How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

Did you know you can’t just throw up a profile on any old social media platform?

Did you know you can’t just post the same messages on every social media platform?

So, how do you choose the RIGHT social media platform for your brand?

How do you modify your posts to optimize effectiveness on EACH social media platform?

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How to choose the RIGHT social media platform?

I once heard a talk from @SimaSays who described the different social media platforms this way (sorry, Sima, I’m paraphrasing):

LinkedIN is like the boardroom

Facebook is like a backyard bar-b-que

Twitter is like a cocktail party — the heels are higher and shorter skirts.

Now, I’m not sure this is accurate, but it’s interesting. In fact, I have more success on Twitter (the cocktail party) than Facebook. But, LinkedIN is my best social network. So, take this characterization with a grain of salt.

Where’s my target market?

Well, the first thing you need to consider is whether your target audience is ON a specific social platform. I mean, it’s great that Facebook has over 1 BILLION users, but that doesn’t help if YOUR target market isn’t there.

For instance, younger teens aren’t on Facebook anymore. They’re hangin’ on Snapchat. Or Vine. And, while baby boomers are finding Facebook (maybe that’s why teens are leaving), but they’re not on Twitter, yet.

Meanwhile, Google+ is gaining more brands (because Google uses membership to help your website ranking), but individuals kinda lag.

If you’re a B2B firm, LinkedIN is still your best bet, closely followed by Google+.

YouTube is great if you can provide entertainment or instruction. But, creating high quality videos is time-consuming and may be expensive.

Differences in gender, education levels, and other factors also vary across different social media platforms — see the infographic from specifics.

What are the benefits of different social platforms?

Next, figure out which social platforms help reach your marketing goals.

Social media platforms differ in their ability to help you reach your goals. For instance, if you want to drive traffic to your website, Facebook Twitter and the social bookmarking sites, like StumbleUpon and Reddit work best (personally, I find Reddit particularly valuable at sending traffic to my website — but, be careful. Don’t send every post to Reddit or you’ll actually lose traction).

If your goal is to create engagement, Reddit and StumbleUpon are pretty weak. Instead, use SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. If you’re goal is to help SEO, then Google+ and Facebook rank on top.

Let your social media goals guide your choice. Of course, you can join multiple different social media platforms to support multiple goals.

What type of content to share on different social networks?

Of course, you shouldn’t share the same content in the same format across different social networks. One reason is because you likely have folks following across different platforms and you want them to see something a little different. Another reason is that different types of content perform better on different platforms.

Pinterest content is highly visual. So using big, engaging graphics is important. You only have a few words to supplement the image.

LinkedIN does better with an article link and text because folks use LinkedIN to stay on top of changes in their industry.

Facebook and Google+ do well with a wide range of different content types, but still perform better when there’s a large image with some pithy text to drive interest to read the article on your website. Both platforms perform better if you focus on building a community by sharing valuable content and using storytelling to drive engagement.

Vine and YouTube (plus new Instagram 18 second looping videos) require specific video skills, especially for the short, looping videos.

Do you have the right skills?

As I discussed in my post yesterday, there’s a huge skill gap in social media marketing right now. So, evaluate whether your firm has skills necessary to compete effectively on a particular platform. It’s great if you can support a variety of social media platforms effectively, but don’t sacrifice quality by spreading yourself too thin to perform effectively on any platform. As a new firm, you might also consider starting with 1 or 2 social platforms, then building out as you master the first few.

Need Help?

Whether you need a complete social media marketing strategy or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel or develop a social media plan that matches your needs. We can help you choose the RIGHT social media platform or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

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