On any given day, it has been estimated that 3.2 billion people in the world access social media of some kind. From Facebook to Twitter through to Instagram and LinkedIn, social media seems to permeate every aspect of our lives.
Most small businesses have come to the realisation that they need to be present on at last one or two platforms – but which are the best for your business in 2019?
To determine this, let’s take a brief look at five key players in the social media world that could help you grow your business online.
The granddaddy of social medias, Facebook has long been the benchmark that other platforms aspire to. Unsurprisingly, with over 2 billion active users every month**, it is still the most widely used social media in the world.
For small business, Facebook is perfect for growing a community around your products and services in addition to creating brand awareness. When used effectively, a Facebook presence will make a notable difference in reaching your online marketing goals.
In addition, Facebook’s advertising portal (through which they make most of their profits) is easily the best established of any social media platform.
Now part of the Facebook family, Instagram started life in 2010 as an online community where users could share images with their followers. Boosted by the rapid rise of smart phone usage throughout this decade, Instagram is used today by models, actors and numerous “influencers” across the world.
A perfect place for visual marketing, small business can utilise the high levels of engagement on Instagram to connect with a target audience. Its users follow accounts that they are genuinely interested which results in a high visibility of your posts.
As of 2019, it is estimated that one in three Australians use Instagram on a regular basis ***.
Not quite as popular as the big two, the “Facebook for Business” still has an impressive audience of nearly eight million Australians however only around four million log in to their account regularly****.
Statistically, LinkedIn is the second most popular social media site, after Facebook, for medium to large businesses. It’s less popular with small businesses, who are more likely to utilise the crowd power of Facebook and Instagram.
For businesses that offer Business to Business (B2B) services, LinkedIn is perfect for creating online networks of professionals across industries.
Once the darling of the #hashtag world, Twitter’s reach into the online world has dwindled over the past five years. It currently ranks in 9th place and is most popular with users in their 30’s.
In professional circles, Twitter is still a great source for real-time commentary on current affairs. With an increase in tweet length (140 characters to 240) and a recent move to allow imagery, the Twitter platform may be one to watch as it evolves to compete with other social media.
Thanks to an overabundance of funny cat videos, YouTube is often forgotten as a serious social media contender. With strong content, the online video platform is perfect for engaging an audience with entertaining and interesting information about small business goods and services.
With a staggering one in every two Australians using YouTube every day ***, it is a great place to visually demonstrate the goods and services your small business has to offer.
It’s important to remember that despite all the hard work you do on social media to grow your audience, you are “building your house on borrowed land” – it could be all gone tomorrow – just like Google+.
To avoid placing all your eggs in the one basket, use social media as part of your marketing funnel with your business website as the central hub. Depending on your host (users of Wix or Squarespace beware), your website is the one place on the internet that you can truly control. Use Facebook, Instagram and other social media to develop awareness of your business and nurture a following that you can direct towards sales and services on your small business website.