Social media is an invaluable tool for any small business; it can help you grow a side hustle into a full-time job or expand the customer base of your small business on a much larger scale.

In this day and age, it is difficult to argue against the fact that social media is something every business can and should utilise to their advantage. However, not every app is created equal for your specific needs. The social channel you choose to promote your content on will affect your results.

In this article, we will outline the pros and cons of each social media marketing app for your small firm. The best social media for commerce is entirely dependent on your individual business, what you are selling, your ideal target audience, and how you want to market your goods.

Best Social Media Marketing Apps for Small Businesses

In a perfect world, a business would use all of the available social media apps to their advantage; however, this just isn’t realistic. Apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X, and YouTube are all free, but time is also a finite resource.

Most small businesses don’t have a dedicated social media team or employees, so the time they spend promoting their business online could be taken away from another important aspect of their work.

In the following lines, we will list the pros & cons of each app, as well as some interesting statistics that may help you make a decision in realising the best apps for successful social media marketing. We have listed the best free apps for an effective social media marketing campaign; each app is broken down and explained. However, you may choose to purchase ads on them if you wish.

1. Instagram

Instagram started off as a simple photo-sharing app for users to post photos of their lunch or night out. It has since become a diverse social platform that is suitable for many types of businesses. This is due to the fact that Instagram is frequently adding new features, from live videos and stories to Instagram reels. It continuously implements new social media trends into its app to remain popular, so you don’t have to worry about creating a new account on a different site.

Instagram posts can be as easy or intricate as you like, from a simple photo with a short caption to a highly polished video with detailed information and plenty of carefully considered hashtags. Product Giveaways are also an extremely popular way to get new followers. The versatility and visual focus is one of the reasons many businesses use Instagram.

Important Information

Users: Around 2.5 billion users use Instagram per month. It is the 4th most-viewed social media platform and the 4th most-viewed site in the world. 90% of users follow at least one business account.

Age range: Nearly 62% of Instagram users are aged between 18 and 34; 32% are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 30% are between 18 and 24. This makes the app ideal if you are targeting a younger audience.

Pros of Instagram

Instagram has emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms globally. Its visual-centric nature and user-friendly interface have propelled it to the forefront of social networking. Here are several pros of Instagram:

A Visual Medium

With updates changing the site over the years, Instagram is still, in essence, a photo and video-sharing site. You don’t have to worry about writing paragraphs of information if you can translate your product well into the medium of photography.

If you do produce something, for example, as a baker, artist, carpenter, or clothing designer, or offer a service as a fitness instructor, gardener, financial advisor, or singer, you can use Instagram to showcase the product or service you are offering. What’s more, if you can deliver what you are promoting on Instagram, you can earn loyal followers who will translate into repeat customers.

The benefit of this is compounding; if someone buys your product more than once, they are likely to share it with their followers, who will potentially also buy your product. One of the best things about social media is that real people will promote your content for free if they like it or want to show off what they have just bought. Instagram is one of the best social media apps for advertising, as consumers often identify with a brand that offers value.

Scheduled Posts

This social media marketing app has a scheduling feature which allows users to create a post and schedule a specific time to post it. This can be a way for users to create multiple posts at once and post them consistently throughout the week to create a consistent social media presence. You can also save an unfinished post as a draft and return to it later. That’s why Instagram is one of the best apps for scheduling and planning social media posts.

Instant Sharing on Other Apps

You can change your settings so that every post on Instagram is instantly uploaded to Facebook. This feature is ideal for running multiple business accounts without wasting your time.

IGTV/ Instagram Live

The one-minute video limit was removed with the arrival of IGTV. A business that may want to upload a tutorial highlighting the service they offer would benefit from this feature. Live videos allow users to do Q&As and connect with followers on a more personal level.

Built-in Business Features

You can choose to label your account as personal, private, creator or business, each having their own benefits. The creator and business accounts, in particular, offer advantages, including features like audience demographic, post scheduling, times followers are most active, and a post-by-post reach. These tools help you maximise the impact of your Instagram business strategy.


Stories are arguably more important than posts themselves. They only last for 24 hours but have a range of features, such as a Q&A box, a countdown timer for your next post/sale, and the option to add regular posts to your story to advertise them for free. The key is finding a story post rate that is consistent but doesn’t feel spammy.

Stories can be saved as highlights to feature permanently on the top of your page. It’s common to include FAQs, menus, price lists, and opening hours in your highlights.

Direct Message

DMs are chatrooms which allow you to communicate with other accounts or in a group. Most sales are either initiated or finalised in the DMs, as it is the perfect place for a potential customer to enquire about the goods or services you offer privately.

The best way to get inquiries is usually to post a photo on your main feed or in your stories. If people like what they see, they may ask for more information via a direct message.

Built-in Marketplace

A newer addition to the app, Instagram now has a marketplace where users can buy or sell products. The fact that followers don’t have to access a different app or website to purchase your goods makes life easier for them and sales more possible for you.

Pinned Posts

You can pin three posts, such as important product information, giveaways, or high-quality/popular pictures of your product.

As seen in the picture below, there is a specific place to add a link just below your bio and above your posts.

Instagram Layout - Social Media Marketing Apps for Small Businesses
Instagram Layout—Example of the official Instagram Page featuring photos and videos; the small circles are the stories that have been saved as a highlight.

Cons of Instagram

While Instagram offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to acknowledge some of the potential drawbacks and challenges associated with the platform. Here are several cons of Instagram:


The most annoying part of many social media apps for both personal and business users alike is the ads. They frequently pop up in between photos of people you follow and, in general, are skipped past without much thought. Businesses may feel pressured to purchase ads to boost their reach, but it is not always guaranteed success.


The Instagram algorithm changes frequently. This means that what Instagram prefers users to post (and what they will show to other users) will change often and may require you to adjust your content. This can be frustrating for any user who has devoted time to understanding and perfecting their posts, only to find out that their content needs further optimisation.

You Can’t Go Private as a Business Account

Not going private as a business account isn’t an issue for most users, but it is understandable that when starting out, you may wish to go private for a while, or you may need a break from posting. Unless you switch back to a personal account (and lose your business account benefits), you can’t go private for a while.

2. TikTok

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media site of all time, reaching 1 billion views 3 years faster than Facebook. This social media channel hosts short-form videos, and since its success, many other apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have implemented a similar feature into their sites. Due to the fact that it is much newer than other apps, it can be easier to grow an organic following without the need for ads.

Important Information

Users: TikTok has surpassed 1 billion users in just under 5 years and has been downloaded over 3.5 billion times. Social media users in the US spend an average of 38 minutes a day on this app, according to Shopify’s statistics, which is more time on average than other large sites.

Age Range: Around 36.7% of TikTok users are between 18 and 24 years old. It is an ideal site for businesses if your target audience is in this age range.

Pros of Tiktok

We have created an in-depth TikTok ad tutorial.

While TikTok often garners mixed reactions, it shouldn’t be dismissed solely based on negativity. This platform boasts numerous advantages for individuals and businesses alike. Here’s a deeper look at the pros of TikTok:

Grow Your Audience

TikTok is one of the best social media marketing apps that grows a large audience. Its young demographic is very engaged. It has a global audience, and many products go viral on TikTok, selling out instantly.

For You Page

The default page, or For You Page, shows users videos of accounts they may like, not necessarily accounts they are following. This means that growing an audience is actually a lot easier than apps such as Instagram or Facebook, where users are shown the accounts they are following first and foremost.

Multiple Ways to Engage

Videos on TikTok can be stitched, or you can do a duet with another account. This essentially allows users to remix someone else’s video by adding their own content to it. It is a great way to boost engagement.

Built-in Editing Software

You don’t need any prior video editing experience to make a TikTok post. TikTok’s video editing tools are easy to use and are specifically designed for the general public to be able to create and edit with ease.

The Power of Sound

Every few weeks, a new song goes viral on TikTok. Using this song will boost your reach and engagement. You can also create your own custom sound or voiceover, and it may become viral. You can use other people’s voiceovers to attract followers, especially if the original account is similar to yours.

Tiktok Layout - Social Media Marketing App for Small Businesses
TikTok Layout—A Social Media Marketing App for Your Business

Cons of Tiktok

While TikTok offers various benefits, it’s crucial to acknowledge its potential downsides. Here’s a balanced exploration of the cons of TikTok:

Favours Short Content

Even with the addition of longer videos of up to 10 minutes, TikTok favours shorter content. The endless feed of entertainment means that people naturally give less attention to individual posts. Short content is easier to film, but it can be difficult to showcase your business in 30 seconds or less.


TikTok ads are very expensive. Even with the boosted performance of an ad, there is no guarantee that users will actually stop scrolling and watch your video.

Videos Only

If you feel as though your product or service doesn’t translate well into video format, TikTok may not be the best option for you. That is not to say that you shouldn’t be creative when marketing, but some people simply don’t enjoy the process of filming, editing, writing scripts, or doing voiceovers. You don’t have to show your face or speak, but users tend to engage more with this type of content.

Younger Audience May Not Have Purchasing Power

The younger audience on TikTok has benefits and disadvantages. Younger audiences are always a key demographic in marketing as they decide what is and isn’t trendy, but they may not have purchasing power. Followers do not equate to sales after all.

If you are still unsure about joining Tiktok as a Business, ask yourself a few questions: ‘Is my target audience on the app?’ ‘Am I willing to take time to create content for the app?’ and ‘Are the app features compatible with my business goals and core values?’

3. Facebook

Facebook can be a powerful social media marketing app for your businesses, offering a broad reach and diverse functionalities. But like any tool, it has its limitations and requires careful strategising. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of using Facebook for your business.

Important Information

Users: Facebook has 2.91 billion active users. 36.8% of the world’s population uses Facebook monthly, and 79% of Facebook’s monthly users are active daily.

Age Range: Facebook is the most popular platform for the 35-44 demographic.

The purpose of Facebook. Does it line up with your marketing goals?

Pros of Facebook

Facebook remains a major player in the social media landscape despite facing criticism and evolving user preferences. It’s important to approach this platform with a balanced perspective, acknowledging its potential benefits alongside its drawbacks. Here’s a closer look at the pros of Facebook:


There are groups for everything and everyone on Facebook. You can join a group related to what you are selling and contribute to it. While advertising isn’t favoured by many in groups, building a rapport with potential customers by actively contributing to groups could create future sales.

Community Pages

Community pages allow users to connect on a local scale. If you want to promote your business to a local audience, joining a community page for your town or city is a great place to start.


On Facebook, you can post videos, photos, links, text posts, status updates, live streams, and more.


One of the best features on Facebook is arguably the events page. Any user can create an event and invite users to attend. So, whether you are hosting an event virtually or at a real-life location, such as a sale in-store, users can be notified on the app.

Instant Sharing on Instagram

Cross-posting suitable media such as photos and videos works with both apps with a simple click of a button, which is a great time saver if you plan to use both.

Facebook Layout - Social Media Marketing App for Small Businesses
Facebook Layout—A Social Media Marketing App

Cons of Facebook

As much as Facebook offers potential benefits, it’s crucial to acknowledge its downsides for informed use. Here’s a balanced exploration of the cons of Facebook:

Advertising & Boosted Posts

Facebook is considered one of the best apps for advertising on social media due to its large audience and popularity. Facebook ads ads can target specific ages, locations, and interests, but they can be costly.

You can also boost posts, but in our opinion, Facebook’s boosted posts aren’t necessarily the best way to spend your marketing budget. Facebook ad manager is a better way to spend your money for an increased return on investment.


Many users don’t trust Facebook to protect their privacy; they may, therefore, be less likely to purchase items through Facebook. This is a problem with many sites, but Facebook is the app that has faced the most controversy around customer privacy.

Mature Audience

Mature audience can be a pro or con, depending on your target audience. Facebook is less popular with the younger Gen Z audience. So, if they are your target market, you are probably better off on another platform. Young people are still joining Facebook, but it is usually at an older age in comparison to other social media networking sites.


Facebook Messenger is a handy alternative to WhatsApp, as you don’t need a user’s phone number. If they have a Facebook or messenger app, and depending on their privacy settings, you can message them.

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is an ideal picture-sharing site, with more focus on just pictures than other social media sites. Often underestimated, it holds immense potential for small businesses. Imagine a platform teeming with visually engaged users actively searching for inspiration and purchase decisions. That’s Pinterest in a nutshell. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of using Pinterest for your business.

Important Information

Users: Pinterest has 445 million monthly active users. Pinterest is often overlooked by businesses looking to expand their growth on social media.

Age range: Almost 38% of Pinterest users are between 50 and 65, and this represents the largest age demographic on the platform. The median age of Pinterest is 40 due to the fact that there is an even split of use between generations.

Women aged 25-34 represent just 29.1% of Pinterest’s audience. Women outrank men and non-binary users in every age group, but it’s particularly visible in the 25 to 34 bracket.

An in-depth Pinterest guide with small businesses specifically in mind.

Pros of Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular social media platform that serves as a virtual pinboard for discovering, saving, and organising ideas and inspiration. With its visually engaging interface and a vast array of content, it offers several advantages to users. Here are some of the key pros of Pinterest:

Conscious Social Media Use and High Conversion Rates

A lot of people use Pinterest to plan projects; they are usually looking for something to buy for their projects when online. Even though Pinterest has fewer monthly users than other apps, those who choose to pin are more likely to convert their browsing into buying.

Hyperlinked Pictures

Images on Pinterest are hyperlinked to their original source. This means that it is very easy to drive Pinterest traffic to other sites that you have an account on, such as Instagram or even your own website.

Pinterest is one of the best social media apps for artists, photographs, and creators in general. It is less saturated than other sites, so you can gain a following on Pinterest and link to other social networks.

Pins vs Followers

If you offer a range of products, Pinterest can actually be very beneficial to you, as users can choose to pin a specific image or follow a pre-made board as opposed to following everything you post.

A baker, for example, could have three different boards with images of cakes for weddings, birthdays, and specific holidays. People planning weddings would much prefer to look at a board about wedding cakes as opposed to an Instagram feed where wedding cakes are posted randomly throughout.

Trusted Source

People trust Pinterest as it provides quality goods on their site. Many people use Pinterest for the sole purpose of discovering a new brand or product.

Pinterest Layout—Social Media Marketing App for your Small Business
Pinterest Layout—A Social Media Marketing App to Promote Your Business

Cons of Pinterest

While Pinterest offers numerous benefits, it’s crucial to acknowledge its potential downsides for informed decision-making. Here’s a closer look at the cons of Pinterest:

Narrow Audience Range

Nearly 77% of Pinterest users are female; depending on your target audience, this is either a massive advantage or a discouragement. More male users are joining the app, so this may change, however. Reaching a broad audience is less likely on Pinterest than on other sites.


The images you post must meet certain quality and size requirements. These are not too difficult to comply with, but it does take time.

If you are using photos you have taken yourself, this isn’t an issue. Copyright issues can arise when you use other people’s images for commercial use. You’re better off using your own images; otherwise, make sure that the images you use are copyright-free.

Image Protection

It is very easy for a user to use your image on Pinterest without crediting or linking your account. This is a problem on every social media site and web page. So, we strongly encourage you to add a watermark to your images before posting. It can still be cropped out, but it does offer you an additional layer of protection.

5. X/Twitter

X/Twitter, the platform of hashtags and quick updates, is another social media marketing app that seems like a fleeting space for small businesses. Don’t underestimate its power! With its engaged audience and real-time conversations, it can be a valuable tool for building brand awareness, connecting with customers, and driving sales. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using X/Twitter:

Important Information

Users: X/Twitter has 330 million active users and almost half of them admit to purchasing something they saw on the app.

Age range: 38.5% of X/Twitter users are in the 25-34 year old age bracket.

A quick video covering all of the basics of X/Twitter

Pros of X/Twitter

X/Twitter is a prominent social media platform known for its real-time information sharing, rapid communication, and global reach. Here are some of the key advantages of using X/Twitter to promote your business:

New Source

X/Twitter is a great place to keep up with current business news and trends. It can act as your main newsfeed.

Show Your Personality

Many businesses, large and small, use X/Twitter to discuss things relevant to their product or service while also showcasing a bit of their personality. People are more likely to consider purchasing a product from a business if they feel they know or like the person behind it.


X/Twitter posts are shown in chronological order in real time. Its algorithm ranks posts based on the user’s interests, location, recency, and virality. There is no algorithm that decides what is shown at the top of your feeds, unlike Instagram. Your audience will automatically see your post if they look down through their feed up until the last post they saw.

Power of Reposting

If someone reposts your original post, all of their followers will be shown the post and can either like or repost it. This compounding effect can allow a user to go viral easily.


The variety of media allows users to post a quick post, a well-thought-out thread of tweets, as well as photos and images.

X/Twitter Layout—Social Media Marketing App for Small Businesses
X/Twitter Layout—A Social Media Marketing App

Cons of X/Twitter

Amidst its undeniable appeal lurks potential downsides that users should be aware of. From negativity and misinformation to privacy concerns and limitations, X/Twitter’s hidden shadows deserve examination.

Character Limit

Posts are limited to 280 characters. While you can start a thread of multiple related posts, mastering a concise delivery of information takes time.

Information Overload

On X/Twitter, there are so many posts each day that a typical account will not see all of the content they follow. Content can easily get lost.

Bots/ Spam Accounts

While spam accounts are a problem for every social media platform, X/Twitter is so severe that it actually removes over one million spam accounts from the site every day. This explains why the official X/Twitter account lost 12% of its follower base, which equated to seven million followers!

Twitter has evolved into a new home for digital marketing, and while it may not suit everyone, it is worth considering it as a potential site for your business.

A Summary of the Pros and Cons of Each App

In summary, you may want to use the following social media sites to market your business for these reasons:


Primarily a photo and video-sharing app, Instagram offers built-in business tools and analytics as well as DMs for easy communication. Be wary of Ad costs and an everchanging algorithm that will require you to think about what content to produce.

Instagram is arguably the best app for making social media posts, however, simply because of how easy it is to use. It is also arguably the best app for designing social media posts due to the editing and filter features you have access to.


TikTok hosts a younger audience, with multiple avenues to engage and go viral. Short-form video content of 30 seconds to 3 minutes is the primary form of content you will have to produce.

TikTok is one of the best apps for social media content creation, as it has all of the necessary built-in editing tools and effects. It is also one of the best apps to create content for social media, as many users post TikTok videos on other social networking sites.


Great for engaging with your local community, joining or creating groups related to the services you offer, and hosting events, Facebook is a great platform that supports a variety of content. It is the platform that is most popular with the middle-aged demographic and should be your target audience if you are using it. You’ve probably used Facebook before and have a good knowledge of what people like on the app.


With a focus on high-quality photos that can easily be linked to external sites, Pinterest typically has a narrower audience range but a high conversion rate of pins to sales. Niche products or specific posts are often favoured over generic content.


On X/Twitter, you can use a variety of media, including images and videos, with a focus on short-form text called posts. It can be difficult to stay relevant amidst the amount of content produced daily for the app.

The algorithm of this social media marketing platform personalises your feed based on the user’s interests and other factors. However, your posts will show up on feeds in chronological order. It is great for communicating with clients and showcasing a bit of the personality behind the business.

Final Thoughts and General Tips for Every App

How to know if you are marketing for your ideal customers

There is no right answer when it comes to choosing the best social media platform for your business. Yes, some are more compatible with your vision than others, but you still can find success on a site that doesn’t necessarily favour your content. 

We aim to point you in the right direction for the most rewarding and easiest way to achieve results. The best social media for your business, in particular, is the app that you like to use to promote your content and the one you are willing to put time and effort into to grow.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the pros and cons of various apps so you can experiment with them and find the best social media for your business. There is nothing to stop you from using all or some of these platforms or focusing on just one. Be mindful when and if customers ask you for your social media handle on a specific site, as they are showing a demand for your product/ service on that app.

The main rule to consider when promoting your business is that you need to provide something useful to your audience. You may feel as though your product/ service isn’t polished or photogenic enough to be posted online, but apps like Instagram and Facebook are places where people come to explore their interests and find some type of value. If you can find a way to package what you are offering in an entertaining, educational, exciting, imaginative, or enticing way, you are on the right track to starting a successful social media business.

Learning to balance quality content and a consistent quantity of content to remain relevant can be tricky and is something each business must decide for themselves. How often you choose to post and what you post are two of the biggest challenges businesses face online.

There is a fine line between regular content and posting that feels like spam, so always ask yourself why you are posting. Not everything you release has to be spectacular, but it should be related to your overall sales goal and brand identity.

Don’t be disheartened if you’re struggling to gain followers. It’s more important to create a sense of community on your account. Are you replying to comments and DMs? Are you helping people with interest with what you are offering with value? Are you supporting other accounts on a similar journey to you and creating meaningful interactions?

Many accounts online have thousands of followers but little to no engagement or sales because they are focusing only on growing while neglecting to maintain the viewers they already have. Growing your account is very important, but taking opportunities to engage with followers can create returning customers and a loyal follower count who will support you on other sites.

Have you decided on the best social media apps for your business? Which app best suits your business and marketing style? Do you want to stand out online with social media training? We have plenty more articles for you to choose from. Otherwise, you can contact our team for personalised help on how to grow your business online!

We hope that you have received value from this blog. If you are looking for an overview of each site, why not check out the Best Social Media Sites for Businesses or the Best Social Media Platform?

You may also find these other blogs useful: Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Your Business | 21 Ideas of What to Post on Social Media | 5 Steps of Content Planning for Social Media | How to Optimise Social Media for Your Business in 9 Steps | A Guide to Social Strategy | The 4 Types of Social Media Influencers and How to Become Successful | Best App for Social Media Posts – A List of Tools.


Why should brands use social media? / What brands should use social media?

Any business, large or small, can benefit from having a social media account. With the rise of online shopping and internet use over the years, it is a necessity for many businesses to have an online presence.

What are the typical social media costs for small businesses?

The biggest benefit of social media is that it is free to sign up; more businesses and consumers use these sites because there are no costs. Paid ads help to boost your account, but they aren’t mandatory for every business. Giveaways, shared posts, information that offers value or entertainment, and good follower engagement can create a steady online following without the need for ads.

How important is social media for small businesses?

This entirely depends on your marketing strategy, whether you are focused more on online sales or you want to grow a local following. Either way, you should use social media, but to varying degrees. An online store with no physical location should prioritise social media as its main marketing tool.

What social media is best for small businesses? / Advice for businesses using social media:

In general, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Twitter are good ideas. Focus on the apps that your target audience uses as well as the apps that best showcase the product/ service you are offering. Look at where and how other businesses are marketing similar products and services online but market in your own unique way.

How do I use social media for a small business?

One of the best things you can do is ask yourself who your ideal customers are. Most people don’t care about your product/ service. They are simply looking for the content that will provide the best solution for their problem. Focusing on marketing the value your product offers rather than the product itself is a great start on social media.

What can social media provide for a local small business?

Social media provides brand awareness. The majority of people in your local area use social media as their primary news source, a form of communication and entertainment hub, even if they want to shop locally. By creating a social media marketing plan, you can target a local audience who may not be aware of your brand.

How can I promote my business online for free?

Learning to deliver value through high-quality content and using keywords for search engine optimisation will promote your business without the need for excessive ads. At ProfileTree, we specialise in digital content marketing and would be more than happy to have a chat about your options.

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