Which social media site matters most for local businesses?

In this 5-minute read:

  • Social media trends and facts
  • The big four
  • If you had to pick one platform for local retail and restaurants, pick Instagram

It’s no secret that social media is a dominating presence in the online world. Billions of people spend hours each day on their smartphones and various social apps. And these people are your customers. 

So, how do you know which social media site is the most important for your business?

Attract new customers and keep them loyal with reputation management software. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

Not all social media channels are created equal. One platform might work great for a specific business while another social media site might do nothing for that same business. You need to determine what channels make the most sense for your business and how you can utilize them to help your company grow. 

Social media trends and facts

Let’s get started with some basic facts and trends of social media use by consumers. 

  • More than 90% of 18-29 year-olds and more than 82% of 30-49 year-olds use at least one social media site
  • The top two social media platforms for adults as of February 2019 were YouTube and Facebook
  • 74% of Americans use Facebook on a daily basis
  • 85% of Gen Z-ers (born 1995-2015) learn about new products via social media
  • More than 52% of all brand discovery takes place on public channels
  • More than 61% of Instagram users are under age 35

Just by doing a quick search online, you can find interesting facts like this about every social media platform to help you decide where your audience spends their time and where your business should be. 

Some trends to keep in mind:

  • More customers and potential hires are reaching out to businesses on social media than ever before
  • Local targeting is becoming more prevalent and important across each social media channel
  • Social media communities are continuing to grow
  • Short-lasting content like Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories continue to grow in use

Keep up with the trends and pay attention to the new platforms your customers are starting to spend more of their time on. 

smiling man engaging with small business on social media

Which social media site matters most for your business?

How do you know which social media site is the best one for your business to focus on? That can be a tough question. The best way to answer this is to determine what your social media goals are, who your audience is (and where they spend their time), and which platforms your business can really shine on. 

We’ll walk you through the benefits and purposes of the big four: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. 

Of all current social media platforms, they are the ones that have withstood the test of time (such as it is). Over the years, people have become accustomed to using these social media sites for their specific benefits. 


Facebook’s mission is to help people stay connected with their friends and family and unite in an online community. They want to bring the world closer through the power of connection. 

More and more customers are starting to reach out to businesses on Facebook as their first point of contact. This makes it an important place to ensure your business has a presence. 

Facebook has powerful advertising capabilities to help increase local brand awareness and gather more leads. With local targeting, you can set specific demographic requirements for your ads and within a specific mile radius of your business. 

Check out our guide: How to set up Facebook Ads Manager for your small business

While people are generally spending their time on Facebook for entertainment and connecting with friends, the Facebook Marketplace is becoming increasingly more popular for businesses and consumers alike to sell items and services. 

Go deeper: The complete guide to Facebook marketing for small businesses

male superhero with like icon on his chest


Twitter’s goal is to allow its users to share information and ideas instantly and without barriers. The content on this platform is more bite-sized and limited to 280 characters currently (it used to be 140). It is a popular outlet for consuming news on a global landscape. 

Twitter is one of the top places for accessing and learning about trending news. If your business is in a growing industry, particularly that revolves around trending topics like celebrity news, finance, and politics, you have the capacity to gain a lot of traction with this platform. 

Twitter can help increase brand awareness when you utilize it for the purposes that people visit it for. 

If you’re trying to build up your social media presence on Twitter with a business that isn’t related to trending topics, then you probably won’t get very far. 

Check this out: How to use Twitter to market your small business


LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” 

This professional networking platform helps connect businesses to professionals every day. Through this ever-growing network, you can find the right candidates to help grow your business. 

LinkedIn is also a great platform for connecting with other like-minded business owners to share news, trends, thoughts, and ideas on how to improve yourselves professionally. 

If your ultimate goal is to find more employees for your continuous growth, then LinkedIn is definitely the right platform for you to get started on. 

Get started: How to create a LinkedIn business account


While it is definitely the most popular among Gen Z, Instagram is probably the fastest-growing social media platform among all age groups.

Instagram’s mission is “to capture and share the world’s moments.”

This platform capitalizes on people’s attraction to visuals. From videos to artwork to photography, we are drawn into the beauty that others share.

beautiful female instagrammer for small business taking selfie

Through visuals, Instagram helps businesses to show their personality and eliminate a barrier between them and their customers. People want to know who they are doing business with, and videos and images allow a look at what your business is about.

Learn more: Why every local business should be on Instagram
Go deeper: Why Instagram Stories is the most underrated small business marketing tool

What makes Instagram more effective than other social media for small businesses?

If for some reason you could only choose one social media platform for your local retail business or restaurant to focus on, it should be Instagram. 

More Instagram users engage with businesses online

An incredible 68% of users regularly engage with brands on Instagram— more than double Facebook’s figures (even though Instagram is owned by Facebook). 

Since your goal with social media is engagement with current and potential customers, this makes Instagram a no-brainer.

But that’s not all: Instagram Stories elicits almost unbelievably positive engagement figures, with 400 million daily users, and fully 20% of Instagram stories shared by a brand receiving a direct reply from a current or potential customer.

Ask any old-school marketer if he’s ever gotten a 20% response rate from any of his campaigns, and he’ll laugh in your face.

Instagram users take action more often

If the above isn’t proof enough to convince you to spend some time (and possibly some of your small business marketing budget) to on shoring up your business’s Instagram activity, consider that 75% of Instagrammers “take action” (such as clicking a link to your website or online store after viewing your Instagram post or Story). 

The bottom line is Instagram boasts a 2.2% “interaction rate.” That’s a technical term and it might not seem so hot if you don’t know what “interaction rate” means. 

So, for context, consider that Facebook has a 0.22% rate. This means that Instagram is NINE HUNDRED PERCENT more effective than Facebook in spurring action from your current and potential customers. *Mic drop.*

Improve your online visibility with reputation management software

Having a social media presence is only one aspect of keeping up online appearances. It’s important to make sure that you maintain a good reputation on each of your online channels whether that’s through interactions with your customers via comments and messages or online reviews. 

Keep up with your online reviews across multiple platforms with reputation management software. Womply’s solution allows you to manage all your reviews from different platforms in one place, helps you set up alerts when new reviews come in, and it has the option to set up automated responses to your reviews. 

Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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