There are so many social media platforms available to use, and for a lot of small business owners, charities, and voluntary organisations, there’s nowhere near enough time to actively engage on all of them. From Facebook to Instagram to TikTok to Pinterest, here’s a guide to picking the platform for you.
So, you’ve decided that your business, social enterprise, or charity needs a social media presence. That’s amazing! It’s the first step toward making sure your work reaches as wide of an audience as possible, locally or globally.
However, it’s never as easy as just deciding you want to be on social media. There are so many other, small but crucial decisions that come along with that first, big one. What should you post? How do you want to represent your brand to the world? How do you grow your account from 0 followers? What should your profile picture and cover photo be?
Even before you consider those things, there’s something you have to decide on first: which social media platforms should you post on? There are so many to choose between, although in this post we’re going to focus on 7 crucial ones: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Each platform holds its own unique benefits, algorithms, and absolutely none of them are essential. What’s important is that you consider:
- WHY you need to share on social media
- WHO is your message meant for? What benefits will they receive by engaging with it?
- WHICH platforms you feel most comfortable posting on, which will help you reach your target audience
- WHAT you want to achieve by posting on social media
Having answers to those questions will help you figure out which platforms are right for you.
We don’t recommend you start out posting on every single platform. Pick two to begin with and get used to them; get some traction and build an audience that is tuned into your message. Then if you want, you can gradually expand to other platforms.
Here’s a handy guide to what each different social media platform could offer your business.
Great for brands with the visual WOW factor.
Instagram is a primarily image- and video-based social media platform, so it’s a must for any business that creates gorgeous-looking products. If you’re a baker, a designer, a photographer, or any kind of artist, Instagram is for you. If you’re a fitness trainer, Instagram is a great place to showcase your workouts through video. If you’re a cook, you can make Instagram reels of your new recipes, and your followers can bookmark them to make later.
For a charity, social enterprise, or voluntary organisation, sharing images and video from your events and making stylish graphics out of your beneficiaries’ testimonials is a great way to attract stakeholders and donors.
All in all, Instagram is the place to be if you can provide that visual WOW factor in your posts.
However, be aware that Instagram’s algorithm, and the huge amount of accounts competing for attention on the platform, means it’s harder to go viral than it is on some other platforms.
Try posting that great content on reels and stories to get some reach and engagement. Or even try going live on Insta.
Prepare to post lots of amazing content that gets no likes. You may need to do a lot of outreach work in order to get followers coming in. However, once you have followers on Instagram, they’re valuable, as so many people use the platform daily (it has almost 2 billion active users!), particularly because they find it to be a more positive social media space than more discourse-based platforms like Twitter.
You can follow WODIN on Instagram here.
Great for targeting customers in your local area and accessing specific communities.
Although Facebook has become less popular in recent years in the wake of newer, shinier social media platforms, it’s still one of the most used platforms around, partly because it’s existed for a long time. It’s a platform that many different types of people, spanning across generations, are familiar and comfortable with using. It’s valuable to have a Facebook account simply for the sheer amount of people it’s possible to reach.
Even still, note that, as a business, you may have an uphill battle on Facebook. People primarily use Facebook to connect with friends and family, and less to follow the work of their favourite businesses. This means it can be hard to get in front of people’s eyes without paying for Facebook ads.
Still, there are certain features that exist on Facebook that don’t exist in the same way anywhere else. First of all, Facebook Groups provides you access to a myriad of different communities who check their groups specifically to learn about and talk about one specific interest. If you can find a Facebook Group that’s relevant to your company or brand, you have a direct route to potential new customers.
There’s also the Facebook Events feature, if your business runs in person or online events. Many Facebook users use the Facebook Events tab to find fun things to do in their area, and so it’s a great way to alert locals to your business, if that’s the community you’re serving.
You can follow WODIN on Facebook here.
Great for Business to Business (B2B) brands.
What makes LinkedIn unique is it’s a platform that’s specifically designed for B2B interactions. When people log onto LinkedIn, it’s not for the reasons they log onto other social media platforms. Whereas they might be scrolling through TikTok or Instagram to entertain themselves, when a person logs onto LinkedIn, they’re thinking about work.
So, if you are looking to grow relationships with other businesses, or possible investors and donors, LinkedIn is an immensely valuable platform to be on.
However, in order to grow your network on LinkedIn, you have to be very active on the platform. You must spend time seeking out valuable people to connect with and putting energy into interacting with other users on the platform. It is an art and many have no idea how to get some traction on LinkedIn, so it’s with great pleasure that we recommend the LinkedIn Influencer resource to help you get your LinkedIn profile going sooner rather than later.
While other social media platforms allow an audience to flock to you, LinkedIn requires you to be an active, consistent member of a community in order to reap the full benefits of the platform. Unlike other platforms, you even have to apply first to be allowed to Livestream on LinkedIn. Be ready to invest the time and effort if you want to leverage this platform for your brand growth!
You can follow WODIN on LinkedIn here.
Great for opinionated brands who want to stir up discussion.
Image and video can exist on Twitter, but it’s just as dominated by text-only posts. Your posts cannot exceed 280 characters in length, so it’s a good place for an opinionated brand that wants to make short, punchy statements — especially if you can be a little clever and funny at the same time.
Twitter is also a good place to start a conversation. The platform encourages users to comment on other people’s tweets, making it possible for any post to be the start of a viral debate. The best way to succeed on Twitter is to find your relevant Twitter community — a cluster of people who are interested in a topic related to your business — and remain active in that community, sharing your opinions on other user’s posts and starting conversations amongst your followers.
You can follow WODIN on Twitter here.
A video-based platform that’s great for humorous brands and brands that like to share tips and tricks.
TikTok is a video only platform, and it’s essential if your brand creates (or could create) a lot of videos. Because of TikTok’s algorithm, it’s very easy to go viral on the platform if your videos are snappily edited, entertaining, fun, funny, and/or informative.
It’s another great platform for cooks, personal trainers, self help gurus, or anyone whose business involves doling out advice or guides that people might want to share amongst their peers.
TikTok is also probably the #1 place you should be if your social media presence involves comedy (which can go viral easily on the platform). Or if your primary audience is young people, as TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms amongst today’s teenagers and young adults.
You can follow WODIN on TikTok here.
Great for brands that sell beautiful products or provide proactive tips and advice.
Pinterest is unique amongst all the platforms mentioned so far in this article. Like Instagram, it’s centered around beautiful imagery. But that’s where the similarities end. You can learn more about the differences and which of the two is best for you in this article.
You may be wondering: with all the other social platforms, why Pinterest?
Understand that Pinterest users discover and interact with content in a very different way than they do on other platforms. It is a visual search engine, more than anything else. Pinterest users look for inspiration for a variety of activities (from saving a bunch of new recipes to visual references for their wedding day), and they typically do so by searching for keywords on the app, scrolling through, and saving whatever catches their eye to their Pinterest boards.
Some Pinterest users are just curating boards for the pure pleasure of it, but a lot of them are on a mission with a purpose. This means that they’re very likely to click through to your website when they save your post. If you make gorgeous looking, searchable posts, you may see a much higher click-through rate on Pinterest than on other platforms, which will improve SEO on your website immensely. It might even lead to some purchases or donations.
You can follow WODIN on Pinterest here.
A video-based platform that’s great if you want to create more longform content about your brand.
Finally, YouTube shares the ‘search engine’ quality with Pinterest, but people searching on YouTube are looking for longer, more in-depth content, and hoping to find a creator they can form a long-term viewing relationship with. If you have the ability and capacity to create well thought out, informative video content about your brand, YouTube is an amazing place to be.
The platform has so many users, ranging from young to old, which means you have a large potential audience (although it also means you have a lot of competitors, so you’ll have to know your niche and market it well). It may be hard to gain viewers, but your regular viewers will be more loyal to you than your followers on most other platforms, as they will look forward to hearing from you regularly and watching your channel grow.
You can start attracting your first 500 subscribers with these tips.
You can follow WODIN on YouTube here.
Now that you know a bit about the above platforms, we encourage you to follow us on any or all of the above platforms, where we share plenty more tips for advancing your digital journey. Our social media profiles are linked below:
Tik Tok: www.tiktok.com/@wodinliverpool