3/16/2021

Small Business Advice

Small Business Marketing: Are You Using the *Right* Social Media Platform?

How do you know which social media platform is right for your small business marketing? This article provides guidelines for 8 major platforms.

Katie Lee

Marketing Manager

Social media is no longer just for friends and family to stay connected. It’s now a place for small businesses to share their products and connect with their customers. Customers frequently use social media to follow and interact with their favorite businesses. 

Knowing which platform to focus your energy on will depend on what your goal is and what your brand is. To obtain the biggest return on your investment, you’ll need to find which platform is right for you. Choosing the right platform will result in more follows, views, page clicks - and most importantly, conversions to customers.

Instead of trying to use every platform, which can be overwhelming, pick one or two you can do well on. 

There are eight major social media platforms that can help you market your small business:

1. Instagram 

2. Facebook 

3. Twitter 

4. LinkedIn 

5. Pinterest 

6. Youtube 

7. TikTok 

8. Reddit 

Choosing the right social media platform: 

There are two areas to consider as you try to decide.

1. Know who your customers are and which platform they’re using 

Different age groups and generations use different social media platforms. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but let’s breakdown some research on the general demographic trends when it comes to using social media:

Ages 41-75 (Baby Boomers & Gen X): Are less on social media platforms but prefer platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Ages 25-40 (Millennials): Use social media to engage with brands versus passively scrolling. They are predominantly on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and more.

Ages 6-24 (Gen Z): Use social media the most and have several accounts across platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Youtube. 

2. Figure out how you want to share your product and which platform will support this style the most 

Not all social media platforms are the same. Certain platforms are better for images while others are better for videos. Some are better for short, text-based messages and others for growing your network. Figure out what type of content you want to focus on creating. This will help you choose the platform that will be able to highlight your product best. 

The right social media platform to use for your Small Business Marketing: 

Facebook 

Facebook is not new and has over 2.5 billion users. It’s safe to say a lot of people are on Facebook and you can reach a large number of customers. Images and videos, compared to content that’s more text heavy, work best on the platform.

Facebook isn’t well optimized to allow the average user to discover new products or services through unpaid methods. However, Facebook Ads Manager is a robust tool that allows you to share promotional content to your target audience. You can choose to target specific age groups, regions, and even people with certain interests. 

Facebook Pros: Large audience   Allows for customer interactions and customer support  Ability to target audience   Strong analytics on ads Cons: Need a large budget for ads  Less opportunities for organic growth via unpaid methods

Instagram 

Instagram, which was bought by Facebook in 2012, is a great platform for images and videos. The platform has about 1 billion users. There is also a shopping feature on Instagram So if you’re selling a product, users can buy straight from the app!

Instagram Pros Highly visual   Popular with younger generations  Great for mobile use  Allows for organic growth via the Explore page and Hashtags Cons Need to post often to be favored by the algorithm  Followers do not always mean engagement  Requires visually appealing content

Twitter 

Twitter allows for short, real-time, text-based content. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, success on Twitter isn’t reliant on images or videos. The text-based format makes it easy to interact with customers as well as public figures.

Twitter also allows for social listening. You can see what people have to say about your business (or similar businesses) by searching for keywords and hashtags. Seeing users’ thoughts on different topics or problems offer an opportunity for you to interact with their Tweets and show them what your business is all about!

twitter pros Easy to engage with customers and influencers   Can use Hashtags   Can use the mentions  feature to engage with customers   Social listening Cons Need to be active many times a day to keep up with trending topics and others’ Tweets  A lot of competition

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is a business-minded platform. Working professionals in their 30’s-40’s tend to use this platform and tend to have a higher earned income. Use LinkedIn to spread the word about your business or yourself as an entrepreneur while making connections with other professionals. 

linkedin pros Great for networking with other individuals in your industry or potential clients   Perfect for promoting more professional content   Helpful for recruiting Cons Not great for e-commerce products   Smaller user base than the other platforms

Pinterest 

Users use Pinterest to share and bookmark content. As a business, you would post content users would want to bookmark and is ideally relevant to your company. The goal is to drive traffic to your site by linking the exciting, visual content you’re posting.

pinterest pros Low advertising cost  Easy tools to help promote content  cons Requires visually appealing content  Hard to stand out with so many users

YouTube 

With 2 billion users, YouTube is still the dominant platform if you want to share video content. With YouTube, you’ll want to create original and engaging content that will reach your customers.

pros Great way to get users to start a conversation via the comment section  Easy to show brand personality, behind-the-scenes, and other content through different types of videos cons A lot of time to film and edit content   Users expect high-quality videos   Takes time and effort to grow, especially because algorithm favors consistent and frequent posting

TikTok 

TikTok is one of the newest successful social media platforms. It’s especially popular for younger generations. This platform is for short, fun, and creative videos. Influencers can promote your product or service here as well.

Easy to reach a younger generation   Hashtags, Sounds, and For You page algorithm makes it easy for potentially interested users to find your content organically Cons Users and algorithm prefer frequent videos that stay on top of trends   Difficult to convert users directly to website

Reddit 

Reddit is a platform where users, often anonymous, interact via threads under different topics. Users quickly form communities as they discuss just about anything - whether it be a TV show, a celebrity, or a hobby.

You should share your thoughts under topics that could be relevant to your business. However if all of your posts only contain promotional content that links back to your business, users can critique you for only trying to market your product. People can scroll through your account histories and consider you inauthentic.

Pros: - Large audience - Subgroups allow for focused targeting - Great for market research Cons: - Posting rules are very strict - Time-consuming to build a reputation 

Bottom Line: 

Social media should be part of every new or established small business’s marketing plan. Choosing the right social media is key to connect with your audience and market effectively. If you know your target audience, you’re one step closer to choosing the best platform for you. 

Your product or service should also influence which platform you promote on. Can you offer video content that highlights your product? Do you sell beautiful, handmade items that can be photographed easily? Are you trying to reach professionals to connect them with your website services?

Answering these questions and understanding the good and the bad of each platform will help you decide the best one for you! We recommend focusing on one or two for the best results.


Hatch Makes Launching Small Businesses Easier


Some of the social media platforms we mentioned today have powerful paid ad options that can help market your brand to the right audience.

We understand that not all small businesses have a budget for these tools at first. Hatch was created to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses and that’s why our team is hard at work building Hatch Business Checking, a modern business bank account with no minimum balance requirements, no NSF fees fees, 1-5% cashback rewards, and discounts on business software - all for $10/month! Click here to learn more!

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