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How to Choose the Right Social Media Platforms For Your Small Business in 2023


Wall that says, "We like you, too." :)

As a social media marketer for small businesses, my clients ask me, "Which social media platforms should I be on?"


It may be tempting to be present on every social media platform, but this can make it difficult to deliver engaging experiences on each platform, especially for smaller businesses and solopreneurs with limited resources. It's wiser to focus on the ones most relevant to your business and target audience.


By tailoring your social media efforts to align with the unique characteristics of each platform, you can maximize your reach, engagement, and ultimately, the success of your marketing campaigns. Let's explore the key elements to consider when utilizing the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube.


Facebook


Facebook remains a powerhouse in the social media landscape, offering a diverse user base and versatile marketing opportunities.


Purpose: As a versatile platform designed for general social interactions, Facebook allows businesses to connect with a wide range of audiences.


Content: When creating content for Facebook, focus on visually appealing posts such as images and videos, accompanied by engaging written content. Consider utilizing live videos and behind-the-scenes glimpses to provide an authentic and interactive experience for your audience.


Demographics: In 2023, Facebook remains the largest social platform among consumers and marketers. Facebook has a broad user base that encompasses various age groups, genders, and interests. The majority of users fall in the 25-54 age range and is generally popular among all genders. With this broad user base, Facebook provides ample opportunities to expand your brand's reach.


Computer screen showing a Facebook page.
Facebook is a versatile social media platform that allows businesses to connect with a wide range of audiences.

Instagram


Instagram, a visually-oriented platform, provides an ideal space for businesses that can showcase their products or services through stunning visuals. Recent Instagram stats signal the platform’s shift to becoming an e-commerce hub.


Content: High-quality images and videos take center stage on Instagram, making it essential to invest in visually compelling content. Consider showcasing product demonstrations, influencer collaborations, and user-generated content (UGC) to engage your audience effectively. Utilize hashtags strategically to increase discoverability and join relevant conversations.


When it lost its status as the “hip” social network to TikTok, the platform doubled down on Reels, a short-form video format. Reels reportedly now drive the most engagement on the platform.


Demographics: With a user base primarily consisting of younger demographics, particularly those aged 18-34, Instagram is an excellent platform to tap into if your target audience aligns with these demographics. In 2023, Instagram saw a small (but notable) flip in its age demographics; the platform now has a slightly larger percentage of Gen Z users versus Millennials.


Person looking at Instagram feed.
Instagram is a visually-oriented platform that thrives on stunning imagery. It is ideal for businesses that can showcase their products or services through captivating visuals.

Twitter


Twitter is a platform in which you can post 280-character status updates, otherwise known as "tweets." Like other social media platforms, these tweets can be seen by anyone who has chosen to follow you.


Purpose: Twitter's fast-paced nature and limited character count make it a platform tailored for real-time updates, news, and quick interactions.


Content: Businesses should focus on crafting short, concise, and engaging tweets that resonate with their audience. Enhance your tweets with visual elements such as images, GIFs, and videos to stand out in the sea of text-based content. Make use of relevant hashtags to join conversations and increase the discoverability of your tweets.


Note: In April 2023, Twitter increased the limit of its tweets to 10,000 characters for Twitter Blue accounts, while also adding bold and italic formatting options (The original character limit was 140 characters which was increased to 240 in 2017 and then increased to 4,000 in February 2023). Currently, non-Twitter Blue users will continue to post tweets with just 240 characters.


Demographics: Twitter's user base is diverse, attracting individuals across different age groups and interests. It tends to attract a younger audience between the ages of 18-29, and is particularly popular among professionals, influencers, journalists, and tech-savvy individuals.


Computer screen showing twitter post and personal profile of user.
Ideal for quick updates, news, and conversations, Twitter allows businesses to join trending discussions, interact with their audience, and share bite-sized pieces of information.

LinkedIn


As a professional networking platform, LinkedIn provides a unique space for businesses operating in the B2B sector or those looking to share career-related content.


Purpose: LinkedIn provides a space for career-related content, industry insights, and professional networking. It is popular among professionals across various industries, making it an excellent platform for B2B businesses to establish credibility, expand their network, and generate leads.


Content: LinkedIn's content is focused on business-related topics and industry trends. It is an ideal platform for businesses targeting professionals and decision-makers. Tailor your LinkedIn strategy around thought leadership articles, industry insights, company updates, job postings, and professional networking. Encouraging employee advocacy can also expand your reach on the platform. Businesses can leverage LinkedIn by sharing thought leadership articles, company updates, job postings, and engaging with other professionals in their field.


Demographics: LinkedIn's user base primarily consists of professionals and working adults, making it an excellent platform to target working adults, particularly those aged 30-49.



Pinterest


Pinterest stands out as a visual discovery platform, where users seek inspiration, ideas, and project recommendations.


Purpose: Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, with users seeking inspiration and ideas.


Content: Pinterest is an ideal platform for businesses with visually appealing products or services. To make the most of Pinterest, focus on sharing high-quality images, infographics, step-by-step guides, DIY projects, and product showcases. Organizing content into themed boards helps users navigate through various topics.


Demographics: Given Pinterest's predominantly female user base and their interests in home decor, fashion, food, and DIY projects, it provides an excellent opportunity for businesses operating in these industries to connect with their target audience. While it attracts a diverse age range, it is particularly popular among millennials and Gen X. Businesses that align with these interests can effectively showcase their offerings on Pinterest.


Computer screen showing different pins on Pinterest.
While women make up a significant portion of the user base, Pinterest attracts users of various age groups, including millennials and Gen X. Businesses in these industries can utilize Pinterest to inspire and engage their target audience with visually compelling content.


TikTok


TikTok has taken the social media world by storm, capturing the attention of younger audiences with its short-form videos and creative content. Understanding TikTok's intended purpose, content preferences, and user demographics is crucial for small businesses aiming to leverage this platform effectively.


Purpose: TikTok is a platform designed for entertainment and creative expression. It encourages users to showcase their talents, share relatable moments, and engage in trends and challenges. For businesses, TikTok offers an opportunity to authentically connect with a younger audience through engaging and lighthearted content.


Content: TikTok thrives on short, attention-grabbing videos, typically ranging from 15 to 60 seconds. Successful content on TikTok often involves humor, storytelling, educational content, or visually captivating moments. When creating content for TikTok, focus on capturing attention quickly, delivering engaging and entertaining content, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges. Authenticity and creativity are key in cultivating a strong presence on TikTok. Be open to experimentation, and don't shy away from embracing the lighthearted nature of the platform. Participating in trends and challenges can help increase visibility and engagement. Experimenting with music, filters, and effects adds to the overall appeal.


Demographics: TikTok has gained immense popularity among younger demographics, especially Gen Z and Millennials. It is a platform that attracts a diverse user base, with interests spanning various categories, including fashion, beauty, lifestyle, comedy, and gaming. If your target audience aligns with these age groups and interests, TikTok presents an excellent opportunity to reach and engage with them.


Baby using a toy computer.
One video that small businesses can share on TikTok is a workspace tour. Whether you have a dedicated home office, a retail location, or work at your kitchen table, showing off your workspace helps your customers relate to you even more.

YouTube


Finally, YouTube, as a video-centric platform, provides an exceptional opportunity for small businesses to engage with audiences through dynamic and captivating content. YouTube's visual storytelling capabilities enable businesses to captivate viewers and convey their brand message effectively.


Purpose: With its immense popularity and extensive reach, YouTube has become a go-to platform for individuals seeking informative and entertaining videos.


Content: By producing high-quality and engaging videos, businesses can not only showcase their products or services but also position themselves as authorities in their respective fields. Optimize videos with titles, descriptions, and tags to increase visibility.


Through YouTube, businesses can create tutorials, share their expertise, and demonstrate how to use their products effectively. These tutorials not only offer value to viewers but also establish credibility and trust in the brand. Additionally, businesses can leverage YouTube to produce product reviews, allowing potential customers to gain insights and make informed purchasing decisions. By showcasing the features, benefits, and real-life experiences related to their offerings, businesses can effectively influence consumer perceptions and drive sales.


YouTube provides an avenue for businesses to offer behind-the-scenes glimpses into their operations, highlighting the people, processes, and stories behind their brand. This type of content humanizes the business and fosters a sense of connection and authenticity, strengthening the relationship between the brand and its audience. By providing a window into their day-to-day activities or showcasing special events, businesses can generate excitement and engagement among viewers.


Demographics: One of the greatest advantages of YouTube is its broad user base, appealing to all age groups and spanning various interests. This diverse audience presents an opportunity for businesses to connect with individuals from different demographics, ensuring their message reaches a wide spectrum of potential customers. Whether targeting millennials, Gen X, or older generations, YouTube's versatility allows businesses to tailor their content to resonate with their specific target audience.


Table with craft supplies and tools.
As a small business, leverage the power of YouTube by producing informative videos, tutorials, product reviews, vlogs, and behind-the-scenes content.

Final Thoughts

By understanding the intended purpose, content preferences, and user demographics of each social media platform, small businesses can tailor their approach and maximize their impact. Remember, these insights provide a general understanding of each platform.


Choose the platforms that best align with your goals and target audience, and craft content that resonates with their preferences. Conduct thorough research to understand your specific target audience's preferences and behavior on each platform, and adapt your content strategy accordingly. Then embrace the diverse opportunities social media presents, and leverage each platform to its full potential to drive engagement, build brand awareness, and foster meaningful connections with your audience.







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