The 5 Most Important Social Media Platforms For Your Business
With so many social media platforms available, which ones should your business use? Are they all equally important? We’ll answer a few of these questions here.
It’s important to remember that each business is unique. The platform you rely on most really does depend on your business. Are you B2B? Are you creative based? Are you news oriented? All of these will influence what works best for you.
That said, in general, here are the 5 most important social media platforms you should use – in their order of importance.
#1 – Facebook
Active Daily Users: 1.18 Billion
Facebook is the number one stop for nearly every business on social media. It’s the biggest and easiest to get in to. You simply post updates, pictures and engage with your audience to grow your influence. Almost everyone is familiar with how to use – and it crosses off most demographics on its user list.
If you’re looking to reach the most people, most often, Facebook is it. If you can only spend time on one platform, do Facebook.
Tip: Don’t just be sales oriented. Talk to your audience. Be useful. Share good content. That will go a lot further than just one big commercial.
#2 – Instagram
Active Daily Users: 150 Million (Plus all of Facebook when you cross post)
Instagram pops up second on our list for two major reasons. First, you can automatically cross post your images to Facebook. So it really is like having two platforms. Secondly, it’s the absolute easiest. You take a picture and you post it. That’s it.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram shows why. It’s a very powerful marketing tool, no matter what you’re selling.
Tip: Use hashtags to your advantage. Many people view images via hashtags, so properly tagging your posts is vital. For example, if you sell beer in Kelowna this summer, hashtag #beer #kelowna #summer at a minimum. Also, take great photos, or find someone who does. You’re more likely to gain traction.
#3 – Youtube
Active Daily Users: 1 Billion
Yes, Youtube is social media, and it’s darn important. It’s one of the most shared platforms (have you ever received a link to a Youtube video someone wanted you to see? Exactly.) This could easily be at the top of our list, except making video is a lot more difficult and time consuming. However, users are significantly more likely to engage in video than text posts.
Youtube also pumps up your SEO. Adding Youtube video to your site will increase visits and duration of visits. Having video about your product or service is also more likely to lead to a sale.
Tip: Substance is important. Don’t just point an cell phone at someone talking for a minute, put some effort into the video. Watch time will dramatically effect your results.
#4 – LinkedIn
Active Daily Users: 122 Million
LinkedIn, which is now owned by Microsoft, is very important to a lot of businesses. Not just in terms of talking to the consumer, but networking. This is very important to most businesses. You can connect with people, other than consumers, that will make your business better. From industry news, to potential employees, you need to use social media to do more than reach customers.
Most importantly, being on LinkedIn allows people to connect with YOU. It’s almost like reverse social media. People will contact you to use your product or service, message you about oportunities, or simply check out your business profile to find out more about you. It’s like a super-charged business card.
Tip: Complete your profile, and visit LinkedIn regularly. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it platform. By keeping things current and updated, you’ll find more people view your profile and connect with you.
#5 – Twitter
Active Daily Users: 136 Million
It may surprise you to see Twitter at 5th on our list. Here’s why: it’s the hardest platform to get right. You need to be consistent, constantly engaging people, tweeting relevant info (not just sales pitches), and it’s overall not a great platform for small business unless you have the time. Simply cross posting the exact same items on Facebook & Twitter is a horrible idea. You’re just wasting time. (Cross posting Instagram to twitter is a good idea though).
Tweets get old fast. The don’t stick around as long as Facebook / Instagram posts. Trending is really hard for local / small business. Twitter works best when YOU are searching people out and tweeting at them and getting involved in THEIR conversations.
We’re not saying to avoid twitter. It’s still number 5 out of 20 major social media platforms. We’re just saying if you’re a small business with limited time, you should cross off the other items on this list first. If you have a twitter savvy employee, or a dedicated social team, go ahead. There’s still value there. Just don’t make it a top priority unless you have the resources or you wont see results.
Tip: Twitter’s real magic is from engagement. Tweeting at people, looking for people that are having conversations around your niche, seeking out problems you can solve and being an active member are the areas that will help you be most successful on Twitter.
Every business is different, and that should be reflected in your social media strategy. If you’re looking for some direction or content strategy, I don’t want to toot our own horn, but we’re pretty good at it.