Twenty years ago, marketing for a business was expensive and hard to execute. Business owners often had to go door to door to connect with new customers or make cold calls to build their brand awareness. Today, that’s no longer the case thanks to the internet and, of course, social media.
By the middle of 2022, more than 4.7 billion people around the world were active on social media. And with more than half of the global population spending time on different socials, it has become pretty obvious that using social media platforms to drive marketing and sales is an absolute must. But which social media platforms are the best for driving business?
With so many different platforms at our disposal, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth your time and money.
To help you narrow down your options, we’ve put together this guide on everything you need to know about using social media platforms to grow your business, including the top seven platforms you should be using to reach your goals.
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The Benefits of Using Social Media for Business
Social media is no longer just a trend. It is now deeply embedded in our everyday lives with many users logging on daily to connect with friends, pass the time, or even just out of habit. And as people scroll through their social media feeds, many of them have become increasingly accustomed to engaging with businesses throughout that process.
A whopping 82% of consumers have either purchased, researched, or considered purchasing a product or service after seeing someone they know post about it, according to Business Wire. Consequently, social media should be viewed as an absolutely essential part of any business’s marketing strategy.
Not only does social media serve as one of the cheapest forms of marketing available today for large and small businesses, but it also offers a variety of other advantages that all work together to help increase a business’s ROI.
Some of the main benefits of using social media platforms as a part of your business’s marketing strategy include:
- Building Brand Awareness
- Further Connecting with Current Customers
- Reaching New Customers
- Increasing Traffic to Your Site & Boosting SEO
- Developing a Robust Mailing List
- Collecting Important Analytics & Insights
- Increasing Sales
Because of these positive impacts, it’s widely accepted that social media platforms are good for business. However, it’s important to understand that every platform has a unique function, promotes different content, and reaches varied audiences.
The best social media marketing strategies for businesses will take into account the pros and cons of each platform and how to use different platforms to reach a specific consumer base.
To help you discover which platform is best for you and your business, here is the rundown on the top 7 social media platforms at your disposal.
At the top of our list, Facebook has roughly 2.93 billion active monthly users as of earlier this year, making it the most popular social media network in the world and a great platform for businesses.
Facebook works so well for businesses because it has a robust (arguably the best) advertising program with the ability to target specific users. You can target based on age, gender, relationship status, general interests, and even a person’s purchasing patterns. This can help businesses easily reach new customers, build an email list, and increase sales.
Facebook also offers a unique space for businesses to engage with current customers or clients. Businesses frequently have pages where they can actively communicate with consumers regarding different questions and concerns.
Even with its decline in popularity in recent years, Facebook is still recommended for businesses because of its ad program and because it has an extremely diverse audience reach.
That said, it may not be the best social media platform for your business if you are only trying to target a younger audience (under 30). It is also not the most ideal social media platform for small businesses that don’t have a large budget for advertising. Paying for ads on Facebook is expensive, so many small business owners feel like they’re wasting money with Facebook advertising.
Budgets aside, you don’t have to pay for ads to have an active business page on Facebook! You can still connect with users and grow your audience through organic social media posts— natural posts that are not paid for—making Facebook an extremely beneficial social media platform for most businesses.
Next up, we have Instagram, which can sort of be viewed as Facebook’s distant cousin since Mark Zuckerberg made the decision to purchase Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. According to Forbes, there are 1.4 billion users on Instagram every month, making it the fourth most popular social media platform in the world. Roughly 500 million of these users are looking at Instagram Stories on a daily basis.
Due to its widespread popularity, Instagram is a great social media platform for businesses that should not be ignored.
It is a highly visual platform where photos and videos (also referred to as Reels) are the primary medium for businesses and personal accounts. This makes Instagram a great social media option for small and large businesses that want to show off their products or services in an artistic, visual manner or for businesses that excel at producing quick content.
As of 2022, the majority of Instagram’s users are from the Millennial and Gen Z generations. This means Instagram is a must for your business if you are trying to target younger audiences between the ages of 16-34. If your target audience is older, it might be better to invest more time into Facebook or other social media platforms that cater to an older crowd.
Besides running ads and maintaining your businesses Instagram presence, influencer marketing on the platform is also a great, cost-effective option. It helps increase brand awareness and reach while simultaneously building trust with your core audience.
Importantly, because of Instagram’s connection to Facebook, it also has robust targeted ad capabilities—a perk for companies with lots of money to spend on ads.
Another benefit to Instagram is that it is an excellent social media platform for businesses that do not have a large advertising budget because there is ample opportunity for organic marketing and growth if you are willing to put in the effort.
TikTok is the new kid on the block in the world of social media. It started as Musical.ly which was geared towards attracting a Gen Z audience. However, since the rebrand, TikTok has hooked users from every demographic. The app is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance Ltd, and while the company has dealt with some scrutiny due to its Chinese ownership, it is still thriving with over 1 billion active users.
The medium TikTok uses to capture attention is, for now, strictly videos. It was recently announced that there will be a photo mode added to the platform. Even with the addition of the photo mode, the platform will still rely heavily on video content, which means that if your business does not have the means or expertise to film and edit video content for social media, this may not be the platform for you.
The primary function of TikTok is to entertain with video content tailored to user interests, which sets it apart from other platforms where users may primarily seek to connect with friends, family, or businesses.
Because of its unique function, the platform has seen a lot of success over the past few years. It has even negatively impacted the growth of Facebook and Instagram, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Meta responded to this lull by introducing Reels—short videos similar to TikToks—to its platforms. But this change was met with backlash from users who prefer to see content from people or businesses they choose to follow rather than random content pushed forward through the new algorithm.
Another important distinction that sets TikTok apart from other platforms is that it’s not the best place to post traditional social media advertisements. In order for brands to be successful on TikTok, they have to know how to promote their products or services in a more subtle manner that has entertainment value. And more often than not, businesses do this with the help of creators or influences.
In short, Tiktok can be a very effective marketing tool for businesses who are up-to-date on the latest trends and know how to be more conversational with their marketing on social media platforms.
If you own a small business, chances are, Pinterest is a social media platform you can benefit from. With 433 million active monthly users as of July 2022, it is ranked as the 15th most popular social media platform in the world.
Even though it’s in 15th place, it’s still a good online space for businesses because users on Pinterest are oftentimes searching for ideas and already planning to spend money based on what they find—or pin—while they are on the platform.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual. It is particularly well suited for creative and niche businesses looking to sell products. Some of the top searches on Pinterest include food recipes, home decor, outfit ideas, wedding planning, and travel inspiration.
This social media platform is well-suited for businesses hoping to target a female audience, as more than half of its users are women.
Businesses on Pinterest can also benefit from paid advertisements. They may not be as advanced as the ad program Meta has to offer, but it’s cheaper to use advertisements, and you can track online conversions through your Pinterest ads.
Another benefit of this social media platform is that businesses can internally research keywords on the platform and study search trends in order to better target new customers with their content.
LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms in that it is mainly a space for professionals to engage about business matters This platform was actually one of the first social media networks to really take off back in the early 2000s.
Today, it has over 300 million active monthly users. The platform has revolutionized how people find jobs and how businesses find new employees.
But businesses can use LinkedIn for more than just finding new staff. They can also use the social media platform to position themselves as industry leaders and promote their business by sharing content.
Additionally, if your business uses a B2B model or seeks out consumers based on their careers, this can be a beneficial social media platform for your business.
Twitter is another older social media company that came to be in the early 2000s. On this platform, users are able to share photos, videos, and text that is limited to 280 characters.
Twitter functions as a beneficial social media platform for businesses if you are looking to provide short updates to customers, share links to your business’s site, or develop your brand voice online.
Through the use of hashtags on Twitter, businesses can easily reach new clients who may be looking for a specific product or service. That said, it is not easy to target advertisements on Twitter, so positive results for businesses can seem random.
What makes this platform so unique is that people are oftentimes tweeting in real time about major events, trends, or strong opinions. The fast-paced nature of this social media platform makes it a powerful tool for journalists, celebrities, and even businesses that are willing to invest in tweeting at least 1-5 times a day (up to 50 times). Keeping up a consistent pace of interaction can be difficult for businesses that don’t know where to start or don’t have the bandwidth. Keeping that in mind, as well as the type of business you run, are crucial factors to consider before starting a business Twitter account.
Many small and large businesses use this social media platform as a customer service tool through which they directly interact with customers regarding new announcements, questions, and concerns.
Last but not least, YouTube is a Google-owned social media platform where businesses can share informative or entertaining video content for users. In order for your business to succeed on YouTube, you will have to be willing to put in the time and effort to create engaging videos.
The cool thing about YouTube is, because of its ties to Google, you can use videos as a way to boost your business’s SEO value. To do this, you will have to make sure you optimize the titles and descriptions of your videos. Importantly, YouTube also has access to Google’s advertising platform.
Build A Successful Social Media Campaign Today
Whether you’re looking to use social media to reach a wider audience, to become a leader in your industry, or to increase your revenue, there is no doubt marketing on different social media platforms can help your business reach its goals.
Remember the most successful social media campaigns for a business will strategically use different platforms for different reasons because every platform has a unique purpose, a different user base, and varied advertising capabilities.
Some of the initial steps you should take when building your business’s social media marketing campaign include defining your social media goals, determining what channels your audience uses and examining the kinds of content your business is able to feasibly create.
If you are still unsure about how to develop a successful social media marketing campaign, Coalition Technologies can help you create an effective strategy for your business. Our experts can address all of your needs from content creation to audience growth strategies to paid advertising and more.
Additionally, our team offers web design services and scientifically tested SEO services that are guaranteed to help increase web traffic to your site.