We all go through it, we all sit there and think to ourselves What social media platforms should I use – ah man I should be on THAT platform, or I read/listened to that guy who said THAT platform is blowing up right now – all true and their not wrong, however, as my spirit animal Ron Swanson would say: “never half ass two things, whole ass one thing!” – So wise Ron.
So, what does that mean for you and me? It means that with the multitude of choices and decisions that we must go through every day, don’t make over stretching on social media one of them. Take a systematic, logical approach to your social media marketing.
First steps in choosing what social media platforms should I use
All or One, One or All? I do believe in the school of thought that says you should be on EVERY social media platform, but I also feel like you don’t have to be active on those platforms, rather use some as signposts to where you want your users/customers to take action. For example, the HeyBurt Facebook page- not a social platform that I use to generate business, brand reach or one that I am interested in putting in the required effort to grow. I used a Pinned post (and some questionable comedy) to direct people to where they can effectively connect and contact me.
This means I have a presence on the platform, I am searchable and findable through Facebook Pages, a massive thing, but I don’t have to spend my time focusing in on that platform.
Which Platform is best for me to use?
That is a very individual and specific question and not one that can be answered as easily as – USE FACEBOOK. Each platform has its own idiosyncrasies, it’s own pros and cons, what are your overall marketing goals and most importantly – there might be specific platforms where your customers are hanging out!
How can I work out which platform my customers are on?
Ages of people on Social media:
When we are looking at a question as broad as; what social media platforms should I use, one of the first things we should be asking is; what are the main age ranges that use the channels that we are likely to use. Age is usually one of the main differentiators in our customers (behind maybe gender). Here’s a breakdown of the most popular channels;
Facebook: 20-29 is the most popular age of people on this giant of a social media platform.
Instagram: 63% of all users are under the age of 30, which is a massive statistic.
Twitter and Pinterest both come in with the main age range being 18-29.
Which platform(s) should I be on?
I guess it’s that time isn’t it. When we say “What social media platforms should I use”
Here are some of the pros and cons of some of the major platforms – to help you decide.
Often referred to as the ‘Yellow Pages’ of the internet. ESPECIALLY if you are bricks and mortar business (you have a location, like a shop). Facebook is an absolute NO BRAINER as a platform to HAVE A PRESENCE. As I mentioned you don’t necessarily NEED to post all the time on this platform, but you should have up to date information about the business, including your address details and how to contact the business.
In addition to this there are currently over 2 billion user’s worldwide and probably in the region of 32 million Facebook users in the UK, which is a stat that realistically, you can’t ignore.
FB is also, probably, the best and most cost-effective way to advertise online. The demographic (who and where) and psychographic (what they like) data that you can get from the audience insight tool is second to none. In addition, you have the ability to create a Pixel, for free, which is an insanely useful tool – find out Why Facebook Pixels are Important to your business, How to create a Facebook Pixel and How to Install a Facebook Pixel.
Probably one of the fastest growing networks out there. The real, photo orientated nature of the platform has captured the imagination of a brand new set of power users! With words like Insta-Famous becoming part of the vernacular, an acquisition from Facebook (meaning that you can utilise adverts inside of Instagram) and the introduction of Stories, Instagram has gone from strength to strength.
As of September 2017, worldwide, Instagram has approximately 800 million users, double the users it had in 2014. It is fast becoming the network of choice.
The main power of Instagram are Hashtags (#). These are your searches, it gives people the chance to find your content through searching the Hashtags. You want to make sure you are following a good Hashtag strategy if you intend on building an audience here (Post coming soon, make sure you
With the recent acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft and after the dust has settled on the end is nigh (because Microsoft brought LinkedIn) the truth is that Microsoft’s new inclusions to the platform and the things in the pipeline are incredibly exciting for users. Including the fact that LinkedIn secretly crept up to 500 million users! Not a small number of users!
Built around B2B engagement, LinkedIn is a great way to increase your professional network. If you’re looking to reach a mass audience, then it’s probably not for you, but if you’re looking to connect with other business owners, specialists or build your own professional brand. It is definitely worth checking out. Visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angusgrady/ and find out how to maximise your LinkedIn.
Get’s a bad wrap, especially in recent years, however Twitter is a fast, vibrant community. Agreed it’s uses for mass market are limited, however it is an incredible tool for building your brand and connecting to local people and businesses.
The main power of Twitter (one mans opinion) are Hashtag (#) hours. These frenetic, fast paced hours are a collection of Tweets all into a central source (the #Hour) which is monitored by individual(s) or businesses. For example: #HCWedHour (Wedding based vendors Q&A with different aspects of the Wedding Industry on a Tuesday 8-9) or #SuccessHour (business Q&A featuring experts on a Tuesday 9-10) – a concentrated group of people, all similarly orientated, mostly in a similar stage of business as you and a perfect way to connect, communicate and collaborate!
Pros and Cons:
- Everyone is there
- It is a yellow pages, so you should have SOME presence
- Advertising platform is second to none
- Familiar feel, upskilling can be easier than on other platforms such as Twitter
- Organic growth is hard to attain
- Requires a long-term strategy
- Can tell a real story of the business
- Utilisation of Hashtags means you can reach an audience anywhere, based on their needs
- Stories means you can appeal to multiple audience types
- Engaging and fun to use platform
- Can be used in a much more informal way to other platforms
- Can be time consuming
- Initial training is usually a fairly large step, however once learnt it is usually one of more the ‘fully adopted platforms’
- Helps to build ‘Brand You’
- It can support your business goals by building the professional/trustworthy source of information that is you/your business.
- Can connect you to other professionals
- Incredibly useful to connect pre/post seminar or event.
- Professional – can sometimes feel like content can’t be creative (it can)
- Mainly used for B2B and not mass market
- Quick, fun and easy to connect to people
- Hashtag Hours can connect you with tons of similarly minded people/business
- Great for quick customer service and connecting with customers
- ‘Diminishing’ Platform
- Tough to initially work out
So in conclusion – what social media platforms should I use?
Well, as with all things, it’s down to you, your business and your customers – however, if you stick to one of the four mentioned (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) you’re likely to reach your intended customers, you’ll be visible and you’ll be able to build your brand identity with a measure of ease. Remember that mastering one platform and THEN moving onto the next one is a great way to remain successful with your social media. Spreading yourself too thin (over lots of platforms) you may find that you do not do enough on each to really grow and succeed!
As always, if you want more information, a chat or anything else please feel free to message me on Facebook and we can continue the chat – barring that please feel free to come find me on: