What’s the Best Social Media Platform for Small Businesses?

Christian
February 9, 2024

YouTube is evergreen. Anything you post there could get views for years and years to come. Is it the best though? Not necessarily.

Well, LinkedIn is the richest social media platform on the planet according to Forbes. I’m not talking about the money LinkedIn makes. I’m talking about their user base. LinkedIn users make more money than any other social media platform users. So, is it the best? Nope!

When it comes down to the question of best media platforms for business there’s actually no black and white answer. Anyone who tells you ‘X’ social media platform is the best as a general catch all doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Each business is unique so why wouldn’t their marketing plan be too?

Let’s go over the major social media platforms and discuss which ones perform best for small businesses. I’ll even add a couple real life examples I’ve had from some of my clients that will go into detail on why we chose specific platforms to market our content on.

social media, social, media

Social Media Platforms

Some social media platforms act as a forum for customers while others are great for sharing information about your business. Others, like YouTube, are great for teaching and sharing video content about your business. Every platform is different.

Twitter

Twitter is the most confusing right now so I figured I’d mention it first on this list. Twitter was recently bought by Elon Musk for $44 billion. This leaves its fate going forward in more of an unknown position than any other platform. Twitter has long been looked down upon by some social media managers and people in general as an ‘activist’ site which is unfortunate. While there was a board or group at Twitter whose job it was to boost and promote activists on the platform according to the now CEO.

While it doesn’t matter to me what people say about Twitter being an activist first platform I only care about its uses as a tool for business. However, it’s worth mentioning.

twitter, news

Most companies that are using Twitter for business find a decent degree of success; however, most using it are tech companies like Font Awesome. Font Awesome has been using Twitter since day one…or at least since day one that I’ve been around their team (2015) and it’s been going well for them. They’ve seen consistent growth from around 5,000 followers up to 31,000 followers today.

If you’re a small business owner and don’t have a product that is sold nationally or globally I’d say Twitter isn’t the BEST platform for you; however, it will still have value.

Facebook

One of the best social media platforms for local engagement is Facebook. All brick & mortar stores that don’t do a lot online should prioritize Facebook pretty highly.

Facebook is designed to be local first. If you, like many people, joined Facebook to connect with friends and family then your page will start out pretty strong. You can invite people from your friends list to like your page to give it an extra boost when first starting out.

Tiktok for small business, tiktok for business

TikTok

TikTok is one of the fastest growing platforms in the world. Having a TikTok and actively growing it is a great decision for any and all small business owners. If you’re local based and don’t ever plan on selling online this may be less appealing; however, it’ll still give you great brand awareness.

TikTok is setup in a way that allows people to get views regardless of your follower count. It’s common for accounts with zero followers to get over 10,000 views on their first video as long as it’s able to keep the audience’s attention for the duration.

YouTube

YouTube is my favorite and always has been. The idea that I can post a video now that can continue to get views for years to come has always given me a great feeling.

Around four years ago I made a video about streaming movies for free. Ethically grey, I know. However, that video has gotten around 3,000 views per month and is closing in on 100,000 views. I made the video in about 20 minutes. It’s made me hundreds of dollars at this point. Recently I decided to delist it since it’s not really something I want to be known for. Either way, its performance can’t be underestimated.

YouTube is known for having evergreen content that could get views at any time. YouTube also gives you a lot of freedom as a creator and should be considered for a lot of businesses out there.

LinkedIn

Like TikTok, LinkedIn offers great opportunity for growth. It’s common for LinkedIn to promote the content on its platform to many people. Much like how TikTok would give accounts with zero followers up to 10,000 views on their first post LinkedIn does something similar. It may not be 10,000 views on an article; however, it’s usually quite a few compared to your follower count.

I know multiple people who swear by LinkedIn and use it religiously for their small businesses.

Google My Business

Possibly the most slept on social media platform is Google My Business. This is another local focused social media platform. Not only that, it also is SEO focused. If you’re focused on local GMB is probably the best option. While Facebook is good too GMB is on a different level.

Rank on the first page of Google with Google My Business. If you can rank on the first page of Google you should do it. It will help people find you locally and greatly increase lead generation for your business. Google My Business can make that happen for you. Beyond that, when you post on Google My Business it allows you to rank in your area on the first page of Google.

Beyond that, when you post Google boosts that post organically in your area so people have a higher chance to see that specific post.

My business isn’t even considered ‘local focused’ and I still use Google My Business and it generates some great leads!

Instagram

One of the best social media platforms for selling things online. Instagram goes hand-in-hand with most eCommerce platforms. You can even sell directly from Instagram if you have enough followers.

Growth on Instagram is tricky but can be done reliably. Focusing on hashtags, consistent posting, and a variety of content are all things that will greatly increase your Instagram growth.

If you’re selling products online Instagram is a great option!

Best Social Media Platforms

These are the platforms that I consider the biggest and the best right now. I’ve left out other platforms such as Pinterest because they don’t fall into what I’ve seen to be the best strategy.

woman, photographer, camera

I’m sure I’ve missed a couple social media platforms out there like Medium and hopefully mentioned some that you hadn’t thought about utilizing before. Like I said, there is no right or wrong in general when it comes to social media platforms. The main thing to consider on each platform is what you plan to use it for. If you’re a brick and mortar shop that doesn’t sell online then Facebook and Google My Business are going to be ideal. On the other hand, if you’re a SaaS company then local doesn’t matter as much and you’ll want to focus more on other platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, and more. Let me give you some client examples!

Clients

I’m going to avoid outing my clients here for obvious reasons. I’m also going to avoid going into great detail with each example; however, I’ll link to where you can learn about the social media strategies learned.

happy digital marketing client

Nerd Culture Apparel

My company, Helms Media, got hired to do social media management for a nerd culture apparel company. They wanted to focus on social media to organically drive traffic to their website, grow their brand, and generate sales. This client and I have only been working together for two months at the time of writing this article.

The client wanted to know what social media platforms would work the best. I’ll pass the question off to you. Given the information in the above paragraph, what platform(s) would you start out growing for this company?

If you said Instagram you’re correct! Since Instagram is built to show products and to this day its main focus is pictures and videos it allows us to show off the clients products, grow a community through hashtags, and eventually sell products directly on Instagram once we reach 10,000 followers.

Alternatively or additionally, they could also try TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and whatever else since their business model is pretty fluid.

Used car lot, car lot, digital marketing used cars

Used Car Lot

We’ve done work in the past with more local businesses. One happened to be a used car lot. We worked with them for two years a while ago. Before Google My Business was on my radar as much as it is now.

Same question as last time. what platform(s) would you start out growing for this company?

If you answered Facebook and/or Google My Business as the best social media platform for this small business then you’re spot on!

Unfortunately, Google My Business wasn’t something I did a lot of work on when I started with this small business. Instead, we just stuck with Facebook.

city, car, vehicle

Sometimes you’ll have success with these top social media management platforms and sometimes you’ll struggle. I was lucky with this client. The employees of the company (salespeople, and management) were already making challenge videos that I saw a lot of promise in. They did things like eat incredibly spicy peppers on camera for their Facebook page which got a decent amount of views and engagement. I made sure we did at least one a week and then announced winners in separate posts along with more business related posts like showing off the new cars on the lot.

This allowed the car lot’s Facebook page to grow over %20,000 in the two years that it was managed by my team. To this day I still think back to the results we got for that company. It’s still possible to do to this day. You just have to make sure you’re being consistent, holding attention, and being true to your customers. Also, a good rotation of posts on Facebook is a text post, text with image post, and text with video post. Rotating these three will help the growth of your Facebook page.

technology, servers, server

Web Hosting Company

This small business wasn’t sure what their marketing strategy should be. In fact, before we started doing any work together we sat down on a Zoom call to discuss what our strategy would be and how I’d manage their social media platforms and create content for them.

The company hosts websites. Similar to something like Site Ground. They wanted me to create content and manage their social media presence in a way that would allow them to grow their social media platforms, engage customers, generate new customers, share news, and show people how to use their hosting tools. Their target audience was global and aimed at people who were active on social media that also needed a website. what platform(s) would you start out growing for this company?

Since the company isn’t limited by local customers and they share educational content on their social media sites the top social media platforms for their business would be YouTube, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

code, coding, web

Social media marketing on these platforms isn’t too bad. However, it is worth mentioning that posting on YouTube and TikTok is more time consuming typically than posting on another platform such as Instagram or Facebook where you can post pictures and video. TikTok and YouTube are both video only platforms (TikTok is playing with adding galleries right now though).

The social media strategy is simple for this web hosting company. We create five pieces of content per week. Two long videos and three short videos. The long videos go on YouTube and if it makes sense to cut them up to repurpose the content on another social media site then we do it. Otherwise, we create the three short videos with the intention of posting them on both TikTok and YouTube Shorts. That way three pieces of content turns into six with minimal effort.

laptop, wordpress, wordpress design

When you use social media it doesn’t have to be a ton of work. Work smarter, not harder. Repurpose content when you can and it makes sense so you don’t have to create six unique videos a week. Three for YouTube and three for TikTok.

Consistency Is King

The social media platforms you choose are impactful and matter. However, one thing that matters more than the social media platform is the consistency in which you post. If you post once a day for a week then don’t post anymore you won’t see results. Consistency truly is king in building your social media presence.

imac, ipad, computer

Post consistently on social media. The best frequency of posts depends on the social media platform. TikTok wants two or three times a day. Facebook is usually once a day. While YouTube can be once a week. Posting on social media more times than that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, most social media platforms love when you post more.

It’s easier to start at the bottom and work your way up. So if you’re going to start on YouTube and TikTok the best practice would be to post one long videos to YouTube then a daily short to YTShorts and TikTok. Remember, reusing content on social media should be part of your marketing strategy.

stock, trading, monitor

But What About Monthly Active Users?

The truth is, monthly active users don’t matter as much as you may think. What matters is if the social media platform is healthy or not. Notice how we didn’t mention Snapchat in this article? Exactly! Snapchat is the quickest dying platform in the world. While monthly active users can be important they’re more often just a benchmark for a healthy platform. There are other factors that determine the value of media platforms for business like the audience, content (videos, audio, articles, ect.), ad costs, and more.

Social media users as a whole dictate the value of the platform. Not how many of them there are unless it’s an unhealthy amount. That’s why monthly active users aren’t really a good indicator of how well your business would do on that platform. For example, if the web hosting company I mentioned posted exclusively on Facebook they wouldn’t have as much success as they have on YouTube and TikTok. Those platforms are more suited for their business while Facebook is great too; however, I’d repurpose content from YouTube and TikTok for Facebook in their case.

marketing office joplin mo

Do I Need Social Media as a Business?

I get this question a lot and the answer is yes. Social media is an easy and free way for businesses to promote their business. Having a business page can impact your business by generating leads and building better brand awareness. Promote your business on social media if you haven’t already and take it seriously. I promise you’ll see some great results!

Also, don’t forget that Google My Business is very SEO centric and a search engine based social media. So even if you dislike the idea of social media platforms you should still try Google My Business since it’s very search engine oriented.

man, laptop, businessman

How Do I Start?

Starting is the easy part! All you have to do is download the best social media platforms for your business and start learning and posting. When your page is small that’s your chance to make mistakes. You have less eyes on you when you first start using social media for business.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is important for small businesses. Actually, it’s important for all businesses but specifically smaller ones. When you’re first starting out with digital marketing you have to make a decision. That decision is weather or not to sub out your digital marketing needs. Digital marketing is all things SEO, content creation, social media management, lead generation, and much more. Let’s go a bit more in detail.

facebook, social media, media

Subbing Digital Marketing Out

Subbing it out isn’t a bad idea. A lot of people do this and that’s what marketing companies are for. That’s how Helms Media makes a living. Subbing out your digital marketing means you’re going to have to pay a contractor or a company to do it for you. While pretty easy on you it does cost quite a bit of money. The alternative is doing it in-house.

Doing Digital Marketing In-House

This means, as you probably guessed, you or someone within your business is going to be handling it. If you don’t have a ton on your plate then it wouldn’t be a big deal; however, most people who own businesses are incredibly busy.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Find out how often you need to post on each platform.

  2. Batch your content. What I mean by this is figure out what you want to create. Set aside an hour or a day to do it. Then, just make content for the entire week or month in that small amount of time. For example, script five videos, then record five videos, then edit those five videos and now you have a video for every weekday and it only took you an hour.

  3. Create a content calendar. It helps to know what goes out when. This is one of the best practices when you plan to scale to multiple platforms as it organizes all your posts.

  4. If you start feeling burnt out consider hiring someone to do the content creation for next week or have a friend help with it. Creating content with someone can be far more enjoyable.

question mark, important, sign

So Which Social Media Platforms for business are the best?

Well, as we explained, it depends. The best social media platforms for business were mentioned in this article. Some do things better than others but all of them have their value. A truthful answer would be all of them are great at something. Should you actively post on every social media platform? No. I’d suggest setting that as a goal in the future; however, if you’re just starting out it’s more important to be consistent and focus on one or two. Social media is great. It can open a world of possibilities for you and your brand. That said, it can also be tedious, annoying, a time sink if you get caught in the ‘death scroll‘. So starting with one to to social media platforms is ideal.

Here are a couple of questions to answer when first starting out on social media.

  • Whose your target audience?

  • Where does your target audience hang out? (Twitter, Facebook, ect.)

  • Create a content calendar to sort out your social media posts before.

  • What kind of content do you want to post?

  • How consistently can you post on social media?

  • Do you have a favorite social network? It may be a good one to start with.

  • What are your marketing goals with social media?

By answering these questions it should give you a good idea of what the best social media platforms for your business are. While the best social media platforms are often subjective it’s important to realize that the type of business you are determines what truly is the best social to focus on.

Final Words

Consider working on your social media presence starting today. If you’ve got too much on your plate or would like some help feel free to reach out to Helms Media via email. In fact, you can email me personally at christian@helmsmediallc.com.

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What’s the Best Social Media Platform for Small Businesses?
What’s the Best Social Media Platform for Small Businesses?