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Social media is essential for small businesses (and really all businesses). It connects you to your client in an intimate way that was never possible before. Rather than the business talking at the client through advertising, social media allows for a conversation between the two. It provides instantaneous communication that brings businesses into customers’ homes.

But with the seemingly regular invention of new social media platforms, how can you tell which ones are for you?

Which social platforms you use are ultimately dependent on two things: What you have time for and what you want to achieve.

Social media is worthless if you set up accounts and leave them or don’t have time to maintain them. Its only worth is derived from worthwhile, regular use.

Social media is worthless if you set up accounts and leave them or don’t have time to maintain them. Its only worth is derived from worthwhile, regular use.

Every platform is useful in a different way. The two most important social platforms for all businesses, regardless of what they do, are Facebook and Instagram. Ideally, every business would have both. Pinterest is a great way to advertise products through paid advertising. You can also get people to interact with your boards and grow your following that way, though it does take time to cultivate. TikTok is a fun new way to get people to engage with your staff and show the lighthearted side of your business. Twitter is useful for customer service for larger businesses, and more frequent communication with customers. Snapchat, like TikTok, is not so much for practical purposes, but is a convenient way to show your fun side.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

You can advertise on all of the platforms listed above, but pursuing paid advertising on each one will run up a hefty bill and isn’t necessarily even worthwhile.

Before committing to paid advertising, think about who you want to reach. What demographics are you trying to get in front of? If you’re looking to reach a younger audience (up to 30), Instagram and Snapchat are two great options. If you want to reach businesses, LinkedIn is a smart tool. YouTube reaches most people under 70, so that platform is always very useful (plus you can repurpose video on other platforms). You can check out some useful demographics for each medium here.

There are several platforms and, unless you run a big operation, it’s ill-advised to attempt to maintain a presence on all of them. Instead, determine who your target customers are and create profiles and advertising initiatives that reach those particular groups on only the platforms that apply. Let demographics research be your best friend. For example, the majority of Twitter users are male. If you want to target people who identify as female, you might want to target platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

At the end of the day, you can always stick to Facebook and Instagram until you have the time to revisit your strategy and give the demographics a good, hard look.

And, as always, if you need help, give us a shout!

Elaina Lyons is the founder/owner of Lyons Share Marketing, LLC. Get in touch with her here.
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