Trying to work out which social media platforms are best for you can feel like a complete minefield. It can often feel like you’re just meant to the entire unspoken rule book via osmosis. But the fact is once you know where your potential audience are and where you should be you can write your own rule book. Working out where your social media presence needs to found will help you work smarter by reducing the amount of wasted energy you spend on social media platforms that just aren’t for you.
But, before you begin to make the match, you’ll first need to understand which social media platforms are for what and where your key audience tend to spend the most time.
Which Social Media Platforms Are for What
Everyone is on social media so it makes sense for your blog and/or business to be there too. But to take advantage of popular social media networks you need to first understand why you need to be there and what joining the right platforms can offer you. So, which social media platforms should you be using? Broken down into the simplest terms the key strengths for each platform are listed below.
Facebook – Brand awareness and community: Facebook users largely tend to be household decision makers, who feel comfortable with the familiarity of the platform.
Twitter – Customer support and trending news: Still very popular with old school key opinion leaders. 70% of the Twitter population are males and its top trending industries are consistently news and science.
Instagram – Lead generation and customer acquisition: Now fully monetised and compatible with most ecommerce sites, Instagram remains the number one social media platform to sell your wares whilst growing followers and harvesting leads.
LinkedIn – Thought leadership and networking: According to the latest Social Pilot report 91% of executives rate the platform with 15% of users being senior level influencers. Therefore, if you’re a KOL (Key Opinion Leader) or in need of connecting with those that are, using LinkedIn is a brilliant way to reach out.
Pinterest – Driving traffic and increasing sales: 70% of Pinterest users are female, an element the platform often contributes to being the safest platform. And why 80% of mums (pet mums included) claim to love ‘Pinning’. 86% of millennials use Pinterest to plan life events.
TikTok – The trending social media platform for prospecting and creating lifetime advocacy: ‘Zoomers’ (Gen Z) make up 63% of TikTok users. Engaging and educating younger generations (future followers) can be a great way to create loyal, lifetime advocates.
What to Post and Where
The purpose of content is to get people to connect with it and ideally engage, share, learn and convert; whether that be to a follower or customer the goal is ultimately the same. Even if you’re simply creating content as a hobby, you’re posting it publicly because you want it to be seen and consumed. The purpose of all social media platforms is to facilitate that content consumption!
Take a minute to go through our list of social media platforms, their purpose and key audience. Next jot down which of them you feel match the type of audience you need to be reaching. Are you actively on all the social media platforms your community are using? If not, why not?
The contemplation of starting fresh on a new platform can feel overwhelmingly deflating, but remember you already have a library of content that you curating on your other social media platforms, why not look back at successful content you shared on say Facebook and Instagram and either reshare directly or rework for the new profiles you want to detonate. You literally have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. The worst performing content is unpublished content, focus on getting your post out to as much of your defined audience as possible.
Going Viral on Social Media
It’s the obseeion that everyone seems to want in on. Going viral in itself is really nothing more than a trend. Be careful not to ego bait yourself! Instead take a pragmatic and logical approach to what you are doing. If you’re struggling to get views on your content (no matter it’s type) its more than likely that you’ve not found one or a combination of the following
- your content niches
- your audience
- where your audience most commonly hang out
Use the free analytics tools on the social media platforms you use to define and segment your audience into key age groups, locations and preferences. Once you’ve defined a rough outline of who your main follower types are, compare what you’ve outlined as their preferences with the content you’re creating, is it for them? Could it be that you’re making fantastic content but showcasing it to people who couldn’t care less about it? If you’re presenting your posts to the wrong people, it will never be received in the way you hope or need it to.
For a long time, I was in complete denial that I was a parent blogger, I liked to watch refurb reels and upcycle videos and follow people whose lifestyles offered me some night feeding escapism. And so, I followed these types of content creators expecting them to follow back and be ‘my peoples’. Obviously, they didn’t, because 25-year-old, free and single Jane trekking across India and Interior design focussed Bob in Syracuse where never going to be interested in my nappy hacks and mum tired, UK suburban home! As soon as I as I began to facilitate the power of a target audience, it became amazingly simple to make content connect. No matter the platform, or whether I was creating content for myself or others.
Don’t stop at just reviewing your audience, you can level up further by also looking over the type of content you’ve been creating. Writing blog articles or creating shortform, micro videos often feel like the most obvious content types for us to create as we see them most often on mainstream social media platforms. However, think about how you could create valuable niche content that there’s less competition over but still huge demand for. Then look at where that content genre can be best shared.
For example, are any of your stories press worthy? Why not write a press release and pitch your ideas to the press? Or try creating infographics on Canva. When pinned on Pinterest infographics can be great for driving traffic to your website. Look at what might seem like less mainstream platforms. Why not sign up to Spotify and build themed playlists, which can layer in a point of difference to your existing social media platforms, but are also easily shared via blog posts to maintain that continuous loop of audience within your content catchment.
What to Post and Where
Ultimately the purpose of content is to get people to connect with it and ideally engage, share, learn and convert; whether that be to a follower or customer the goal is ultimately the same. Even if you’re simply creating content as a hobby, you’re posting it publicly because you want it to be seen and consumed. Remember a hobby can also be a side hussle, so consider what you ‘call to action’ should be for each post and what you want people to do with your content once they viewed it. If you want them to like, comment or share make sure to tell them!
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Don’t Fear the Algorithm
The dreaded social media algorithms are far less complex or sinister as most people will have you believe. They’re also due to update again! But, the basic formular for building the most robust content pillars is simple. Speed + Volume + Quality. However, the truth is that not many people can independently fulfil this brief, without assistance or quick burn out. And yet every social media platform basically wants the same; a solid flow of relevant, well made content. It’s also why occasionally you may go viral, but not consistently (even with like for like content), because noone (not even buisness power houses and influencers with team) can consistently roll out hourly, high quality content, that’s relevant to the exact moment its posted within! And believe me you shouldn’t try. You want your social media platforms to be working for you, not the other way around!
What you can do is make sure you’re saying the right things to the right people at the best time and on the social media platforms most aligned to you. This in itself will increases the value of everything you share, regardless of how well or often you execute your content. Producing content that fullfils a need within your community essentially means you’re creating an entity of mutual benefit to both you and them. Harness this and whether you go viral or not you’ll benefit from the power of social media marketing.
Have you had viral success – which social media platforms was it on? Share your tips and thoughts in the coments below.