In the last five years the number of online social media platforms out there have exploded. However, out of the existing social media platforms that have stood the test of time and are available for businesses to use, multiple have proven to produce steady returns. Using social media platforms for your business has shown its worth, proving to be a useful tool for growing your business and selling your service/product.
This list specifies the three most crucial social media platforms for small businesses to market on, and how to cater your marketing style to each of the different platforms to properly use the platforms and appeal to the varying audiences unique to each. It also aims to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each of these platforms. Creating a business profile on these top most essential platforms is crucial to the success of your business’ social media marketing.
While you would have to be living under a rock for the last 10 years not to have heard of these social media platforms, it does not make the value of them any less critical to marketing your business on them.
The popularity and accessibility of these social media platforms only proves their worth and our point. It also only highlights why understanding how to market your business differently on each of the platforms is particularly key to achieving results from social media. Additionally, the commonness of these platforms does not make any of the other lesser known social media platforms more essential, or more worthy of mentioning in their stead.
List of the top 3 most essential social media platforms for small businesses
Facebook is the most widely renown and used social media platform with almost a third of the world’s population using it every month. More than 65 million businesses have Facebook Pages and of those, more than six million actively promote their business on Facebook.
Facebook allows users to stay connected with family, friends and associates. It provides a place for users to share statuses, posts, pictures, videos, live videos, stories, articles and events. The platform encourages users to engage with content fellow users have shared by enabling them to comment on it, react to it, or re-share it. Facebook also offers ads, which can appear in a variety of different ways. Additionally, Facebook has Messenger which allows users to private message, group message, call or video call other users.
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Focus your content on highlighting the value that your service or product will contribute to your ideal customer/client’s lifestyle.
Prioritize content that will create conversation and encourages meaningful interactions between people. Keep a casual and intimate tone in your messaging, as if you were reaching out to a friend or family member.
Additionally, 94 percent of Facebook users access their account through mobile, so make sure that your content is optimized for that.
Facebook is used widely by many different demographics of the world’s population. Perhaps equally as helpful, most content formats can be published on Facebook. These content formats include text, photos, videos, live videos, stories and blog posts, another one of the many aspects that makes Facebook so beginner friendly.
Facebook is probably the easiest and quite possibly the most important platform to start with for establishing your presence on social media. This is again partly because of the vast usership and therefore the reach of the platform, and partly because of the variety of content formats the platform is able to publish.
As older generations have joined the Facebook community and increased their engagement, younger generations have shifted elsewhere, spending less time on the platform. If your ideal client/customer is around 25 years of age or younger, perhaps save your ads budget for Instagram.
Instagram is a social media platform for sharing photos, videos, live videos and stories. Instagram recently launched IGTV, which allows users to post longer-form videos too. Additionally, you can buy ads on Instagram to market your business on the platform. Instagram also allows you to direct and group message other users, where you can privately share photos, vidoes, posts and stories as well.
25 million businesses have a profile on Instagram. As a brand, you can have an Instagram business profile, which allows you more capabilities and provides businesses with the analytics of their profile and posts.
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Instagram is a visual medium. Content should be focused on publishing quality, attention grabbing photos and videos that match your brand’s aestheticism. While photos are great, videos are better, and stories out weigh posts any day of the week.
When it comes to instagram, your business should be showcasing the imagery you want it to be associated with. Your content should highlight how your ideal customer/client will look, or how their lifestyle will look by using or having your product/service.
Brevity and levity are key when it comes to messaging for marketing a business on Instagram. Keep it direct and always accompanied by a call-to-action.
Instagram is almost exclusively used on mobiles, so it is crucial that any content published on the platform is optimized for mobile.
Instagram makes establishing and enforcing your brand identity easy. It is the perfect platform to show off the look and style of your business.
Instagram is arguably the best platform for marketing to the ages of 16 to 24 years-old. Only Facebook out numbers the popularity and the amount of Instagram users. Out of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly users, 80% of them follow a business account on the platform. Even if a user does not follow a business, there are still an average of 200 million users visiting a business’ profile daily.
While there is a wide age range using Instagram, the age group between 16 and 24 is far more active than older ranges of age. Depending on the age range of your ideal customer/client, particularly if they are 55+ years of age, this may not be the best platform to spend your ads budget on.
Additionally, if obtaining quality images and graphics for your business will be difficult, marketing on Instagram will be too. The range of content formats to share on Instagram is more limited. Photos and videos are the type of content to post, or share as your story. You can also use a photo, or create an image for a blog article and link to it through your profile, but for the most part this platform is meant for sharing photos and videos.
LinkedIn is a social media platform directed at connecting professionals. The platform is more than a resume and job search site. It is a place where industry experts can share content, ideas, network, and harmonize their personal and brand identity.
There are 30 million businesses with LinkedIn profiles. On top of that, 50% of all B2B web traffic from social media comes from LinkedIn alone. Linkedin users can share statuses, posts, articles, photos and videos. Additionally, direct private messaging is another feature that is offered by the platform.
While everyone knows about Facebook and Instagram ads, there are also advertising opportunities on LinkedIn. These opportunities include boosting your content, sending personalized ads to LinkedIn inboxes, and displaying ads by the side of the site.
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LinkedIn is the platform where you should be sharing your expert opinion on occurrences within your industry. This is the place to get technical about the future of your industry, what your business is about, and the quality of what your business provides in comparison to the competition. Your tone should be professional and underscore why your opinions about the industry are credible and valuable.
The best format of content to share on LinkedIn are videos. Especially videos that provide Expert advice, Career training, or unique insights and recommendations. A close second for the type of format of content to share on LinkedIn would be blog articles (preferably written by you) that also discuss the topics listed above, and/or news within your industry.
Most professionals are LinkedIn users, particularly when they are looking to get work, or get work done for them. 80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the best platform for establishing yourself as an expert among your peers and your customers/clients. In fact, 91% of executives have rated LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content.
There is this consensus that most people have trouble knowing what to do with their LinkedIn account after they have uploaded their professional information. Many users drop off after setting up their profile and rarely engage with others they have connected with.
Because the inherent point of LinkedIn is to connect you with other professionals within your industry, B2C businesses have less to gain on this platform as B2B businesses do. B2C businesses may benefit from spending their ad budget and marketing time elsewhere.
Social media marketing has easily become one of the most cost effective avenues for reaching customers/clients and is more than likely to continue to grow in its marketing power in the future. In fact, marketing on social media is likely to soon eclipse most other types of marketing and has continued to attain more and more success in yielding returns.
Hopefully this list has provided an understanding for the importance of each of these platforms, and an explanation of how to market a business properly on each. Knowing which and how to establish your business on the different social media platforms is the secret to ensuring that you are marketing to the right users in the right way.
Don’t have time to market on social media? Leave it to the experts—let us help & connect with us today!
Need a solution to your social media content creation and scheduling woes, but you don’t want to break the bank?
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We’ve managed over 150 clients’ social media channels and one thing keeps coming up — Everyone wants social media content consistently! But you know what else keeps coming up? All the things! Like the operation of running your own business or organization. Here are just some of the reasons why we created this brand new offer for you:
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☞ Effort: You know that you would love to ‘set it and forget it’ with your social media content, (i.e. you don’t want to log in every day to post something and spend countless hours surfing for ideas of content to post).
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Interested and want to learn more?
Brittany Hardy ⎜ Owner
Brittany Hardy is the Owner of Empty Desk Solutions, a boutique marketing company located in Port Moody B.C.
Brittany is passionate about helping small businesses achieve their growth goals with marketing solutions that are both effective and affordable.
After many years of working in retail management, Brittany went on to become the Marketing Manager for Dominion Lending, Canada’s largest mortgage company. Brittany then decided it was time to pursue a life-long goal of creating her own business. Inherently, Brittany likes to help people and decided there was no better way to do this than to use her creative talent to lift up others who want to do the same thing.
The mother of three young children, Brittany believes in balancing work and home life and continues to find new ways to support and employ other mothers who want to start their own businesses or stay at home with their children.
Social media marketing continues to evolve, and Brittany and her team are passionate about helping small businesses navigate how they can benefit from these networks.
Brittany has been a finalist for the Women of Worth awards, the Tri-Cities Business Excellence awards, and has most recently been featured in Small Business BC and the Huffington Post.