What Social Media Networks to Use to Grow your Small Business

A common concern from small business owners trying to promote their business on social media is: “I really want to do social media for my business but there are so many different networks, Do I have to do all of them? If not, which ones are for me?”

I know, there are a lot of social networks out there and all of their functionalities are different: stories, hashtags, videos, swipe left/swipe right, filters – it’s overwhelming!

Plus, as a small business owner – you’re to-do list is never ending.  Adding social media to your list can seem like a daunting task – not to mention, creating content to feed all these networks.

So which social media network is right for your business?  When considering which social media is right for you, keep these thing in mind:

Does your business need to be on social?

I have the direct answer for this one – YES! Might not be what you want to hear, but a social media presence is an important part of your overall marketing strategy – or at least it should be in this day in age.  There’s an ugly social media myth out there that “your customers are just not on social media,” but I’m willing to bet that’s not true.  If you’re looking for growth, social media marketing needs to be somewhere on your to-do list.

Start simple

Maybe you have two social networks but aren’t keeping up with them.  Or maybe you’re not on any network and don’t know where to start.  Regardless where you are in your business growth plan, start with something simple. If you already have two networks that you have a difficult time managing – spend sometime perfecting just one, then add the second one when you’re more comfortable.

Where is your target audience?

At the end of the day, you’re trying to connect with your clients or potential clients – so do some research and see where they are.  Maybe you’re a salon targeting women and men from the ages of 18-40 – then Instagram would be a great place to showcase your business.  Or maybe you provide a service for stay-at-home moms, then Facebook might be a great start for you.  Do some research on your target and go where they go.

What does your business do?

What exactly are you selling?  A service, a product? Or maybe your skills – you might be the face of your brand? Regardless what platform you use, always keep in mind what your end goal is and what your business is trying to accomplish on social media.

Now that you have answered those questions, keep in mind that each network has it’s own purpose. So try to pick two that best fits your goals and your brand.  Or if you know that you can only handle one network right now, then pick one.

  • Facebook is really great for building groups and communities.  This is the OG of social networks – where it all began!  And it’s still very much true to it’s original intent, connecting people near and far.  So if you’re business provides some sort of service to a set of clients, a place where the conversation is just as important as the product/service – this might be a great place for you.
  • Instagram is the show and tell of the networks.  If you have a product-based company or maybe YOU are the brand of your company (such as a photographer or motivational speaker), Instagram is the perfect place to showcase your service or product by providing beautiful content and getting a little bit more in depth about your purpose within the captions.
  • LinkedIn is button-up and they mean business!  This is the more professional network and a great place for B2B to grow and connect.  Here, being a part of the conversation within LinkedIn Groups is just as important as it is within Facebook.  This is truly a networking site and perfect for entrepreneurs trying to promote themselves, their skills and their service.
  • Twitter is the chatterbox of the bunch.  If you have a lot to say at a rapid pace – then sign up for Twitter because this is the perfect place to share content AND get content.  This platform is perfect for the blogger who wants to share their posts – but be ready to post often and retweet because Twitter is all about fast moving feeds (did you know: the average Twitter post only has a shelf-life of 18 minutes!!!) and sharing other’s content.
  • SnapChat if you are a business trying to up your selfie game and AI your way to a millennial’s heart – yup, this platform is a great way to target a millennial who is fun, free and ready for a selfie.

 

So what now?

Take a look at your competitors and your ideal clients.  Where are they communicating?  Pick one of those social media platforms (or two if you can manage it) and start from there.

For the next month or two, work on perfecting that specific network and then, when you’re comfortable and feel like you have a handle on things – start another social network.