Wondering what are the top social media platforms for SMBs?
If you're a small business, you're just getting started Social media marketingIt can be difficult knowing which platform to reach the right audience on – especially if you're a solo preneur with a lack of time!
Whether you are in e-commerce, SaaS, publishing or any other way, we share the top social media platforms for SMBs:
The Value of Social Media to Small Businesses
There is no question that social media is an absolute must for any business that wants to stay relevant and visible in today's busy online world.
From interacting with customers to increasing brand awareness and sales, the benefits for SMEs are enormous.
But where should you spend your energy?
Realistically, being present on 5 to 6 different social platforms is next to impossible – that would take way too much time and you could stretch yourself too thin for real returns.
Your time would be much better if you focused on the platforms that are getting the most traffic and results for your business.
Also, note that some social platforms are better suited for certain types of businesses.
For example, Instagram is a major destination for social commerce, while Facebook is best for building communities and Pinterest for inspiration and brand affinity.
Before you begin, sit down and define your social media marketing goals. Do you want to reach new customers? Drive traffic to your website? Increase brand engagement?
By etching your specific goals, you can not only determine which social platforms to choose, but also what content to create and what audience to target.
For example, if you're a fashion brand with a slightly younger audience, Instagram and TikTok might be your most effective platforms.
However, there are a number of considerations when choosing the platform (or platforms) that you want to invest your time and energy on.
In the following we present the most important social media platforms for SMEs:
Top social media platforms for SMEs # 1: Instagram
Instagram has become one of the most important platforms for businesses in recent years – especially for e-commerce and retail businesses.
From fully buyable feeds to a whole range of Small business support toolsThere's no denying that Instagram's job is to turn the app into a streamlined shopping experience.
But despite its e-commerce leanings, all kinds of businesses thrive on Instagram – from SaaS companies like Later to publishers like Fast company.
Just because you're not selling a physical product doesn't mean you can't build a large and engaged audience around your brand.
Remember that Instagram is primarily a visual platform that makes it a really great medium for brands to tell their stories through images and video content.
Of course, this can take a lot of time and effort. However, if you can get to the heart of the visual aspect of your brand and inspire your followers with quality photo and video content, Instagram can be an incredible channel for your SMB.
Also, keep in mind that Instagram is not a "thing," it's a vast ecosystem of various "skins" that you can use to build a larger, tighter community – this includes Instagram Stories, Feed Posts, IGTV, Instagram Roles, and more.
Creating content for each of these interfaces can be time consuming. So if you're just starting out, it's a good idea to test each one to see where you'll get the best results.
A positive note is the engagement on Instagram still very high So, compared to other social platforms, it isn't all that difficult to get a foothold with your specific audience.
The fact that influencers make up such a large part of the Instagram community means you have plenty of opportunities to work with relevant voices that generate interest in your business and your products.
What Instagram lacks a bit is the ability to provide “group forums” for followers to interact with. Of course there are many ways to stimulate conversations through comments and DMS. However, the interaction between your followers is not a focal point like it is on Facebook, where you can create Facebook groups.
In terms of audience demographics, Instagram is a little younger than Facebook, with the majority of users Teens, twenties or early thirties. However, Instagram users over 50 are on the rise as they are more comfortable with social media.
Top social media platforms for SMEs # 2: Facebook
Despite changing social media preferences, Facebook is still the largest platform with over 2.7 billion monthly active users!
While the number of official active Facebook users continues to rise compared to the previous quarter, various reports have suggested that Facebook engagement (i.e. the time people spend on the platform) is actually declining.
For example a current Pew Research study found that 42% of Facebook users had reduced their daily activities and engagement on the platform.
Despite the decline in engagement, Facebook is still an incredibly popular channel for SMBs. In fact, over 90 million small businesses use Facebook and its related products.
That's because it's so diverse.
Potential customers can use Facebook to discover new businesses, do research, get ads, and more. And if your SME has one Facebook site (it should be!) you can establish brand credibility and even take care of a customer from start to finish without ever leaving the website.
These are exactly the things that make Facebook a top social media platform for SMBs – it's robust with features.
You can use Messenger to provide customer support (and even generate leads), you can create Facebook groups to encourage community engagement from your customers and brand advocates, and you can run targeted advertising campaigns.
Facebook groups, in particular, are an extremely effective and inexpensive way to build a community, drive engagement, and improve customer relationships for your brand or business.
Basically, they enable you to own a space in which direct, two-way communication between you and your customers can take place.
And you can use this space for all kinds of things! For example, you can monitor audience sentiment, respond to questions, de-escalate issues, and gain a better understanding of the target demographic and their interests.
For example, fans of skin care companies Drunk elephant created a group called Drunk elephant skin care addicts, where its 5.3K members can share their beauty routines and discuss anything related to Drunk Elephant:
While your Facebook page is like an extension of your shop or blog, Facebook groups offer users the opportunity to share and communicate with like-minded people about common interests. They are therefore perfect for building communities.
Top social media platforms for SMEs # 3: Pinterest
When most people think of Pinterest, they think of crafts, home decor, and fashion trends – but it's so much more!
With so many people using Pinterest to find inspiration for their interests and hobbies, it can be an incredible channel for SMBs to showcase their products, connect with their audiences, and even run ads to raise awareness, Increase sales or increase conversions
But there is also a lot of power behind normal pins.
Unlike Instagram posts, each pin has a picture or video and a link to your store or website so you can easily drive traffic and sales.
In fact, Pinterest is driving 3.8 times more sales than other social media platforms and 89% of people Use it as inspiration on Pinterest.
Of course with 400 million monthly usersthe platform is not nearly as big as Instagram or Facebook. Before you go all-in on Pinterest, it is a good idea to spend some time researching who is using Pinterest and whether that group is what your business is targeting.
As with Instagram, Pinterest users are a little younger than Facebook – Half of all US millennials use Pinterest every month.
And according to internal data reached Pinterest 77% of all women 25-54 in the US – a population that is estimated to be almost in control 75% of discretionary spending until 2028.
Another reason why Pinterest is a top social media platform for SMBs is because it's not just a social network, it's a visual search engine.
This means your content can be discovered by almost anyone who searches on Pinterest anytime. This will make your shelf life much longer than on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and beyond.
In terms of areas of interest on Pinterest, the biggest are fashion, food, cars, interior design, and travel. So there are points of contact for a multitude of users.
And when it comes to purchasing power, a recent Pinterest survey found it to be 93% of the winners Use Pinterest to plan purchases, and 40% of the winners have a household income of over $ 100,000.
For businesses, this is a large number of users ready and willing to spend based on what they discover on Pinterest.
In other words, if your target audience is on Pinterest and you haven't used them as part of your business strategy, you may be missing out on your chance to reach potential new customers.
Top social media platforms for SMEs # 4: TikTok
While TikTok may be one of the newest social platforms on the block, it has already proven itself as a full-fledged marketing machine for SMBs.
You bet Educational videos or fun dance routines are your thing, there is a space for your brand or business to shape TikTok.
As with Instagram Stories, TikTok is a place where brands, companies, and influencers can have fun, be their authentic selves, and try something new. And there is likely an audience that is perfect for your brand.
In fact, the user demographics on TikTok has changed a lot in the past 6 months.
According to AdWeekMillennials now make up a larger proportion of the TikTok user base than ever before.
With over 24% of the platform between the ages of 25 and 34, TikTok is suddenly a much more attractive platform for brands and companies that want to reach customers with stronger purchasing power.
And while TikTok was once dominated by Gen-Zers, the 18-24 year old user group was fell by over 5%.
TikTok's rapidly growing user base has also fueled a wide variety of content on the platform, opening up new opportunities for brands to get creative in the app.
Once dominated by viral dance trends, TikTok videos now span almost every imaginable industry – from beauty tutorials and home decor hacks to fitness videos and Educational content Reporting on current events and social issues.
@thedailyshow The differences in the way Kenosha police treated Kyle Rittenhouse and Jacob Blake are stark and telling. ## foryoupage ## fyp ## blm ## blacklivesmatter ♬ original sound – thedailyshow
Plus, it's still relatively easy to go viral as a brand on TikTok. TikTok's unique algorithm This means that even accounts with zero followers can get millions of views for a new video.
With this in mind, TikTok offers a great opportunity for brands who want to increase their awareness, create innovative and engaging content, and appeal to a rapidly growing audience.
Since TikTok is still so new, it doesn't offer as many business tools as some of the other social media platforms we've discussed so far.
Yes you can Place ads on TikTok and access fairly extensive Analytics, but that's pretty much it as far as business functions go (although TikTok has one Creator platform in progress).
Whether you're looking to make sales, drive traffic to your website, or launch a new product, TikTok can produce great results for SMBs.
Top Social Media Platforms for SMEs # 5: Twitter
Unlike the other social media platforms we've highlighted so far, Twitter is less of a visual platform and more of a modern public space where many voices (including brand voices) can discuss, debate, and share their views.
So it's the perfect platform if your business is about immediacy and you want to reach followers with breaking news, announcements, important news, and other breaking news – basically it's your brand's real-time voice.
Part of Twitter's power also lies in its audience, which are very engaged, receptive, and passionate.
There are 330 million monthly active Twitter users (one step below Pinterest) and most of them are under 50 years of age (38% are between 18 and 29 years old, 26% of users are 30-49 years old).
Twitter users are too 1.6x Non-Twitter users are more likely to use social media to search for and buy products. Hence, it's a great network to reach out to potential customers.
Not to mention, you can run targeted advertising campaigns on Twitter based on a number of parameters including interests, demographics, operating system, brands they follow, and a host of other variables.
Since Twitter is largely a text-based platform, it's much less time-consuming than platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
You can easily compose a 280 character tweet and send it to your community.
The difficult part of this, of course, is that you have a consistent and engaging brand voice!
And that's it! Social media marketing is no longer good to have – it should be an integral part of your SMB's strategy.
Which social media platforms do you use? Let us know your favorites in the comments!
Are you ready to take your social media marketing to the next level? Later makes it easy for you to plan, manage and schedule your Instagram posts!
Benjamin is a content marketing strategist at Later and recently performed a transplant from Toronto. You can follow his everyday life on Instagram @benjaminchacs.