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Start-Ups

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn: Which Social Network is Best for Your Business?

By Townes Haas   |    August 20, 2014   |    10:17 AM

Not all social media platforms are created equal

As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard that social media should be a part of your well-rounded marketing plan. However, deciding where and how to allocate your limited resources can be extremely challenging. Let’s set something straight – small businesses do not necessarily need to be active on every social media platform. Each social media platform is unique, just like your business. That’s good news for small business owners; recognizing that you only need to focus on the platform(s) that are geared towards your type of business will help you reap the biggest rewards from your social media efforts.

There are tons of networks available for small businesses to take advantage of, but you shouldn’t aim to master them all – that’s just asking for social media burnout. Forget trying to maintain active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and others. Focusing on the social networks that target your audience is more than enough.

Which social media network is best for my business?

The nature of your business and the results you’re looking for from your social media efforts will determine whether Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any number of other social media channels are best for your business. You should always claim accounts with your business name on the major social media networks, but don’t stress over keeping them constantly active. Do make sure that you continually provide up-to-date information on all, but focus your regular updates on the channels that your audience views most frequently.

For now, let’s focus on the biggest players in the social media game – Twitter and Facebook.

I s Facebook or Twitter better for my business?

Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools if they’re used strategically. But, you might not need both. The best social network for your business will depend on your target audience and your current clients.

Facebook definitely has sheer volume on its side – it has over 1.23 billion active monthly users (Twitter has around 255 million.) But, that doesn’t mean your posts will be seen in news feeds. It’s getting increasingly difficult to reach your audience on Facebook without paying for advertising… but it’s still possible. If you post more frequently it’s far more likely that your posts will be shared and your reach will increase over time.

More women use Facebook than men, but there isn’t a huge demographic difference in users, since the platform is so widely used. Users are primarily young adults, but that’s an overall social media trend.

If you do have the budget to promote your Facebook posts, you can reach even more users.

Twitter may have less active users, but it’s easier to have your content be seen. Demographically, 18-29 year olds, urban residents, and African-Americans tend to use Twitter more often. Facebook has typically been the social media darling, but data shows that it can be easier tocultivate an engaged audience via Twitter, and an engaged audience is far more useful than a big audience.

If you have a lot of content to share and time to engage, Twitter is a good choice.

Make sure people can follow your social media accounts easily

Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks won’t be very helpful if your customers don’t know that you use them. Add “Follow Me” icons on your business’s website and link them to your accounts. It’s an easy way to get eyes on your social media endeavors.

Finally, having a LinkedIn profile is also helpful for small businesses

LinkedIn is primarily used as a networking tool, and you and your business should have LinkedIn pages.You don’t have to spend hours, or even minutes, maintaining the account each week, but it’s an invaluable tool for social networking. It might not be vital for driving sales but it does help your business look professional.

Some businesses need robust LinkedIn profiles more than others. Every business is built on relationships, but if your company requires constant networking with other professionals or contacts, using LinkedIn regularly is a good plan. If you want to kick your LinkedIn efforts up a notch, check out LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketers’ Guide.

If you still need help getting started with social media, read our Getting Started With Social Media, Part 1 andPart 2 posts.