Best Social Media Platforms for Startups: Choosing the Right Platforms for Your Marketing Campaign (UPDATED 2024)

The purpose of social media for businesses, including startups, is to attract, engage, and retain customers. It is important for all businesses, especially beginners, to establish their presence on relevant social media platforms as part of their marketing strategy, depending on their business type and the benefits of each platform.

We’ve assessed top social media platforms and compiled a list of ideal ones for startups. It suits any startup, be it a single mother seeking a grant or a group of college students innovating.

Every business is familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn but you may need to get familiar with other sites that works well within your niche.

Tracking social marketing and improving strategies is tough. Hire pros or a digital agency to create effective campaigns. A strong plan boosts brand awareness and drives traffic. Get help managing listings on sites like Google, Yelp, Bing, etc.

Best Social Media Platforms for Startups That Should Be A part of The Marketing Campaign

Platform Best For
Facebook All businesses in order to gain visibility and engage with new and existing customers.

Necessary for increasing local outreach and authority. Great for partnering up with local companies. Affiliate marketing and local B2B.

Twitter Businesses that are targeting a largely tech-savvy audience with bite-sized information.

Necessary for increasing global outreach and authority. Great for partnering up with global companies. Affiliate marketing and global B2B.

LinkedIn B2B businesses, especially those interested in targeting or hiring educated professionals.
Instagram B2C businesses that are interested in publishing visually engaging and story-driven content in video and photos.

Necessary for partnering up with influencers.

YouTube B2B and B2C businesses whose product or service lends itself to informational videos or visual appeal.

Necessary for partnering up with influencers.

Google My Business Brick-and-mortar businesses that want to show up in Google search and map results.
Yelp Businesses that would benefit from positive online reviews and higher search results in Google.

Necessary for word-of-mouth marketing.

Foursquare Brick-and-mortar businesses that want to build a viral social presence and higher customer ratings.
Pinterest Consumer-focused brands marketing to mainly female audience and wanting to share information in an aesthetic way.
Snapchat Brands with a largely millennial audience whose messaging skews spontaneous and fun.

How To Evaluate the Best Social Media for Startups

Startups seeking social media platforms for marketing campaigns want engaging options to promote their brand and connect with customers. This depends on their target audience, as focusing on every platform is challenging. To simplify, compare and contrast major social media sites to find the best fit. For those looking to boost their Instagram followers and likes, Mixx offers a streamlined solution.

Here are some of the criteria we used:

  • Cost: Needs to be free of charge;
  • Popularity or reach: We only selected popular websites with millions of active users;
  • Audience: Different businesses cater to different customer segments, and it’s important to identify the right social media platforms where your ideal customer resides;
  • Suitability for small businesses: We chose the ones that have a proven track record of effectiveness when it comes to working with small businesses;
  • Features for advanced use: Some social media sites have opportunities for greater engagement, such as paid ads and boosted posts, which can be beneficial for small businesses;
  • Ease of use: The sites we selected are beginner friendly, easy for small business owners to set up a profile and learn how to use them.
  • Geographical targeting: Because many small businesses have a geographical focus, we selected social media sites that allow geotargeting.

Every business needs to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy. Consider adding more social media sites like Google My Business and Yelp if you’re a brick-and-mortar business.

Here’s what a professional has to say:

“A lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking they have to be on every social media or review site. In reality, you need to be on the right ones. For every business, that’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For local businesses, that means Google My Business and Yelp.” 

— Kent Campbell, CEO, Reputation X

#1 Facebook

Type of audience: General; the majority of adults in the United States are on Facebook; Locals are on Facebook.
What to share: Business news, products, announcements, articles, and more.
Recommended post frequency: 3-7 times per week.

Facebook is essential for any business’s marketing strategy because it is the largest and most effective social media site. With a wide reach, it guarantees that almost everyone in the target audience is on there. Thus, businesses of all types and sizes should have an active Facebook business page.

To condense the text to half its length, the main points can be summarized as: Sign up for a Facebook business page and add business information. Include opening and closing hours, locations, and images. Post daily updates about products, events, tips, and other appealing content to engage your target audience.

#2 LinkedIn

Type of audience: Professionals in any industry.
What to share: Updates about your business’s activity, links to interesting or relevant content.
Recommended post frequency: 1-4 times per week.

LinkedIn is a key social media site for professionals and businesses. It serves as an online resume and allows B2B professionals to network, make sales, and establish themselves as thought leaders. LinkedIn marketing is essential for B2B businesses to gain visibility among potential clients, partners, and customers.

Every small business must have a LinkedIn business page to establish credibility on the largest professional social network. Post regular updates or share industry-related content on the page.

Creating a LinkedIn business page is ideal for finding employees and making B2B sales. Being active on LinkedIn establishes authority in your niche.

#3 Twitter

Type of audience: Tech-savvy users spanning the age spectrum; global audiences.
What to share: Time-sensitive updates, business information, shout-outs, and retweets.
Recommended post frequency: 1-3 times per day.

Twitter is a social platform for communication through tweets, direct messages, videos, and images. It’s popular for startups targeting tech-savvy customers and those who prefer bite-sized information. As the third-largest social media site, it’s crucial for businesses to establish their brand identity and digital presence.

To create a Twitter profile, go to the Twitter for Business page and sign up. Follow other relevant brands and users in your niche. Post updates, link helpful articles, or retweet other users three to five times a day. Check direct messages regularly as customers may use your account as a helpline. Keep your account public to maximize visibility and interaction with your audience.

#4 Instagram

Type of audience: Urban and suburban millennials with a slight female skew.
What to share: Eye-catching visuals, product visuals, events, people, and behind-the-scenes stories.
Recommended post frequency: 3-5 posts per week, 1-15 stories per day.

Instagram, now owned by Facebook, is the ultimate visual social media platform. Users are mobile, millennial, and highly engaged. The average Instagram user spends from 24 to 32 minutes a day on the app. Instagram is an effective platform of choice for businesses that cater to millennial consumers.

Sign up for Instagram and download the app. Post photos and stories daily about your business. Use geotags and hashtags to get noticed locally. Consider advertising on Instagram for more exposure. Instagram is a highly ad-friendly social media platform.

#5 YouTube

Type of audience: General consumers seeking entertainment or doing general research.
What to share: Informational, educational or entertaining videos.
Recommended post frequency: 1-3 videos per week.

YouTube is the world’s biggest video site and the 2nd largest search engine. It is perfect for consumer-focused businesses, like landscaping, mechanic, technical, photo, and videography companies.

YouTube takes more time and effort to build your presence compared to other social media platforms. You need to create custom videos about your company, products, or services. Gaining organic followers (subscribers) requires time and investment in video quality.

Start with 5-10 videos and post 1 per week. Videos should be 3-10 minutes long and can be informative or instructional. Popular video types on YouTube are how-to, animated explainer, and interviews.

Utilize Instagram and YouTube for endorsements and influencer marketing. Request collaborations for product promotion through videos, stories, or personal page advertisements.

#6 Google My Business

Type of audience: Any Google users searching for any type of local business or a service.
What to share: Create a thorough profile for your business. Add all the necessary information.
Recommended post frequency: Not applicable.

Google My Business (GMB) is crucial for local businesses with a physical location. It’s a business directory that enables your business to be seen on Google maps, appear in local searches, and receive ratings and recommendations. Claim your listing to establish a strong presence on the world’s largest business directory.

Create a GMB listing to let customers find your address, company info, and ratings in search results. Claim your location to be found online, receive ratings, recommendations, and attract customers to visit again.

Fill out all information – store hours, prices, photos, and links. More info means better business presence. Having a GMB account helps outrank others in search results.

#7 Yelp

Type of audience: Customers recommending, dining at, or shopping at local establishments.
What to share: Build a full profile and keep business information up to date and consistent.
Recommended post frequency: Not applicable. Just update when the changes occur in your operations.

Yelp is a site for local business ratings and recommendations. Customers use it to decide where to visit, eat, or buy, based on star ratings.

Listing on Yelp helps customers find you on Google search. Yelp is used as a search engine to find locations with high ratings and positive reviews. Harvard research shows higher Yelp ratings lead to immediate revenue increase.

Yelp is a review site where customers rate and write about their experiences. Poor ratings can turn customers away.

Keeping this in mind, it remains crucial for local businesses to create their Yelp profile and promote positive (like five-star) reviews. You can handle the negative ones by responding politely and assuring them that you will investigate the issue and resolve it soon.

Bonus tip:

It’s crucial to maintain consistency in your business details when listing on directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Foursquare. Having discrepancies can confuse search engines and customers. Digital marketing professionals can assist by ensuring accuracy in your listings and getting you listed on top directories and apps.

#8 Foursquare

Type of audience: Customers wanting to visit trendy locations and share their experiences.
What to share: Build a complete and consistent business profile.
Recommended post frequency: Not applicable. Update when changes occur in your operations.

Foursquare is a popular app for checking in at places like restaurants. It is great for businesses seeking more visibility. Users can rate and review locations, providing valuable leads for the businesses.

Foursquare boosts your business by reaching out to active and influential users. Just claim your listing, create a profile, and let customers find you. While not as popular as Google My Business or Yelp, Foursquare still brings search traffic and more visitors to your local business.

#9 Pinterest

Type of audience: Millennial and middle-aged mostly female audiences with disposable income.
What to share: Recipes, wardrobe, design, deco, organizational, and craft ideas.
Recommended post frequency: 1-5 times per week.

Pinterest is a popular online pinboard where users save and organize images linked to products, articles, or other content. It is favored by businesses targeting a predominantly female audience. Key features include content organization, inspiration from other users’ pins, and topic-specific search.

To begin with Pinterest, sign up and create a board with pins. Despite being great for female customers, it takes time to set up an appealing pinboard. Make sure your pinboards showcase products attractively and inspire users to utilize them effectively.

#10 Snapchat

Type of audience: Millennials .
What to share: Daily activities, tips, and tricks, updates, behind the scenes videos, and selfies.
Recommended post frequency: 1-10 times daily.

Snapchat is a multimedia app for sending videos, text, and selfies (with filters) to friends or groups. Messages are impermanent, creating a story-like flow. Brands can use Snapchat to communicate with millennial customers.

Snapchat is like Instagram or Facebook. Set up an account, download the app, and share 1-10 snaps daily. Follow other brands, maintain a regular cadence, and build an audience. Make sure your brand aligns with Snapchat’s millennial user base. If not, consider focusing your efforts elsewhere.

Here’s a bonus tip. If you want to implement similar strategies as you use on Instagram and Snapchat but your target audience consists of young adults and teenagers, use Tik-Tok. You can utilize the help of Tik-Tok influencers as well.

The Bottom Line

To market your business, use social media. Choose the right platform based on your business. Create accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Local businesses should list on Google My Business and Yelp.

Becoming an expert in marketing on all social networks is impossible. Hire professionals to create targeted social media campaigns and manage online listings for better brand awareness and more traffic.

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