First up, we have Facebook - the granddaddy of social media platforms. With a whopping 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is like a bustling metropolis with plenty of room for your business to grow. Retail, e-commerce, and food & beverage companies can target their ideal customers and build their own community through groups and pages. Plus, Facebook's advertising capabilities are top-notch!
Recommended Content To Share: Visual Content such as images, videos and graphics, concise text posts and links (to your own website or to relevant articles) can perform very well on this platform.
If you're looking for some inspiration, check out these Examples and Tips on the Best Small Businesses on Facebook.
Next on the list is Instagram - the visual platform that's perfect for showing off your products or services through stunning images and videos. With over 1 billion monthly active users, it's one of the most popular platforms out there. Fashion, beauty, and travel companies can really excel on Instagram by promoting their products, collaborating with influencers, sharing user-generated content (UGC), and hyping up events.
Recommended Content To Share: While high-quality images have always performed exceptionally well on IG, the current landscape of the web shows an increasing appreciation for video content. It is not surprising that video on Instagram is now the leading form of content. Reels, which are Instagram's short-form video content, lead to the highest engagement - especially short Reels (clocking in at around 15-30 seconds). Stories also perform well since they are an excellent way to share casual but powerful content without spamming your audience. Lastly, educational content tends to perform very well because it is easy to save and share.
If you want to see some small businesses that are doing it right on Instagram, check out this article on Nine Small Businesses with Great Instagram Feeds.
Now, let's talk about Twitter - the fast-paced platform that's great for sharing real-time updates and engaging in conversations with your audience. With over 330 million monthly active users, it's the perfect platform for industries such as news, sports, and entertainment to shine. You can share breaking news, promote articles, and engage with readers through comments and retweets. Twitter is all about agility, and it's a slam dunk for real-time engagement, asking your audience questions, quick responses to inquiries or issues, increasing website traffic, thought leadership, and networking.
Recommended Content To Share: Short and snappy text, threads (combining a series of multiple tweets - usually used to share educational content) or polls are all great ways to interact with your audience. Though it is primarily a text-based platform, using visuals to accompany your copy and threads can also be effective in capturing the attention of your audience.
If you're wondering where to start on Twitter, check out this list of 20 Twitter Accounts Every Small Business Owner Should Follow.
Moving on to LinkedIn - the professional networking platform that's ideal for B2B businesses and professionals. With over 700 million users, it's a great platform for businesses to connect with other professionals, build their brand, and share thought leadership content. If you're in the technology, finance, or consulting industry, LinkedIn is the place to be. You can demonstrate your expertise, connect with potential clients, and recruit talent.
Recommended Content To Share: thought leadership content, which involves sharing your expertise, insights, and opinions on topics within your niche excels on LinkedIn. Sharing this type of content can position your business as an authority in your field and attract a following of engaged professionals. Another type of content to consider is industry news and trends to keeping your audience informed about the latest happenings in your industry. Lastly, highlighting your company culture is another effective way to reach your audience. By sharing stories about your team, you can humanize your brand and showcase the unique values and culture of your organization. This content can take many forms (text, images, video, etc.) - don't be afraid to experiment to see what resonates best with your audience.
Direct from the team at LinkedIn, check out these 11 Best Small Business Linkedin Pages That They Have Ever Seen for some inspiration.
Next we have YouTube - a video-sharing platform with over 2 billion monthly active users. It's perfect for businesses that want to create video content and engage with their audience through tutorials, product demos, and behind-the-scenes footage. If you're in the education, healthcare, or technology industry, YouTube is a goldmine for you. Plus, video content is one of the most engaging and interactive types of content out there. Once you have established a following on the platform, it is a great tool to directly engage with your audience, build stronger connections and boost brand loyalty.
Recommended Content To Share: As Youtube is primarily a video-sharing platform, it's fairly self explanatory. How-to Tutorials, product reviews and demos, vlogs (blogs presented in a video-diary format), interviews and collaborations, podcasts, as well as webinars and presentations - have shown to be highly effective. The effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on your target audience and niche. Additionally, YouTube Shorts, which are comparable to Instagram Reels and TikToks, are gaining traction in popularity.
For some entrepreneurial inspiration, take a look at this article on The Best 18 YouTube Channels for Entrepreneurs.
TikTok is another platform that sometimes gets overlooked in the business world, but it can provide a great (and cost effective) marketing platform. What kind of industries would be ideal on TikTok you ask? It's a great platform for those in fashion/beauty, food & beverage, fitness and education. Of course, these are just a few examples, and there are many other industries and businesses that can benefit from having a presence on TikTok. It ultimately depends on the target audience and the type of content that your business wants to create.
Recommended Content To Share: short-form videos (primarily around 15 seconds to 1 minute in length), trending challenges (which can reach a wider audience), music and dance videos, educational content all work extremely well. Lastly if it aligns with your brand, comedy and entertainment videos do great and resonate well with all crowds. This platform is known for its lighthearted, entertaining content, so don’t be afraid to inject some humour in your videos.
If you want to learn more on navigating TikTok for your business, here is a great article on How to Use TikTok to Boost Your Small Business.
Last but not least, we have Pinterest - the visual search engine that's perfect for businesses that want to showcase their products or services through images and videos. With over 4 million monthly active users, it's a great platform for increasing website traffic and inspiring your target audience to save or shop your products. If you're in the home decor, hospitality, or fashion industry, Pinterest is the place to be.
Recommended Content To Share: Pinterest, similar to Instagram, is a highly-visual platform so content such as high-resolution images are key. Additionally, how-to-guides (step-by-step tutorials), inspirational and motivational content, product catalogs and shopping guides all generally excel.
If you're looking for some creative inspiration, here are 50 Amazing Pinterest Accounts Every Creative Needs to Follow.
In conclusion, social media platforms can be a game-changer for small businesses. Choosing the right (or a combination of) platforms for your industry is crucial to maximizing visibility and success. It's crucial for business owners like you to understand that each business has its own distinct characteristics. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to social media and it’s best for you to evaluate where your specific target audience is most active. Remember, that it’s not necessary to maintain a presence on every channel - it’s far better to be active on one platform than rarely posting on five. With that being said, at Loft17, we're here to help your business utilize the right tool and platform (or platforms) for your industry!
Smart phone: Photo by cottonbro studio
Woman on laptop: Photo by Artem Podrez
Woman working on computer and tablet: Photo by Antoni Shkraba