How many social media platforms should you choose for your small business?

It’s so tempting to believe you should be all over social media. From Facebook to the recent introduction of Clubhouse, it’s easy to feel inundated.

Being strategic about which platforms you choose will result in a more engaged following. Every platform has different features but here are some considerations which should help you to choose.

 

Where is your audience on social media?

Aim to be where your customers are. If you want to reach out to your audience and create a community, you need to discover which platforms they are hanging out. You need to be in the same place as them. Try to find out which social media party they are at. The analogy of the social media party is one I have written about before.

Don’t go to a party where all your friends and family are because they aren’t the ones who are going to buy from you. Look for the platforms where your potential customers are.

 

How do I know where my audience is?

My advice is don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time on social media. It is worth considering that certain platforms may attract a certain age or gender demographic e.g., in 2020 33% of the global Instagram audience was aged between 25 and 34 years but there are now people aged 40+ using the platform regularly.

The most constructive way of finding out where your audience hangs out most is to ask them directly. You could do this in a survey, especially if you explain that you are looking for information to give your followers a better user experience. Ask in the survey which platforms they use most and on what days and times. Make the most of asking your present customers and potential ones about their social media habits.

You can also ask some of your present audience by messaging them directly. Ask 5 – 10 of your followers, however many you feel comfortable with.

Your findings will enable you to make these become your go-to platforms, where you can ensure there will be an audience who wants to hear from you.

 

Is it better to avoid being on too many platforms?

There are some marketers who are keen to suggest that you need to be on as many platforms as possible. My advice is to be very wary about that.

This is how a lot of business owners become overwhelmed by social media – the belief of needing to be on all platforms for maximum visibility. Being everywhere is not as straightforward as it sounds.

Every platform works differently with varying algorithmic demands. You will need to know how each platform works in terms of posting and engagement and there are ever growing lists of platform features to learn about.

The challenge is posting content that is going to be seen on the feed and will attract a growing reach. If you have got limited time, and let’s face it most of us have, the best thing to do is to focus on one or two platforms at the most.

 

Is there some content that works better on some platforms than others?

You may choose to be on a specific platform because there is certain content that works more effectively on there. Make the most of the platform by using the features that work best for you.

Here are two examples:

I use Twitter mainly for Twitter chats. If you think you could commit a couple of hours a week to being on Twitter, you could focus on just joining two Twitter chats.

If you prefer going Live using Facebook or Instagram, using this feature will give you a presence on these platforms. This is a great way to create video which is spontaneous and gets your message out there.

Whichever platforms you are on, make sure that your bio explains exactly what you offer and who you serve on each platform. You may choose to say ‘come and find me on Instagram, that’s where I live, or that’s my home’ in your Twitter bio, that’s a good way to have a presence on each platform. At least then anybody who’s randomly popped onto your Twitter account will know that this is not the platform to see your best content.

You may feel it’s more appropriate to not be on a platform which just has your bio on it, than having minimum content on your account.

 

The benefits of cross posting

Again this is a practice which divides the opinion of social media marketers. Some believe you should try to make the content for each platform as distinctive as possible. In my view it is fine to adapt the same post to match the features of different platforms.

Here’s some ways to cross post:

  • Post content from Instagram onto your Facebook page
  • Share your Instagram Stories onto Facebook Stories
  • Repost your posts from Instagram and Facebook onto Fleets on Twitter.

If you are overwhelmed by social media, stick with one or two platforms, and really get your teeth into them. Don’t fall into the trap of shiny object syndrome.

Don’t be distracted by thinking you’ve got to be here, there and everywhere on social media. Spreading yourself so thinly will not benefit your business. It is bound to drag you down. It’s likely to be hard to get momentum to pick yourself up again.

 

Getting consistency across your platforms

Try to link everything up if you are going to be on different platforms. Make sure that your headshot or logo is the same across all your platforms. Make sure that it’s consistent across the board if you’re going to be on different platforms.

 

Choose the platform that best suits your content

Remember that there are different types of content, which work better for you, depending on which platform you’re on. For products which are visually interesting, Instagram is going to be your go to place.

 

Make the most of visibility that you get through social media marketing

This is a perfect medium to build a community on. By building a community, you find out what your customers problems and pain points are. Address those problems and people will start to see you as somebody that they want to buy from. This is what makes social media so powerful. It’s a noisy world out there, but this is a fantastic way to stand up and stand out from your competitors. If you use it well, you use it strategically, it will lead to sales.

Would you like to know more about how to be more strategic with your social media marketing? I’d like to help you. I’m keen to see many more small business owners use social media effectively to attract their ideal clients. Drop me a line here and let’s have a chat.