the U.S.) between the ages of 18-24 make up the largest portion of Snapchat’s user base. However, there’s a shift happening! In 2015 the 18-24 group was 46.8%, compared to 28.5% in 2016.
So where did they go?
Snapchat users are getting older!
Suggestion: If your audience isn’t part of the younger demographic, hold off on Snapchat FOR NOW. Since it’s one of the fastest-growing social networks and their audience is getting older, start familiarizing yourself with the platform. Knowing how to use the social network will make your life easier when implementing it into your social marketing.
Try it out! –> download Snapchat.
Does your brand scream out to designers, food lovers, or the DIY community? What about home improvement buffs, landscapers, or organic gardeners? Maybe techies, coders, or content creators?
Pinterest is like having one big digital corkboard to show off your brand! Content is easily shareable by “pinning” or “repinning” and relies heavily on high-quality imagery. Plus, there are multiple options to organize/categorize/display your content, and the advertising options are getting better by the day!
Share Your Social Media for Small Business Expertise!
Before we go, two more things. First, don’t forget to connect your social media profiles to your website!
Second, let us know which social media platform(s) you’ll be choosing!
If you already utilize social, which channels work best in your industry? Share your feedback below!
That’s all that we have on choosing the right social network for small businesses (for now)! If you’re looking for more social media optimization tips, check out these posts!:
- 7 Social Media Marketing Benefits
- 10 Social Marketing Strategies [Infographic]
- Neat Social Media Marketing Tools
- Considerations BEFORE joining a social media network
In the meantime, stay tuned for additional UGH! Media blog posts!
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Although we specialize in digital solutions, as of Jan. 1, 2019, we no longer accept individual service requests. However, we do take inquiries/questions (see Contact Us page for more info).
Please note, this post does not establish a UGH! Media-client relationship. It is for informational purposes only. For additional info, please refer to our disclaimer.