Now, those of you that watch my videos probably know that I make a video about this every couple of months, and surprisingly, the advice doesn't change. However, I've been asked this question again at one of our recent events, and it was a really popular topic for everyone in the room. So, I thought I would take the opportunity to answer the question again in a blog post, so it is bit more ‘solidified in time’.
So, how do you choose your social media platforms?
The first thing you need to think about is, ‘Where are your audience and your community already?’ There will be a community out there already. There will be conversations already taking place. If you were your customer… where would you go to Are they already on Facebook? Are they already on LinkedIn? And do you now need to go out and create content that joins and takes part in that conversation?
Where are the gaps?
There are THREE kind of gaps when it comes to content; Quality, Relevance and Authority. And there are hundreds of opportunities in every sector to fill these gaps! For exmaple, perhaps there is an underserved market on LinkedIn for your audience, people are there asking questions and talking about problems, but no-one is actually taking the time to create good quality and tailored content for that space. This would be a quality gap, where this is active audience, but the actual content being created is quite poor. The markers for this are the same questions and conversations happening again and again, and no one is taking the best answers and solidifying them to content like blogs, videos or eBooks. This means YOU can be the one to create a create video blog (or whatever will work best!) and offer that video up where you see these conversations coming up!
What kind of content do you WANT to create?
Again, sometimes this is based on what there is a gap in the market for. And sometimes this is about where your talents lies and where you become your most creative! Ask yourself what sort of content can you create that's better than everybody else's content? If you’re great at design, look for the opportunities to turn well-used blog post (yes, even from your competitors) into infographics or nicely presented quotes! If you love a bit of longform writing, can you collect up a range of ideas and information, and put together a eBook, whitepaper or ‘How to Guide’?
What platform is your content most suitable for?
Let’s say know how to make really great quality podcasts and interview-style video, and so naturally YouTube is actually the best starting place for that content, and you can double donw on yoru efforts to learn about Youtube and how to grow an audience there. Or if you really like writing and you know how to get a point across and make it exciting and make it engaging and make sure that people can get to the bottom and feel like they've invested their time well, there may be platforms like Medium or indeed LinkedIn because these platforms are getting much more popular for longer form writing. The ultimate point here is to play to your creative strengths, then figure which platforms that content will be most successful on.
Whatever you choose to do, it is really important not to oversubscribe yourself to too many platforms. You need to be able to give yourself a content plan and a content strategy that's manageable and works well within your available time.
In my experience, if you end up picking more than three or four platforms to use, you're going to start struggling to meet the deadlines and the expectations you set for yourself. So really challenge yourself to limit the number of platforms that you use, then ask yourself the questions in this post to start deciding which platforms they will be.