Instagram. Facebook. TikTok. Pinterest. The list goes on and on. The thought of managing several social media platforms while running a small business can be overwhelming. Especially when these platforms seem to be actively campaigning against small businesses.
Take Instagram for example. Back in December, Rachel Reichanbach spoke with an expert from Instagram’s Partnerships team to discuss how she could grow her account. She was kind enough to share her discussion with the world through her blog and the results were surprising for the entire marketing community.
During her call, the Instagram team member shared the exact number of posts Instagram wanted to see coming from accounts. On a weekly basis, Instagram wants to see:
- 3 feed posts
- 8 – 10 stories (preferably 2+ per day)
- 4 – 7 reels
- 1 – 3 IGTV posts
If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. These are highly unrealistic expectations from Instagram. Not to mention, all of the other social media platforms that expect you to post just as frequently.
At this point, you’re probably wondering, “How in the world can I manage all of these platforms?” The good news is you don’t have to. The key is choosing one or two social media platforms to focus your efforts on. This way you can still create quality content, share consistently, and grow your audience without burning out.
When it comes to choosing which platforms to focus on, there are a few questions you need to answer.
What does your ideal buyer/client look like?
The first step in any marketing strategy is determining a buyer persona, including their age, gender, and income levels. Hubspot has a great tool to help you with this process.
Let’s talk about a few of those characteristics.
The average age of users varies between each platform. Instagram and TikTok tend to be the go-to apps of people younger than 30 years old. Users over 30 tend to turn to apps like Facebool and LinkedIn.
Most social media platforms have a fairly equal split between male and female users. There is however, one exception: Pinterest.
Over 70% of Pinterest users are females, making it the ideal platform to target women consumers. If your business is focusing on targeting millennial women, you need to be on Pinterest.
The most recent data shows that a user’s income level plays an important role in which social media platforms they are actively using.
Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn tend to be used most by users with annual income of $75K or higher. On the other hand, we see Facebook and YouTube users tend to remain the same across all income levels.
What types of products/services are you selling?
It is very important to understand the types of products and services you are selling and which platforms they would perform best on. For example, a small plumbing company is going to take a different approach to social media than a small clothing boutique. While it’s nearly impossible to categorize all businesses into certain social media platforms, there are a few things you can keep in mind when considering which platform you should use.
Is your product or service visually appealing?
If your product or service is based around appearance or aesthetics, image-based platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest may be great options for your small business. For example, photographers, graphic designers, and clothing boutiques, all rely on people seeing their work or products in order to make a purchasing decision.
On the other hand, it may be hard to show your work a photo or video. For example, if you are a lawyer, your work may be shared better through words rather than images.
Is your product or service limited to a specific area?
If your product is limited to a geographic area, you may want to focus your efforts on social media platforms that allow you to target by location. For example, Instagram and Facebook both allow you to tag specific locations, making it easier for potential customers to find you and determine your service area.
Platforms like Pinterest and TikTok, do not have these location-based tools, making it difficult to narrow down your target.
Do you have an e-commerce store?
For e-commerce stores, the options seem pretty limitless. Since you are able to sell products online and ship nationally (or internationally), your target audience is fairly large compared to in-person local businesses. This opens a lot of doors for your business in the world of social media.
First and foremost, you’re able to sell products directly through Instagram and Facebook using their newest shop features. Depending on which e-commerce platform you’re using, you’re also able to sell products directly through Pinterest. Unfortunately, these features don’t exist on other platforms like Twitter or TikTok, which is something to take into consideration.
What kind of social media content do you feel capable of making?
Finally, it’s important to consider what type of content you feel comfortable making. If your biggest fear is being in front of a camera, YouTube and TikTok might not be the right platform for you. If you find it difficult to get your point across in a clear and concise manner (think 240 characters or less), Twitter is probably not the best place for you to market your small business.
So, which social media platform do I use?
While there is no clear cut answer on which platforms you should use to market your small business, we have created an online quiz to help you determine which social media platform might be best for your small business.
As your business grows, your digital marketing strategy should grow as well. While one or two platforms is a great place to start, you should continue to evaluate other platforms to begin expanding your strategy.
At the end of the day, you need to feel authentic and confident in the content you’re creating. You need to decide what feels right for you and your business before making a final decision.
Still not sure where to start? Book a free consultation with us today to determine the next steps for growing your small business.