What social media platform is right for my business?
This article was originally written for Inside Magazine and was featured as part of our monthly column entitled The Inside On Social Media.
If I had a penny for every time I got asked this question I would probably have enough to rival even the colossal wallet of Mark Zuckerberg, founder & CEO of Facebook.
The answer to this question is often not what people want to hear, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Most business owners will know of someone who swears by Facebook for generating sales, or one that is thriving on Instagram, or perhaps someone that’s crushing it on TikTok or Twitter. But the truth is there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the marketing, social or otherwise, of your business. What works for Dave might not work for John, and what works for Julie won’t work for Sarah.
I work with many clients who have found themselves overly reliant on a single source of lead generation - it might not even be social media, but I implore you right now to take a look at your own business, if it relies heavily on customers coming in from a single source warning bells should be ringing! We’ve already seen the devastating effects this can have in the past 18 months with the pandemic. Businesses that were overly reliant on certain sources and slow to adapt to change are either no longer around or in serious trouble.
The truth is social media, like any other form of marketing, should be spread evenly across platforms. So that if overnight some massive changes at Instagram render your account useless (and yes, this does happen… regularly!) you do not need to panic, because you still have Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, your website, magazine ads, and other methods to rely on.
I can sit here and tell you that Instagram is great for aesthetically pleasing businesses like bars, clubs, artists, or craftsman, and that Facebook is more suited to those with a client base over the age of 40. TikTok is for those looking to reach Gen-Z & millennials and LinkedIn is best for B2B companies. And although this would be, broadly speaking, accurate, it doesn’t change the fact that I know of tradesman who are incredibly successful on TikTok, Artists who swear by Twitter, & Etsy sellers who’ve found great success on LinkedIn! But what really makes a business evergreen is when it has an audience in multiple areas, both offline and online.
The trick to success with online marketing is to be present and active (see last months article for the pitfalls of inactive accounts) on all the major platforms and to enjoy creating & discovering an audience in different places, this really is the difference between those who survive and those that become mere footnotes in history.
To summarise, and at the risk of sounding like a two-bit stock broker; diversify, avoid high risk strategies, and invest your time & energy wisely to survive market downturns.
Wall Streets loss really was marketings gain!
Jordan J. Whittingham
The Inside on Social Media