Starting Social Media: Tips for Small Business

Alex Greenwood
3 min readAug 12, 2020

Considering nearly three-quarters of Americans use social media in one form or another, you owe it to your small business to have some sort of presence in that space. While most small businesses don’t have the staffing bandwidth to manage complex social media strategies, there are still a few ways businesses can use it to their advantage.

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Whether you are an appliance repair outfit or a local coffee shop, you have a unique story to tell, and social media, used properly, can help you turn that story into new customers. Here are some of my top tips on getting started.

Do I Need ALL the Social Networking Tools?

The first question most small business owners ask me when discussing social media is, “Do I have to use ALL the different types of social media?” I tell them to take a deep breath and relax; no, you do not — and should not — start out using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and more all at once. You don’t have the time or energy to get good on all platforms at once. Besides, not all platforms are good for all businesses.

Which Platform?

If you are just getting started, ask yourself “Who is my audience?” Let’s take a look at some of the best options, per data from Hootsuite:

Facebook

  • 4 billion monthly active users
  • Top Demo Age 20–29
  • 75% women

YouTube

  • 2 billion monthly active users
  • Top Demo Age 15–25
  • 78% men

Instagram

  • 330 million monthly active users
  • Top Demo Age 18–24
  • 43% women

Twitter

  • 330 million monthly active users
  • Top Demo Age: 18–24
  • About even on male/female demo

Looking at each platform’s demographics, ask yourself which one aligns most closely with your business audience. If you are a financial planner you probably want to steer clear of Twitter and Instagram. Remember, however, that demographics are only part of the story.

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Alex Greenwood

PR Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Producer/Host, Editor, and Award-Winning Writer of the John Pilate Mystery Series. Accomplished belly laugher.