Social media management: as if you needed more to do! As a small business owner, you’ve probably wondered what are the best social media networks to promote your business.
With so many social media platforms out there, it’s daunting to think about creating content for them. The good news is, you don’t have to. The social media sites you choose to promote your business should depend on three things …
- Resources. A small business with a limited budget and staff will benefit from a tight focus. Select your top two to three social networks and build a strategic content plan for each of them. The fewer networks you have to focus on, the better your content, execution and results.
- Business type. People use social media to be entertained and interact with people — not to buy products or services. This is where Business-to-Business (B2B) vs Business-to-Consumer (B2C) becomes a factor. B2C brands with impulse buy products are most successful on networks where visual content rules and brand engagement is high. Meanwhile, B2B brands with a long sales cycle will have more luck in arenas where they can focus on brand recognition and leads acquisition.
- Target audience. They say time is money. To use your time (and/or money) wisely, focus the most on networks where you’re most likely to reach and engage with your target audience. Social media networks have varied demographics, so keep in mind who you’re trying to reach and show up there.
Next, we’ll look at each of the best social media networks to promote your business. We’ll pinpoint which are better for B2B or B2C brands. You’ll also learn how can you use them for your business. And, you’ll get an overview of the major user demographics.
Even if a social network is better suited for B2C, B2B brands can also benefit if their target audience is there.
6 Best social media networks to promote your business are as follows …
BEST FOR: B2C
- 53% female, 47% male
- 62% of online Seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook
- 88% of online users ages 18-29, 84% of those 30-49
- 72% of online users earn more than $75K
According to the 2019 Pew Research Social Media Report, Facebook is still the main social network for most Americans. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say they’re Facebook users. There’s no question Facebook is one of the best social media networks to promote your business.
On Facebook, you can have a Personal Page and a Business Page. Which to use for business has long been up for debate. But the answer seems clear.
It’s true that personal pages have better organic reach. This means more people will see your posts without advertising. But the benefits of a business page outweigh mere reach. As well, Facebook requires businesses to use business pages. They can, and will, shut down pages that don’t comply. If you’re a rebel who needs more convincing, other reasons bear consideration.
Benefits of a Facebook Business Page …
- Run ad campaigns. Target audiences to the “T”, including your own prospect lists.
- Access metrics reports, called “Insights”. Use these to improve your messaging.
- Collect a nearly unlimited number of followers. (Personal profiles have a 5,000 person friend limit.)
- Categorize your company by industry so you’re found in search.
- Display contact information and hours of operation.
- Showcase reviews made by your customers on Facebook.
- Feature a Services or Products catalog.
- Have a call to action with a “Book”, “Shop”, “Download” or “Learn More” button.
- Use Publishing Tools to schedule your posts in advance.
The types of content you can publish on Facebook vary. Choose from text, photos, photo carousels and videos. You can also publish Stories, which disappear after 24 hours. And you can do Facebook Live videos.
Facebook prioritizes personal connections and engagement. So if you want your posts seen, focus on starting a conversation. Videos do great on this platform so capitalize on Facebook Live. This lets you broadcast to a wide audience and have real-time conversations with your followers.
BEST FOR: B2B & B2C
- More than half of YouTube users are female.
- Over 90% of 18-44 year old American internet users watch videos on YouTube.
- More than half of American internet users who age 75 and over watch videos on YouTube.
YouTube is the second largest social network and its stats are jaw dropping. The network has over 1.9 Billion users. It’s also the second largest search engine behind Google. And, people watch nearly 5 Billion videos on YouTube every day.
Like Facebook, if you’re not taking advantage of this platform, you should be. Since it’s the second largest search engine, using it helps you get found in search. YouTube also refers more outbound traffic than any other social network. Funnel YouTube viewers to your website or other social networks of choice.
On YouTube, you can host original content and run ads. People who subscribe to your channel get notified when you publish new videos. Your videos will also show up in their feed.
The most popular videos on YouTube are comedy, music, entertainment and “how to”. Incorporate these categories into your videos for more views and engagement.
One important note is that YouTube has the highest paid ads conversion rate. So promote your top performing content.
BEST FOR: B2C
- 53% male, 47% female
- 64% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram
- 33% of 30-49-year-olds use Instagram
- 21% of 50-64 year-olds use Instagram
Instagram is one of the best social media networks because of its high level of brand engagement. Facebook reports 83 percent of Instagrammers discover new products and services on Instagram.
And more than 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one brand account. Forrester reports, brand engagement on Instagram is 10 times higher than on Facebook. That’s 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter. This means advertising on Instagram will be more successful for your business.
When you sign up for an Instagram account, create a business profile. If needed, you can convert a personal Instagram account to a business profile. Business profiles give you tools and features to create a business presence.
Benefits of an Instagram Business Page …
- Include a phone number and address in your bio.
- Enable the “Shop” button.
- Add a “Contact” button.
- Access Instagram Insights, a metrics reporting tool.
- Display your industry in your profile.
- Add links to Instagram Stories.
- Run ads and promote posts.
On Instagram, you can post photos, videos and Stories, as well as use Instagram Live. Like Facebook, Stories disappear after 24 hours. You can include videos, photos and boomerangs in your Stories. (Boomerangs are videos that loop back and forth.) You can also include text and music in Stories. Poll your audience and add stickers with your location, and use tags and hashtags. When 24 hours is up, you can save Stories in an archive where people will still see them.
Instagram centers around photo-sharing, so it’s important to post visually pleasing content. Generic photos aren’t as effective. Take quality photos. Edit them. And post photos around a visual plan to make your profile’s photo grid appealing and tightly branded.
BEST FOR: B2B
- 23% male, 24% female
- 40% of 18-29 year-olds use Twitter
- 27% of 30-49 year-olds use Twitter
- 27% of 30-49 year-olds use Twitter
- 30% of online adults under the age of 50 are active on Twitter
Twitter is a popular microblogging network where you can get worldwide, by-the-minute news. Messages, called “tweets” are limited to 280 characters. They can include photos, videos, links, and animated .gifs.
People send more than 500 million tweets a day. So a user’s feed can move pretty quickly. A tweet gets half its interactions in the first half hour, and then starts to get lost in the fray. To have your tweets seen, publish more frequently than you would on other social networks.
Seventy-five percent of B2B businesses market on Twitter. One of the biggest reasons is customer service. Big business can announce a product recall or the latest flight delay. Meanwhile small businesses can offer better customer service on the platform. Twitter says 80 percent of advertisers’ customer service requests happen on the platform.
People often use Twitter to applaud or blast companies for a good or bad job done. But only 3 percent of customers will @ reply you when they complain. So keep your eyes open for any positive or negative chatter about your brand.
Twitter is the perfect place to share trending industry news and opinions. Use trending hashtags to be discovered in the conversation. But, overall, one of the best ways to use Twitter is to network directly with your audience by using @ replies. This helps to open conversations that build loyalty and trust.
Finally, Twitter is a good choice for businesses that publish regular blog content. The more interesting your content, the more people will retweet it. Retweets are shared with their followers, gaining you new audiences. And, who knows, your content could go viral. But don’t hog all the glory. Share other people’s content if your audience will find it useful or entertaining.
BEST FOR: B2B
- 49% of college graduates use LinkedIn
- 45% of adults making more than $75,000 per year are on LinkedIn
- 34% of 18-29 year-olds use LinkedIn
- 33% of 30-49 year-olds use Linkedin
- 24% of 50-64 year-olds use LinkedIn
LinkedIn was long known as a job recruiting hub. Lately, it’s a place to network and stay in the know about industry news and trends. It’s also widely known as one of the best social media networks to promote a B2B business. According to Hootsuite, 45 percent of LinkedIn users are decision makers in upper management.
As far as how to use the platform, you can share status updates with text, photos and videos. Like Facebook, your posts can be shared, liked and commented on. People you’ve done business with can also endorse your skills and leave testimonials. This is helpful if you run a small business, since this is one place where leads will look you up.
Also in the B2B realm, LinkedIn is a good way to learn more about the people you do business with. Use it to look people up and be more prepared for your sales calls or when reaching out to a cold lead.
LinkedIn has also become a place to build thought leadership. According to LinkedIn, 91 percent of executives rate it as their first place to find relevant content. Take advantage of this trend. Republish your highest performing blog content to LinkedIn. Remember to include links to drive traffic back to your website.
BEST FOR: B2C
- 34% of 18-29 year-olds use Pinterest
- 34% of 30-49 year-olds use Pinterest
- 26% of 50-64 year-olds use Pinterest
- 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest
When you think of Pinterest, you probably think of consumer products. And while women used to be the biggest Pinterest audience, that’s changing. Forty percent of new signups are now from men. And, even though it’s a perfect platform for B2C marketers, a B2B company can benefit from Pinterest. Use it to gain a new and wider audience, as well as drive traffic back to your website and lead pages.
On Pinterest, users create themed “boards”. Within boards, they “pin” images, videos and links of interest. Each of these pins offer opportunities to get found in search. Add industry related SEO keyword phrases to your Pin titles and descriptions. You can also add them to your board descriptions.
Other social media networks have fast moving feeds. But the average life of a pin is more than three months. Compare that to Twitter where the average post’s life is maybe an hour. As you can see, Pinterest gives B2B marketers more chances to connect with their audience.
To benefit from Pinterest, create boards that cater to your audience’s interests, their challenges and your solutions. Make a board to showcase your services and products and make one to pin your blog articles. To jog some ideas, visit and follow our Pinterest for inspiration.
Summing it Up
Not every social media platform is a good fit for every business. The best social media networks to promote your business are the ones where you’re most likely to reach and engage with your target audience. This is true regardless if a network caters more to B2B or B2C. It’s also important to tailor a unique strategy for each network. The goal is to create content that matches users behavior as it relates to the network.