There are about as many opinions on which social media platforms are the best to promote your business, as there are businesses. A recent Forbes article held LinkedIn up as the primary business-building social platform, for a multitude of reasons—not the least of which was the distinct lack of cat memes—along with Facebook’s recent troubles surrounding Russian election hacking and the sale of its user information to bad actors (remember Cambridge Analytica?).
But while LinkedIn can most certainly be considered the most adult of the social platforms, is it the best?
Like just about anything in life, determining the “best” all depends on what you’re looking for. And that depends on the audience you’re searching for.
While hardly scientific, there are some general guidelines for what’s what on social:
Facebook: Here you’ll likely find pictures of kids, vacations and happy hours. Originally built for only those with a .edu email (read: college students), Facebook has grown into a juggernaut of data collection. That means your brand can tap into all that data to target audiences and refine messages that will resonate. Wanna sell something? This is the place to go.
Twitter: The first part of my career was spent in a New York City broadcast newsroom, and I’ve never wandered far from its fast-paced spirit. In those days, a dot-matrix printer would spit out the latest news from the Associated Press in real time. That’s what Twitter is: What’s happening now in sequential order and real time. Want to share your opinion? This is your forum.
Instagram: This is all eye-candy. With a little work, you can make anything look good (and make something good look irresistible) here. It’s a consumer brand paradise; perfect for presenting “thumb stopping content” and driving people to the place they can buy and share with their friends. Kinda like Facebook, but without the cringe factor (and your grandma probably isn’t here, either).
LinkedIn: Everyone’s online resume, plus the primary place to share “grown-up” news like your new job, your job opening, your job achievement.. so.. your job stuff. Often overlooked is the article-publishing tool that functions as a micro-blog tied to your profile. Groups can be created and moderated to expand your voice and thought leadership.
Of course, there are plenty of other platforms (Reddit, Pinterest, Snapchat) and even more with fun apps that browse like a magazine (check out houzz.com).
In the end, you should pick a manageable set (or even just one) social platform that suits your brand best and own it. People will flock to where they know you are, and where you are most engaging, which is the best way to build any kind of real following.