Social media provides a way for people to connect online, where they can develop and nurture relationships and communicate with friends and acquaintances they may have otherwise lost touch with. This is true for individuals using social media, and it can be true for your business too!

Social media is a great communication tool for engaging directly with customers, connecting with new audiences, and driving traffic to your website and/or your brick-and-mortar location. It’s so effective, that 96% of small business owners reported using social media to promote their company in some way.

You’re ready to get started… now what?

With the growing number of social media options available, it’s hard to know which will benefit your business the most. Given that it takes time to plan your marketing strategy for your social pages – including content creation, page moderation, and more – it’s important to focus these efforts on the social sites that will generate the best results for your business! We recommend starting with  2 or 3 social sites at the most, at least to start with. Once you get the hang of your digital presence you can continue to expand to additional platforms.

There are two key factors to look at when determining what social media sites to start with for your business:

1. Demographics

Think about your average customer. The easiest and most direct way to ensure your social media presence is generating the biggest bang for your buck is to focus your efforts on the social media site that also hits the same demographic and customer type as your business. Below, we’ll break down the most popular social networking sites and their core demographics.

2. Your Brand and Content

Is your brand and content more visual, utilizing photos and videos to highlight your key products and services? Or do you have a lot of descriptive, text-rich content that you’re ready to start sharing online? Once you determine what type of content fits your brand, keep reading to help decide which social media platforms are best for sharing that type of content.

Let’s break it down

Amplified Icon Facebook

According to Hootsuite, Facebook is the #1 most-used social media platform in the world, with over 2.7 billion active users each month. It’s also one of the most versatile social media sites as it allows for easy sharing of links, photos, videos, events, and longer text content. Facebook trends higher with older users with 51.8% of them over the age of 25. Seniors are the fastest-growing age demographic using Facebook.

Amplified Icon Instagram

Instagram is known for being a photo-sharing platform, but it has grown in recent years to feature more (and longer) video sharing as well. It’s a great tool for marketers to showcase product photography, share infographics, and inform customers through visual presentations. Instagram users tend to skew a little younger than Facebook. One-third of all Instagram users are between the ages of 25-34. According to a survey done by Piper Sandler in Q3 2020, it’s currently the most-used platform among American teens.

Amplified Icon Twitter

Twitter is one of the less commonly used social media platforms, but it’s still a great option for reaching customers with short snippets of information. Twitter is also useful for engaging with customers by responding to customer issues publicly. When done correctly, it can show the quality of your business’s customer service. Interestingly, Twitter is used most commonly by men – 70% of Twitter users identify as male, and 57.1% of Twitter users throughout the world are between the ages of 25-49.

Amplified Icon LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform for business-to-business (B2B) content or for connecting with potential and current employees. The site boasts 303 million active users, most of whom tend to be higher in age. Users age 46-55 are most active on LinkedIn. In general, LinkedIn is a tool best used for businesses trying to reach potential new employees, or sell products and services to professional users and companies.

Amplified Icon YouTube

YouTube is the second most-used social media platform in the world (although some don’t consider it to fall under the “social media” category), with over 2 billion users worldwide and over 126 million monthly viewers. It’s widely used by all ages and demographics – 72% of American females AND American males using the internet use YouTube, as well as 77% of American internet users age 15-25. It can be an extremely effective marketing tool for your business if you plan to utilize video in your marketing strategy.

Amplified Icon Pinterest

Pinterest’s main audience is largely dominated by women and, according to Pinterest, moms especially. It’s largely used for shopping, with 84% of weekly users using Pinterest to help decide products to buy. Generally speaking, Pinterest is best used for businesses with products to sell and promote, or as a source of inspiration for projects like home remodels and redesigns, crafting, and more.

Amplified Icon Snapchat

Snapchat is especially popular amongst teenagers using the app to stay in touch with friends and family or for entertainment. Snapchat is an especially useful tool for reaching younger audiences because 82% of all users are under the age of 34. With a public business profile on Snapchat, you can share content and videos to help promote your brand, products, and services and engage with customers. You can also use Snapchat to create custom filters that users can apply to their photos and videos, drawing attention to your brand and business.

Amplified Icon TikTok

TikTok is another video-sharing app used largely by younger audiences – about 50% of TikTok’s audience is under the age of 34, with 41% of users between the ages of 16-24. Videos and content shared on TikTok are, at most, 3 minutes long and have the ability to be shared with your followers as well as a larger, global audience.

The most effective social media marketing strategy will differ from business to business, and it’s wise to put a plan in place before diving into creating your accounts. If you don’t have the team, bandwidth, or tools in place to maintain a strong social presence, reach out to our team and we will be happy to help you out!