Which Social Media Channels Should Your Small Business Use?

Social media is now a reality in marketing. From Facebook, to Twitter, to Pinterest—social media channels are key to reaching your target consumers. But which of these are your consumers? Which of the millions of users are your target demographic?

Choose Wisely

Using the correct social media for your small business is the first step to engaging with people. Spreading your message indiscriminately will dilute what you have to say. Focus is key.

Say you’re a small nonprofit that supports the local art scene. Which social media should you be on? How many channels?

Choosing no more than three channels and keeping content unique for each will keep your message fresh and reach a variety of potential, and already loyal, customers, or in the case of the nonprofit, donors. The next question is, which three? Using our local arts nonprofit:


Storify is an excellent choice for nonprofits. It takes related information from social media feeds, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and weaves it into a relevant story. Users on the social networking site created over “554,000 stories that were viewed more than 367 million times” in 2012. Businesses can position the information in ways that drive their message. Our fictional local art nonprofit can create stories relating to local art movements, artists or openings.


As a highly visual social media, Pinterest makes sense to use with an equally visually organization. Pinterest launched in 2010 and quickly rose in popularity. In January 2012, the site boasted over 11.7 million unique US visits with the majority (83%) of its demographic being women. Using Pinterest to create boards in which others can interact will add value and raise awareness of your business and what you offer. Pictures really are worth a thousand words. Create boards highlighting painting or sculpture techniques, local artists, shows, galleries and more.



Tumblr is a popular microblogging platform that can get you noticed. There are 94.4 million blogs on the site and 43.4 billion posts. Using popular hashtags on the site lets people search for terms that interest them. Leveraging these hashtags will raise your visibility.


But what if you’re not a local arts nonprofit? How do you choose social media? There are dozens of social media networks out there. Before choosing the most popular, ask yourself some questions:

  • Is my business highly visual, like a gallery or a restaurant?
  • Does it deal more in ideas, like a charitable organization?
  • Who are my target segments? What social media do they use?
  • What’s the best way to tell my story?
  • How much do I want to engage my demographic?
  • Do I want to broadcast deals and specials?
  • Do I have staff that understands social media and can update my chosen channels?

After answering these questions, research which three social media channels best fit your needs and update frequently and regularly.

Choosing your social media is an important step in reaching the audience you want to reach and keeping your message focused.