We are in a time of information overload.
Business owners know that in order to be successful they have to take advantage of online marketing. Social media is one way to do this and social media is a very effective tool. With so many different platforms to choose from, how do you know which one works best for your business?
It is easy for me to make videos and write blog posts giving you reasons to use as many platforms as possible. However, I am a practical guy and I know not everyone has the time or the personality to be using 15 different types of platforms.
So which social media platforms should you use for your business?
In this episode, Tim goes over your different options to help you make the best choice for your business.
Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel
A Few Quick Lessons To Get You Started
Lesson #1 – Every social media platform has its own context. They each have their own individual features and “personality.” Understanding what the context of each platform is may be more important than understanding how many users it has. You want to use the platform that has the right users for your business. More is not better.
Lessons #2 – You need to decide what you are most comfortable creating. Before you even look at your options, the first step is to understand yourself.
- Are you comfortable making videos?
- Are you a good writer?
- Do you have talent with photography?
- What type of business are you in?
- Do you like networking with business professionals or are you selling to a more casual crowd?
This is all very important.
Lesson #3 – Social media is not free. It may not cost you money but it will cost you time. I would say that time is more valuable than money. If you are serious about using social media, you need to commit 100%. Whichever platform you get started with, don’t go in half way or “experiment.” This will be a waste of time.
Lesson #4 – Don’t try to be perfect. Social media is a skill and a talent. Everything takes practice. In order to be successful on social media, you need to be creating content which means making yourself vulnerable and open to criticism. Ignore the haters. Just start creating and you will learn as you go. It may be rough in the beginning but it is better to start and learn than to do nothing for fear of judgment.
Now, let’s dig deeper to look at which social platform is right for you and your business.
Facebook – The Monster
Facebook changed the world. As of this moment, there are an estimated 1.59 billion people using Facebook each month. If Facebook were a country, it would be the biggest country in the world.
Another amazing statistic about Facebook is the amount of mobile users it has. Facebook was the first social platform to understand the rise in mobile devices and has built their mobile app with precision and perfection to adapt to the cell phone culture we all live in.
Facebook gives you the most options. Meaning you can post blog articles to a website, you can publish videos native to the platform. You can post pictures, live stream and Facebook has an extremely robust advertising platform.
Over the years, there has been a lot of chatter about Facebook losing its market share but that is simply not the case. Facebook is the king, the queen, and the entire village. So if Facebook is so big, then why isn’t everyone on it and nowhere else? Well, Facebook does have some weaknesses for promoting your business.
If you have a business page and a following on Facebook, that doesn’t mean that everyone will see your content. Facebook has to be mindful of the screen real estate (meaning the actual amount of space on your screen) so they can’t show everything to everyone. Instead, Facebook runs off of a very complicated algorithm that determines how important your content is and how many people will see the content you post.
The rule of thumb is to assume only about 2% of your audience will see the content you post. So if you have 100 followers, about 2 of them will see the latest blog or article you posted.
Even with that, Facebook still has tons of potential to grow your business.
Twitter – The Internet’s Social Gathering
When deciding on which social media platform you should use, Twitter should absolutely be in the mix. As I said before, you have to understand the context of each social platform. Twitter is an “interacting app.” Twitter does not have the strength that other platforms have in terms of pushing your content towards an audience. However, it is the best platform for interacting with live events, conversations or overall networking.
There has been some controversy over Twitter and some people (including myself) have come out saying that Twitter is dying off. However, recent changes within the company infrastructure seem to be having a big impact. It looks like Twitter is here to stay.
Twitter is great for someone who has something to say. For instance, comedians, politicians, sports players, media professionals, and public figures.
Let’s say you are creating a podcast about mixed martial arts. Twitter could be a great way to have your voice heard regarding local events, UFC fights, press conferences and the latest news. The great hashtag culture of Twitter can help you build a following and connect with like minded people.
Twitter is where people come to talk. No other platform has the live, real-time conversations that Twitter does.
Instagram – The “Hey Look At Me” Platform
There are some great positive features with Instagram. It is primarily a picture sharing app that allows people to post pictures and videos in a passive timeline interface. Instagram has a great “behind the scenes” context. It gives your audience a first-hand look at what goes on every day and lets them get to know you.
Also, Instagram is a great community builder. It works wonderfully for industries that are a little self-absorbed. Any fitness industry should think about using Instagram. It allows you to give video demos of exercises and lets your following tag you in pictures.
Any brand selling apparel should also think about using Instagram. Selfies of new outfits and pictures of your products on attractive people is a great way to sell clothing, sneakers or any other kind of wearable products.
Also, for people who are very camera friendly, Instagram could reap huge benefits for your brand or business. Hairdressers, make-up artists, and even artists can build huge followings and interact with them in real-time.
To make this platform even better, Instagram recently just released its “stories function.” Essentially, Instagram stole Snapchats entire content model and made it better because it allows you to upload custom videos with higher production value. There are many loyal Snapchatters but this is certainly a big come up for Instagram and will continue to strengthen its user base.
LinkedIn – The Business Man’s Platform
LinkedIn has 100 million monthly users. Everyone in the business world has a LinkedIn account. The problem is that not a lot of people actually log in and are active members on their account.
I would argue that LinkedIn offers too many different options. Also, most of the people who use LinkedIn do it as a sales and lead generation tool. With all that being said, if you are patient enough to weed through the junk, LinkedIn is an extremely powerful networking tool.
No other platform gives business professionals the capability to meet other professionals and find like minded people. LinkedIn also has a cool “pulse” feature which shares content from the LinkedIn blog with you in correlation to what your interests are.
You can belong to groups, you can build company pages, and you can even upgrade to LinkedIn Pro and turn your account into a legitimate relations manager. LinkedIn is a great resource for marketing experts, sales experts, accountants, lawyers, brokers and business professionals of all kinds.
SnapChat – The Millennial’s Platform
Snapchat is uncomfortable for most people. The interface and the user experience of the platform insists that people be themselves. Snapchat is the most unique platform around because it has introduced a new age of micro-content. 10-second videos that disappear after 24 hours. Also, you can group your videos together to create stories.
This platform allows for a lot of creativity but also has some limitations. There is no sharing or tagging functionality. In order to grow your following, you have to go old school, which means word of mouth and old fashioned branding.
Snapchat does have some interesting branding features for their advertising. You can create custom geo filters for events or locations. It is great. If you can learn how to effectively create content on Snapchat, you could be looking at some real business growth.
The problem with Snapchat is that the audience is very young. Keep in mind this audience is shaping the way we create and absorb content so there are huge prospects for the future. But for the average business owner it may be difficult to connect to this younger demographic.
Snapchat is perfect for people who have great stories to tell. Motivational speakers, business leaders, and public figures that don’t mind letting people into the day to day of their lives.
If you are asking yourself which social media platform you should use, you need to have Snapchat in the mix. The huge and sudden growth is worth taking note but the question is whether Snapchat can compete in the long race against the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
YouTube – The Video Search Engine
YouTube is more than a video sharing platform. It is the world’s second largest search engine, second only to Google.
People go to YouTube for more than music videos and cat videos. YouTube is a credible teaching tool and learning device. Every day, millions of people go to YouTube to answer questions they may have or learn how to perform certain tasks they may not understand. This could be a huge advantage for you.
If you are comfortable in front of the camera and you have some decent editing skills, you can create tons and tons of traffic through instructional videos or documentaries.
The great thing about YouTube is that it is very transferable. Meaning one video can be shared on all social platforms. It can be edited to curate new content and it can be embedded into a blog post. With one video, you can essentially create 10 other forms of content.
The downside is that not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera. In order to build an engaged following, you have to provide value. The YouTube audience is not very forgiving and unless your videos are quality, people will instantly leave your video and find something else.
This can prove difficult for some people who are more comfortable writing or even speaking into a microphone to create audio content. YouTube is not for everyone but if you have the stomach for it and you have valuable knowledge to share, YouTube can change your business.
The Stodzy Media Recommendation
The choice is ultimately up to you. You need to understand your business and understand yourself to know what kind of content you are most comfortable creating.
Here is our two cents – If you need somewhere to start, start with Facebook. Facebook gives you the most options and it also gives you the ability to advertise to a very specific target audience.
Build your Facebook audience, create content and use that content to collect email addresses. If you do this on a consistent basis I promise you will grow your business. For beginners, Facebook gives you the best chance of building an audience and sharing content that is native to your website. On top of that with Facebook you can tap into many different media streams.
For instance, you can share written content, you can write content native to Facebook, you can share videos, you can live stream videos and you can interact with your audience through textual updates.
Again, this is a big choice that you will need to make on your own. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.