I get this question a lot, and it is usually asked with a hint of confusion (of social media in general) or distress (of how much time needs to be spent on this marketing avenue). With so many different types of platforms out there – and new ones becoming popular every year – how is a business owner to know where to have a presence? Isn’t it best just to be everywhere?

No. Actually, it isn’t best to push yourself onto every social media platform all at once. The most realistic solution to be effective on social media and avoid burnout is to get started by choosing 1-2 platforms wisely and ramping up from there.

It isn’t best to push yourself onto every #socialmedia platform all at once. #marketing #smallbiz Click To Tweet

How do you decide which platforms are right for your business? Start by answering these questions:

  • What is the target market you are trying to reach with your page?
  • Where is that target market hanging out on social media – and what are they doing there? (e.g., Pinterest has a predominantly female audience, Snapchat has a younger demographic, etc.)
  • Which platforms allow you to showcase your brand to the fullest? Is your content naturally:
    • Image-based?
    • Shorter bursts of updates?
    • Longer opinion or educational posts?
    • Oriented towards behind-the-scenes looks or show-and-tell demonstrations?
    • Enhanced by connecting it with your professional experience?
    • Other?

Look for where the answers to those three questions intersect to see what social media tools can give you the highest impact now.

It can be initially impressive to see a business web site list 6-10 different icons in their “Find me on social media” section. But, what if you click on one of those links, and it takes you to a page where there are oodles of posts every day with hardly any engagement. Psychologically, you are more likely to think that this page is not popular. It’s similar to the psychology of seeing a crowded restaurant. You assume the quality of the food must be better if there are people in a line that trails out the door than if it is empty.

Making a decision to launch on one or two platforms at a time enables you to focus your attention on building an audience, building quality content, and building relationships until your audience is strong enough to be successful in monetizing the platform. (And here are some tips about how to build effective social media pages to get you going).  Once you feel like you are in a good spot managing the tool, you can open up another platform much more easily and have a percentage of your already-engaged audience follow you there from the beginning.

You do not need to strain yourself to be everywhere all at once. You need to be in the right places, talking with the right people, to the extent that your resources (time, money, staff) allow.

And if you are using Facebook for marketing your business, I recommend you check out this Facebook Engagement Bootcamp. Use this resource to build your Facebook engagement and conversions in eight weeks!