5 Absolute Best Social Media Sites for Small Business

There are 60+ social media platforms currently available and picking the best one for your business will depend on your industry. That best could very well be niche – like Vimeo (if you’re heavily involved with media, film, production, or similar), or maybe even Pinterest (for industries such as food prep, fashion, home decor, design, and others).

Here are the 5 Absolute Best Social Media Sites for Small Business!

That said, there are five social media platforms for business that you should always make an effort on, regardless of your industry. Those platforms are:

  • Facebook – 2.2 billion monthly active users
  • Twitter – 327 million monthly active users
  • Instagram – 800 million monthly active users
  • LinkedIn – 450 million monthly active users
  • Google+ – 110 million monthly active users

It’s important to understand that social media sites are not created equal – to get results, you will have to do a bit more than write a generic post and just share it around. Each site has its little quirks: target group differences, different types of content that work best, subtleties in writing style, and so on.

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve created this advice-packed guide that will teach you what works best on the top 5 social media platforms for business.

Facebook – 55+ Demographic & Video Content

Facebook is the oldest and the most commonly used social media site in the world. Facebook’s key selling points are its global reach and the ability to fine-tune your paid advertising.

Why Use Facebook:

  • Largest social media platform (2 billion users and counting)
  • Boost to brand awareness and engagement
  • Social signals beneficial to your SEO efforts
  • Laser-focused advertising options
  • A LOT of useful data points about your target audiences
  • Ability to provide customer care around the clock

Who Will You Find On Facebook:

  • Seniors (55+)younger demographics are slowly moving away from Facebook and adopting other platforms. Older people tend to make it their primary social channel because they are wary of trying out emerging platforms.
  • Prospects from around the world – Facebook has a massive reach, being the only social media platform that’s universally used. It’s the best social media site for small business owners who are looking to expand into foreign markets.
  • Niche interest groups – if you have a niche brand, it’s worth checking out if there are any relevant Facebook groups out there because they could be the home to hundreds, if not thousands of your potential customers.

Facebook-Friendly Content & Posting Tips:

  • Focus on video content and make use of Facebook’s live video feature. Video types you could post include how-to guides, live debates about ongoing issues, and blog post summaries (check out this guide for more tips on Facebook videos).
  • Keep your posts short – if you want to go off on a tangent, write a blog post entry and share the link on Facebook. Write a valuable sentence, but don’t reveal everything (reveal just enough so the post is enticing, but not click-baity).
  • Ask a question and participate in the discussion in a way that furthers it and brings more people in. The more the people engage, the better for the post’s visibility (and, ultimately, for your engagement rates).
  • Share relevant curated content and encourage your followers to create their own content to share with you (including videos, images, posts, or reviews).

Caption: Social-savvy marketers from the Buffer App often do live videos that get hundreds of shares because they feature industry experts giving actionable advice.

Twitter – Younger Demographic, News-Worthy Content & 1-On-1 Conversations

Twitter is now home to bombastic news bits that have the potential to go viral, as well as a more relaxed environment where brands get to show their funny side.

Why Use Twitter:

  • The best social media site for businesses that are news-intensive
  • Great for starting 1 on 1 conversations with followers
  • Using hashtags correctly can bring massive exposure
  • An opportunity to easily connect and network
  • Data-driven advertising

Who Will You Find On Twitter:

  • Specific niche-related experts – if you’re in marketing, media, or entertainment, Twitter will be the best social media platform for your business because it’s where your target audiences are.
  • Teenagers & millennials – both groups use Twitter to share scathing social commentary or funny GIFs and memes. You will want to find the funny side of your brand if you want to connect with them.

Twitter-Friendly Content & Posting Tips:

  • Industry and brand news, as well as curated bite-sized content.
  • GIFs and memes that humanize your brand and show its less-than-serious side.
  • Make every character count (280 is all you get), and make good use of hashtags (here are three of our favorite Twitter hashtag strategies).
  • Talk directly to prospects, customers, or influential accounts by tagging them in your Tweets. Other people will be more willing to participate than they would be on other platforms.
  • For Twitter, turn blog posts into visually appealing infographics or instructional (short) videos rather than sharing links.

Caption: Innocent Drinks uses their Twitter to show the other side of their brand – it’s uniqueness, humanity, and silliness – and their audience loves them for it.

Instagram – Younger Demographics, Women & Visual Content

Instagram is an aesthetically-demanding platform where, to win, you need to focus on posting hi-res images and videos that tell your brand’s story.

Why Use Instagram:

Who Will You Find On Instagram:

  • Millennials – if you’re targeting 18 – 29-year-olds, you have to be on Instagram – 59 percent of that demographic uses it daily.
  • Women – while only 28 percent of online men use Instagram, that percentage climbs to 38 when it comes to women. The only platform that the women adopt more readily is Pinterest, but Pinterest doesn’t have the same universal reach.
  • Foodies and fashion aficionados – if you’re in any of these industries, Instagram is the best social media platform for your business.

Instagram-Friendly Content & Posting Tips:

  • High-resolution product photos tend to do well on Instagram, especially if they demonstrate the use of the product (here are a few examples of brands doing excellent work on Instagram).
  • Solicit photos from your followers because they have a 5 percent higher chance of converting.
  • Have an interesting story about how a product or a service is created? Share the photos of the process on Instagram – your followers will appreciate the inclusion.
  • Share quotes that align with your brand story and values – Instagram is not a social media site where businesses need to take themselves too seriously.

instagram-content

Caption: Don’t always be selling (but do always be closing) – liven up your Instagram feed with relevant quotes that resonate with your brand and set them to custom images whenever possible.

LinkedIn – Professionals, Thought Leadership Pieces & Industry-Related Case Studies

LinkedIn is the best social media site for B2B business. It’s also the hardest one to get just right, since the target audience is both knowledgeable and strapped for time.

Why Use LinkedIn:

  • Largest online community of business professionals
  • Ideal for B2B companies looking for targeted organic reach
  • Effective and easy way to turn employees into brand ambassadors
  • LinkedIn is a great platform to look for new partners and talent

Who Will You Find On LinkedIn:

  • Businesses – in a sense, LinkedIn was built for businesses, so it’s only natural that people responsible for maintaining those accounts use the platform to search for services and products related to their industry,
  • High-profile individuals – most of the decision-makers are on LinkedIn because their jobs demand visibility. The platform offers a great way to connect with them.

LinkedIn-Friendly Content & Posting Tips:

  • Post updates, news, and collaborations – things like job openings, branch openings, and company milestones.
  • Your LinkedIn audience doesn’t have time for fluff: post genuinely interesting material, such as case studies and whitepapers.
  • Opinion pieces and profound industry insights from respected professionals get user engagement. If you’re a prominent figure in your industry (or you empoy one), make those posts a regular feature.
  • Prompt your employees and partners to take part in your LinkedIn conversations by commenting and sharing.
  • Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry and schedule a time (at least once every two weeks) to share a post and to contribute to the conversations.

Caption: Google showcases the success of their employees. In turn, they are more than willing to ‘spread the love’ by sharing Google’s LinkedIn posts.

Google+ – Specific Niches & SEO Power

Google+ was a good social media experiment but it ultimately failed, and it’s now nothing more than a ghost town. Or is it? We won’t go to great lengths about this social platform: we will just say that businesses should consider it for one reason and one reason alone: it’s ability to get your content indexed immediately, considerably boosting your SEO efforts in the process

Why Use Google+:

  • Google indexes content on the platform immediately – there is no wait time
  • Your Gmail emails display your profile in the right side corner
  • Certain demographics use it a lot (US men, engineers, developers, designers)
  • Some Google+ communities have a very large following

To learn more about the most important benefit of posting on Google+ (lightning-fast indexing), we suggest reading this post from MOZ – it’s a bit outdated but most of the information is still relevant.

google+ community

Caption: A Google+ community that’s alive and kicking, and has more than 669,000 members.

What’s The Best Social Media Site For Your Business?

Choose Social Media Platforms

One thing is certain – you won’t go wrong if you focus on these top 5 social media platforms for business. Still, depending on your industry, you might have to turn your attention to some others, as well.

That’s why our next post discusses how to create a bullet-proof social media marketing plan. If you’re interested in developing buyer personas for your business (which will help you choose the platforms to focus on), weekly posting plans, and content development, you definitely don’t want to miss this gem of a post so stay tuned!