Promote your organisation on every possible platform or just 2-3?
Ask yourself how many personal social media accounts you have. Now consider how much time you spend on them. It's likely a sizeable chunk of your (or your media manager’s) time.
Indeed, social media business profiles need an equal — if not greater — time investment. However, when choosing the optimum social media platforms for business, less really is more.
Navigate away now with that knowledge, or read on to see what less looks like. I recommend reading on (and refraining from skimming).
Why choosing just three social media sites is optimum
Think of your personal social media page and the effort it takes to nurture and grow your presence until you have a sizeable community with good impressions and reach. Consider how much more it takes to reach influencer-status.
For business pages, the goal is similar: a sizeable community with high traffic, impressions, and reach. However, there is one difference. You're seeking leads and return on investment (ROI).
It is always pleasing to see a community grow and build an audience fit for your sales funnel. It is tempting — however — to quickly establish a new presence on another platform to sustain this apparent growth. Resist this: it doesn't necessarily translate into increased site traffic and leads.
This tactic runs the risk of ‘media hoarding’ i.e. having a presence on all major platforms with promising initial figures and growth, but lacking true value to your business. This also equates to greater upkeep demands, maintenance, and keeping things in sync.
A "presence-on-every-platform” ethos can lead to being on the wrong end of the cost-benefit analysis in the long run. Plus, there are a finite number of media platforms available — although new sites perennially appear (and disappear).
With profiles on all of the main and specialist social sites, you also restrict options for future campaigns and new growth opportunities.
Selecting 3 platforms on principle and spending time carefully nurturing and growing them is far more valuable to your business success. Stick with three. Trust us.
Principled choices: primary and tertiary platforms
The general perception is that Facebook is good for all markets. This is mostly true. Facebook effectively works as the primary platform (i.e. the main traffic-driver to your website and sales funnel) in most business cases. After all, Facebook continues to lead the social media industry. It surpassed 2.2 billion users in July 2018, according to Statista.
Nevertheless, going with Facebook still requires a principled decision based on research into the target audience, demographic, and their browsing behaviour. If you operate business to business (B2B), you’re likely better off going with LinkedIn or a combination of both.
Product nature plays a vital role in platform selection. For instance, products and services looking to directly attract the end-consumer will likely receive greater ROI on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Tertiary platforms act as a specialist aid to enrich your brand presence and drive highly targeted traffic. You may choose a visual platform to inform clients about your offering. For instance, Slideshare is great for elaborating complex processes, presenting concepts, and pitches to prospective clients.
By starting with one of the big three (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) you commence your social media campaign with vast reach potential — upwards of 90% of mobile users, following data from Statista. Follow this by selecting a specialised tertiary platform to give you a more focused audience appropriate to your niche.
Selecting the right platforms is key. It requires research, strategy, and a touch of intuition to get it right. As with any marketing strategy, social media campaigns require time-investment and continual drop-ins, reviews, and maintenance behind-the-scenes.
A successful campaign is perfectly achievable with the right approach.
Lean, scalable growth
Lean growth is the way to go and for good reason; scaling as you go keeps your organisation balanced and helps to avoid growth bottlenecks. In line with this, focusing time and energy on core matters is vital for healthy growth, especially early on in the business life-cycle.
The time and human resource requirements for social media campaigns need to be evaluated. Often, they are treated like personal pages, being pushed back and addressed between other core tasks, and lack proper attention.
Content review at set intervals is necessary, and cross-platform repetition is even attractive with distinct social communities. Google doesn't penalise against repeated content in its search algorithms too.
Overall, it pays to factor-in the time requirements of a strong social media campaign going forwards.
Starting on the right foot
If you are starting up your business presence on social media, start with just one platform and gradually introduce a second and then a third. Engage with your community, respond to comments and reviews. Avoid only posting topics of a promotional nature.
Showing interest and involvement in your sector helps to enrich your business profile, and this will be reflected in community engagement. Indeed, this holistic approach lays the groundwork to gradually become something of an authority over time within your sphere.
If your core team lacks the necessary time commitment to do your brand justice on social media, consider seeking the assistance of a reputable media agency and a skilled community manager.
You can use their expertise for everything from campaign strategy to daily media management, maintenance, performance analysis, review, and reporting.
Outsourcing is also a great choice for freeing up team members to focus on other key areas, for example during growth and expansion. These areas are likely to be the ones your team has more experience, greater drive, and — of course — a passion for as well.
Originally Published 23 November 2018 on Medium
Revised and published here 7 January 2019
Updated 10 May 2019