Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn . . . the list of social media sites is practically endless. Since you have limited time, you probably can’t do a great job of marketing on all of them, so you need to pick one or two to focus on. If your focus is lead generation or small business sales, you need to narrow it down to where your audience hangs out.

Each site has its own rather specific audience, which can help you narrow things down.

Facebook

There’s little doubt that you need to be on Facebook. It caters to such a wide variety of people that your audience is nearly guaranteed to be there, if they’re in the 25-54 year old age group. With over 1.3 billion members, this site is the largest social network online and it has been around for a decade. That means it is well-established and its members tend to be pretty active, too, with almost 50% of them jumping on the site every day.

Facebook is not just a social media site. It’s also a search engine, and people use it to search far more than you might think. Get noticed here, and you’ll show up in Facebook searches all day long.

Twitter

While Twitter has fewer users, it’s a good place to be if you actually want to actually connect with your followers. It’s considered a brand loyalty enhancer, where companies are followed by their loyal fans.

The average person on Twitter spends roughly 2.5 hours on the site daily and this is generally spread out throughout several sessions during the day. If you’re looking to connect with your potential clients in a more personal way, then Twitter is an excellent choice.

LinkedIn

This social media site is definitely more professional-oriented, so it’s ideal if you are a business-to-business (B2B) company or if your market includes business professionals. There are more than 300 million users on LinkedIn, so it’s worth taking the time to get noticed on the site.

LinkedIn is often underutilized, but it is still very valuable for those in the B2B market. Just because others are ignoring the site doesn’t mean you should miss out on the opportunity.

Google+

One of the biggest reasons to sign up with Google+ is the fact that it is owned by Google. That can’t hurt your site, so even if you’re not completely convinced about using the network, you should at least set up a basic profile page. It also connects to Google’s other offerings, like YouTube, so it’s simple to integrate multiple platforms.

Despite the potential SEO boost, most people are not about to spend much time on this particular social media network, so plan accordingly.

Instagram

This image-based social media site has 500 million users, with more than half of those checking in daily. Instagram has made quite a few changes recently, which may make it more difficult to get noticed, but if you have a visually-appealing company, this is a good place to be.

The trick with Instagram is to use beautiful images and add hashtags to your captions. With these tips, along with plenty of interaction, you should see more clickthroughs on your posts.

Pinterest

Is your audience primarily female? If so, Pinterest could be a good place to start promoting your business. The site is also very image-oriented, but has been moving toward more and more text-based images. Nearly half the women online use Pinterest, and while there are men who use the platform, you’ll definitely have better chances if you’re targeting women.

Not only should you be on Pinterest, but make any images on your site pinnable, too. This can help increase the number of views and clickthroughs you get.

YouTube

Video marketing is alive and well and nearly every industry can benefit from a few videos. The massive social media network integrates with Google and serves as a search engine, as well. Post videos that are relevant to your clients, and use your keywords in the title and description to show up in the YouTube searches. You can also include a link in the description to your site.

Conclusion

Online marketing for small biz has many facets, but social media is absolutely one of the more important parts of marketing your company. You don’t have to be active on every site, but you should have at least two that you focus on. If you find that there is more time later, you can expand your reach by using other networks, but start out with just two.