How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Small Business

Small biz social media

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Social media is one of the best tools out there for digital marketing and growing your business. From free to paid options, it’s the perfect way to increase visibility, gain a loyal fan base, increase awareness, and share information.

There are quite a few options out there to choose from and new platforms are continually being added to the social media repertoire. As a small business, it’s important to choose the right platforms to spend your time and money on since your most likely won’t be able to monitor or advertise on every platform available. Here’s an overview of the 5 most popular social media sites.

Facebook – The most popular and oldest social media site used today. It’s used globally and offers an expansive reach – in fact, some businesses use a Facebook page in lieu of a website. Facebook offers a great platform for both personal and business use including paid advertising.

If your customers are:

  • Over the age of 55. They use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, it’s their social media platform of choice
  • Global. Facebook is used pretty much universally all over the globe, especially in Middle Eastern countries and Europe.
  • Niche market. Facebook utilizes groups where people who have similar interests can congregate. If your business is in a niche market, Facebook may have entire groups of potential customers.

Instagram – The next largest platform which has a huge audience of millennials and teens. This platform, owned by Facebook,  is all visually based using images and videos as the source of content. It can be time consuming to create content but could be worth it for some businesses. It also offers paid advertising that can be simultaneously run with your Facebook advertising if you so choose. 

If your customers are:

  • Millennials. The largest demographic of Instagram users are people under the age of 25. If that’s your target market, then you should be on Instagram.
  • Women. Women are more active on Instagram than men, so if you cater to women or want to grow a product line specific to women, Instagram is where to do it.

Snapchat – Still relatively new to the social media world, Snapchat has millions of users that are active over the course of the day. If you utilize Snapchat, quantity over quality applies because your content expires within 24 hours of posting. It can be difficult for even the most skilled content creator to manage. Very few small businesses use Snapchat because of the content demands.

If your customers are:

  • Teenagers. The platform consists of mostly people under the age of 21  – not many other age groups have embraced Snapchat. So, if teenagers are your market, this would be a good platform.

LinkedIn  – The most business-centric platform on social media. It’s used to connect with other businesses and professionals. It uses less video and photos and is based more on text and sharing articles or content. It’s not a place to do large-scale marketing or anything considered gimmicky. It’s used more for business-to-business advertising vs. business to consumer.

If your customers are:

  • Businesses. LinkedIn is for business connections, so if you offer B2B services or products, then LinkedIn is the platform for you.
  • High profile people. As a business-focused platform, many executive and high-level businesspeople use LinkedIn.

Twitter – A great platform for younger to middle-aged audiences. Ordinary people and businesses can often go “viral” on Twitter since content can be re-tweeted and reach MILLIONS of people. Twitter does have a word limit so content creation can be limited. Twitter moves fast, so posting often is key.

If your customers are:

  • Millennials to 40s. Your content needs to be really good if you have a chance at going viral. It should be funny, interactive, and thought-provoking in order to gain attention.
  • Short-attention span. Twitter moves at the speed of light, so audiences who have a short attention span and want to be first to the latest trend will be on Twitter.

One of the newest social media trends is TikTok. It’s only been around for about a year or two and originally gained traction with teens and young adults. However, with the pandemic, more and more middle-age people have started using the fun video-based platform. Businesses can advertise on it, however, there are not a lot of businesses that currently have accounts. This will be a platform to watch to see how it develops over time.

Using social media can be a great strategy for your digital marketing needs as long as you are focused and don’t try to spread yourself too thin by using every possible social media platform. Do some research and choose the platform(s) that are the best fit for your business’s target market demographic.

Margret Warner

Margret K. Warner
Vice President, Commercial Lender

Author: Margret Warner

Margret Warner started her career at Litchfield Bancorp in 2000 as Branch Manager in Washington Depot and has subsequently served as Branch Manager of the Litchfield office, Business Development Officer and is currently a Commercial Lender based in the Watertown market. With over 25 years of banking experience, Margret brings her extensive knowledge of the financial services industry to area businesses. Margret resides in Torrington and is committed to the communities where she works and lives as a member of the Watertown Rotary and advisor of Leadership NW. In addition, she serves on the board of the Watertown/Oakville Chamber, the United Way of Northwest Connecticut, VNA Northwest, Inc., and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the esteemed ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and holds a BBA in Accounting from Hofstra University.