Does your business need to be on social media? Yes. Do you need to consider how to best present your business there? Absolutely.

Current and potential customers not only expect to find your business online. They also want to interact with your business on social media. If they can’t find you – or if they can only find inactive accounts with unanswered comments and questions – they may decide not to remain or become your customers.

In fact, according to marketing firm Blue Corona, studies estimate between 70% and 80% of consumers research businesses online before they ever step foot into or buy from those businesses. That’s a huge potential market you won’t reach without an effective online presence.

Your website matters

Yet if you rely on just a single social media platform for online customer contact, you’re in big trouble if that channel is disrupted.

For example, Facebook has a history of outages that locks out users for minutes – or hours – at a time. If you rely solely on Facebook, that’s time where you essentially have no online presence.

You need an attractive, easy-to-navigate website that’s available even when social media isn’t.

Find your customers

You probably know who your customers are, at least by demographic. Instead of frantically posting to every social media platform – there are hundreds – figure out where your target market is online and post on those specific platforms. And post not only to the platforms your customers use, but to those used by potential customers.

Not everyone is a potential customer, at least not when it comes to your social media content marketing. For example, if your product or service is aimed at housewives in their 40s, focus your efforts on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, not on SnapChat or platforms created specifically for pre-teens and teenagers.

Facebook: Still social media king

Social media platforms come and go (remember MySpace?) but Facebook continues its grip on the top spot. As of September 2018, Facebook was estimated to have 1.49 billion daily active users. Wordstream estimates 79% of Americans use the social media giant.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have 1.49 billion potential customers when you use Facebook. Many are in other countries and likely outside of your target market. But it does mean plenty of potential customers for your business are on Facebook.

Instagram: Catching up

Owned by Facebook, Instagram has rapidly increased its users. As of June 2018, Instagram boasted a billion users. Research shows Instagram users actively seek out brands and companies they like. This makes it a valuable way to engage with your customers. Research also suggests that Instagram users are more likely to have disposable income than other popular social media platforms.

Twitter: Find millennials here

Hootsuite estimates active Twitter users at around 330 million. It largest user age group is millennials. Other important things to know about the average Twitter user:

  • Users are most likely to access Twitter via its mobile app than from a desktop.
  • Many users use Twitter to directly communicate with the brands they buy.
  • Ad engagement within Twitter is increasing.

Pinterest

Marked by a steady increase, Pinterest has some 250 million active users, many with an annual income of more than $100k. Like Twitter, a majority of Pinterest users are millennials, and up to half go on to purchase the items they “pin.” Most access the platform via its mobile app. Pinterest is where you reach users interested in arts and crafts.

YouTube

YouTube boasts 30 million daily active users. Don’t let that seemingly lower number fool you. There are more than five billion videos watched daily on YouTube, and the average viewing session lasts 40 minutes. Since only 9% of small businesses are on YouTube, the vast majority miss an effective opportunity to connect with current and potential customers.

Form a Strategy

A comprehensive social media strategy lets you connect with potential customers. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out Pioneer Media’s free guide: Develop an Effective Social Media Strategy.