Here is the list of the most powerful social media marketing platforms for small businesses, their benefits, and their “core” purpose.
Social media marketing provides unique advantages to local and small businesses: The platform is a great way to engage with their target customers, including location audiences. However, there is a fine line between self-promotion and genuine connection with people, which many brands fail to differentiate.
Too much self-promotion on social media is one of the biggest mistakes that can hurt your business. Remember that today’s consumers have the tools to block, filter, and ignore intrusive ads.
Different Social Media Platforms for Businesses
Each platform suits a specific audience and offers unique benefits. For example, LinkedIn works well with B2B marketing, while Instagram and Facebook are great for retailers (clothing, furniture, home improvement, etc.) that want to boost their sales.
Facebook is a platform that is right for almost any business, although their paid ads are usually more expensive and require higher maintenance than other social media channels. Your best bet is to keep an active account to connect with your target audience.
Other benefits of Facebook:
- It allows you to build an email list.
- You can create private groups to interact with customers and personalize their experience with your brand.
- You can drive traffic to your website.
- While Facebook does not allow you to target the followers/fans of your competitors specifically, at least you can target people whose interests include your rivals.
- With multiple forms of engagement, you can perform full-funnel targeting.
- It offers various ad formats; you can even allow it to do your own ad placement and formats.
- The platform works great for brand awareness and advertising.
Instagram is a visual social media platform that has one of the highest engagement rates. Hence, it is excellent for advertising and user-generated content.
Other benefits of Instagram:
- The platform mainly attracts younger generations who are more likely to share user-generated content (e.g., photos and videos) than the older population.
- It is an excellent platform for story-telling.
- With Instagram, it’s easier to build fans organically compared to Facebook and other platforms that require brands to pay to grow their fans/followers.
- Instagrammers are brand-conscious, with more than half following their favorite brands just for being on the platform.
- The platform generates a lot of engagement without you having to pay for it. According to a recent survey, Instagram’s engagement is 10 times higher than Facebook, 84 times higher than Twitter, and 54 times higher than Pinterest.
- As a photo- and video-centric platform, Instagram is great for brand awareness and sales generation.
This video-sharing social media platform is ideal for brand awareness, promotions, how-tos, tutorials, and entertainment. And when it comes to sharing more in-depth information via video, YouTube still reigns supreme, beating TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Other benefits of YouTube:
- If your company uses a lot of text-based content like blogs, PDF files, and e-books, it’s ideal to back them up (or complement them) with videos, which are suitable for tutorials, product descriptions, and press releases.
- You can grow your email list with YouTube.
- Using YouTube can help improve your searchability on Google, which owns this video-sharing platform.
- You can target your audience with Google Ads for video, including people overseas.
- It drives traffic to your website.
- With YouTube, you can diversify your video marketing strategy and, in turn, improve your ROI.
LinkedIn is highly effective in B2B, business development, and hiring because of its targeting capabilities. However, it is not really designed for online shopping, e-commerce, and entertainment.
Other benefits of LinkedIn:
- You are more likely to find business partners and talents than new customers unless you specifically run B2C campaigns on LinkedIn.
- It is great for sharing content with your professional contacts.
- Its core purpose is to expand your professional network.
- LinkedIn has been recently named the most trusted social media platform by Business Insider. This means that people generally trust the content shared on it because it is created and shared by professionals.
- The platform can help you position yourself as an industry leader or a reputable online source.
While the number of Snapchat’s active users is dwarfed by Instagram’s, it provides a unique benefit: less competition.
Other benefits of Snapchat:
- According to research, it has a four times higher engagement rate compared to Instagram.
- The platform is great for brand awareness and advertising despite the fact that it encourages a more “informal” content–i.e., funny clips and spontaneous reactions.
- Snapchat allows businesses to use their own data–i.e., mobile device IDs and email addresses–to target existing audiences on its platform. Furthermore, it has geofilters that allow them to reach local audiences much easier.
Unlike most social media platforms in which churning out too much content is frowned upon, Twitter requires multiple posts (or Tweets) per day. This is the only way to cut through the “noise” and build brand awareness and constant connection with your target audience.
Other benefits of Twitter:
- It is best for public relations, brand awareness, and customer service.
- Twitter is great for driving traffic but not much for boosting sales. Hence, it should only be used as a complementary marketing tool and not a primary advertising platform.
- Twitter is an excellent complement for blogging thanks to its “Click-to-Tweet” button that allows users to share your content from their account with just a simple click. As a result, the platform is great for improving engagement and social shares.
- The platform allows you to keep up with the latest trends in your industry.
- It can drive your website traffic and boost your SEO campaign.
- Get instant feedback about your products and services.
This video-sharing platform has truly leveled the playing field when it comes to customer engagement and reach. In fact, your video can get millions of views even if you have zero followers, thanks to its differently designed algorithm.
And compared to Instagram and other social media that are visual, you can reach a broad audience at a relatively low cost with TikTok.
Other benefits of TikTok:
- If your brand relies heavily on influencers, TikTok is one of the best social media platforms out there.
- The platform comes with user-friendly video editing tools, making it easy to create professional-looking content even if you have no or little experience in using them.
- As an “informal” platform, brands can experiment with funny and silly content. By contrast, avoid being too professional or informative because it won’t sit well with viewers who mainly use the platform to seek entertainment.
- As a relatively newcomer, there is less competition on TikTok even though it has a remarkably high engagement rate, especially among Gen Z.
- Thanks to its Branded hashtag challenges, it is great for building brand awareness through user-generated content.
Regardless of which social media platforms you use, there is a universal rule that you must follow: Avoid blatant self-promotion, which puts off people who mainly use these networks to seek entertainment and information.
If you enjoy this article, you may also want to read our blog, How Is Social Media Part of My Business Branding, or call us at (916) 303-4080 to schedule a free consultation.