Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Small Business
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Whether you love it or hate it...
Whether you use it in your personal life or not...
Social media is becoming one of the most valuable assets for small businesses. You can build relationships with customers, people can share your business with friends, and marketing costs are relatively low or completely free (based on how you do it).
So one question remains, why aren't more small businesses on social media?
Well, when the majority of people hear the word "social media," their brain immediately jumps to teenagers sharing amongst themselves, drama, or other non-business related content.
Others write off social media as a total waste of time.
Both are actually true, there are tons of teenagers on social media and if used "incorrectly" social media can be a complete waste of time.
BUT, it's a fact that social media is a fantastic place to build and grow lasting relationships with customers, no matter the industry you're in.
With that out of the way, if you own a small business and you still aren't on social media, there's tons of opportunity you're missing out on.
In this post, I'm going to help you take action and get your business on social media, once and for all. Sure, you might have no idea what to post (I had the same problem in the beginning), but this is just the start. We'll talk more about posting later.
Social Media For Small Business and Your Options
I'll put one thing straight, not every social media option out there is suitable for small business growth. Whether they don't offer features that can help you reach out to new people or ideal customers don't hang out there. I'll just be talking about the options that matter to businesses the most.
Even with all the drama around Facebook, it still comes out number one for the most potential when reaching customers.
With around 2.38 BILLION users, your customers are almost surely there. It is a great platform for building relationships with customers and sharing information.
While Facebook has made it more difficult to reach people organically (without paying), it's paid ads are still relatively inexpensive when your audience is built correctly.
We won't get into running ads in this post, but just know that Facebook has a massive advertising platform built for businesses of all sizes.
Setting your business up with Facebook is super easy.
Check out this post by Hootsuite who does an in-depth walkthrough on how to set up your Facebook business page.
Here are some key benefits of Facebook:
- They're huge, so your ideal customers are almost certainly on Facebook.
- This is a great place to build relationships with existing customers by sharing deals, news, and more.
- Because advertising costs aren't incredibly expensive, you can advertise to a large group of people without breaking the bank.
Another great option to focus on is YouTube. It's a fantastic place to begin building trust, by answering questions from people who may want to use your services.
For example, if you were a window cleaner, you could post short videos answering common questions like "how do I know when it's time to get my windows cleaned," "How to remove oxidation from windows," and other similar questions.
Plus if you've got a website, having your YouTube videos link to your website gives a little boost of authority.
People don't like to make the wrong the decision when it comes to picking a business to perform services, so if you can build trust upfront people will always pick your business.
On a side note, YouTube also has a massive advertising platform called Google Adwords. We'll talk more about that in another post.
Creating your YouTube channel only takes 7 steps. To do so, make sure you have an existing Google account, that will be required to create your YouTube channel.
Hubspot has a fantastic walkthrough on how to create a YouTube channel.
Here are some key benefits to YouTube:
- There are 1.3 BILLION people who use YouTube, which consume 5 BILLION videos per day.
- YouTube provides a huge opportunity for building trust with potential customers.
- By releasing videos to YouTube that are targeted at specific commonly asked questions, you'll give yourself an extra boost in search rankings.
Instagram is fantastic for nurturing customer relationships. Although not everybody uses Instagram (at least not as many as the first two), it can still be a great place to building those relationships. Before getting started on Instagram, make sure your ideal audience is there, this way you don't waste your time on a channel that won't help.
I won't go into much detail on what you should post, but for most businesses, customers are interested in seeing what goes on in the background. This builds a connection with your customer because now you aren't some mysterious business, they now have an idea of what goes on.
Some other ideas would be inspirational quotes, updates, deals/promotions, and other posts that can be paired with a unique image.
Here's a post by Hubspot on creating an Instagram business account, with some additional tips on posting.
Here are some key benefits to Instagram:
- Instagram is a great place to reach a younger audience.
- Instagram is fantastic for nurturing relationships between your business and your customers.
Other Social Media Options
Twitter can be helpful when it comes to growing a business, but before you get started, make sure your audience is hanging out there. If you're interested in finding out if your audience is on Twitter, here are some important demographics.
Wanna get started with Twitter, here's a short tutorial on setting it up.
Pinterest can also be beneficial for growing a business, but like Twitter, you need to make sure your audience uses it. If your target audience is predominantly female, Pinterest is a fantastic place to get started. Otherwise, I personally wouldn't focus your efforts there. Here are some stats about who uses Pinterest.
If Pinterest sounds like a place that could help grow your business, here's how you can set up your business account.
Extra Resources When Setting Up Your Social Media Accounts
Granted, there are tons of other social media options out there, but these are the ones that continue to attract potential customers. Not every option will work for you, at the end of the day, it comes down to testing and research. You must figure out where your ideal customer is and focus specifically on that channel.
When you do begin working on growing a social media audience, don't fall into the pit of thinking it will be easy. There are tons of people out there all posting about something, so your content will get buried in the beginning. Be consistent and persistent and your audience will find you.
If you want to speed the process up a bit, you can always pay to advertise in order to drive traffic to your pages. By paying for ads, you'll be be shown over other posts, so people can see what you have to offer.
Remember, social media is critical for businesses that want to connect with customers and continue growing their business to the next level. Without it, you can quickly lose touch with your customers wants and needs and you just won't reach as many people for a lower cost.
If you're wanting to get into the social media world and start connecting with customers. Here are some additional resources to check out.