How To Pick A Social Media Platform That Works For You
One of the hardest parts about developing an online presence is picking a social media platform that works for you or your brand. The best option for starters is using the app that you are most comfortable with and then broaden your reach from there. Take a look at our strategies for finding your place in the social media landscape below!
While there is not a surefire way to guarantee an overnight following or viral social media campaign when building from the ground up, there are a few strategies to consider when testing platforms. The first is simply starting with what you know, meaning use the apps you already have installed. Alternatively, you can let your brand and content dictate the platform by choosing where to post based on the type of work you create. Third, you a/b test your content on all platforms and double down on the top performers. In truth, the best social media strategy for the long term is a combination of all three as you will likely need to market in multiple places to gain traction.
Before choosing any of these options to start, however, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of content do I plan to make? – Type
- How long will the content be? – Duration
- What is the point of this content? – Value
- Who is targeted audience for this content? – Demographic
- Where does that target audience congregate online? – Community
1. Go With What You Know
This is perhaps the easiest approach as it will simply involve setting up new accounts with platforms you already use or just posting from existing ones. With this route, you minimize the risk of having to learn the customs and norms of a new platform and simply focus on generating content that’s engaging. Also if you aren’t starting the page from scratch, you have the added benefit of testing the new content with your current audience.
- How do they respond? Are they as engaged as before?
The drawbacks of this strategy is the limit in scope. Sticking to what you know can help you make use of a foothold or familiarity with a given app, but your preferred lineup of social platforms may not be the best places to build your audiences. For instance, you may be the most familiar with Facebook, but your long form video series would likely do far better on Youtube. Furthermore, without any research for newer platforms and trends you limit your audience and lose potential market share as new communities develop.
2. Choose Which Social Platform Best Suits Your Content and Brand
With this option the questions listed in the beginning will carry more weight. Consider this, if you are not a strong long form writer, then you probably shouldn’t start with blogging. You could, however, use Twitter or go with Instagram or Youtube if your content is more visual. The other important factor in this is understanding your target demographic and their existing communities online. You’ll want to do your research to find the best platform and the groups or hashtags commonly used on that platform to optimize impressions. The best way to do this is using relevant keyword searches on each app and observing the top results. Doing this across multiple apps can give you a broad idea of which topics and content formats resonate more on a given platform. Once that has been detailed, shift to focus on content and engagement within those top communities that are most relevant to you.
3. A/B Testing Content On Multiple Platforms
A/B testing is simply running your content on all platforms and optimizing the best performers. This option doesn’t require as much upfront research, but it would be in your best interest to find the top performing applications. You could do this by checking monthly active users on each site or searching GooglePlay Store and Apple App Store for the top downloads. A/B testing is a great strategy if you plan to offer a variety of content that can’t quite be positioned on one platform; when done right it will allow you to see what content performs better or worse on certain apps. You can take this strategy even further by split testing several different post types on each platform and optimizing what works or doesn’t. This approach requires a bit more effort and time to play out, but will provide a more detailed picture of audience engagement with your content.
Combining All Three
As mentioned up top the best long term strategy for social media is one that includes all of the techniques described herein. Start with what you know and optimize content based on the app you are most comfortable with. As you understand your content and the landscape more, find outlets that work more intuitively for your content and brand. After that, expand your reach to all possible platforms while a/b testing content and marketing. The result of this process will create a nuanced network for people to engage with you and your brand in several different formats as opposed to one. Ultimately, picking a platform is just the beginning in terms of building an online brand.
See the full 10 steps to get started below!
1. Pick a platform
2. Create genuine content
3. Develop audience
4. Develop lead content AND genuine content for audience demographic
5. Engage community off-platform via website
6. Repeat steps 1-5 on different platforms
7. Monetize all traffic
8. Reinvest to build value products and services for community
9. Expand niches and interests within reach
10. Repeat step 7-9 indefinitely