Every business needs a great marketing strategy and social media should be at the top of your list. People are spending more and more time on their digital devices and a majority of that time is spent on social media. Social media is a powerful platform that can directly connect your business to your audience while building brand awareness and loyalty. People spend a great amount of their social media activity interacting with companies that they are interested in or already do business with. This makes social media marketing so effective because not only is it free, but you can be sure that your potential and current customers are there waiting for you.

This raises the question: How many social media platforms should your business be using? The most accurate answer would be “it depends”. Who will be managing your social media accounts? If you are hiring a social media manager, what is your budget? Though there is no straight-forward answer to the question, here are the Big Five social media platforms you should consider using in your marketing strategy.


Facebook is one of the original social media platforms with a user base of over one billion active users a day. If your target audience is on any social media platform, it is most likely Facebook. Facebook also allows businesses to create target audiences for paid advertisements based on people who engage with organic posts.

Facebook is a conversational platform and content should be delivered in a casual manner. If someone “likes” your business page on Facebook, they expect to receive updates about your company. These updates may include sales and promotions, new products or upcoming launches and events. Consider trying out different types of content: status updates, pictures, videos, story posts and more. Figure out what types of content drives the most impressions and engagement.


Instagram is the most visual social media platform and boasts over a billion active users per month. It offers a variety of posting formats such as permanent account posts, reels, IGTV and short-lived story posts. Because Instagram is affiliated with Facebook, paid ads from your Instagram account do not need to be set up in an additional platform if you have already set it up with Facebook.

Keep permanent account posts limited to photos and short videos that embody your overall brand. Share your values, personality, expertise and company story. You may also post promotional content that will interest your audience. Most of the conversational element of your Instagram presence will happen in your captions and comments but may also be included in photos to better grasp your audience’s attention.

Story posts that delete in 24 hours are typically more casual in tone. They are beneficial for driving more engagement to your account and business in general. Consider using story posts to ask for feedback through polls and open-ended questions or display countdowns for sales, promotions, and launches.


Twitter is the most conversational of all the platforms listed here. This is a place where brands and individuals can interact with each other in a fast-paced environment. With over 320 million active users monthly spread across the globe, Twitter is one of the most relied upon social media platforms for news.

In 2017, Twitter increased the tweet character count from 140 to 280 which has given people a little more freedom in the content they create while still keeping some limitations in place. Most businesses use Twitter to post content including product promotions, online contests, sales, funny thoughts related to their industry, data insights and new releases. Due to the character limit, Twitter is also commonly used to share links to more in-depth content.


YouTube is by far the most popular video platform with over a billion hours of video content watched daily. As a matter of fact, it is the second most trafficked website behind Google. YouTube can greatly increase the visibility and credibility of your brand. Like any search engine, it allows you to use optimization methods such as key words to increase your channel and video’s rankings in the search results. Not to mention, YouTube is owned by Google which means that you can create your paid advertising campaigns directly in Google for ads to be displayed on both platforms.

“How-to” is one of the most popular video content categories on YouTube. People are much more likely to watch a video teaching them how to do something than they are to read instructions. Consider using blog posts and other existing content on your website as the basis for video content that will boost your customer engagement and trust.


Of the social media platforms we are covering, LinkedIn is the oldest as it was founded in 2002. LinkedIn has over 250 million active users monthly. It is a little different than the other platforms listed because it is mainly used for business-to-business (B2B) marketing. LinkedIn is a great place to network with other professionals in your industry.

In addition to posting content for other professionals, LinkedIn is also a fantastic way to boost your company reputation through employees who advocate for your brand. Utilizing your employees will help you get your name and content on the platform without oversharing directly from your business account.

All of these social media platforms serve the same purposes but in their own unique ways. Though utilizing all these platforms is a sure way to maximize your social media reach, you may find that your target audience is more prevalent on one platform than another. Depending on your budget and time, it may be best to choose only the platforms that are most beneficial to you. No matter what you choose, be sure to utilize the tools offered by each platform to track your account performance and make better decisions about the direction of your marketing campaigns.

At trades.org we know all the important social platforms and can create a profile that reflects your business and attracts attention from the most likely potential customers. Our brand management services make social media marketing easy.