How to Choose Your First Social Media Platforms
The internet age has changed how we do business. With so many social media platforms to choose from, how do you pick the ones that will get you the most bang for your buck? How do you leverage the right networks to avoid wasted time and effort?
We have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn (just to name the big ones). And then there are forums and an endless supply of blogs and other social bookmarking tools. Managing all of them can be a full-time job. And if you don't pull your hair out first, how do you even know what to post on all of them? They are totally different platforms. Not to mention, they can have different audiences.
When starting out, you need to find out where your prospects and customers spend the most time. Is it on Facebook? Do they use Twitter? Do they spend most of their time on a special online forum?
Facebook is the most popular platform, with 1.35 billion monthly active users (as of the third quarter of 2014), and more than 100 million people use Instagram every month. Twitter has 232 million active users every month.
A big social media mistake is to post the same thing to every platform. It's also hard to do that because each platform has different post lengths. Twitter allows only 140 characters. Facebook allows for much longer posts as well as pictures, and Instagram is an image sharing network. If you post a long update in Twitter, the message will get cut off.
So, instead of trying to juggle all of the networks, pick two or three that you can focus on. As you become comfortable with them and consistent with posting your updates, expand your social media efforts.
Remember the old saying: "A jack of all trades is a master at none."
Focus your efforts, get really good at just a few platforms, and then consider expanding when you're ready.
I hope that helps!
Top Photo Credit: Khalid Albaih
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