Social media marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing today. Many consumers tend to hang out online and even do their research on brands by browsing their social media accounts.
As a business, establishing a social media presence is crucial to attracting and retaining customers. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re investing in the right channels.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- The differences between each of the best social media platforms for businesses.
- How to determine which social media platforms are right for your business.
- Best practices for effectively creating a social media strategy to grow your own business.
Related article: How We Approach Our Social Media Marketing Strategy
The 8 best social media platforms for businesses
Instagram is a hotspot for young consumers, with its biggest demographic group ranging from 18 to 34 years old. Additionally, 59% of adults in the United States use Instagram every day — often multiple times per day.
Customers today expect businesses to leverage Instagram for marketing. In addition to offering the capability to tag and sell products, the platform helps companies keep track of their competition, attract new talent, and expand their reach to new customers.
To engage your audience, you’ll want to post creative photos and short videos and try to maintain a theme. Stick to a specific color scheme, build your brand’s voice, and interact with other users on a regular basis.
Also, be sure to keep up with trends and take advantage of features such as Reels and Stories. Reels are shareable, short-form videos that last between 15 to 60 seconds. Similarly, Stories are highly interactive and keep your business at the top of consumers’ minds. Be sure you’re posting daily — especially if your feed photos aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
Related article: 9 Expert Tips for Driving Instagram Engagement
Most Americans use Facebook in some capacity. With 2.94 billion monthly active users and 1.96 billion users visiting the site each day, Facebook offers businesses incredible potential for growth. In fact, over 200 million small businesses use Facebook pages — meaning your competitors are likely on the platform already.
Businesses will find Facebook offers a wide range of features allowing for a chance to engage directly with target audiences, such as Facebook groups, Messenger, and live videos.
Creating a Facebook group relevant to your business or community invites members of your target audience to build an organic community. This allows for more intimate connections with prospective and existing customers and generates brand awareness and loyalty.
Businesses can also utilize Facebook Pages to increase brand awareness. Pages allow customers to post questions that businesses can reply to, saving time and elevating the level of customer service offered. Much like chatbots on a company website, users can turn to Facebook Messenger for questions or concerns.
Even if your target audience doesn’t use Facebook, you’ll still want to at least exist on the platform. At a minimum, you should create a page with important information (e.g. business address and contact info) to establish your presence and credibility.
Hootsuite reported that 16% of internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 use Twitter for brand research — proving the site is worthwhile for those looking to grow their business. In total, a quarter of US adults use the platform. Among their audience, 30% are women and 42% have a college education.
Twitter is a great way to spread brand awareness, especially since tweets can be retweeted to increase exposure. It’s also the perfect platform for business owners to connect with others in the industry.
You may also find Twitter to be worthwhile for establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Those who follow you genuinely want to know what you have to say or share. You can use the platform to network and promote your business for free, establish yourself as a knowledgeable resource by sharing links to your content, and start conversations with new audiences.
LinkedIn users span more than 200 countries and regions worldwide. Because of the platform’s tremendous popularity, a successful ad on LinkedIn can reach 14.6% of the world’s population over the age of 18.
Every business should have a LinkedIn account to establish its credibility and digital presence. You can use LinkedIn to share business updates, event information, job openings, and more. Optimize your company page on LinkedIn using sharable and captivating posts that provoke conversations. Verify your account is searchable by using relevant keywords, and be sure to include a link to your website on your company’s LinkedIn page. Doing so can increase your website traffic while providing visitors with the relevant contact information they need for your business.
As a professional networking platform, LinkedIn also offers the ability to establish yourself as a thought leader by sharing long-form content on company pages. The site is highly effective for networking and expanding your company’s reach, and it can even function as a recruiting platform to find top-tier talent.
Over the past couple of years, the video streaming app TikTok has become a global phenomenon, with more than one billion active users logging on each month.
Backlinko reports that 47.4% of the app’s one billion monthly users are between the ages of 10 and 29, so if your brand markets to younger audiences, TikTok is the place to be.
The app has taken the world by storm, partly due to its emphasis on creativity. For brands, this opens doors to reach audiences in a fun new way. Brands can create in-feed native content, or try their hand at brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, and branded lenses. To relate to your audience and increase your visibility, try joining in on trends by creating your own version of popular sounds or videos.
According to Ahrefs, YouTube is the second most organically visited website in the U.S. and the top organically visited site globally, with 90% of U.S. digital consumers using the platform. As video content continues to grow in popularity, businesses can benefit from the platform’s reach.
YouTube is a great place to share video content with consumers, as the demand for video content keeps growing. In fact, 54% of consumers say they want to see more video content from brands and businesses they support, according to Oberlo.
You can create native YouTube content or repackage your existing content into a video format. Write articles for your company blog? Translate it into a short informative video. Run a local bakery? Record a how-to baking video while plugging your favorite treats. The options are endless!
According to Hootsuite, Pinterest is the 14th largest social media platform, with 431 million active users monthly. More than half of this exposure is from Google image searches, so if you’re using Pinterest for your business, you’ll be able to reach both users and non-users.
Pinterest is also unique because it’s less a social site and more of a self-discovery platform. Users are generally open to new products, ideas, and information, making them a good audience to advertise to. However, most companies overlook the channel and its potential.
Any company can benefit from having a Pinterest account, as the platform offers various types of content in the form of “pins.” These pins can range from photos of outfits to quotes from articles. Regardless of the content you create or pin, be sure to use descriptive, keyword-rich copy, and include a call-to-action that encourages users to interact with your pins and click on your links.
Although Snapchat isn’t the most popular social media channel for marketing purposes, it does offer promising advertising opportunities that make it worthwhile to explore. The app reaches far and wide, with an audience of roughly 108 million people in the United States, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
Due to Snapchat’s higher advertising costs, only 22% of marketers find it to be the most important platform for their campaigns. While the high cost is a deterrent to some, it has caused less saturation on the platform for marketing. This means there is more potential to stand out and reach a wider audience when using Snapchat’s advertising features, such as sponsored lenses.
Try using Snapchat to create unique behind-the-scenes videos, share photos of your products, and link to relevant articles your customers would appreciate. However, keep in mind: Snapchat typically performs better for well-known, large businesses.
Social media strategy
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy encompasses all the processes behind a brand’s social media marketing efforts, including long-term goals and day-to-day tasks. Typically, social media strategies are broken down by each social media channel, so content types and schedules will differ by platform.
How do you create a social media strategy by platform?
While you don’t need to be present on every social media platform, you’ll want to engage your audience as much as possible on the ones you do use. It’s much better to give a few social media platforms your full attention than to run multiple accounts on every platform and allocate limited resources to them.
To create a social media strategy by platform, first ask yourself why you’re prioritizing a particular channel. For instance, if you’re using Instagram, understand who you will reach and the types of content you will publish. These questions will help you develop a strategy that’s specific to both your business and the social site you’re using.
Social media strategy best practices
A content strategy is not going to be one-size-fits-all. However, while each social media platform has unique quirks and features that necessitate a tailored strategy, there are certain best practices that apply to all platforms. Here’s how to create a strategy for the best social media platforms for businesses.
- Engage directly with users. Users often turn to the comment section to ask questions or get more information about services or products. Be sure to respond to messages to increase engagement while simultaneously building a positive relationship with followers and potential new customers.
- Invest in paid advertising. Regardless of the social media platform you use, be sure to utilize its advertising features. For Twitter, try using promoted tweets, accounts, and trends to ensure your content reaches the proper audience. TikTok and Snapchat ads serve a similar purpose, enabling you to promote engaging content to a wider audience.
- Share UGC (user-generated content). Sometimes, happy customers will share about their purchases and tag your brand. This user-generated content is a great way to promote your business while showing gratitude to your customers and humanizing your brand. Repost their content on your story or use it in your feed as social proof.
- Publish timely, topical content. When a brand publishes content that isn’t timely or relevant, it can de-incentivize customers from visiting your social media pages. Creating and repurposing content that is relevant to your business and industry establishes credibility and proves your company is a reputable source that customers can turn to.
- Repurpose your content for multiple platforms. While each platform has its own set of requirements, content can be used across different platforms to increase a brand’s reach. For example, a brand can create a highly-engaging video for YouTube and then crosspost that video to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Although there are many different social media platforms to keep track of, business owners should work smarter, not harder, to ensure they aren’t overwhelmed. With strong content as your foundation, you can easily repurpose it for distribution across various social media platforms.
If you’re not sure where to begin, our team can help you build that strong foundation. Lightning Media Partners creates high-impact content designed to elevate your brand’s voice across digital channels. To expand your marketing efforts and learn how we can help you grow your business, schedule a complimentary discovery call today.
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