Whether you’re operating a business in a small town or a big city, you know you need an online presence, but you also need a social media presence. If you have a website but have a relatively inactive Facebook account, or if you don’t have any social accounts, it’s time to join your fellow business owners on social media so your customers and future referral partners can find you easily … and see what your business is all about! Here’s what the latest research says:

According to WordStream’s article, “40 Essential Social Media Marketing Statistics for 2017,” published in November:

  • 83% of female internet users and 75% of male internet users have Facebook accounts.
  • 29% of college graduates have a Twitter account.
  • 81% of millennials check their Twitter accounts at least once a day.
  • There are more than 450 million user profiles on LinkedIn.
  • 79% of Americans use Facebook, making it the most popular social media platform in the U.S.
  • More than 2 million businesses advertise on Facebook.
  • 93% of people who use Pinterest use the platform to help them make purchasing decisions.
  • Over 56% of online adults use more than one social media platform.

In “15 Social Media Statistics That Every Business Needs to Know,” published by Yahoo Small Business, the author, Erin Richards-Kunkel said, “This might not shock you, but think about the repercussions for your brand NOT being on Facebook.” Richards-Kunkel went on to say that “now it [Facebook] is the Big Daddy of all social media platforms and the most used and visited.” She explains that 74% of consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions, “and you can bet your bottom dollar that Facebook was a big part of that,” said Richards-Kunkel.

Social Media Accounts for Small Business

By now you’re thinking it’s high time to ramp up your social media efforts. So, where do you start? While it’s ideal for most businesses to have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + account eventually, it’s okay to start with Facebook, then tackle Twitter, and strive to one day have each account listed below. It’s all about taking baby steps – at least in the beginning of your social media journey!

1. Facebook

Ideally, you should make one to three posts here daily. Depending on your type of business you can post articles, pictures of products or customers, videos, quotes, etc. Check your account daily and be sure to respond to comments and messages promptly. While Facebook is critical for engagement with customers, posts have very little organic reach without paid advertising. Still, it’s worth it for your business to be active on Facebook.

2. Twitter

Twitter has a great analytics tool that is free, which helps small business owners see which posts are getting the most engagement. Like Facebook, check your Twitter account M-F and respond to direct messages and comments within 24 hours. We recommend making one to four posts daily, and be sure to retweet (share) other people’s posts – the more engagement the better!

3. LinkedIn

Facebook and Instagram (for millennials especially) get so much attention that some people forget all about LinkedIn, which is a great tool for small business owners. All businesses should have a LinkedIn account regardless of what they do. Post once a day to LinkedIn and focus on building your base of LinkedIn “connections.” When making these connections, be sure to add people who are in your industry, and those who could become referral partners in the future.

4. Google +

While Google + is less popular than Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s important for small businesses, especially if you post blogs. Yahoo Small Business explained it perfectly: “like YouTube and Google Places for Business, Google + profiles do have some perks in getting ranked/indexed by Google. You increase the odds of getting highly targeted visitors from Google’s organic search results if you have a Google Plus account.” We recommend posting once a day to your Google + account and always post your blogs here.

5. Instagram

“Instagram is a powerful platform for creating visual content for your business,” according to ConstantContact. Instagram is one of the most engaging platforms, making it an ideal tool for connecting with customers, getting their feedback, and building relationships. Post at least one picture a day on Instagram. To learn more about this platform, check out: “8 Benefits of Instagram for Small Business,” by Brandignity.

You don’t have to be a social media expert to build a great social media presence for your small business. It all starts with creating the above accounts and after you’ve mastered Facebook and Twitter, moving on to the other platforms. If you’re clueless about social media, you can always read a book on the subject or have an employee take over the handling of the business’s social media accounts. Just remember, social media is a great tool for connecting with your customers. Be responsive and have fun in the process! For tailored marketing advice for your small business, don’t hesitate to contact AdviCoach!