As a small business owner, you might be wondering how many social media sites there are and which ones should my business be on? That's exactly what we're going to cover today. With so many social media platforms to choose from, which is the best for your business? Should you be on all of them, or just one? Let's explore answers to these questions below.
There are actually quite a few social media sites out there today, but which ones are the most popular? And which ones have the kind of end-user you're looking for?
According to the Pew Research Center, these are the percentages of U.S. adults who use the following social media sites on their devices (gathered from 2018 and 2019 surveys):
Given these statistics, you may think you should absolutely be on YouTube, and Reddit might be a waste of time. However, each social media site has its advantages and disadvantages and a different set of users with varying age groups, income levels, and unique interests. The key is finding which social media sites your business should be on, and on which to invest the majority of your efforts.
Which Social Media Sites Does My Business Need to Be On?
As a small business owner, you only have so much time and money to invest in social media engagement and advertising. So which social media sites does your business need to be on? Honestly, it all depends on the type of business you own and what demographic you are marketing to. Some business owners decide to dabble in each of the most popular platforms and slowly find which one to focus most of their attention on. Others choose one or two that seem to fit their business best and really put their all into engaging their end-users on these sites. Whatever you choose, it's important to think it through, just like when you make a business plan.
Let's explore the biggest social media platforms being used today with a description of each.
YouTube has over two billion monthly users, as found by BusinessofApps. It is mainly a video sharing and live streaming platform where comments make up the majority of interaction with viewers. Since more and more people are watching videos and vlogs, rather than reading as many blogs and content pages, businesses can use YouTube to create how-to videos and share helpful content related to their product or service. YouTube videos can be shared through a link on other social media sites, in blogs, and added to users liked or favorite videos. In addition, viewers can subscribe and choose to receive notifications when new video content is posted. YouTube reaches a wide audience from 91% of 18 to 29-year-olds to 68% of those aged 50 to 64, according to recent research by Pew.
According to Statistica, Facebook had over 2.6 billion users in the first part of 2020. This platform allows you to create a personal page as well as a business page, and you also have the option of creating public or private groups. You can post pictures, messages, videos, and record Facebook live streams. If people like something they may share it on their own Facebook page or with specific people. Business owners can also promote posts and advertise on Facebook. Facebook reaches a variety of ages, and use is greatly increasing with those aged 55 and up, as Keap has outlined. And most users log in at least once a day.
Twitter appears to be quite popular for businesses focused on sports, politics, entertainment, or marketing as shown by Search Engine Journal. A tweet can only be 280 characters long, although this is double what it used to be. Twitter is best used for clever, informative, and short downloads of information. People can comment on tweets, as well as "retweet" them on their own account. Twitter typically reaches a younger audience through age 29.
Users of LinkedIn mean business, literally. At least 50% of LinkedIn users have a bachelor's degree or higher and 45% make more than $75,000 per year according to Pew. LinkedIn is the place to connect with other professionals, find people to work for you, or find others who can help your business succeed. You can create a profile and share your professional background and resume online. LinkedIn users interact through groups, offline events, articles, photos, and videos.
The highest number of users of Instagram are between the ages of 18 and 29 and are more likely to be urban than rural, again from Pew. Instagram is best used for sharing eye-catching photos and short videos. It is better suited for businesses who sell a product or who's focus is on influencing and coaching others to change such as in the health and fitness industry. Instagram now has shoppable posts that have really benefited product-based businesses.
Snapchat, like Instagram, draws a younger audience, mostly teenagers and young adults. It can be very effective when users share videos or photos of themselves using your products. Snapchat users also like behind-the-scenes videos and exclusive offers.
Pinterest is a decidedly female visual app with 81% of users being female, while 40% are male, as found by Search Engine Journal. Like LinkedIn users, Pinterest followers typically make more than $75,000/year. Pinterest is used for sharing websites that have great recipes, DIY projects, interior decorating tips, and fashion, hairstyles, and wedding information. Users can pin a photo from a site to their boards and other users can find these and pin them to their own boards. Boards can be public or private.
Reddit is a social media site where users can create communities around common interests and beliefs. It is not a place to advertise but to share information and allow people to learn from you and the comments of others. Reddit takes a lot of interaction, so thinking of posting a question or subject and letting others do the engaging for you is a false idea.
Clearly it's important to have a presence on at least one social media site, and sometimes it pays to invest time on several. It all depends on who your market is and where they are spending their time. If they're more into videos and live streaming, YouTube would be a good choice. If your business lends well to eye-catching photos and has to do with the fitness and health industry, Instagram may be the way to go. And if your end-user is mainly female and has a higher income level, Pinterest may be your jam.
One thing to keep in mind is that we usually can't do everything well, so pick one or two platforms that you can really excel at and that meets the needs of your end-user and go with it.
At BizIQ we know that navigating content marketing and social media sites can be an overwhelming process. We specialize in providing online marketing solutions for every small business, with no long-term contracts.
We want to help you create an online presence that is easy for your customers to navigate and engage with. Give us a call at our Phoenix, AZ office at (888) 416-9800, or contact us today to see how we can help you.