Running a small business, we have to a hundred of the task to do and admit that doing social media will easily get overwhelmed and is complex.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, SnapChat, Pinterest and other social channels have been blowing up like mushrooms unstoppably.
In this article, we point out the pros and cons of seven of the biggest social platforms today. After that, you can find the most suitable social platforms for your small business.
Why we need social media?
Social media users pass 3.5 billion.
The number of people around the world using social media has just passed the 3.5 billion mark, less than two years after we reported that the number had reached 3 billion. The number of social media users has grown by more than a quarter of a billion over the past twelve months, with 46 per cent of the world’s total population using social media in July 2019.
The social network becomes critical to the success of any business. In fact, there are many reasons. However, we only give 4 reasons to illustrate the importance of them.
✅ Increase Brand Reputation
Customers can leave reviews and ratings on them.
If you have good reviews, other people can see that and expand it.
For negative ratings, you can respond to and solve the issues professionally to gain the reputation your company deserves.
✅ Public Relations
You can use social media to deliver company news and messages quickly to customers, prospects, and stakeholders about what the company is doing.
Your customers can interact and communicate with you comfortably. It is essential to engage and develop a bond with them.
The social network is also becoming a chief factor in calculating rankings. As a result, when you’re doing SEO, you should be thinking about social because it can bring a lot of traffic to your website.
Does Social Media Have a Direct Impact on SEO?
There’s a lot of debate about whether social media has a direct impact on SEO. Google certainly seems to pay attention to social media when delivering search results. For instance, when you’re searching Google, you’ll find that there are some results pulled directly from social media websites.
If you take a look at the results below, you’ll notice that the latest Tweets from the company ‘Wendy’s’ is shown in the search listings. Though this is a relatively simple search, it shows that Google has some interest at least in social media.
The official word from Google is that social media activity has little impact on the ranking of a website. But research does show that there’s some correlation between a web site’s popularity on social media and how well it’s ranking. The graph below is an excellent example of this.
As you can see, the websites that rank highly, tend to have the most substantial social media presence.
Now, there’s a chance that this might be a coincidence. There’s also a chance that this makes sense, if you consider that the websites with high rankings might naturally be marketing hard on all fronts.
If they’re aware of the benefits of social media, they might also recognize the benefits of SEO; hence they may pursue an SEO strategy that produces good rankings. In other words, they understand the importance of marketing and thus they have positive marketing stats on all relevant platforms.
So whether social media has a direct impact on rankings is unclear. But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that social media has an indirect effect on the way Google ranks a website.
For instance, if you have a solid SEO strategy in place, then a solid social media strategy can help take things to the next level. Google values brands, and if you a substantial social media presence, it shows Google that your website represents a brand. Following, this there’s a chance that they’ll give your site preference in the search listings, for certain kinds of terms.
Brands instill a sense of trust and this means that the people clicking on the website of a brand are likely going to have a good experience.
Google wants to provide it’s users with the best user experience possible, thus highlighting one of the reasons they tend to give brands a preference. Strong brands are not ‘fly by night’ companies and they have a lot riding on maintaining a good reputation.
Building out Your Social Media Presence
The first thing you’ll want to do is create a social media account on all the major platforms. Such platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. You don’t have to build a huge following right away on these platforms, but having this large presence can help establish your brand.
When setting up your Facebook page for your business, make sure that it is a ‘Business Page.’ When you do this, people will then be able to leave reviews related to your business. These social media reviews will then be visible in the search engine listings. Here’s an example of such a listing.
As you can see, the search listing still has a feature that includes the ratings of the business. If someone then performs a search for your business, these reviews could mean the difference between them clicking on your listing, or a competitors listing, especially since the reviews are eye-catching.
It’s also worth considering if you can set up a Google My Business account.
Though this doesn’t relate directly to social media, it can help strengthen the power of your brand.
The reason for this is that it makes it easier for people to leave reviews for your business. These reviews will also give Google some indication on the strength of your brand and the general sentiment towards your company.
There’s no official word on whether this has an impact on your business, yet there’s no reason to believe that Google would ignore a company that has a lot of positive reviews. As mentioned social media can impact SEO, because of the way it strengthens your brand. Thus anything else you can do to aid that is likely welcome.
✅ Customer Insight
By reading customers’ status, you’ll gain insights into their daily lives and consumer behaviors.
The well you understand your customers, the better content and more compelling posts you can write.
Which Social Media is for Your Business?
The biggest mistake most business owners make is to build a presence on all social media.
You’ll soon realize that you quickly run out of time and are unable to manage all of them. Obviously, you don’t simply get any results.
Now we’ll cover the pros and cons of the most popular social media network you can use. Thanks to it, you can choose which ones fit your business and save yourself a ton of time, effort and money.
Facebook by far is the most popular social media with 71% of adult Internet users.
Facebook still rules when it comes to teens
Despite Snapchat’s impressive growth, the platform still can’t claim to be the kids’ favourite. That honour doesn’t belong to Instagram or TikTok, either.
Perhaps surprisingly, it’s Facebook that boasts the largest number of global users aged 13 to 17, and if we extend the age range to include all teenagers, Facebook now has almost as many users as Snapchat and Instagram combined.
The vast majority of Facebook users around 30% are aged between 25 to 54 and interact with their accounts several times per day.
1.5 billion active Facebook users are for anyone running a small or large business to reach out to new customers.
However, it doesn’t mean that every business must create a facebook business page and spend hours on it.
Back in 2004, Facebook has failed to capture interest from the younger generation and only 9% of 15 to 24-year-olds have a Facebook account.
As a result, if your target market is a younger audience, you had a better focus on Instagram or Snapchat instead.
Because Facebook has been capitalizing on its’ popularity and very aggressive at monetizing its platform.
You will find it very difficult to be visible for free and only 3% of your overall followers will see your posts.
In other words, you have to pay for your business to be seen.
?Facebook is the ideal platform for B2C business who target a large mature audience and are willing to invest in paid campaigns.
Twitter started in 2006 and now boasts 328 million users.
The site allows users to send short text messages of 140 characters known as tweets and it is possible to share photos and videos but it is mainly character-based.
Unlike Facebook, whatever you post will be visible to all of your followers all the time.
Twitter has become the favorite social media channel for big brands to interact with clients as customer service by answering questions related to the business release latest news, marketing message and so on.
Twitter is a very busy platform with 340 million tweets published daily with about 2 hours lifespan of a tweet. That’s why you need to publish regularly.
? Twitter is probably more suited to a larger business rather than a small one or businesses with multiple locations who need to keep in touch with their customers frequently.
The platform is created in 2010, which is a visual social media platform when every post has to be led by a photograph or video owned by Facebook.
Instagram has now more than 700 million active users.
A lot of the content concentrates on the very visual driven topics such as food, travel, art or fashion.
What makes Instagram really stand out of the crowd is its unique filters, photo and video editing options.
Instagram demographic is dominated by younger audiences with 40% of them aged between 16 to 24-year-old, out of which 60% are female.
Before considering having an Instagram account, it had better ask yourself if your product or service can be attractive in a photo format.
The photo and video are foremost, so don’t publish anything you feel it is not up to the right standard.
? It will be wonderful if you relate to food, fashion, design or anything visually appealing and your target is younger audiences.
LinkedIn launched in 2003, a professional networking platform with over 400 million registered users.
LinkedIn is great for people who look to connect with people in similar industries. There are 870,000 interest groups covering every industry for you to join.
It is also a good platform to share your business expertise on specific topics by writing posts where you can share insights about your industry.
Each post will trigger an email notification to your network alerting them. You have published something new which can get shared and give your business additional visibility.
? LinkedIn is chiefly for B2B businesses. Although it doesn’t work very well for small brick and mortar businesses, it can do wonders for your business if you are in the marketing, finance or technology industry.
Pinterest is a visual platform just like Instagram, which appear in 2010, relatively new in the social media sphere.
According to Pinterest themselves, the platform now has a hundred million active users worldwide.
It is very easy to use. Each user can create a board or multiple boards and organize them thanks to categories. It means that you can easily pin related images or videos and put them in your specified boards.
Businesses can use rich pins to add specific information such as product details and location maps.
The content focuses on heavily lifestyle and the most popular categories are fashion, home-improvement, recipes, and weddings because 80% of Pinterest users are women.
To build real visibility and engagement, you should consider posting 5 pins a day.
? Pinterest is suitable for businesses whose products or services can display through high-quality imagery but direct at a female market.
Snapchat is officially available in September 2011 and has grown to a hundred million daily active users in a very short amount of time with 2.8 billion snaps every day.
Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat is a mobile messaging application and its ability to disappear content.
Users can take pictures or make videos using their phones and send their friends directly. After that, they can set a time limit for which the content can be available with a maximum length being 10 seconds.
Snapchat is very popular amongst the millennial generation with 60% of its users being under 24 years.
Hence, businesses can use Snapchat stories to gain followers and engagement. The stories are made out of several pieces of content from various users such as daily life at the workplace.
You can think of a fly-on-the-wall documentary, which can be a very powerful marketing tool.
? If millennials are your target, you obviously consider Snapchat which keeps on growing at a lightning speed.
All of us know YouTube, the largest video sharing platform today.
The first appearance of YouTube was in 2005 and in 2006 Google purchased it successfully.
YouTube is likely a search engine and social media platform and has an enormous reach with over a billion users. Thus, it is the second most famous search engine after Google.
Similar to Facebook, YouTube is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd at the video market as there is over 48 hours worth of video being published every minute on this channel. However, the power of videos has grown exponentially.
According to a study conducted by Cisco, 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2019. Consequently, you cannot miss this channel, even you are a small business.
There is still plenty of scope for any business of any size to be discovered through Youtube, specifically for small businesses. A very specific craft how-to videos are ideal to demonstrate your skills or whatever you do to answer how-to questions that are relevant to your products and services.
Moreover, you can drive not only your audience but also reach potential customers to your business content.
It is worth to learn how to optimize a video to get many views and subscribers.
? Youtube has a huge reach and still offers a lot of potential free traffic and visitors even for small businesses. However, if you are limited with time, you might want to consider external help to create videos for you.
We hope that you now have a better idea about which social media platform is the most suitable for your business.
Always be persistent because success doesn’t happen overnight, so whichever platform you choose, try to study and analyze your performance.
If you have any better social media platforms for small businesses, please share it with us by leaving a comment below.