It’s no secret that every business should be on social media. Instagram reports that 90% of social media users follow at least one brand, which means that consumers are looking to social media to learn more about businesses that interest them.
A common mistake that many businesses make when joining social media is immediately signing up for every popular platform. They think they must exist everywhere to have an impactful presence, but this isn’t true. The best way to get started is choosing one or two platforms where you’re most likely to find your audience and building a strong following there.
Choosing the best social media platform for reaching your small business’s audience can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with any of them. Here are some things to consider as you decide:
- Target audience: Each social media platform has its own unique user base. The major characteristic that differentiates these audiences is age, so it’s important to consider the age group(s) you want to reach. The audiences for TikTok, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) are often younger, while Facebook and LinkedIn have an older audience base. YouTube is used across a wide range of age groups, making it helpful for reaching a more general audience.
- Available assets: On some platforms, assets like images or videos are optional, but other platforms are specifically meant for these kinds of content. If you have high-quality photos available, Instagram is a great place to use them. If you have short and entertaining or educational videos, TikTok is useful as the main source for sharing them, but you can also post them on Facebook and Instagram as reels (as long as they’re 90 seconds or shorter). TikTok’s maximum video length is 10 minutes, and YouTube is best for anything longer.
- Resources for creating content: As you’re thinking about the assets you have, consider what new content you can create. If someone on your team enjoys photography, you can gather aesthetic photos for Instagram. If someone is skilled in video editing, TikTok and YouTube offer valuable opportunities for your business. You can demonstrate your expertise on relevant industry topics by writing articles for LinkedIn. People with quick wit can even bring value to X in just 280 characters. Evaluate your team’s strengths and how you might be able to leverage them to build a strong presence on a particular platform.
- Content purpose: Think about what you want to achieve from the content you post. If you want to share a more human side of your small business with fun content that showcases its personality, platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are good places to start. Businesses that want to do this but lack visual content can share witty comments on X. LinkedIn is helpful for creating a presence that emphasizes credibility with content that shows off your business’s knowledge, current projects, and accomplishments. TikTok is also a good place to share educational content in a more engaging way. For more general company news and resources, businesses have the best chance of success on X and Facebook.
After you’ve chosen a platform or two for starting out, focus on building your strategy there. Once you’re happy with your following and engagement, bring the successful parts of that strategy to another platform that you think will benefit your small business. Your social media presence will continue to grow as you gradually learn what works for your business on each platform.