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  • Ashley Painter

The Best Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses

Mastering the art of showing up where your audience is.

In today's digital age, social media has become a powerful tool for small businesses to connect with customers, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. In fact, with 82% of Americans between 18 and 49 years old use at least one social media site, the days of simply having a business Facebook page are over.

With so many social media platforms available, choosing the right ones to invest time and resources in can be overwhelming. Are you going to have to start learning dances for TikTok? Send out a tweet? Create a reel for Instagram? Not necessarily.

Read on to learn more about who is using each platform, and what makes the most sense for your small business.

Facebook for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Gen X and Baby Boomers

  • Top Industries: Sports & entertainment, real estate, non-profits, event-based business

  • Top Content: Static or album posts, humor, inspirational quotes

  • Good for: Brick and mortar businesses that want to promote specials, sales, or events, communicating with customers directly via messenger, website supplementation, driving traffic to your website

  • Content Examples: Physical event promotion, linking to phone calls or website, reminders, answering frequently asked questions, national holidays

Instagram for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Millennials & Gen-Z

  • Top Industries: Fashion, retail, real estate, beauty, restaurants & hospitality, health & fitness

  • Top Content: Short-form Video (Reels), Carousels

  • Good for: Businesses that have an opportunity for beautiful video and imagery, whether that is a plate of food, an amazing kitchen renovation, or a stunning ocean view, location check-ins

  • Content Examples: Behind the scenes videos, educational slides outlining a process, product spotlights, before and after photos

TiKTok for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Gen-Z

  • Top Industries: Fashion, beauty, retail, creators, home-based services

  • Top Content: Short-form Video

  • Good for: Businesses than can produce a large amount of in-house content quickly and don't mind being in front of the camera.

  • Content Examples: Cleaning hacks, product features, how it's made, behind-the-scenes, just for fun team posts

LinkedIn for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Millennials, Gen X

  • Top Industries: Tech, healthcare, construction, commercial and financial services

  • Top Content: Traditional posts, polls, articles

  • Good for: B2B companies, businesses with a niche offering, commercial services, client networking

  • Content Examples: Industry news, summit promotion, sharing of findings relevant to a number of industries (HR-related or social trend articles), newsletter content, job listings

Pinterest for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Millennials, Gen X

  • Top Industries: Fashion, food, home, lifestyle, holidays, family, DIY, hacks & tips

  • Top Content: All linked content

  • Good for: SEO, website and blog linking, long-term content repurposing

  • Content Examples: Seasonal fashion trends, holiday gift guide, house renovation projects by your company, recipes using your product, photographer tips for families

YouTube for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Gen X, Millennials, & Gen-Z

  • Top Industries: Tech, Gaming, Food

  • Top Content: Video

  • Good for: SEO, value-based content, businesses

  • Content Examples: Teaching followers how to troubleshoot your product, behind the scenes video, education or walkthrough of a process

NextDoor for Business

  • Most Active Demographic: Baby Boomers

  • Top Industries: Residential services, landscaping, home repair, health care, local services, local restaurants

  • Top Content: Local news, community giving, product or industry education

  • Good for: Receiving referrals and recommendations

  • Content Examples: About the business, services provided, answering FAQ's, client reviews, education

Of course, with dozens of social media channels across the globe, this list is far from comprehensive and within each of them are unique opportunities for organic and paid marketing. Identify who your audience is, determine where they are online, show up there with the content they engage with. Have questions? Get in touch and let me know what I missed!

If your small business is looking to change things up on social, head on over to the Ashley Painter Marketing + Design services page to learn more about how we help local, small businesses succeed.


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