Social media is a great place for small businesses to build a brand name and interact with their customers. But choosing social media platforms for your business can seem like an impossible task.
There are so many sites to choose from and so many different types of content required for each. We’re hoping to make this decision a little easier for you.
In this article, we’re going to explore how to pick social media platforms for your business based on your content and goals.
Fit Your Content
The first thing you should consider when choosing a social media platform for your business is the type of content you want to post. You can only post on social media as much content as you create, so it’s important to know which social media platforms require what type of content.
Consider the content you’re able (and that you like) to create. Whether it’s images and photography, videos, or business articles, social media is a great place to share your content, if you pick the right platform.
The biggest social media platforms for businesses that are image-based are Pinterest and Instagram.
Pinterest is an online community of people sharing their interests via “pins” and “boards.” Any type of media, from a blog post to a video, can be shared on Pinterest as long as the associated photo is quality enough to catch users’ attention. Bloggers share a lot of their content on Pinterest through high-quality photography summarizing their posts. Pinterest is primarily used for DIY tutorials ranging from recipes and sewing to small and large home improvement projects. If you do any of these things or have high-quality image content, Pinterest could be a great avenue for you.
Instagram is the other big image-based social media platform. With over 200 million users a month, Instagram has taken the social media world by storm with its ultra-simple interface. Successful posts on Instagram are high-quality (often professional-level) photography.
While Instagram is not a great place to drive traffic to your website, it is an excellent way to build brand recognition and gain a substantial following. If image content creation is your specialty, Instagram is a great place to get it in front of a large audience and build up your brand.
While there are a lot of video content-based social media platforms out there, the biggest by far is YouTube. With over 4 billion views a day, YouTube is an international platform used to share interests. The hope of every YouTube video is to go viral, but even if that never happens for your video, it can still be a great tool.
If you can capture the attention of an audience on YouTube, they’ll share your video with their friends on other social media networks, driving clicks back to your video and creating more awareness of your brand. YouTube is a great place to be if you are into video content creation.
LinkedIn is by far the most prominent social media platform for business content. The 300 million users on LinkedIn are looking for businesses and professional content. LinkedIn is a great place for businesses to be since that’s where users are looking for them. You can also promote your business’s blog or other professional content to a large, engaged audience on LinkedIn.
Yes, social media can be used to boost SEO for small businesses. Google+ is the just the place to do it.
While there is not a lot of engagement to be gained on Google+, posts on Google+ do get indexed by Google and added to your SEO efforts. If you would like to increase your rankings and produce a lot of content, Google+ is the perfect place to show it off.
A Little Bit of Everything
You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned two of the biggest social media platforms for small businesses, Facebook and Twitter. That’s because Facebook and Twitter have become such big players in the social media landscape, you can really post whatever content you want on these platforms. Video, images and articles are all well received by the large audiences available to you on both Facebook and Twitter.
Define Your Goals
The second thing to think about when choosing a social media platform for your small business would be your goals for using social media. Different social media sites accomplish different goals for your small business. Consider these goals below and pick the one that best matches your business.
Building a Loyal Community
If you’re looking to build an audience that follows you constantly, Facebook is the place to do this. As the largest social media platform out there, Facebook enables you to cast a wide net and bring in a lot of followers. It allows you to tailor your business to your unique audience, whether that’s a specific age group, gender or interest community.
Not only does Facebook build a following for your business (and in some cases drive traffic to your website), it can also build credibility for your brand. People have grown so accustomed to Facebook, it’s often the first place they go when researching a business. Whether they’re looking for contact information, hours of operation or reviews, having an active Facebook page with all of this information shows them that you are a reputable business and builds trust in their eyes.
Speaking of reviews, Facebook is a great place to be collecting reviews (and showing them off). Even if you’re not looking to build a loyal community, I would still advise setting up a Facebook account with basic contact information so that people looking for you can still find answers to their questions.
Creating Brand Awareness
If you’re a new business needing to get the word out about your brand, the best places to do so are Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is a great place to get a lot of information on your brand out quickly. Twitter users are all about the present, so you can post multiple times a day; the more you post, the more your brand name shows up in people’s feeds. And like we discussed earlier, anything from images and videos to articles and opinions can be shared on Twitter.
Instagram is also a great place to build awareness for your brand. Since you can’t include links in the caption of Instagram posts, it’s not really a great traffic driver. But what it lacks in driving traffic, it more than makes up for in brand awareness. If you can really hone in on what makes a good Instagram profile and gain a substantial following, you’ll get people talking about your brand all over the place. Think through what people would want to know about your brand and post that content on Instagram.
It doesn’t take a lot of work to get involved with Twitter and Instagram, but they can be influential in getting your brand name in front of your audience.
There are plenty of social media platforms out there to use for your small business, but it’s important to consider all the factors when deciding which ones to pursue. There’s no limit to how many your business can have.
The real questions are, “Which ones will benefit me, and what am I capable of doing?”
Take a quick look back over the types of media and goals and figure out which platform fits best with your business. And don’t forget to check out Qualbe’s social accounts!