Trying to be everything to everyone at all times is one sure fire way to increase stress, seem phony, and even trigger an existential crisis in your life. The same holds true for social media. Too many brands and publishers are shouting with all their might across all their platforms and coming out short in terms of ROI. While one common problem is how they’re saying what they’re saying, another often overlooked issue is where they are saying it.
The fact of the matter is, not every brand needs to be on Twitter or (gasp) even Facebook. So whether you’re just coming into social media and grabbing every channel along the way, or whether you need to perform an audit of what’s currently working for you (or not), consider what each platform can help you accomplish.
What it’s good for: driving traffic to a website (particularly publishers), reaching increasingly older audiences
What it’s not good for: long posts
Facebook is, and will likely forever be, thought of as the basic platform that all brands should be on. Traditional brands should think twice about their goals before investing both time and ad spends there these days as organic reach plummets. This is great news for publishers, however, who can take advantage of Facebook’s recent algorithm change, which sends more traffic their way.
What it’s good for: sharing bite sized information, interacting with niche communities, leveraging trending conversations
What it’s not good for: interactions longer than a sentence, in-depth photo content
If it’s of-the-moment, Twitter is buzzing about it. This platform is best used by brands and publishers who have a unique perspective or tone of voice. If you’re not afraid of personality, you’ll do well here. But that, and nothing less, is what it takes to really stand out on users’ busy, ever-scrolling feeds.
What it’s good for: sharing visual content, long and short text, reaching younger audiences
What it’s not good for: driving traffic
The youth are all on Instagram these days, with 37 percent of 18-29 year-olds on the platform. They’re not alone, either: a number of very successful brands are on the platform too (for a master class, see GE). Instagram photos and text are the easiest way to tell a story on social media at the moment, so if you’re concerned more with recognition and building brand loyalty rather than sales or traffic, this is the platform to focus on.
What it’s good for: driving traffic, collections of information, awesome visuals
What it’s not good for: controlling and editing content timeline
Pinterest, once thought to be the province of moms and brides alone, is a major traffic driver for publishers like Buzzfeed. The platform is friendly to brands, too, providing an easy transition to ‘buy’ pages for retailers in every category; the platform boasts 50 percent higher conversion rates than its rivals.
The moral of the story? Don’t stretch yourself thin. When it comes to deciding what social platforms you should be on, keep in mind that it’s all right to focus on doing a few things very, very well instead of a splatter-and-see-what-sticks approach.