Social media is a moving target, and trying to master every platform is going to run you and your marketing budget ragged. If you’re working with a smaller team or budget, your best option is to instead choose only one to two platforms and optimize your content for each. This doesn’t mean that you can’t publish content to other platforms, but instead, the goal is to focus your creation efforts with one platform in mind, optimizing it for your most engaged audience wherever they may be.
Choosing a primary platform will allow you to stay focused on your most important audience while spending minimal time altering and tweaking content to work on less vital platforms. With mastery of your primary platform and visible ROI, you can always expand your reach and test new platforms.
How To Choose a Primary Platform
Meet Your Audience Where They Are
The reason social media marketing works is because companies are able to speak to their audience in a place they already go to find news and entertainment. By finding a platform that users in your target demographic frequent, you are able to get in front of them in a moment when they have time to learn more about you and your product or service. Research to find a platform where the primary user demographics closely align with those of your target audience.
Consider Your Content
The most successful social media marketing is done when promotions blend seamlessly in with the rest of a user’s feed, but for that same reason, a message that doesn’t hit the mark will stand out like a sore thumb. Think about your audience and where they gather their information, but also think about what type of information they want to see on that platform. Your perfect target audience may be on Pinterest but if they don’t go to that platform looking for services like yours, then your message will just be noise. The perfect platform for you should be a match for both your audience and the type of content you plan to publish.
New vs. Established Platforms
By considering your audience and your platform, you’ve likely narrowed down your options to just a few choices and it’s up to you to make the final selection. So how do you decide between something established and familiar like Instagram or Facebook, or something newer and relatively untested like TikTok or Clubhouse? There are some pros and cons to consider: First, an established platform will be easier to master for a novice social media manager. The road map to successful management of those platforms has been tested and proven time and time again. On those platforms, you’ll see steady and stable growth – best for service-based or B2B businesses.
However, for product and consumer-based businesses, there is more to consider. Focusing on an emerging social media platform can yield massive returns. New platforms tend to give business and user accounts alike huge amounts of reach in their first few years while they are growing. After a few years, once they’ve reached the tipping point of users, these platforms will begin limiting that reach and charging for a fraction of the reach you had before, but in those first couple of years, growth can be absolutely explosive. These platforms are best to explore for B2C companies in their early stages looking to get a foothold in the consumer goods market.
Mistakes to avoid
Now that you’ve selected your primary platform, you’re set! Focus on this platform and put 80-90% of your content creation time here until you’ve reached a level of comfort and mastery. This approach to social will keep your audience engaged and reduce the amount of audience division you see, but there are a few pitfalls to watch out for with this approach:
Don’t ignore other platforms
Focusing on one platform doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the others. At the very least you should claim a profile on any relevant platforms and publish periodic content to keep the page fresh. Remember that these pages often come up in search engines, so continuing to keep the page up to date is still important regardless of interaction.
Your primary platform can (and will) shift over time
You should continue to re-evaluate platforms on a quarterly basis, gauging your personal audience engagement as well as keeping an eye on overall platform performance. Just as MySpace lost market share to Facebook and now Facebook struggles to stay relevant among Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and emerging platforms, your primary platform (no matter what it is), will lose favor over time and the primary audience on that platform will also shift dramatically as it ages. That’s why it’s important to adopt relevant platforms as you discover them and keep them up to date in preparation for a potential primary platform shift.
Need help navigating the waters of social media management? Bring your focused campaign to life with professional marketing strategy development, content creation, and community management. The Workhorse team is ready to help you select, manage and master the perfect platform for you.