Back in the day we all flocked to MySpace, created a page, creeped on our old highschool friends and posted nonsense. Then Facebook started up and we all packed up and deserted MySpace to linger in the lonely dust. It was a simpler time that I never again want to go back to.
Since Facebook, the creation of social media platforms has boomed and so has the way businesses market to their audience. Having a print or TV ad just does not cut it anymore. Businesses need to get out there and tell their story on a more personal level in order to create any sort of impression with their target audience.
The question is, do you need to hit all of the platforms to gain your edge? The short answer is no, but I'm all about the long bit. Yes, the more you are out there, the greater chance you have at someone, somewhere seeing you. But getting the word "out there" is no longer what people expect. People are now looking for more information, more stories and a place to engage. Your job is to figure out where your people are, and how to best to create this personal contact with them .
It's best to think of each platform as having their own personality and then match your business to that personality.
Facebook is like a chatty older aunt. It's a slightly older crowd, but one that is still hip enough to get the nature of certain meme's. You can get a lot words in each post and it's a great place to ask questions from your audience to engage them. Facebook is foraging into the world of live streaming, and I think that's going to be a great new tool for business to become comfortable with.
Twitter is a like a spark. It's full of potent, yet very quick information. Most people look to their twitter for the fastest route to information. The amount of actual engagement tends to be minimal yet your posts still have impact. It's also a great platform to push users to other platforms for more information. It's much harder to overshare on Twitter and lose followers, unlike some of the other platforms, so I encourage almost every business to open a Twitter account.
Instagram is like an extremely well dressed gorgeous model. It can say a lot without saying a word. However, don't underestimate the power of the caption on Instagram. There's room for a lot of words, and hashtags, which are actually more useful than ever.
Tumblr is like a slightly underrated, nerdy pretty girl. It's a very complex and open platform, but it still keeps hugging the railings with the edgy gifs and artsy content. It's a great tool to create a funky simple website, and also easy enough to continually add new content to it.
Periscope and Meerkat are like shiny new toys that some businesses aren't quite sure what to do with yet. Personally I love the live streaming aspect of Periscope to disseminate information that may bring up tons of questions. Or to live stream a private event that enables others to feel like they aren't missing out by tuning in. So much potential here.
My advice to a new business is to absolutely open a Twitter account and then choose one other platform to focus your energy on and build up relationships there. Once you are humming along nicely, you may find yourself needing one of these other platforms.
Those are the big ones, and I'll go over some other platforms I find interesting on a different post.