What? Now I have to start doing “social media” stuff! As if you don’t already have enough to do as a small business owner, right?
I know how you feel, trust me.
When you run a small business, advertising isn’t optional; it’s essential. At the same time, given the size of your business, you have to figure out the best place to put your few marketing resources and dollars.
Social media advertising and marketing is a great way to go (not to mention it’s literally the most popular activity on the internet, hands down!)
There can be a tremendous [potentially] ROI if you go down this road. But given that you already have 500 other things to do, you need focus. Social media advertising for a small business like yours, demands that you invest a lot of time, energy, and of course, those advertising dollars that we’re not always ready to let go!
But this works! But, again, you have to focus (on one).
You must invest your time, your activity, and budget in the right place. You might be tempted to try advertising on all the different platforms, but I assure you, this would be a great mistake.
That would spread your some-what limited (or not) resources too thin. It’s better to find and focus on the one place where you are most likely to find your target audience and give that one, all you’ve got!
What Can Social Media Advertising Do For You?
The goals of social media advertising are pretty simple and straightforward to understand. First, you want to drive more traffic to your website. Second, you also want to broaden your customer reach. Third, you aim to develop relationships, and finally, you want to increase your brand presence.
Social media advertising usually focuses on paid ads on social media platforms. It’s closely related to social media marketing, which is unpaid. Social media marketing can at times prove to be more cost-efficient over time. However, social media advertising usually produces faster results. It also lets you track the specific effectiveness and response rates of ads that you run.
The Different Kinds Of Social Media Advertising
There are several different kinds of social media advertising you can look into. The first category is that of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. A second category is that of social news sites, of which Reddit might be the most famous example. Microblogging sites are a third category, and Twitter is the most prominent example of this group. The last big group is a combination of blog comments and online forums. All of these are effective places to put up ads in front of the right social media crowds.
Social Media Advertising Statistics And Effectiveness
More than 4 out of 5 American citizens a minimum of one social media profile. More than half of them have two or even more. The global social media population as of 2019 is nearly 3.5 billion people, and nearly 300 million more joining every single year. That puts the global penetration rate at 45 percent and approaching half or more. No other form of advertising has that kind of reach.
The Advantages Of Social Media Advertising
You get to reach out to huge audience, as evidenced by the aforementioned statistics. Your ads can also create direct connections with audiences looking for or already interested in such content, products, or services. Social media advertising lets you build your brand, drive traffic to your website, and see which ads and platforms work out the best for you.
The Downsides To Social Media Advertising
There can be some risks. If someone has an unpleasant experience when dealing with your business, they can rant about it online, and such content can go viral in ways that don’t make you look good. It only takes one complaint to draw in a flurry of others and their negativity. Fortunately, if you commit to monitoring your online reputation, you can actually take advantage of such moments to really come through for unhappy customers and make your business genuinely look like someone who cares.
The Top 7 Best Social Media For Small Business
I have to start this list with Facebook for two simple reasons. First, it’s the most widely used platform of them all. Second, it has nearly 2.5 billion daily active users. That’s not just overall users; that’s the users that show up every single day. Nowhere online will get you better general exposure.
Instagram is worthy of a lot of attention, because it has a half of a billion daily active users of its own. Yes, it’s smaller, but it’s growing by leaps and bounds. It’s also a very visual medium. Keep in mind that 80 percent of online users will remember photos and images they see long after they forget the words that they read.
It’s interesting to know how our brains process images. Here’s a study from June 1986 on how computer generated graphics and visual elements affect the persuasiveness of a presentation.
The growth potential here is good, and it trends younger in demographics than Facebook. Then again, Facebook owns it, so it might mean dipping into the same pool, only with fewer users.
This is where you want to be if your small business caters to females, creativity, or especially both. This platform has nearly 300 million users active at least once a month, but the base skews over 80 percent women.
If you are skewing more towards a younger demographic, then this is an effective platform for your consideration. Snapchat messages and content have time limits, but the quick nature of it all appeals to those under 34 years of age, which make up more than two-thirds of the 350 million monthly users. Of those users, more than 200 million show up every day.
If you’re not already familiar with this one personally, I’m not sure how much I can help you. More than 30 million daily users show up, and it’s not all funny cat videos. In fact, more than 2 billion people show up every month, which means that more than half of all people online visit this site at least once every four weeks.
One of the world’s oldest social media platforms still caries more than a third of a billion active monthly users. The character-limited copy does permit photos and videos, and there are some who are known for their live-tweeting. This might not be where hashtags started, but it’s certainly where they became a big thing.
It’s not just for resumes and jobhunters anymore. Over 300 million users are here every month, and if your small business is focused on B2B instead of B2C, then this is where you need to be.
How Do You Choose?
Remember, it’s best to only pick one site and then focus all of your efforts there. As you grow, you might be able to free up some resources for other platforms, but in the beginning, you need to find where your crowd is and plant your only flag. Having said that, which one is best? That largely depends on your business model.
The general and short answer is that Facebook is an all-around contender as the best social media advertising option. With so many users and traffic, it’s not a surprise that 7 out of 10 B2C small businesses report generating customers and revenue through this platform.
Having said that, some other sites might actually be better options than Facebook, depending on your target demographics. If you enjoy using bite-sized pieces of information to attract a very tech-savvy audience, then Twitter is worth a strong look. Likewise, Instagram is also great for a B2C small business whose content is more story-driven and visually engaging, in terms of both photos and videos. On the flip side of things, any B2B small business should think about focusing on LinkedIn, particularly if they are interested in educated professionals.
If your services or products are conducive to visual appeal and specifically informational videos, then YouTube is a powerful medium. It’s also a great hybrid option for any small business that is both B2B and B2C at the same time.
If you have a largely female audience, then go with Pinterest. If your target demographic has a strong overlap with people going to craft stores and collecting coupons for Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or arts and crafts stores, then it’s even more of a good choice.
Also, if you’re focused mostly on Millennials and want a good shot at cracking into the growing spending power of Generation Z, then Snapchat is a good way to go.
Don’t Overlook Other Effective Sites
Several places online aren’t specifically considered social media platforms by many, but as small businesses are sometimes brick and mortar establishments or just professionals with a limited service area, an honorable mention has to be given to Google My Business, Yelp, and Foursquare. All are great options generating better search results and positive online reviews. Again, they’re not actually social media platforms, so in many cases, you won’t have to run longstanding campaigns on any of them, but they’re well worth hitting once and then refreshing on a regular basis every several months.
Final Thoughts On The Best Social Media Advertising For Small Business
Knowing which social media platform is best for your advertising can make or break your small business. In general, Facebook is the obvious winner for most businesses. However, if you have a specific or certain demographic that respectively fits the right mold, then LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat might be a good exception to the rule.
Additional Resource You May Be Interested In
The facts, statistics, and information presented in this content is the result of the following 6 resources and a few others. If you’d like more details and information about all of this, then feel free to visit each page to learn more: