With over one hundred different options out there, deciding which social media platforms are best for your business is neither easy nor straightforward.
You’ve got options, but sometimes those options aren’t always the goldmine they seem to be.
Wondering if you should hop onto that new platform experiencing a meteoric rise? Wondering if Facebook is ever going to die or LinkedIn will become irrelevant?
You’re right to worry – a little.
Here are a few pro tips when it comes to chasing trending platforms and identifying the sites that will work for your business (plus a close look at my three favorite platforms out there).
Pro Tip: Chasing Trending Platforms Doesn't Work
What about Google Buzz?
Me neither. The history of the internet is littered with social media platforms that no one remembers – platforms that were once hailed as the “next big thing” because they promised to change the web as we know it.
You’d think we’d have learned by now, yet I get a handful of emails every week from people asking, “is [insert trending platform] worth considering for my business?”
In general: no. It’s not worth it to chase trending platforms even if they look like they’re super popular right now.
That’s because, for the last 10 years, we’ve been in something of an Age of Social Media. We’re so accustomed to spending time on these networks that we don’t realize they’re not the internet mainstay that we think they are.
The transience of social media platforms is one reason why you should never chase the trending ones. People may flock to a new app or site but that doesn’t guarantee its long-term success.
(Take a lesson from MySpace. Or, more recently, Tik Tok.)
So, if we shouldn’t chase trending platforms, then where should we market ourselves to keep pace with the “cool kids” …?
That depends on your industry. But the social media platforms that are best for business all have three things in common:
- They’re popular with your target audience. Just like with your content strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social media. It’s better to cast a targeted net than a wide one.
- They’ve got a track record for survival. What separates the seven main platforms from the rest? They’re committed to survival – one way or another. Whether it’s through innovative new features or responsiveness to social change, they’re in it for the long haul and their actions prove it.
- They’ve got the features you need to meet your business goals. For example, YouTube is great for creating video content to support your blogs. Facebook is excellent for creating groups and communities to gain insights into your audience.
TikTok is neat because it makes branded content super easy to create and share. It’s worth looking into despite the political situation surrounding it, but I wouldn’t put it in my top 3. Source: @JeffHunter
My 3 Favorite Social Media Platforms (Plus How I Use Each)
There’s really no single right answer when it comes to deciding which social media platform is best for your business. You’ve got options.
Whichever you choose, make sure it’s one that supports your content marketing by helping you deliver the right content (in the right format) to the right audience (at the right time).
To give you a sense of what that looks like, here’s a closer look at my three favorite social media platforms, plus how I use each. By the end, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to get it right.
1. Instagram (@fementrepreneur)
There are 112.5 million U.S. Instagram users alone – that’s around a third of the population. (Globally, the number of users is approaching one billion.) Instagram has seen a 5 percent increase in users over the past year, becoming the third-largest social media platform right after YouTube and Facebook.
Instagram has a lot of advantages that are well worth your consideration, even if you’re a content-oriented professional (like me):
- It’s flexible. Although it’s oriented around video and visuals, you’ve still got a lot of leeway for different types of content.
- It’s accessible. It doesn’t take much to sign up or get started. Plus, very few features needed to market yourself effectively reside behind a paywall.
- It’s designed for engagement. From the ability to tag other businesses to integrations with other social media platforms, it’s easy to dramatically extend your brand’s reach.
- It doesn’t have the same baggage as Facebook. Although the same company owns both, people aren’t as hesitant to use Instagram as they are with Facebook.
How I Use Instagram: I connect with clients, readers, and students. Most of my posts drive my audience to the Content Hacker™ blog with tantalizing snippets designed to capture eyeballs.
The nice thing about IG is that you can create “text graphics” that are sort of like simplified infographics. That lets you create rich, shareable content that brings in an interested audience.
2. Twitter (@JuliaEMcCoy)
When Twitter hit the scene in 2006, microblogging wasn’t yet an actual term. But by the middle of 2007, there were 111 microblogs, with Twitter (and Tumblr) leading the pack.
By 2019, Twitter boasted around 150 million users, with 69 million in the U.S. While that’s not the largest user base, its prevalence in social conversations and dialogs reveals one very big feature about the audience you’ll find there: they want to hear your thoughts.
Twitter is a good platform for thought leaders, public figures, and professionals who want their conversation in the social limelight.
It’s super easy to inject your voice into a conversation, and it’s a great way to collect the opinions of others. Plus, with the rollout of rich features like polls and temporary sharing, it’s even easier to find out what people are thinking in real-time.
How I Use Twitter: I use Twitter as its designed – for conversations and connections with other humans. While I do some content promotion, posts are oriented toward eliciting reactions and responses.
I was up LATE last night ? with a new idea ?— Julia McCoy (@JuliaEMcCoy) October 30, 2020
In November, I want to launch a community. One SOLE goal: achieving profits from your content.
? welcoming & guiding you thru all the unconventional ideas to get there!
2 LIVE meets a month w/ me + my top strategist + peers.
Want to talk about something and gather opinions? You need to be on Twitter.
Did you know that YouTube is the third most trafficked site after Google and Facebook? With two billion active users and 500 hours of content uploaded every minute, it’s no surprise that eight out of ten marketers use it.
The feature-rich platform makes YouTube incredibly powerful for sharing your content. Not only can your audience leave comments and “subscribe” to your channel, but you can engage with them in real-time through live chats.
Plus, since YouTube’s algorithms function like a search engine, it’s easy to get found by interested audiences … all while taking advantage of the fact that we connect best with our audience when they can see our faces.
In short, if you want to grow your thought leadership, video content needs to be among your content hacking arsenal.
How I Use YouTube: I post how to videos regularly aimed at freelancers, content marketers, and clients alike. These videos are short, actionable, and almost always support other content that I’ve created around the topic.
YouTube is one of the most powerful social media platforms online.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for Your Business?
I strongly believe that the best social media platforms for your business are the staples that have been around – and will likely keep staying around. Instagram (and Facebook), YouTube, and Twitter have all proven they’re in it for the long haul.
That said, it’s worth exploring newer platforms. Awesome ones like Tik Tok (which I consider a strong 4th place contender) spring up all the time – but they can also vanish just as quickly.
Of course, being present on the trending platforms where all the cool kids hang out won’t do you much good if your content isn’t on-point. If you’re ready to grow, I’ve got just the thing for you…
Check out The Content Hacker™ Academy now and get started leveling up your brand.