What Two Social Platforms Should You Focus On?
When developing your social media strategy, you should only ever be aiming to utilise two social platforms. Why is that? Because there is no way your business could be so diverse that it appeals to the nature of every single social platform out there – and you know why else? Because creating a unique strategy for even the top social platform players would be a lot of immeasurable work. You heard correctly, unique. If you post on Facebook and have an Instagram account, those two accounts should be entirely individual and separate, catering specifically to the audience you identified on that platform.
As a business, you should think about social platforms as stores, and each one is vastly different and in separate industries. You need to choose the platforms that appeal most to your target audiences. Social listening tools are a great way to find out where your target audience hang out, but there are other methods based on habits and testing to work it out. The strategy which you come up with shows off the two different aspects of your company. This could be a generational difference, a purpose difference, or a difference in intention from you as the account owner.
The photo album social platform, reserved for visually appealing companies, is great for small businesses and eCommerce. As Instagram is owned by Meta (the new name of the Facebook company that also own WhatsApp), then the algorithms are very similar. Instagram did a big update earlier in 2021 that informed its users they should not be using more than 5 or so hashtags, as the overactivity was considered spammy and resulted in shadow banning or reducing the overall reach. Instead, people will interact with the posts they care about, hashtags or not. The community vein still runs strong from Facebook into Instagram, but it is a much more visual platform, and if you are not a company that can offer trending, attractive imagery, Instagram should not be on your consideration list.
Instagram's audiences tend to be more of the 25+ millennials specifically and those interested in the creative arts or tangible crafts, multimedia, and entertainment. So if you are trying to advertise jobs, sell a government service, or do health and safety training, this is unlikely to be the platform to you as those using Instagram do so for the visual appeal and entertainment value.
Facebook may have been one of the first, but that doesn't mean it is the best, and especially not as a catch-all for your entire target audience. Facebook is now ruled by strict algorithms that make it hard for new businesses to excel and grow, prioritising its digital real estate for community posting, connecting people and personal stories. There is little room on the news feed now for sales and branding. If you want to penetrate the already saturated market, ideally, you need to be considering paid social ads and stories people really care about. Facebook algorithms are already set up to prioritise personal accounts over business pages. This is because it is trying to show its users the things they care about most: their friends and family. But, of course, don't think you can set up your business as a personal account. Facebook has highly sophisticated bots to prevent that, and anyone considered to be posting against the average will be penalised for how many people see their posts anyway. It is deemed to be spammy to add people for business use, and with a friendship cap of 5000 regardless, you wouldn't get far and eventually face having your profile removed by Facebook police.
The audiences that usually go to Facebook is generally in the 30+ range, older millennials and boomers. You will also find many more family-orientated individuals, such as parents, as Facebook Groups is an excellent networking place for like-minded people. Community driven people also park at Facebook due to its focus on connecting people rather than promoting sales.
The business social platform. LinkedIn has a bit of a reputation for being boring, but that's only because you aren't fully embracing its potential for networking and attracting B2B interests. So, naturally, it's not suitable for advertising your sales, but it is a great way to show off your employee culture to encourage high-quality job applicants or connect with potential and existing clients to keep up to date on them. LinkedIn also offers a vast array of networking opportunities, and LinkedIn's algorithm is not like Facebook. If you like some great branding ideas or industry inside jokes, then so will all your connections, making the ability to share information much more incredible. LinkedIn is like Facebook in one way though, if your company is not correctly signed up with a dedicated and updated page, it doesn't look great on your trust profile. So, set up a LinkedIn to register your company, but don't make it part of your social media strategy if your goals and target audience don't align with the people it serves.
The platform that boomed during the lockdown, born from Gen Z's boredom and insatiable desire to create chase trends and stand for their beliefs, TikTok gave Gen Z a leg to stand on when all the other algorithms seemed to be diminishing the ability to act out. TikTok could be considered the movie reel version of Instagram, and whilst we look at it and think "this is for children", TikTok has a vast number of communities across the world in virtually every interest available. This makes it a potent search engine to have your questions answered by real people and user-generated content, amplifying its trust value. These communities' demographics range from any age and gender, so it is really about the content you post that matters.
Video is the favourable medium, but Sounds are also a way in which users get traction and virality. The editing tool in the platform is simple but stretches the user's creativity, allowing for fantastic new ideas to be created, resulting in Trends that enables everyone to try out. Due to Tiktok being such an innovative location of ideas and inspiration, used by many demographics, content specificity has never been so important as on this system.
Twitter is the newspaper or newsreel of the social media platforms available. If anything is happening in the world, someone is posting about it on Twitter. This platform does not operate like Facebook and Instagram. The lifecycle of a tweet can be as low as 20 seconds before it is ruled out, and so is not considered a great platform to post your slow marketing. On the other hand, Twitter is great for more prominent brands who are at liberty to post unique content as and when it happens and have less red tape to think about to tap into the humour of the internet.
Twitter is fast-paced and usually not a place where you go around viewing profiles and old Tweets. Your posts are seen in the feed and then never again once digested. You could consider Twitter the word-based platform on TikTok, fast-paced, disposable content.