I thought I would go back to a pure tech / social media topic for this post. Many small businesses struggle trying to decide which social media platforms they should be on for optimal outreach. Is it one, two or more platforms to reach potential customers. I came across this information on INC.com and thought I would share (note – it is written towards startups but know it can also be used for small businesses as they decide on social media outreach):
Choose your social media platforms.
Depending on your strategy, approach, and goals, you should be able to determine which social media platforms are right for your startup. Currently, there are five major social media platforms potentially of value to startups like yours:
- Facebook. By far the largest social media platform on the internet, Facebook boasts more than 700 million active monthly users. If you’re looking to reach the masses, this is the best place to start. It’s also the most credible platform. Any healthy and established business has a Facebook page, and a lack of one is a warning sign to potential customers.
- Twitter. Research shows that 68 percent of Twitter users are more likely to make a purchase from the brands they follow. If content distribution and one-on-one customer engagement is important to you, Twitter should be a key part of your social media strategy.
- LinkedIn. For B2B startups and companies looking to find business partners, LinkedIn is extremely valuable. It’s a more professional Facebook and serves the purpose of facilitating global networking.
- YouTube. If brand awareness is your primary goal, YouTube can be your best friend. This platform gives you the opportunity to distribute engaging videos to millions of eager users. By investing in high-quality videos that are intriguing and engaging, you can begin to facilitate conversation and effectively cross-market your brand by sharing content on other platforms.
- Google. While a late addition to the social media game, Google has quickly established itself as the second largest network with more than 350 million active monthly users. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea for businesses to support anything that Google does or encourages.
- Pinterest. Finally, Pinterest is of supreme value for many businesses. It’s the fastest growing social media platform and is particularly conducive to startups with physical products.
Now while I agree with most everything written above, I was more than a little surprised that Instagram was left off this list. Instagram is and has remained one of the most downloaded apps in iTunes. The younger generation uses this social media platform extensively. It is an excellent tool for brand or product promotion and really should be considered when looking into expanding outreach for your small business.
If I had to rank the most important social media channels for small businesses, it would be the following:
Note – This is a very generic ranking and not business line specific. Each business should evaluate the advantages of each platform and choose the social media channels that fits best for optimal outreach.
Choosing what platforms you should be on is the first step…next is using the social media platforms correctly. If not used correctly, social media can be a waste of your time. If you need assistance, ScottE Software offers social media consulting and social media management services. Just contact us for more information.