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Which Social Media Platform Is Right for Your Small Business’s Marketing Efforts?

Date published: May 17, 2016
Last updated: May 17, 2016

Brands have so many different content marketing channels, it can be tempting to post the same update across multiple social media platforms. But each site has its own unique culture, which means what works on Facebook may not work on Instagram or Twitter. For best results, businesses should create separate social media marketing strategies for each platform.

Determining how to interact on each platform can be tricky, however. The first step is understanding the demographics and common behaviors of users on each site. Once a business has accomplished that, it’s important to then determine the type of content to post on them, whether it’s images, videos, or text-based content. The analysis of each social media platform can help you gain an understanding for each site’s user base so that you can create an approach for each of them.


Facebook often ranks first on a business’s marketing list, since the vast majority of adults use the site. A study from Pew found that 71 percent of the adults who regularly go online use Facebook, with 93 percent of businesses turning to the site for their social media marketing efforts. However, it can be difficult to mass market using Facebook, since so many consumers only accept people they know in real life as friends. Facebook is ideal for local businesses with products or services that encourage word-of-mouth marketing. An active business page with good reviews can also help build brand awareness.


While Twitter is still popular among social media users, younger consumers are increasingly gravitating toward Instagram. Twitter has also begun to attract a heavily male user base, with 22 percent of men using the site compared to 15 percent of women. The openness of the site, when compared to Facebook, can make it easier to launch marketing campaigns, but the trick is to create content followers will find shareable. Photos and videos tend to stand out more on members’ busy newsfeeds, even if they’re merely included to draw attention to a post.


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Along with Snapchat, Instagram is one of the top social media platforms for young people. The site is entirely visual, which means that brands need to convey every message through the use of either photos or videos. This makes it ideal for product-based brands, especially those whose items connect with tweens and teens. The biggest obstacle for brands on the site is that items can’t be shared, which means only the customers who already follow you will see each of your posts. To get more followers, you may need to invite customers to find you on Instagram on your website, on other social media sites, and in store, if you have a brick-and-mortar location.


Another platform popular with kids is Snapchat, a visual-based chat app that automatically erases photos after a short period of time. The biggest challenge for brands is that the site is mostly user-to-user or user-to-group communication, with businesses and strangers shut out. However, there are ways to market your brand on Snapchat, including offering exclusive access to an event you’re chatting about or offering giveaways that encourage customers to find you within the app. Some brands have had success by partnering with influencers on the site, who then agree to share information on a product or service in exchange for a free sample.


For B2B marketing, no platform beats LinkedIn, which provides an environment for professionals to connect with others in their industries. For best results, businesses should encourage each employee to set up a profile, making it easy for potential clients to trace connections from one staff member to another. Once you have your profile set up, post high-quality content to give your connections a reason to check out your profile. If you’re constantly searching for professionals who fit within your customer base and inviting them to connect with you, you may find that LinkedIn is the most valuable social marketing platform for a business that provides products or services directly to other businesses.

Social media has become the best way to connect with customers. First, however, it’s important to know which customers are active on which platforms and create a personalized approach to communicating information accordingly. When customers feel as though a brand is active on their favorite platform, those customers are more likely to take action.


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