By: Collin Riley

Are you having trouble trying to decide what social media platform to use? Wondering how you’re supposed to keep up with your platforms while also running your business? These are just a few struggles the majority of new business owners or small business owners face all the time. The key is finding what social media platform is really worth your time. Some questions to start with are: who is your ideal customer? What are your goals? Which platform fits your style? Social media is one of the most effective marketing methods that a small business can utilize, but the key is making it worth it.

What Social Media Platforms Are Out There? Where Do I Start?

Before you even think of ideas for your social platforms, you need to learn the major social media sites and their format. While there are various social media sites out there, there are essentially only six social media sites that are used by the majority of all people. The top 6 social media applications are: 

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

If you happen to have been living in a cave the past ten years, Facebook is the largest platform with over two billion monthly users and allows them to connect with friends using text, images, or videos. YouTube comes in second with just below two-billion monthly users and only allows video posts on the site. Instagram averages about one-billion users monthly and allows you to share videos as well as photos with your friends. LinkedIn is more of a professional setting social media platform. It averages five-hundred and ninety million monthly users and only allows text and photography posts. Then you have the growing platform Twitter which has three-hundred and twenty-six users allowing strictly text posts spanning only one-hundred and forty characters. And lastly Pinterest, which averages two-hundred and fifty million users and is only used for pictures and photography. More details on these applications and platforms can be found at SocialMediaToday.

What is the Nature of your Business?

To effectively utilize any social media platform you must first recognize who you are as a business and who your customers are. What is your core target audience? Determining your target audience gives you an understanding of the age and demographic you are trying to reach with your business. Once you determine your target audience you can effectively customize your social media marketing campaign. Are you a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-customer)? If you are a B2B you are more than likely going to be using LinkedIn more than anything. LinkedIn is specifically built to connect you with other business professionals, generating leads, and recruiting. If you are a B2C you will use more broad and open-format platforms. It seems like a waste to create various social media accounts if only one or two of them are actually grabbing attention. 

Finding Your Customers