You’ve heard of this Social Media thing, right? You’re looking to build an audience by picking the right platform (or platforms) to make it a reality.
But where do you start?
I can’t give you a straight answer. We’re all individuals and we have individual strengths and needs for our goals.
So what I can do is you give you some insight into my experience, having run a number of identities and niche sites across social media, I can offer some advice and then go further into helping you figure out which is best for you.
So in this video, I talk about which Social Media platforms I’m using on my websites and the thought process I use – and how you can apply it to your situation. Alternatively, I have it all written out below the video also :)
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What Platforms I’m currently using
Let’s paint the picture.
With a little information, you can gain some insight and better wrap your head around what I’m about to discuss.
So here are the social media platforms I’m using with a little “why” behind them:
- Instagram – It’s primarily visual and one of the most popular social media platforms being used today. I also find it relatively easy to grow a following compared to other platforms like Facebook.
- Twitter – It’s very easy to automate, you can reach more people by tagging others as well as get retweets, etc. It’s also easy to grow and you can be flexible, yet you can rely on visuals also if you like.
- Facebook – easy to keep up to date and it’s a great place if you go viral. It has perhaps the most potential but I actually find it the most difficult to grow in and continually reach your audience (although some have great success, many struggle and don’t go past Facebook). Unless you want to pay dollars for ads, Facebook is one of my least favorites but is still worth a little effort. It’s great if you have an expansive personal network you can promote to.
- Pinterest – Again, it’s visual. I’m a designer and creating attractive pins is easy enough to do and Pinterest is quite powerful once you learn the ropes.
- YouTube – Another place to let your content go viral. It’s a lot more work as you are creating content that takes hours at times but then there’s a lot more ‘stick’ to your work as it becomes a part of the YouTube search engine and not just a passing update.
- It’s not social media – but always funnel toward an Email List. Email is king for reach, the least amount of work and converts visitors to buyers far more effectively than any Social Media platform (generally speaking). I feel it’s worth mentioning since many use social media to retain their audience when email is vastly superior (I show you how to get started with a newsletter here)
Also, find Social Media platforms unique to you!
Notice something above? I place a lot of emphasis on ‘visual’.
This is why I also occasionally post some of my imagery with links to the blog posts to Deviant Art, Behance, and other visual places. The reason for this is I’m an artist and professional graphic/web designer.
My skillset lends itself to visual platforms because I can easily create eye-catching visuals.
What are your strengths?
If you’re into audio, try Soundcloud. Video? Try YouTube, Vimeo, or share your videos on a Tumblr blog. Whatever interests you most and you believe will reach the most people, you should go for it.
Audio, video, and imagery always perform well on most platforms, but finding little extras very specific to your skill and even niche can yield great results as the competition for attention is less fierce.
Try and test them out and eliminate those that give you little results.
So do some research and find other places that are specific to you, where you can reach more people. I think of these as secondary networks. But they are great when you are trying to grow aggressively.
OK, You have a bunch of accounts – that seems like a LOT to start with!
Well it is, and I don’t recommend starting that way. Starting up 6 social media accounts and running them from the beginning is daunting and just plain confusing.
A lot of gurus say to be everywhere, while others say focus on ONE platform. So which is correct?
Both ways are correct.
Confused? Well, I have an explanation.
All of these platforms hinge on your knowledge and the action you take based on that knowledge. You need to learn them and master them to be effective and reach people. They all have individual strengths and methods for succeeding with them.
In saying that, there are some universal concepts that help you succeed on social media:
- Focus on building an audience and find ways to get in front of more people (hashtags, groups, etc)
- Create content people want
- Be consistent and keep delivering that content
Figure out how to apply the above to each platform.
Learn one by one.
So pick one platform and get started. Use it, learn it and become efficient at posting to it and getting a good response. Then move on. Give it a few months to truly understand it and establish yourself.
Over time you’ll have a solid understanding of what works for you. As you slowly learn each one and add to your network then you can eventually begin to be everywhere.
Some posts work better than others
Constantly linking to blog posts is a stale method and doesn’t work. Most social platforms don’t want you going offsite.
On average, Video & Images reach the most people and get the most interaction. So try to use those mediums the best you can. If your focus is audio, then create videos by popping an image or some footage in there in place of video, playing the audio over the top.
Discover the media type that works best for you: Imagery, Video or Audio and make your choice from there.
Heres some examples of how you could start:
- Prefer Imagery? Start with Instagram, move onto others
- Better at Video? Get onto YouTube and move from there.
- Audio? Maybe start a podcast, copy those podcasts to YouTube and move on as above.
You can take whatever route is most attractive to you. Then as you progress, link everything together and it will become more manageable.
Now you’re rolling, so automate between networks for efficiency.
This is another example of what I personally do.
When I post on one social media network, it filters through to other networks.
I’m a graphic designer, so I share to Pinterest when I create a blog post, but I share more regularly (for my niche sites anyway) on Instagram, which then auto-posts to Facebook and Twitter.
When I release a video on YouTube, the link is automatically posted to Twitter. You can do the same for Facebook.
By figuring out these little shortcuts you can start to see how you can stay consistent on a number of platforms with a lot less work.
Now you’ve got the flow set up, use scheduling software.
I use the Buffer app to keep things flowing.
So I automate and schedule posts to one primary network like Instagram and it takes care of the rest….
I also make sure I add a little something to the others. I share links to my blog posts on Facebook, which autoshares to Twitter.
Since Twitter is best when posts are more frequent, I then add some extra posts (links, text only, images) to my Twitter stream. Twitter is the platform that is the most easily automated and receives a lot of automated content from my other social media platforms.
You can start to see how focusing on one main social media platform and occasionally adding to your schedule on the others you can give you a constant stream of content across them all.
Then check-in and interact.
Don’t just shout your updates into the room and leave. Interact.
Log in once a day and check your updates. Reply to comments and messages and be a part of the network.
This is where automation becomes powerful. Since all you have to do is log in and reply to people. Your posting is done in batches and then takes care of itself, leaving you to simply be social.
Always be aware of change. Be ready to move.
Don’t just keep going, once you are getting results on a handful of top platforms, stay and don’t stretch yourself too thin.
However, social media platforms die, and new ones are always on the rise.
Be prepared to discard what no longer works or explore exciting new avenues that pop up. It’s important to keep with the times or you’ll be left behind and you’ll see your reach slowly fade.
So be in the game, keep your finger on the pulse and be consistent.
Focus on learning what people want and master the art of good content and the rest will become effortless.
I hope my crazy rambling has given you some insight. Hopefully, you found it useful. If you did find it useful consider subscribing to my email newsletter.
Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!
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