Quick test: name as many social media platforms as you can in 10 seconds. And, go!
There are literally dozens to choose from in today’s world. Of course, there are a few we hear about often that are most commonly used. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Do you find yourself paralyzed by your social media choices? Or instead, have you opened an account in every channel?
Ignoring social media or going overboard on every platform isn’t going to get you the results you want for your business. Choosing the right social media platforms is a blend of understanding your audience and knowing yourself. If you hate to take pictures, Instagram isn’t going to be a good fit for your business, because you simply won’t be motivated to do it.
If social media (or the idea of social media) is causing you to feel overwhelmed, ask yourself these three questions to help you choose your social media platforms going forward.
1. How many platforms should you have?
Honestly the phrase, “keep it simple,” applies here. I always encourage my clients to stick to the two to three platform range, but one is an OK number as well.
Most importantly do what you do well! Too many platforms spread you thin, and when you don’t post frequently enough, you lose your audience.
2. Who is your audience?
Understanding your audience is essential to selecting your best social media channels. Here are a few things to consider:
- Basic age demographic
- Marital status
- Parental status
Finally, create 1 to 2 sentences describing your intended audience.
Understanding your target audience will help you select your platforms successfully. For example, if your target audience is a 30-year-old single female, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are where this audience is most often found in social media. It is essential to be on the same platform as your audience.
3. Who are you?
Picking your social media platforms matters to you personally. Taking your personality and personal likes and dislikes into account impacts how your audience perceives you. If you just don’t like a platform, it will show in your post. Your audience will experience this disconnect and not care about following you because you don’t feel authentic.
Play to your strengths and consider which social media platforms you enjoy using on a personal basis. Are you on Facebook several times a day? Do you love the challenge of the 140-character limit of Twitter? Whatever you choose, be authentic. It matters to your audience.
Additional Items to Remember
Here are some additional things to keep in mind as you navigate the social media platform waters. Currently, the research shows that Facebook is by far the most used social media network. In a world of roughly 7.4 billion people, 1.28 billion people are on Facebook. Furthermore, approximately 3/4 of the Facebook audience indicates that they check their Facebook pages at least one time a day.
Instagram users are also on their social media platform several times today. When you’re looking to find the right social media platform, it’s essential to consider your preferences, your audience’s preferences, and how many social media platforms you can personally handle.
Social media is a vital part of everyday marketing and gives your audience a chance to know who you are. Don’t spread yourself too thin and show your audience all you have to offer them.
Mikkee Hall has been writing stories since she was a kid (and making her dolls listen to them). She does all things communications at SafeHouse Denver, freelances as an editor and social media strategist, and in her spare time, children’s ministry at her church.