Have you heard this ridiculous statement before, “your business should be on EVERY social media platform!”? Let me guess, you instantly felt overwhelmed, incapable, and discouraged at the notion of having to create content for every social media platform. Even if you only focused on the Big 7 (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tiktok) and disregarded the other 45+ social platforms, this would be a suffocating endeavor.
Let me put you at ease: you DO NOT need to be on every social platform. In fact, you shouldn’t be on more than 3 or 4 of them.
Let’s take a look at how to narrow down the list of platforms and identify the ones your business should really be on…
STEP 1 - “Where is your audience?”
Begin by asking yourself, “where is my audience?” Use this extensive (although not exhaustive) list of social platforms to highlight places where your audience might be found. As you’re combing through the list, include any that might remotely apply. By the end of this step, you’re likely going to see that the list of 50+ has diminished to around 10-12, if not less.
To help illustrate this, let’s use a Crossfit gym as an example. This gyms main intent is to produce video content that will increase memberships. Of the list of 50+ platforms, here’s where I think a Crossfit audience might be found…
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, Tiktok, Twitch, and Medium
STEP 2 - “Which platforms would your audience expect to encounter you on?”
Just because your audience is on a platform doesn’t mean that you should be too. You need to ask yourself if it practically makes sense for you to be there and if your customer would be surprised (negatively) if they saw you there. If so, that’s usually a good sign that you shouldn’t opt-in.
For instance, it’s very unlikely that a client of a plumbing company would want to follow their business on Instagram. Most people don’t want to/expect to see pictures of broken toilets on Instagram. On the other hand, the customer would hope to find their plumber on YouTube where they can find helpful “how to” videos.
Using our Crossfit example, here’s how we’d apply the question “which platforms would your audience expect to encounter you on?”:
STEP 3 - “Does your content fit the platform?”
Next, you’ll need to determine if the content you’re trying to communicate fits the platforms style and use. For instance, if your intent is to create “how to” plumbing videos, you likely wouldn’t fit platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, or Twitter. These aren’t conducive to long-form videos and therefore would be a waste of your efforts.
Using our Crossfit example, here’s how this would apply:
Facebook: Yes - this platform supports long-form videos
Instagram: Yes - this platform supports short-form videos
Twitter: No - this platform is mostly used for information sharing
LinkedIn: No - Not likely since this is more of a B2B platform
Snapchat: No - since most snaps are sent to people within your network, you’d have to already be friends with your potential clients
YouTube: Yes - this platform supports long-form videos
Tiktok: Yes - this platform supports short-form videos
STEP 4 - “Where would your audience actually purchase or at least move closer to purchasing?”
Finally, you’ll want to ask yourself if your audience would make a purchase (or get closer to making one) if they encountered you on each platform. If not, it’s not worth investing time, money or energy into it. If they would, on the other hand, then you’ve officially identified your shortlist of platforms you should focus on.
For our Crossfit company, here’s how applying the “would they buy” criteria onto this list:
Facebook: Yes - this platform typically converts prospects into customers.
Instagram: Yes - this platform is typically used to inspire people and Crossfit content does just that, therefore moving people closer to making a purchase.
YouTube: Yes - this could move people to purchase if they saw videos of workout routines
Tiktok: No - although it would be fun to show CF mishaps/mistakes, that likely wouldn’t drive new sales because people on this platform are solely looking to be entertained.
And just like that, we’ve narrowed the list of 50+ social media platforms down to the three we should focus on.
TIP: I’d recommend you go through this exercise every few years, or at least when a new social platform starts gaining traction. In the meantime, focus on the platforms where your customer is located, where they expect to see you, where your message fits and where your audience would actually make a purchase.
P.S. Here’s some tips on how to create great content for your platforms…