When people ask me which platforms they should be on, I have one answer for them that will solve all their problems:
You want to be where your audience is.
Plain and simple. Nothing more to it. Yet there’s this tendency to want to be everywhere, even if your ideal customers aren’t hanging out there. I think the term they use for it these days is FOMO - Fear of Missing Out!
If you preach to yoga loving Mums, then why on earth would you spend hours on LinkedIn each day?
If you’re in the financial industry selling insurance specifically to truck drivers, I can guarantee you wouldn’t have much success on Pinterest.
Yet we get sucked into wanting to be `popular’ and seen everywhere. As a result, we get completely overwhelmed, can’t keep up, and end up sporadically posting across every platform with no real strategy or content plan.
Basically, we get lost. So how do you figure out which platforms you should be on?
As I stated, the platforms which are best for you are the ones where your customers are. I did my research and dug into the key facts you need to know about each of the main social media tools we will be covering in this challenge.
I also relied on this great infographic by Social Media Today that I pulled more facts from to make it easier for you!
Facebook is huge! It has over 1.15 billion users (and 1 million active users). Facebook is the only site I actually recommend that EVERYBODY should be on. With that many users it’s highly likely your audience is on Facebook.
It’s a personal and business platform where you can connect with friends and family around the world, build your personal brand and create a mini website via a Facebook page for your business.
It's all about resonating with people and telling a story through the use of video, photo, quotes, how to and entertainment with a more personal feel.
If your audience is at all corporate, professional or employee related, LinkedIn is a great place to be, especially if you’re in the services-based industry of coaching, consulting, copywriting, web development, business development, partnerships and recruitment.
With around 200 million users it’s best used by adding value to conversations, answering questions and sharing great info that puts you as the `go-to’ authority on your subject matter, which leads to referrals and new business.
I like to think of Google Plus as a cross between Quora and Facebook - it’s like an intelligent yet active and vibrant platform that is growing steadily with over 350 million users.
It’s a great tool to include others in by tagging your circles where you’ve grouped people into friends, influencers, clients, community, etc and being able not only to notify them of a post but also email them - powerful, if used wisely.
Twitter is one of my favorite tools that is a practical, useful and fun way of sharing information. Withs around 450 million users, I love it because it requires people to be succinct and get their message across in 140 characters or less!
Twitter is one of the only tools where tweeting more often is actually a good thing as updates and posts go by so quickly in the newsfeed it helps to repeat yourself, and vary those messages throughout the day for your personally and your business.
To attract attention, use catchy and intelligent copywriting when tweeting. You should also follow and engage with people who are key influencers or potential customers in your area of business.
YouTube’s 1 billion unique users visit the video-sharing website every month, which is nearly one out of every two people on the Internet. So like Facebook, it’s a very powerful tool with a likelihood that your ideal target market is using or watching video on YouTube.
It’s been great to watch personal brands really carve out a niche by sharing their knowledge through use of creative videos - whether via screen sharing (product demos or how to videos) or putting themselves on video. It’s a perfect storytelling tool.
This visual tool originally attracted a bunch of artists and creatives but has proved to be a powerful tool for people selling their products and services. Not just Etsy artists, jewellers and image consultants, but mediapreneurs, authors, speakers and service providers, too.
Creating boards of interest that highlight your knowledge in an area as well as your interests allows you to build a personal brand and company people can really resonate with. Aside from pinning photos and videos, you can pin blog posts, articles and even products for sale.
Check out my Social Media Tips Pinterest board.
1. Focus on the top three tools
Once you've decided on which ones are best for you personally and where your audience are, forget the rest. No, seriously do. This will allow you to really master them and get results. You can add more sites later once you understand how to use them well.
3. Get strategic
Spend 30-60 minutes per day (pick a time to do this and stick to it) doing the right things like engaging with your community, sharing your knowledge, adding value and answering questions across your key social media sites. Try Tomato Timer to help keep you focused.
3. Engage and scan
Check-in 2-3 times per day for 5-10 minutes to scan, engage & maintain interaction across your platforms (Hootsuite is my preferred tool for this - and the lovely supporter of this social media challenge.)
So which sites will you be choosing to focus on and what techniques and strategies will you or have you been using to make the most impact and reach your audience?