The Evolution of Social Media Platforms
Back in the days, social media used to be much more about interacting with friends and staying in contact with loved ones. However, as from the early 2000s when internet marketing started gaining popularity, most companies and individual marketers saw this as a real opportunity and started branding themselves using social media.
Fast Forward 2020, it is now a common thing for any small business, medium or large business to have social media profiles across major social media platforms.
Did you know? Over 90% of Millennials use social media! That’s quite impressive and could be a gold mine for any serious online
or off-line business.
That said, it’s quite staggering to notice that most small businesses still haven’t realized how powerful social media platforms can be and how they can use it to increase sales and leads.
Make sure you read the article to the end, as I’ll be giving you a bonus (the best tool used by 6 figure earners to dominate social media and increase leads and sales).
Some Key Statistics
The Importance of Using Social Media Platforms for Your Business
Social media sites are very important for every business and this can’t be emphasized enough. From increased visibility to branding the benefits are endless. Below are 5 key benefits of establishing a social media presence for your small business:
- Greater brand awareness and online reputation
- Enables interaction with other businesses
- Allow you to serve clients more efficiently
- Increases traffic to your website, product or service
- Cuts down overall marketing and media costs
3 Step Guide for Choosing a Social Media Platform for a small business
Am sure now and then, you hear about how some small businesses are making a killing on all these platforms and this might tempt you to go all over and start creating accounts on all social media sites you come across and this is a wrong approach and I’ll recommend you avoid doing this. That said, which social media platforms should a small business focus on? You may ask and here are my top guides:
1. Know your customer base
If you own an e-commerce website, for instance, it’s obvious that Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube will work best for you, whereas if you are a freelance consultant, you may want to consider optimizing your LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube profiles.
The bottom line here is to focus your attention more on social media sites where your target audience is present.
2. Define your goal
Once you must have identified your customer base, you should proceed with setting up a SMART goal.
Don’t be shy to attach numbers to your goals. If your goal is to get more visits to your physical business location (let’s say 100 visits per month), then you may want to consider Facebook whereas, if for instance, you are a photographer, Pinterest and Instagram might be better.
The good thing about running an online internet business is the fact that you can join almost all these major platforms as there isn’t any standard to follow compared to other businesses.
3. Pick the best platform and grow your customer base
Now that you know your customer base and have your goals set, it’s just left for you to pick the best of the shortlisted platforms and focus on it for a start. If you are a beginner with little or no funds my top advice is to join niche related groups and add as much value as you can, with lots of great contributions, as this will build trust and after some time, you will see your organic traffic grow naturally.
For those with a more significant budget, you can go for paid ads. Most of these social media platforms will allow you to do targeted ads this way you will have followers interested in what you have to offer.
My 4 Best Recommended Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses in 2020
Nowadays, there are so many social media platforms out there, but hands down Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram/Pinterest and YouTube are my top picks.
Now a lot of you will ask yourselves why I didn’t include Twitter but keep read to know more, plus, from experience Twitter is no longer very performant when it comes to small business and they have too many restrictions.
Facebook has two billion active monthly users and to put this into perspective if it were a country, it would be the largest country in the world. At this point, it is the easiest platform to advertise on with laser-focused psychographic, demographic and geographic targeting options. In other words, if you want to show your business to people that live within 1 to 10 miles of your business that earn over $100,000 a year and like Italian food, you could do this with Facebook targeted ads.
You can drive very good traffic to your website, page, product or service using Facebook and best of all is, you don’t need to pay for the ads. All you need to do is provide great value consistently, invite your friends to like and share your page and join Facebook groups.
If you are a digital marketing agency or even a solo small business, I’m going to highly recommend LinkedIn because if you do b2b sales or your clients are business professionals this is a must but even if you’re not doing those things if you’re not doing b2b or your clients are not business professionals you want to make sure you’re on LinkedIn because when you log into LinkedIn it’s like you’re walking into a business networking group.
One out of three professionals on the planet is on LinkedIn. It has between 100 – 200 million monthly active users but here’s the thing, the average user has over 240 business connections.
If your first-degree connections don’t do business with you, well that doesn’t mean that they can’t introduce you to one of their connections that will end up doing business with you and there’s one degree of separation from you and over 35,000 business connections on LinkedIn so if you know what you’re doing you can get leads from the LinkedIn platform starting right away.
Instagram and Snapchat both fulfill almost similar objectives, as they are more suitable for businesses with are focused on visuals. If your target market is under the age of 30, then you want to be on Instagram and snapchat.
More so for Instagram and reason being that it has over 800 million monthly active users compared to snapchat which has about 200 million monthly active users, so you have four times the people on Instagram. Instagram essentially has the same features as snapchat has so if you can be on both I say be on both but Instagram is more important right now than snapchat.
One thing with Instagram is, it’s very popular right now and it’s owned by Facebook, so you can use the Facebook targeting options within their platform and put your business in front of people using those advanced targeting options
YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world with over one and a half billion monthly users and the second largest search engine behind Google. Google favors YouTube videos because guess who owns YouTube? Google! So, you can be found on the first page of Google for specific phrases if your videos are comprehensive enough.
First off, you have to ask yourself if you are in business for the short term or the long term. Unless you’re only going to be around for a short while, you want to make sure you’re making videos and you’re uploading them on YouTube.
Secondly, what you need to ask yourself is if your competition is doing videos and if the answer to that question is yes then you have to do videos so you don’t get left behind and left in the dust, however, if the answer to that question is no, then you must do videos to get way ahead of them.
So, there you have it, the 4 best social media platforms for small businesses in 2020. Readers are also interested in our article on the 17 best legit ways to make money online, so be sure to also check it if you are a beginner in the online internet marketing arena.
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