It seems like everyone is always shouting the praises of this or that social media platform. Facebook is the best! Wait, nevermind, Facebook took away organic reach. Okay, then Instagram is the best! Holy cow, Instagram just changed their algorithm and tanked engagement.
Let’s be honest: every social media platform has its own pros and cons and unique ups and downs. There’s no perfect social media, so we in the business world sometimes feel like we need to be on all the social media, just in case! I’m here to tell you that you don’t. It’s time to find the social media platforms that are right for YOU.
Not all social media is created equal
Just about everyone has their favorite social media and that’s great! Also, while we’re on the subject, let’s be clear: Pinterest is not social media. Their Following tab is a step in that direction, but it’s still a visual search engine and should be treated as such. We’re still going to discuss it in this post, though, since it’s often lumped in with true social media. Okay, now that that’s out of the way…
Since everyone has favorite social media platforms, it stands to reason that each platform isn’t created equal. That’s why it’s important to dig into what works best for YOU and your own business.
Don’t be constrained by the ‘best’ social media platforms
I won’t harp on this too long, but it’s time to throw out the idea of ‘the best’ social media platform even existing. It doesn’t. It probably never will. Even if it is somehow created, SOMEONE out there will still hate it. So forget what anyone’s told you about the ‘best’ social media. It’s hogwash.
Different social media works better for different people
Here’s the truth: different social media platforms work better for different people and businesses. It’s important to know what some of the differences are, too. Different platforms cater better to certain styles:
In this case, I’m referring to static images (we’ll touch on video in a moment). This type of medium would apply to platforms like Instagram and Pinterest where visuals make or break you. This type of platform works great for visual-oriented businesses like photographers, designers, and handicrafts, but it can still be utilized by businesses that aren’t traditionally visually-oriented. You just have to get a little creative!
This is the kind of medium that you’d use if you want to share tidbits about your life as they happen. This would be something like Twitter or even Tumblr in some cases. These platforms can spark conversations around your observations, but because they tend to move at lightning speed, it can also be harder to stand out and get noticed.
I’m grouping these two mediums together because they both involve audio. Video can incorporate extra visual elements, but some folks also just listen to a video if they don’t need those visual elements. This could be things like YouTube, live video (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), podcasts (not typically considered social media, but still social), and similar platforms. This is great for businesses who want to share information that may not translate well into static images and text, such as coaches and folks who create tutorials.
Social media platforms that tend to focus on community usually incorporate some or all of the above mediums, but their true purpose is to foster that community aspect. These are platforms like Facebook, where it’s ALL about community and making connections. This is great for pretty much any type of business! Get clear about your business core values and form a community around that.
Figure out which social media you enjoy engaging on
Trying to be on all the social media platforms at once will just stress you out. And if you don’t ENJOY being on certain social media platforms, it’s going to be even more stressful! Personally, I’ve avoided Instagram for a while because I’ve been having a hard time understanding the best practices of that platform and it hasn’t felt worth my time to figure it out yet.
If you have a particular social media account that you dread creating content for, take that as a clue! That’s probably a platform that you can drop, at least for a time. You could encourage your existing audience on that platform to move over to your preferred social media platform with you so that you don’t lose your momentum, too.
Figure out what social media your audience enjoys engaging on
That said, maybe that platform isn’t where your audience is either! If you and your audience are on the same page with that, you may be wasting your time on a platform you hate. Do a quick audit of your existing social media platforms that you don’t really enjoy. Are you getting any engagement? If you are, is it worthwhile engagement or just fluff? If it’s not worthwhile engagement, think about just dropping it.
Find the overlaps between your favorite social media and your audience’s favorites
Now that you’ve figured out which social media platforms AREN’T your best fit, it’s time to find the ones that ARE! Take a look at your audience and you can even straight up ask them where they like to hang out on social media. If a few of them mention platforms that you hate, don’t worry about it; if a lot of them mention the same platform you hate, though, you may need to reevaluate it.
Regardless, the goal is to find the social media platforms that you AND your audience love. Those are your gold because you’ll be more engaged and authentic on those social media and so will your audience. Capitalize on those and make them work for you!
Focus on YOUR best social media platforms for better results
I know I just mentioned this, but by focusing on the social media platforms that are YOUR best fit, you’ll find more success. If you hate being on a platform, it’s probably going to show because you’ll be more sporadic with your posts, they won’t be as interesting, and they’ll just fall flat. You need to have at least some interest in the platform to get the most out of it.
Figure out why you love your favorite social media platforms
Think about why you get excited to log into Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/whatever each day. What are you expecting to read or see? Who do you want to talk to on there?
If you feel stuck or just want more ideas, ask the audience! (Yes, that was a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire reference. I went there.) See what they love most about the platform and build that into your social media strategy.
Figure out how to best engage on these social media platforms
Take a look at your best-performing posts on your chosen social media platform(s) and see if you notice a trend. What about those posts prompted engagement? What kind of engagement was it? How were you able to keep the momentum going?
Take your queues from these posts and see if you can authentically replicate them in your future posts.
Study others in your niche who are on these social media platforms
If you’re having trouble finding correlations, look at others in your niche. ‘Steal’ their best practices and adapt them to fit you and your business. Make them your own and run with them!
Make a plan of action
The most important thing to do is make a plan. Map out your social media strategy. Get an idea of where you want to go with it and what kind of posts you’ll be sharing. Grab some content from others that you can promote for them to spread the love. Get creative and don’t be afraid to cut any social media platforms that just aren’t working for you!
In the end, the ‘best’ social media for you is your own choice. You don’t need to be on every social media available and you don’t need to be on a platform just because ‘everyone else is, so it must be great.’ Find the social media platforms you truly enjoy engaging with others on and capitalize on them. Figure out what gets you the most and best engagement and integrate that into your social media plan. And in case you feel like you just need someone to come out and say it, here’s your permission to drop whatever social media isn’t working for you and your business!
Leave a comment with your thoughts on choosing the right social media for your business! Here are some ideas:
What social media is YOUR favorite and why?
Do you have any tips for someone trying to choose their top social media platforms?
What was your biggest takeaway from this post?