What Social Media Platform is Best for YOU!

We all are pretty familiar with social media, right?

Its plays a key role in the day-to-day operations of many of our businesses. And for good reason. Social media has allowed us now more than ever to be instantly connected to our consumers. Whether this be daily readers of our blog content or purchasers of our products. We are right there when they need us, and they are right there when we need them.

Along with this instant connection to our consumers, social media also allows us to show a more personal, inviting and approachable side to our businesses. I know from personal experience that I like to make my social media a place where every single on of you reading this can come and talk to me. We can talk for minutes or hours and I will be there to support you, guide you, and watch you grow.

Because of just these two reasons social media is KEY.

But social media can also be a very overwhelming experience, especially if you are new to being a business owner. While we often understand the importance of social media, what we don't understand is the proper social media strategies that can make us successful.

The biggest myth out there is that we need to be on every social media platform to be successful. When in reality, the best social media strategies work when we focus our efforts on 1 to 2 social media platforms. This allows us to successfully manage our accounts while producing high quality content versus a large volume of content if we were everywhere.

But how do we determine which social platforms are the best for us for use in our strategies?

We know that each social media platform can play a very different key role in our businesses because no two platforms are created equal. That means we first need to understand what each social media platform can do for our businesses, for this post we will focus on gaining knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

We will also focus on how to determine which social media platforms are best for YOU. How? Stay tuned to the very end of this post where you can grab a fun, quick and FREE activity that will ensure you make a smart choice to operate a successful business on social media.

Are you ready? 

There is a lot to cover, so let's not waste any time!

Instagram

There is no one better to explain what the Instagram platform is then Instagram themselves, right?

" Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. " {Instagram}

Since the launch of Instagram in 2010 the platform has blown up with more than 600 million active users currently using the social media platform. When diving into the world of Instagram the most important thing to remember is that Instagram is a VISUAL platform. This means you are going to be posting images and graphics and not worrying so much about text-based content. While captions are still an important part of the platform they aren't nearly as important as the images you post. 

What if my photography skills suck? Not a problem! Many of the active users on Instagram aren't photographers. The key with Instagram is to create visuals which can be acquired through actually taking photographs or creating graphics on platforms like Photoshop. As long as you fill your Instagram feed with eye-catching visuals that match your brand then you are utilizing Instagram successful.

In 2016 Instagram introduced a new algorithm that allows only 'popular' posts - those with the most likes, comments and engagement - to show up in our feeds. This makes it slightly more challenging to get in front of your entire followers list and the other active users on Instagram. While there hasn't been a huge negative impact with this algorithm it's still something all users need to consider.

Personally, I don't use Instagram. I'm not afraid to say that.

The reason? When I spent time testing Instagram for use in my business the biggest thing that made me delete my account was the lack of interest I got on Instagram. It just seemed the my target audience wasn't utilizing the platform and therefore, for me to use the platform didn't seem as effective as others.

 

Facebook

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and probably is one of the very first social media platforms to help skyrocket the use of social media all around the world. After the creation and discontinuation of Myspace, of course! But what is Facebook? There is no better way to explain Facebook then go right to Facebook themselves. Here is what they say: 

"Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." {Facebook}

Since the launch of Facebook in 2004, the platform has seriously grown and is currently home to 1.86 billion active monthly users. With 1.23 billion of those users utilizing Facebook on a daily basis (source). Like Instagram, this makes your potential audience huge if you are using Facebook in the proper manner. But how can you do that?

Facebook is a platform for connection. This connection can come from two main areas for us business owners:

1.      Facebook Pages

2.      Facebook Groups

Facebook Pages are public accounts that you, as a Facebook user, create to advertise, promote and otherwise market your business. These pages are extremely similar to your personal Facebook account but they provide an experience to your audience in a public manner. Whereas your personal Facebook account allows you to have privacy. 

Pages tend to to be more structured with tailored content that presents a business-oriented and professional appearance to your target clients. 

Facebook Groups on the other hand can be private, closed, or public groups that are created to house a community of like-minded individuals. These are also an excellent way to advertise, promote and otherwise market your business in a more personal setting. 

Groups are my secret weapon - and I know you've heard my say that before. This is because they are a constantly active place full of diversity in niches, gender, races, ages, educational levels, experience and much more. This makes groups the best place to provide and gain educational and informative information.

 

Twitter

Founded in 2006, Twitter has also become one of the biggest social media platforms on the market. And it's also the most controversial, in my opinion. Before I get into all the specifics we first need to learn about what Twitter is and just like all the other platforms I've talked about, let's hear it straight from the source:

Twitter's purpose is "to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers." {Twitter}

Twitter currently has 313 million active monthly users. This is roughly half the size of Instagram despite having been able to grow for 4-years previous to the launch of Instagram. And has considerably less users than Facebook with only a 2-year gap. This means we won't have as much of a possible reach on this platform but that doesn't make it any less valuable. 

When I first jumped into running a blog back in March 2014, the very first platform that I utilizing was Twitter and within my 2-year span on using the platform I gained roughly 1,200 followers. Which is not an amazing number but not a poor number either. It was satisfactory to me. But when I made the switch from blogger to business owner that's when Twitter really came to light for me.

Twitter is a VERY fast-paced environment.

With thousands of tweets being sent per minute, depending on the number of people you are following this can be overwhelming. Because of this fast-paced nature the chances to miss posts from your favorite bloggers or business owners is extremely high. And chances are once you've missed a post you aren't going to want to spend the time scrolling back through your feed running the chance of missing all the new posts coming in.

Along with the fast-paced nature Twitter has turned into a platform for controversy. I say this because Twitter is now a platform meant for you to express your personal opinions, feelings and emotions. Which is great. But as a business owner this often makes the content of Twitter junk! This type of content provides no value to my business and really just fills individuals feeds with tweets that aren't often relevant. Again causing your followers to miss your important posts!

I don't utilize Twitter any longer and I'm not afraid to admit that for the reasons I stated above. But what is great about Twitter is how connective you can be with your audience. Tweets are instant. And just like that you can be in instant connection with your audience through 140-characters. 

 

Pinterest

By now we all know about Pinterest and if you haven't you've been living on a dessert island somewhere far, far away. Pinterest has been BLOWING up the blogger and business communities over the last 6-months and for some very good reasons. But before we dive into those let's find out what Pinterest is all about"

"Pinterest is the world's catalog of ideas. Find and save recipes, parenting hacks, style inspiration and other ideas to try." {Pinterest}

Launched in 2010 Pinterest grabbed the hearts of many for personal reasons such as finding and saving ideas to try. But now Pinterest is being used in an entirely different method. When I was researching for this post, Pinterest was very hard to find any real data on. But based on hours of research I was able to find that currently Pinterest has an average monthly active user range of 110 to 150 million individuals. Comparing this to our previous platform totals Pinterest has the lowest user rate. 

As I've continued to utilize Pinterest for my business and do more research into the platform it has become pretty clear that many of the Pinterest users aren't utilizing the platform with the proper method. 

Pinterest is a search-engine, much like Google. 

This means that instead of treating it like a platform that you would use to like, comment, and share everything. You need to treat it like putting your posts on Google in a strategic way so that they can be found by those out hunting for your information. Within Pinterest this means utilizing methods such as rich pins, keywords, branding and niched boards among other very important aspects.

In saying that, much like Google, Pinterest can be used for ALL niches and all topics. If you are a single-mom wanting to share her struggles in life to the CEO of one of the largest tech companies in the world. Pinterest has no borders because it’s all about how you utilize the platform that determines your success.

Pinterest has quickly taken the #2 spot as my favorite platform and for good reason. It allows me to maintain my visual brand – through the use of graphics – and allows me to connect with a large market of like-minded individuals!

 

Take Action:

We've just spent time reviewing the 4 main social media platforms on the market for business owners to utilize. Of course, there are plenty more platforms including YouTube, Snapchat, and Periscope that can all be huge contenders for your brand. However, these aren't as often saturated with our potential audience and they require much more effort to use. If you are interested in learning about these platforms Google is your best platform of research!

But now that we've learned about Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter it's time to take that information and put it into actionable steps to help us choose the BEST social media platforms for US! This can then lead us directly into working to create the best social media strategies for our brand.

All you gotta do is download the handy-dandy social media checklist below for free - no fancy-shmancy email sign ups either, this is called FREE for a reason. Once inside you will be greeted with an easy 4-step process. BOOM! Just like that you can have your social media platforms chosen and be on the right track for success with social media!