Choosing a social media site for your marketing can be challenging. Many small startups fall into the trap of “trying to be everywhere”, and eventually giving up altogether. Being everywhere requires spending a lot of time online, and most small companies cannot dedicate that amount of time.
Many experts agree that, instead of trying to be everywhere at once, you should pick one, and focus all of your attention on it. Learn as much as you can about the platform, and work it as best as you can. The result is that your chosen platform will not only grow faster than “everywhere” combined, but you will also find it easier to connect with prospects and business owners.
So, which of these 7 social media sites should you use for marketing?
- 1. Twitter
- 2. Instagram
- 3. Pinterest
- 4. Facebook
- 5. Linkedin
- 6. Youtube
- 7. Tiktok
Let’s dig into some more detail on each social network:
Twitter is fast paced, with a hard limit on the amount of text you can post. Unlike Facebook, you cannot post any text posts that contain any value or substantial information.
You can, however,
With that being said, Twitter has its own advantages:
By using trending hashtags, you can expose your post to many more people than just your followers.
If you add a picture, it typically results in a several hundred percent increase in engagement.
While you cannot share long text posts, you can share links from your website or blog, although people will have to (reluctantly) leave Twitter to go and read it.
Twitter is great for creating conversations in an instant.
Twitter’s biggest weakness is that the exposure is short-lived. It can, however, send you a decent amount of website visitors in that short time frame.
On Instagram, it is possible to amass a huge following – depending of course on your business location and niche. Apart from creating your content, working the platform doesn’t really require much time on a daily basis.
Instagram relies completely on the visual element of your content. However, with their carousel posts you can use up to ten graphics to bring your point across. If your posts are engaging enough, many people will swipe through the whole carousel.
Instagram is good for creating a visual presentation of what you do. As such, it tends to do better for products than for services, especially interesting products. If you sell clothing, gadgets or furniture, Instagram should work well for you. If you sell valves and rubber seals, not so much.
That being said, many companies selling services use Instagram – while it is harder work, and it takes some out-of-the-box thinking, it can be done.
Instagram’s weakness is that you cannot link to a specific web page from every post. You can only link out from your profile. You have to direct people to it in your content and/or your captions, but the click through rate is low.
Also, unlike other social media sites, they cannot share your posts on Instagram.
Pinterest is – as far as graphic oriented social media posts go – an oddball. It favors portrait layout graphics, and takes a bit more work every day, but the rewards can be impressive if you keep at it.
You see, Pinterest is more of a social search engine than a social network with a search function.
If you understand Pinterest SEO (search engine optimization), you can get your posts seen by people who are actually looking for what you post – and post about.
On Pinterest you can apply SEO to your profile, your posts, and each individual board as well.
The best thing about Pinterest is the longevity of your posts. Depending on the topic and how much traction any post gets, you can get traffic from it for up to a year.
This is also true if you serve a small niche market, for which there is not much competition on Pinterest.
In addition to that, you will often see Pinterest boards showing up in the Google search results.
Many business, big and small, do very well on Facebook. Success on Facebook depends not only on the niche you serve, but also on the personality of the person doing the marketing. Facebook is indeed “a very social place”.
As such, people who find it easy to talk to others in a crowd tend to do well on Facebook.
Facebook has a mix of content – text posts, pictures, picture compilations, videos and more. Also, depending on your niche, your content can be shared by your friends, and then by their friends, etc. In fact, depending on what you post, you will find that some of your posts just “blow up” and is seen by a multitude of people.
Perhaps the most powerful tool on Facebook is Facebook groups. Not only can you share your content to countless groups of people who are interested in what you do, but you can also create your own group, and pin your post (advertisement) to the top.
(This “top spot” is probably shared with the live chat function – which makes it easy to engage with prospects in real time.)
Keep in mind that while Facebook pages remain popular, each new post only reach about 5% of the page’s followers. As such, you have to accumulate a substantial number of page followers in order to generate any decent amount of exposure for your content.
Facebook does this to force page owners to pay for advertising – which, from a business perspective (theirs), makes sense.
If you do Business to Business services or products, Linkedin should be at the top of your list. It provides a wide range of tools to not only be seen, but to connect with others.
You can send connection requests to anyone connected to your first level connections. And unlike Facebook where you are limited to 5000 friends, Linkedin allows you to have 30,000 first level connections.
If you know how to work the system, it is easy to amass a solid network in a short space of time. On top of that, you can focus on making the right connections – like say, owners of small businesses, or marketing managers of larger companies. This will allow you to connect with people before you go and visit them, and could turn a cold call into a friendly conversation instead.
However, where it shines is the connection mechanisms, as well as tools for premium users. It is very well set up for B2B marketing.
The best thing about Linkedin is that you can search for people based on their job titles, and narrow it down to your service area. Many people on Linkedin also accepts messages from anyone, so you can reach out to them even if your are not connected.
An often overlooked feature on Linkedin is Linkedin Articles. For those familiar with SEO (search engine optiization), it is relatively easy to have Linkedin articles ranked in Google. This can be handy if you work in a highly competitive niche which makes it difficult to have your website ranked in Google.
All in all, Linkedin allows you to be seen, make connections, find the right people, engage in groups or create your own, and generate traffic from Google to your articles. No matter how you use the other social media networks, no other site comes close to it for B2B marketing.
Youtube is a different kettle of fish altogether. While being a bit less social and requiring more work, it also takes the longest to build a following…
But the potential is phenomenal.
As big as Youtube is, and belonging to Google, you will note that most of the times you do a Google search, the results include Youtube videos. There is also the options to only search for videos on Google.
That means that your videos can get exposure on both Youtube and on Google – if you understand the basics of SEO.
The big thing about Youtube is that more and more people prefer to consume video content as opposed to written content.
The other big thing is the ability to create longer, in-depth videos which will be worth your while.
Yes, you can share videos on other platforms too – but none of them have the longevity of Youtube videos. When you consider the amount of effort that goes into creating in-depth videos or creating good videos, it makes sense that you would want the best return for your investment, be it a monetary investment or your time.
What you may want to keep in mind is that, according to a Youtube engineer, some videos only pick up speed after they have been online for a year – especially when you just start out.
This is because they are shown as suggested videos, but only now and then (at the start). As these videos collect more views and engagement, which usually happens very slowly, they are then given more and more exposure, and eventually it picks up speed.
Fair enough, you can probably speed it up if you tie your topic to a news- or current event, but it may not always be possible. Not to mention that it will also limit the longevity of your video.
You can of course use Youtube shorts to boost the growth of your channel, but that is a different ball game altogether.
While Tiktok is mostly aimed at a younger audience, its sheer user numbers have resulted in people of all ages being represented there.
However, Tiktok is very much an entertainment platform. If you can find a way to bring your point across in an entertaining or interesting way, you can do well.
(Additionally, some niches to very well on Tiktok – like food, beauty, etc.)
If not, it will probably be a hard sell.
The great thing about Tiktok though, is that you don’t have to create professional looking videos to do well. The most popular videos are simple clips that were recorded on cell phones.
Tiktok, like Instagram, only allows you one link in your profile – and on Tiktok, you have to have 1,000 followers to be able to add it.
That being said, getting 1,000 followers on Tiktok is not that hard.
Tiktok doesn’t offer a wide range of options – but it does make it very easy to add your content, and potentially get a load of exposure.
In conclusion: Which social media site should you use?
It depends on a few factors:
Your personality – Facebook and Twitter are not for introverts.
What type of content your are comfortable with creating, and how much.
If you only create new content say, twice per week, you may be better off doing Pinterest or Youtube instead of Instagram. On Pinterest you can save (to your boards) other people’s pins on a daily basis to keep your activity up (Pinterest rewards regular activity with better exposure), and on Youtube it doesn’t matter (It will take time anyway, but the results will add up).
How quickly you need results. For the fastest results, Facebook and Twitter (and Linkedin for B2B) are the best – because you can start conversations quickly and easily.
Whether you do B2B or B2C marketing. For B2B, you are probably better off on Linkedin.
The niche you serve. If you are selling boring items like screws or valves, don’t expect to make a splash on Tiktok or Instagram. Rather go to Facebook, where you can engage with people in groups around those (or related) interests.
A final thought:
If you choose to create graphics in the standard social media size (1080px x 1080px), you can use them in several different places: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
If you choose to create short mobile videos (one minute or less), you can literally use them everywhere: Youtube shorts, Instagram reels, Facebook reels, Tiktok, Pinterest idea pins, Twitter and Linkedin.
While you may choose to focus all of your efforts in only one of those places, you can still upload the same content to the rest, and just let your following grow slowly on the rest.
When you have mastered one social media site and have it up to speed, can then add another – and you won’t be starting from scratch on the next one.