Small and medium-sized businesses tend to have limited resources for social media marketing, which usually means that they cannot be active on all the social networks out there. If you are the owner or social media manager of such a business, you want to carefully distribute your available resources across a selection of social networks. To make things easier for you, we’ve made a list of the best social networks for SMBs based on their reach, popularity, and the business tools they offer. Discover them below.
Twitter is the place where many conversations relevant to your industry take place even as we speak, and where you can connect with your audience and interact with other experts in your market. Because of the brevity of tweets, Twitter doesn’t come with the same high content requirements of other social networks, though you do want to tweet several times a day and make your tweets count.
Facebook helps you engage your audience through content, as well as to spread the news about upcoming events. In terms of advertising, Facebook presents a cost-effective advertising platform that helps you send a lot of traffic to special landing pages. For best results, post something fresh on Facebook at least once every day.
Is your business a local restaurant, bar, club, outlet, or small reseller? If so, maintaining an up-to-date Yelp company page and monitoring and responding to reviews, makes your business easier to find locally and can help build trust. Yelp is especially popular among mobile users, who also use Foursquare, another local search and discovery network on which you want to maintain accurate business info.
If you’re in the fashion, food, or lifestyle business, visual content is important for you, and Instagram is definitely a social network you should be on. Remember, however, that on Instagram you have only one profile link, and that while hashtags are clickable, links in captions are not. Also, try to make the most of Instagram’s unique 15-second video format, which many small businesses still disregard.
If video content is an integral part of your content marketing strategy, YouTube should definitely be at the forefront of your social media efforts. Tutorials, how to guides, case studies, product reviews, and interviews are extremely popular on YouTube, which you can also use as a viable advertising platform. Remember to keep your YouTube videos short, preferably around 2 minutes, and to update your YouTube channel at least once a week.
Google+ helps you boost your content search ranking, as well as to interact with other businesses. Even if your first choice is Facebook, Google+ has become so well integrated with Google’s search engine that neglecting your Google+ profile may mean losing traffic and, ultimately, sales.
Ideal for businesses targeting a primarily female audience, Pinterest helps you distribute creative visual content by pinning and re-pinning posts and creating boards. Pinterest works well as a visual content aggregation platform, especially if you’re a fashion, beauty, or lifestyle company.
Another great network for visual content, SlideShare makes it easy for you to create, share, and discover presentations and infographics. SlideShare isn’t the only tool of its kind, but it’s easy to use and integrate with other social platforms.
Although LinkedIn won’t help you connect with your audience in the same way that Twitter or Facebook does, it can help you recruit new employees and establish valuable business connections in your market and beyond. LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates ad service isn’t the cheapest around, but it can bring you more exposure.
Establishing a good social presence on these social networks will significantly improve the online visibility of your business across the web. If you’re just getting started with social media marketing for a small or medium-sized business, it’s better to concentrate your efforts on these networks, where you’ll likely find most of your audience. Then, in time, as your marketing budget grows, you can expand your social presence to other networks as well.