Growing your presence online is vital for any freelancer or content creator, but which social media platform is right for you?
Digital marketing plays a huge role in any business, whether you’re earning money through YouTube as a vlogger, or you’re trying to sell windows. A good marketing strategy can see you pull in a significant amount of followers in a short space of time, and your sales increase healthily. However, the difference between good and bad marketing is a lot of research and knowledge.
It’s a popular misconception that you need to be on every single social media platform in order to reach an optimum audience. Managing upwards of 4 different socials accounts can become overwhelming. The best way to boss your social media strategy is to figure out which platform is going to be the perfect fit for you. It’s best to use one platform really well, than to suck at a bunch of them.
This can take a bit of figuring out, and the first step is deciding on your main goal.
Identify your Goal
What do you hope to get out of social media? Do you want to raise brand awareness and reach a bigger audience? Or maybe you’re more concerned with customer service, and having a platform for people to contact you on. Perhaps you just want to use social media to understand how your audience interacts with you or your product, and gather valuable analytics.
Your motivator will play a big part in determining which social media platform is right for you.
What Does Your Audience Use?
Whether you’re promoting your brand or your pushing sales, you need to be doing it in the right place. If you’re targeting middle-aged mothers, you’re not likely to yield great results if you just utilise TikTok.
By figuring out your buyer persona, you can identify who your typical customer is, what demographic they’re in, their shopping habits, and what socials channels they might use. You can also look at your competitors and take notes from their customer-base.
A simple customer service goes a long way as well. By straight-up asking your customers which platforms they use, you’ll gather valuable information quickly and without much effort.
What Kind of Business Are You?
If you’re a content creator who shares vlogs and videos on YouTube, then stick with YouTube. If your brand and business relies heavily on aesthetics and image, then a site like LinkedIn probably won’t be a great fit. Needing to keep up to date with current events in real-time because of your work means Twitter is a perfect option.
The type of business you are and the content you want to put out are significant considerations when picking a platform.
With all of the above considered, it’s time to take a look at what’s on offer.
Facebook is the largest of the social media platforms, with 2.89 billion monthly active users. It’s a great platform for lead generation, and the ability to join groups enables you to tap into new audiences. A bigger “space” than some platforms like Instagram or Twitter, Facebook lets you delve deeper into the details. You can let your audience get to know you, as well as interact via comments and likes.
Video performs particularly well on Facebook, with people enjoying footage from business showing what life behind the scenes is like. Think of it as a “first look” kind of deal.
It’s important to remember that, whilst Facebook is the largest platform, people don’t typically scroll through it like they would TikTok or Insta. If you’re after a younger audience, Facebook may not be the safest bet.
You might find some people saying that YouTube isn’t actually a social media platform. However, the ability to like videos and leave comments, as well as share community posts, makes it look, smell, and feel an awful lot like one.
The second most visited site after Google, you can reach an enormous audience through sharing video content on YouTube. If you get really savvy with YouTube analytics, you can draw people to your own website but also grow your channel so much that you can make money directly from YouTube.
Video content that performs well on YouTube includes tutorials and instructional videos for beginners. If you have a cool skill related to your business, sharing your tips could be a solid way to attract more audience members.
As a digital marketing tool, Instagram is incredibly popular. If you’ve already got a personal account, switching to a business Instagram account is beautifully straightforward. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have access to loads of information that you wouldn’t otherwise.
The introduction of the Shops feature now makes using Instagram as a marketing tool for independent sellers even easier. You can link an external online shop to your content, so sharing enticing images of awesome products will result in even more sales!
Thanks to hashtags and trends, Instagram has become a home for social movements and breaking news. If you’re a business wanting to remain relevant, keeping up with trending hashtags will help keep you in the know.
Most social media platforms have ideal times of day to post, and a recommended amount to share content. Twitter is not one of those platforms. Of course, you should share carefully considered posts from time to time, but with Twitter more is more.
A fast-paced platform, you need to have your finger on the button when it comes to Twitter. It’s all about impulse and reaction, with trending hashtags changing throughout the day and endless conversational interactions driving traffic to different corners of the platform.
You can also access your analytics on Twitter, allowing you to know what content works best and whether you’re reaching your target demographic.
Taking the short-form video world by storm, TikTok has enjoyed huge popularity in recent years. Forging music careers and setting trends, the platform promotes content that is snappy and entertaining.
Unsurprisingly, TikTok marketing involves getting clever and creative with video. Just like YouTube, educational content does well. Hacks and cool fixes for problems also get a lot of attention, especially of the culinary kind. The entertainment factor is huge with TikTok, so if you’re planning to make this your primary social media platform, it’s important you don’t take yourself too seriously.
A much more businesslike platform, LinkedIn is great for sharing any developments or changes within your business, networking with other professionals, or sharing industry insights. This is what makes it a great B2B platform, but can work as a way of reaching out to potential customers.
Aiming content at young professionals within your niche means LinkedIn is a very viable social media platform for growing your business. Access to analytics, similar to other platforms, enables you to understand who you’re reaching with your content. It primarily spins the data in a business way, focussing on things like industry and job functions.
There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with a few social media platform to begin with. From there, you can whittle down which ones you get on with best and yield the best results.
Sometimes you’ll find that using a couple of platforms suits you. This makes perfect sense, seeing as each one if different to the other, and so you may want to cast a wider net.
Just remember, it’s better to become a pro at one or two, than spend your time struggling to get to grips with five.