As a small business owner, social media can be a great way to interact with your customers, while also bringing new people into your world.
More than 3 billion people are active on social media, which means that your target audience is guaranteed to be hanging out online somewhere. It’s your job to find them.
Not only that, but 54% of consumers use social media to research products before they make a purchasing decision.
Below you’ll learn how social media beats traditional marketing, what are the six types of social media you’ll need to be aware of, and finally, we’ll break down the most popular social media channels, so you can make the right decision for your business.
Traditional marketing and social media marketing both have the same goals in mind. Businesses want to connect with customers, create brand awareness, and make more sales.
But social media marketing is way more beneficial to your business than traditional marketing.
Traditional marketing has limited opportunities to interact with the users, but with digital marketing, consumers can directly engage with the brands and businesses they love. Social media is the marketing platform where people can communicate with companies via comments, messages, and more.
Traditional marketing advertises through TV, billboards, newspaper, and magazines. On the other hand, social media marketing is an online marketing method that costs less and focuses on achieving positive results through a variety of different social media channels.
Social media marketing has a much greater ROI than traditional marketing. Social media marketing is a faster and more economical way to promote your brand or business. With tools like Google Analytics, you can measure conversion rates and the ROI of your social media marketing campaign.
Social media can help you get your brand out in front of the eyes of millions of people faster than the traditional media. With 50% of the world population using social media platforms, it is a perfect place to reach existing and prospective customers.
Word-of-mouth referrals can come from your audience tagging your posts and sharing with them. This can end up becoming a great source of new leads for your business.
Social media can also create awareness by showing how your business works, telling your brand story, promoting new products, announcing deals and promotions, and much more.
Social media lets you interact directly with the customers.
By reading and replying to your comments, businesses can engage with their customers more intimately. This can lead to an improved buying experience and better customer service.
Engaging with your audience in this manner helps create trust for your brand. It also shows your customers and future customers you care about them by acknowledging their comments.
Social media posts paid ads, and influencer shout-outs are a great way to increase traffic to your website.
While offering solutions and replying to questions regarding your industry increases your presence on the internet and attracts more people.
The use of hashtags (ie. #boosttraffic) can also help your posts show up in social media searches.
By using social media advertising, businesses can collect very targeted, high-quality leads.
Tools like analytics, opt-in boxes, sales pages, and email sales funnels, can help find potential customers, engage them, and send them on to your products and services.
You never know which of your posts could go viral. Going viral isn’t an everyday occurrence. When this lucky outcome happens online, millions of shares can happen in a matter of seconds.
For example, Nusret Gökçe Turkish chef mostly known as Salt Bae went viral in 2017. On his restaurant’s Instagram account a video got 10 million views. Since then he has opened several new branches in major cities all over the world.
By using analytics and insight tools, businesses can monitor their engagement on social media, understand their customer’s buying behaviors, know where their prospects are coming from, and a lot more. Analytics can help you refine your marketing strategy over time and better serve your customers.
There are 6 types of social media that you’ll want to be aware of. Not all of these will apply to your business, but they’re worth being aware of.
Here are the 6 types of social media.
These include sites that are primarily social in nature, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
These platforms are still social, but the core focus is on content creation, even if it’s a short form. Some common microblogging platforms include Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress.
These platforms are all about visual content, with the main focus being on photos or very short videos. Photo sharing platforms include Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Video sharing platforms are all about video. Video is one of the most engaging mediums in the world and can be a great tool for your business. Common video sharing platforms include YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Vimeo.
Social news sites are still content-driven, but most of the engagement happens in the comment section. Two great examples of this include Reddit and Quora.
Finally, we have social review sites. These are incredibly important to be active if you have a local business. This type of social media includes Yelp, Google Maps, TripAdvisor, and FourSquare.
Now that you know the answer to what are the six types of social media, let’s dive into the best social media platforms currently taking market share.
Here are the best social media platforms for small business owners, along with relevant demographic data, so you can choose the best platforms to focus your energy.
Social Media Platforms:
Facebook is the biggest social media network with over 2 billion active users worldwide. 68 percent of people in the United States use Facebook. With this huge audience, it has massive potential to help you attract new customers. Facebook also makes it easy to create a customized audience category for paid ad placement.
The demographics of Facebook are very diverse, people of all ages and genders use Facebook. However, the majority of the users are millennials, almost 88% of them use Facebook. Yet, the user base of older users is growing faster. 46% of Americans aged 65+ use Facebook, which is much higher compared to other platforms.
Facebook has a variety of options when it comes to forms of content. You can post photos, videos, and text. Small businesses can post engaging videos, photos of their business, value-added content, coupons, and more.
If you want to improve engagement, then, 2 posts a day will keep your audience engaged. You can also use Facebook Insights to see when your audience is most active and post during those times to increase engagement.
Facebook Messenger is also a vital tool in communicating with customers. You can message with customers in real-time, or you can create a chatbot to engage customers on your behalf.
YouTube combines elements of social media and being a search engine. In fact, it’s the 2nd most popular search engine right after Google. It has over 50 million content creators around the world, serving different audiences, markets, and even languages.
Video is the most engaging form of content across the web. People love video! In fact, 86% of marketers use video as a marketing tool, and YouTube is the largest video sharing platform on the internet.
For more information about videos, make sure to read the article Best Video Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses.
YouTube has 2 billion monthly logged-in users, and each user spends 11 minutes per day on the platform. 81% of 15-29-year-olds in the US use YouTube.
YouTube is primarily a video sharing platform. There are almost 500 hours of videos uploaded every minute. Videos like product reviews, how-to videos, lifestyle content and vlogs, and music videos make up most of the content that’s hosted on the site.
Your YouTube analytics will show detailed information about your viewers, like age, geographic location, gender, etc. This information can help your business get a better understanding of what your audience likes and in-turn create more engaging content.
By adding a Call-To-Action (CTA) to your video you can capitalize on your viewer traffic and send this back to your website.
For more information about video marketing, read our article Best Video Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses.
Twitter is one of the most conservational platforms and has over 320 million active users. The communication is shorter and more fast-paced, with a tweet being limited to 280 characters. Around 500 million tweets are posted every day.
Twitter is a microblogging social media platform. According to Oberlo, 63% of the user base is 35-65 years old, while 38% of the users in the United States fall between 18 and 29 years. As you can see, it caters to a very large audience.
Twitter is known for its short-form style of content. It allows users to type 140-280 characters per post. This shorter form of content is very easy to digest and allows for fast conversations. A lot of businesses post news, insights, handle support requests, and more.
Short and simple tweets perform the best on Twitter. Just make sure you are providing valuable information to the reader. If you’re not quite sure how to use Twitter, then use it as a support channel for your products and services.
LinkedIn is the most popular platform with business owners, those in the B2B space, and professionals of all types.
It has over 690 million users and was voted the most trusted platform by Business Insider. It’s the second most popular business platform for B2B companies, right after Facebook.
LinkedIn’s user base is mostly those over the age of 30, who have a career or are running some sort of business. 50% of adults with higher education in the US have a LinkedIn profile, and 57% of LinkedIn users are male and 43% are female.
On LinkedIn, users post content similar to Facebook, write long articles, share videos, and even syndicate articles. The main aim is to connect with other businesses and higher-level executives since this platform is known to attract more business decision-makers.
Companies that post content with images every week, experience 2x more engagement and higher conversion rates across the platform. A lot of business owners have also found success in posting and commenting on relevant LinkedIn groups.
Instagram is the third most popular social media platform with over 1 billion monthly active users. Even though Instagram is a part of Facebook, businesses spend 23% more on ads here, compared to Facebook.
Instagram is mainly used by the younger generation with 64% of users under the age of 34.
Instagram was initially used for posting photos, but nowadays users post images, short videos, live streams, and stories similar to Snapchat. You can even post longer-form videos on your Instagram TV (IGTV) channel.
Posting high-quality content consistently is one of the keys to success on Instagram. One to two posts per day will work perfectly fine. Adding an engaging caption, and posting relevant hashtags can help attract more attention. Most importantly, replying to comments and communicating with your audience is where you should be spending most of your time after posting.
Pinterest is the third biggest social media platform in the US. It also has an impressive global presence with 335 million users. It’s also a platform that’s built to sell as 83% of weekly users make purchasing decisions based on Pinterest content.
In the US, 28% of adults use Pinterest, with two-thirds of them being women, and according to a recent study by ComScore.
Pinterest is also incredibly popular amongst mothers and parents.
With Pinterest, you’ll be posting what are called pins. These pins include a large image with a headline, a bit of content, and a link.
It’s important to get the imaging sizing right, as 80% of Pinterest users are on the mobile. For those who have an eye for engaging images, it’s one of the best eye-catching platforms to promote your products or services.
Make the photos visually appealing and add a short informative description of what the content is about. You’ll want your content to be in alignment with what other pins in your niche look like. You can also optimize for Pinterest’s SEO to rank higher in the search results.
Snapchat is a video and photo messaging app where the message disappears after a certain time. It is also the pioneer of social media stories. There are 229 million users worldwide, mostly younger users who use Snapchat only on mobile devices.
Snapchat is the most popular social media platform among teenagers. It has almost 73% of the users aged between 13-24. 63% of the user base is female.
Snapchat allows you to post short instant video stories and photos that disappear after 24 hours. For example, you could create a short clip that shows behind the scenes at your business, or your employees at work. Or you could film a short video that shows your product being used.
You can also apply Geofilters to help generate awareness about your business locally.
Snapchat analytics tools show you the demographics of your followers, including their age, gender, and location. Using this information can help you tailor your content to make it more engaging.
If you’ve spent any time trying to grow your social media account before, then you’re well aware of how much time, effort, and energy it takes. Then, when you factor in multiple different platforms, posting content, and running marketing campaigns, it can seem impossible to get everything done.
Here are a few things you’ll need to do daily:
- Outline a content calendar
- Create and post content daily (sometimes twice a day)
- Reply to messages and comments
- Analyze your metrics and data
- and more!
If you’re short on time, then it’s a good idea to consult with a social media professional.
More Buzz Online offers a lending hand to those that don’t have the time to execute an effective social media marketing plan. We provide solutions in two ways, consulting or a done-for-you service.
Fill this form or Call Us today to get a free 30-minute consultation at (805) 870-5687.
Read the next article Best Video Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses.
Owner of More Buzz Online, LLC., an internet marketing consultant, and blogger. With 10+ years of digital marketing experience, he’s passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth.
Larry lives in Southern California and writes about internet marketing for small businesses and professionals as well as blogging like a business owner, not another writer at https://morebuzzonline.com/blog.