No founder wants to fall into the trap of spending more time being a pseudo-social media manager than actually running their business.
But this is a trap too many biz owners, especially newbies, fall for when trying to decide how to best use social media to grow their business.
They can’t decide which platform to start with, so they decide to try it all!
Instead of going down a path that ends in burnout and a special kind of hate for social media, let’s talk about how to find the perfect platform for you and your business.
When you learn what each platform specializes in, the kind of content you love to create, and how much time you (realistically) have to spend on social media, that’s when you’ll know what platform is best for you.
Find the answers to all of these questions in this episode and start using the awesome power of social media on the one social platform perfect for you.
In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:
- The challenge of repurposing content
- My 90-day platform rule
- My social media content starting point
- Trusting your instincts on social
- The platform I recommend business owners start with
- My highest-converting platforms
- The instability of Threads and X
This Episode Was Made Possible By:
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- “10 years later, and that's really challenging to do. Each platform has its own specific customization items. And while repurposing is great…We can't just straight up take the same thing and post it literally everywhere.” – Andréa Jones
- “If you are a business owner and you're doing this for yourself, meaning you are the marketing department and you're managing your social media, then I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend focusing on one platform. If you wanna add a second, give yourself 90 days. That's three months on one platform and one platform alone.” – Andréa Jones
- “You do not have to do things any sort of way. An example of this is one of my past clients, Afrosexology. There are two founding members of that company, and both of them do not prefer videos. And yet we post a lot of reels on their account. How do we do that? Using written words with kind of like a stock video background. We use interactive elements and gamify their social. So you do not have to be on video to post video.” – Andréa Jones
- “TikTok also has a billion users, okay? TikTok users tend to spend longer time on the app. They can tend to consume more content, but I will say the vibe on TikTok is a lot more casual. So if I have a client who's a little bit more buttoned up, I may recommend LinkedIn or Instagram.” – Andréa Jones
- “Growing a Facebook page is very challenging, and even if you're running ads, the likelihood of someone seeing the content from your page is just decreased because there's a lot of people on Facebook, 2.7 billion with a B, and they're all posting their personal stuff too. So a page is gonna be hard to see that content unless it's already like gone viral in some way.” – Andréa Jones
- “My preference is Threads at the moment just because of X, Twitter, going through their identity crisis, and the changes they've made to the app don't feel like they've made with the user in mind. And so I kind of see that it's a little bit on its demise, in my opinion.” – Andréa Jones
- “YouTube is one of my faves, and it's because people can discover me, literally binge watch all my videos, and then they're in my world, and they're signing up for stuff, and they're enjoying themselves on the platform.” – Andréa Jones
Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:00):
Let's decode the mystery of choosing a social media platform that works for you. Consider this episode your personal social media matchmaking session. Let's get into it.
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:42):
Hi, friends. I recently had a question on social media, on my Facebook page about how to choose a social media platform. And while I have this as an entire section in our programming in the Savvy Social School, I wanted to give you some questions to think about today as you're kind of deciding on where to spend your time on social media, because there's a lot of options out here, and it is almost impossible these days to just straight up repurpose everywhere. When I first started on social media nearly a decade ago, it was very easy to say, oh, you're on Facebook and Twitter. Post the same graphic with the same caption to both places. <Laugh>, that's how we used to do social media. Even when I worked at Marriott Spot in Atlanta, Georgia, I was on the social media team there, and that's what we would do.
We would figure out how to truncate our caption and fit in that 140 characters on Twitter. And then we would design a graphic. Usually actually we'd use a photo from the spa or from the hotel itself to just post on social media in both places, the exact same thing. And it was really an afterthought. Well, fast forward 10 years later, and that's really challenging to do. Each platform has its own specific customization items. And while repurposing is great, I will do a whole episode on repurposing updates later. We can't just straight up take the same thing and post it literally everywhere. So how do we then choose where to focus on and where we wanna grow our audience? So I wanna talk about that today. But before I dive into the various platforms and their uses, I wanna first start with your preferences.
And again, this is something we teach a lot in the Savvy Social School because your preferences matter, especially if you are a business owner doing this for yourself. Okay? And in 2023, if you are a business owner and you're doing this for yourself, meaning you are the marketing department and you're managing your social media, then I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend focusing on one platform. If you wanna add a second, give yourself 90 days. That's three months on one platform and one platform alone. Okay? I think this is so important and people often skip this step because they see their competitors everywhere and they wanna be everywhere, and I hear you. But when you try to be everywhere, you are going to spread yourself thin. And all of you who have negative thoughts about social media, I want you to take a good hard look at how much time you're spending on all the platforms.
You'll probably notice that you're spending time on multiple platforms, which is very challenging if you are the one doing your social media. Now, if you have a team, this changes slightly, okay? So if you have a team, your team can then be everywhere on your behalf. And a lot of what you're seeing in your competitors is a team, okay? They have an assistant, they have a social media manager, or they work with an agency. They have people, a person or people who are helping them manage all of the things, because it is challenging the amount of content you have to create the various placements. Nevermind even understanding the strategy behind it all. It takes dedication, and it's basically a full-time job. So if you don't wanna live on social media full-time, pick one platform, focus on that for at least 90 days. Get a data set so you can see what's working and what's not, and triple down on what's working.
Skip the rest. Okay? All right. So how do we choose that one platform? Well, it starts with your preferences. Okay? Your preferences are key here. What I mean by this is a number of things. Number one, what kind of content do you like to create? What kind of content do you personally like to create? So me, I'm a talker, if y'all <laugh>, y'all haven't picked that up. I like to talk and I, I mostly like casual talking, like this podcast. This is my favorite way to create content. So I actually start with my podcast for all of my, nearly all of my ideas that I put out in the world. It usually starts off as a podcast episode. Then I take those ideas and turn them into social media posts. And sometimes I just take clips from the podcast. You'll see this. That's what my team is doing.
Sometimes I create new concepts based on things that I set in the podcast. So new videos based on concepts I said in the podcast. But these videos are something that I can record on the go off the cuff. I don't use a script. Scripts trip me up so much. All, I can't even do lip syncing videos half the time because I wanna use my own words. <Laugh>, okay? I wanna just like clip my own spin on things. It just doesn't work well for me. Okay? So if I have to read a script, it's gonna take me much longer. If I have to write a caption, if I have to write a carousel post, oh gee, it just takes me too long. So I record as my podcast, the main primary way that I deliver my expertise. And then I have my team come in and recycle as much as that for social media as they can.
And if I get a little too long or too wordy, they'll put it in our digital brain and I will go in and maybe rerecord something, just take a concept and record it. If I notice when I'm, you know, speaking live, something resonates, I'll just record a quick Instagram reel. This is my my way of communicating. It's the preference, the thing that works the best for more. Okay? So figure out your preference. Some of my clients and students prefer written work, and if I ask them to record a video, it's like pulling teeth, okay? They just, it's not a fun time. So don't, don't do it then figure out your preference and lean into that. You can always explore other things later. But if I tell you you have to have to record video and you are like, I'm never gonna do that, then this is where social media starts to feel like a burnout and a drain and a huge burden to you, okay?
You do not have to do things any sort of way. An example of this is one of my past clients, Afrosexology. There are two founding members of that company, and both of them do not prefer videos. And yet we post a lot of reels on their account. How do we do that? Using written words with kind of like a stock video background. We use interactive elements and gamify their social. So you do not have to be on video to post video, but it's leaning into their preference in the way that they wanna disseminate their expertise. Okay? So once you understand your preference, then you wanna also understand your preference in platforms, okay? So your preference and how you wanna deliver content, and then your preference and how, which platform you like. Because if I say to you, Hey, friend LinkedIn's awesome, you have to be on LinkedIn, it's gonna be perfect for you.
And then you log into LinkedIn and you're like, I do not like it here. <Laugh>. Like, if you start interacting and using it and you're like, oh, this is like, the way the platform's set up doesn't work with my brain. I don't like the people that I'm seeing, and frankly, I just don't wanna be here. If you have that instinct, don't do it. Okay? There are so many other platforms out here, but LinkedIn's just one of them. One tool in the toolbox. We can, we can choose a different tool, okay? So you don't have to be on any platform. I have my preferences, I'll talk about what I'm seeing strategically in, in what's working right now. But I wanna let you know, like you can make it work for you on nearly any platform. You can find your pockets of people, you can hang out any of the top platforms.
They'll probably work for you. Okay? So we've got our preference for how we wanna deliver content, and we've got our preference for our platform. Then we can start looking at, you know, how to leverage those platforms to work for me, okay? And so when you think about a platform like Instagram, for instance, Instagram has so many different placements within that platform that can work for, if we think about Instagram reels, those are videos on Instagram, vertical videos. And though that placement goes out to mostly people who don't follow you. So think about that. Instagram is sending that video out to people who don't follow you. So if we're on Instagram and we're using that placement, we're talking to a completely different audience than Instagram stories. Instagram stories is only for people who follow you. It's for your warm network. It's for people who know you already.
So the conversations we have there may be a little bit different than the conversations we have on Instagram reels, okay? So even within a platform, there are different placements. One example that I recently posted in my newsletter, y'all are in the newsletter. Get in the newsletter, <laugh>, okay? It's onlinedrea.com/newsletter. It's amazing. There's over 16,000 people hanging out in that newsletter with me. And recently I talked about my client, Linda. So Linda has a Instagram account, less than 2000 followers. And her follower number isn't what's important here. What's important is the placement. She with our help posted some Instagram reels one of them got over 66,000 views because of the placement, but also because we're using her unique way of talking in that placement. Okay? My other client, Kara doesn't really like to be on video. Kara Lowentheil. So you'll notice on her account we post a lot of reels as well, but they are static reels. They are her words written down in a way that still communicates her message. And very frequently her reels get 10, 10K, 15K views without having heard talking to the camera. Okay? So use what works for you. We're gonna take a quick break and when we get back, I'm gonna talk about the specifics of each platform and which ones I recommend here now and today.
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All right, so let's dive into the different platforms and the ones that I recommend <laugh> for business owners. If you're starting right now today, I'm recording this in 2023, so in Q three of 2023. So Instagram is the one that I usually recommend for a lattice business owners for a number of reasons. Number one, it has over a billion users, billion with a b <laugh>. So there's a lot of people on the platform. Instagram is actively working on discovery placements, i e Instagram reels. And you have other ways that you can use content. You can have image posts, graphic posts, carousel posts right in your feed, can have Instagram reels with, which goes out to people who don't know you. We also have Instagram stories, which is for your more intimate audience. We also have Instagram guides, which is almost like a mini collection of curated posts.
It can be yours or other people that you follow. So we have a lot of placements on Instagram and it's usually when I, when I get a new business owner coming to me and they're like, Andréa, where do I start? I usually recommend Instagram because of the various types of content pieces that you can post. That being said, if someone's preference is video, I almost always say they have to be on TikTok as well. 'cause TikTok has higher engagement rates than Instagram. Okay? So TikTok as a discovery platform for a new business, the chances of new people discovering you is higher than on Instagram. Okay? So TikTok also has a billion users, okay? TikTok users tend to spend longer time on the app. They can tend to consume more content, but I will say the vibe on TikTok is a lot more casual. So if I have a client who's a little bit more buttoned up, I may recommend LinkedIn or Instagram.
But if you're doing video content, especially vertical video, you can repurpose that into other places. So if you're on Instagram creating vertical video, I 99% of the time will say, please, please, please post that on TikTok as well. Okay, <laugh>. And if you need a video on how to do this, go to my YouTube channel. I post a video on how to like auto repurpose content from Instagram to TikTok, TikTok to Instagram, vice versa. I'll put that link in the show notes as well. So that's Instagram, TikTok, again, I also recommend as well especially if you're posting vertical video, it has a lot of the viewers that we're looking for. And then it also has multiple demographics. I know a lot of people say TikTok tends to skew younger, but over a billion, billion with a B users. 50% of those users are yes, under the age of 30, but the other 50% are above the age of 30.
Okay? So don't discredit the app just because it kind of feels like Gen Z is only on there, there is a lot of people on there, but it is mostly videos. That being said this year, TikTok released the ability to post carousel posts, static images and stories. So you can post multiple content types on the platform, but the platform tends to be video focused. All right? Other platforms that are very popular, Facebook, people don't like to hear this, but Facebook still has the most users at 2.7 billion with a B, okay? 2.7 billion users. So the most used social network that I consider in like the big, the top, the top ones the demographic does tend to skew older. Like research shows that the people, the demographic that spends the most time on Facebook tends to be ages 40 to 55. But you know, your audience Facebook also has a very robust advertising platform.
As much as their costs have gone up over the past year, specifically in the past three years, we still as an agency, see they have the highest conversion out of other platforms the highest quality conversions as well. So do not discount that app. Also this year I've been playing around a lot with my personal Facebook, my personal Facebook page. I turned it into a creator account and I've been seeing some really good results that way. Instead of using a Facebook page, I used my personal account to post business things, and that has worked really well. That is new. They previously did not recommend doing that. So Facebook has a huge market. So if you're a business owner looking to dive into Facebook, I would recommend looking at communities, Facebook groups, and participating that way, adding new connections and using your personal Facebook page.
Okay, so personal Facebook account seems to be the way to go in 2023. Growing a Facebook page is very challenging, and even if you're running ads, the likelihood of someone seeing the content from your page is just decreased because there's a lot of people on Facebook, 2.7 billion with a B, and they're all posting their personal stuff too. So a page is gonna be hard to see that content unless it's already like gone viral in some way. Okay. All right, next up. So we talked about Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. I gotta touch on Twitter and Threads. So I'm putting Twitter and Threads in the same category because Twitter now called X <laugh> seems to be having a little bit of an identity crisis. And then Threads is brand spanking new. Okay? So at the time of recording this, it's only just over a month old X Twitter just rebranded to X.
So both platforms feel very unstable to me. But that being said, Twitter has 340 million users and threads. Lemme just see Threads has over a hundred million users, so they're about the same user base. Threads is owned by Instagram though, and you have to have an Instagram account to use it. And so if you are trying to decide if you should be on Threads or I want you to think about your content, both platforms tend to lean towards text-based content. You can post videos, you can post images, of course, most users use it as a text-based platform and short quippy style texts. So you can do longer things, you can post longer posts, but most people see success with shorter bite-sized content pieces and things that kind of feel more casual and storytelling in nature. So, you know, roundup style posts or educational posts that go something like 10 things I do differently in my business today if I were starting over work really well or even kind of short in the moment, thought style post, here's what I'm thinking right now, also tends to work really well on both of these platforms.
It is a place for conversation. Both platforms are geared towards conversation. So it's not so much about you broadcasting out your own things, but really being a networking community with other people. My preference is Threads at the moment just because of X Twitter going through their identity crisis and the changes they've made to the app don't feel like they've made with the user in mind. And so I kind of see that it's a little bit on its demise in my opinion. Other people may think differently. Next step is LinkedIn. To me, LinkedIn is in its own category, so I kind of put Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok together because of their volume of users. And usually we can kind of pick one of those to start off with. X and Threads goes in a platform together. But LinkedIn, it's kind of in its own lane.
So LinkedIn started off as a this like professional resume. However, over the years it has blossomed into a very robust community platform. LinkedIn has over 930 million users, so not quite to the billion mark, and the users don't tend to be as active. According to the stat that I'm seeing, over about 260 million people log in at least once a month. So the amount of that people log in and use the platform tends to be a little bit less than some of the other platforms. Because LinkedIn started off as this like giant resume, A lot of people see it as a professional tool. So a lot of my B2B clients or professionals see a lot of great success on that platform because people log in with business in mind. Whereas all the other platforms are a mixture of business and pleasure.
You're seeing your your niece's birthday photo and then you're seeing this business saying, buy my thing. LinkedIn tends to be really focused on business. Okay? So that opportunity really opens the door for business owners to go and conduct business on the platform. LinkedIn also doesn't seem to have a preference with the style of content. Live video static video, text-based posts, carousel posts all seem to work fairly closely in the feed. There isn't one preference over the other. And the trends on that platform kind of rotate for part of the year. Carousel posts seem to get more interaction and the next polls will get more interaction and the next videos will get more interaction. So it kind of has a fair balance of content, and if you have a fair balance of content you're creating, you can definitely engage on that platform a lot more and have a lot of fun there.
LinkedIn also has some very specific placements that the other platforms don't have long form content. So long form written content seems to be more natural on LinkedIn. Think newsletters and articles really fit into the platform quite nicely. So if you already are producing that content, repurposing it to LinkedIn seems like a great platform to do that on. LinkedIn though isn't for everyone. Feedback from my clients and students is that it does seem a little stuffy sometimes. So if you don't like the little bit of a buttoned up nature to the platform, it may not be for you. But my caveat is if you have humor in your work, it will stand out and people will engage with it because they're looking at everyone else's posts as buttoned up. Okay. All right, I gotta talk about some search based platforms as well. I'm talking your YouTube and your Pinterest.
And these platforms really are based on the search engine algorithm versus a social algorithm. So up until now, a lot of the platforms are either based on discovery or search though. TikTok is really trying to be a search platform as well. Meaning when you log in, you follow someone, or you find content based on your preferences. YouTube and Pinterest are search based. So you log in and you start searching for the things that you want. This is how users use the platform. So you go to YouTube and you search, you know how to use Instagram threads and a video pops up on how to use it, and you watch that video and then you go implement it. Same with Pinterest. You're looking up things like toddler recipes and you get a bunch of recipes and you save them and you go back and you use them again later.
Because both platforms are search based, the content that you're producing for those platforms really is focused on solving a very specific problem. So you're not typically gonna see relationship style content on there like you would on other platforms. So for example, you know, the videos that you see on TikTok and Instagram tend to be a little bit more casual in nature, whereas the videos you see on YouTube and Pinterest tend to be more how to videos, if that makes sense, how to do something, because that's usually what people are searching for. YouTube for me, is a no-brainer. If you like long form video content, this is where I got my start, y'all YouTube, I love it. I love it. YouTube is one of my faves and it's because people can discover me, literally binge watch all my videos, and then they're in my world and they're signing up for stuff and they're enjoying themselves on the platform.
I see really high conversion rates on YouTube higher than some of the other platforms that I'm on. I would say for me personally, YouTube and Instagram stories tend to convert the highest for me into my paid offers and my lead magnets. Okay? But Instagram stories is all my people already. And then YouTube is very search based, which is why I like it. All right, let's wrap this episode up with a few randoms that don't have a category at all. Snapchat. I really, they want business owners to use it, but unless you're a mega brand and can afford ads, I don't recommend it. Demographic definitely skews younger Gen Z. You know, most, a large percentage of the users are between the ages of 13 and 24. And they have about 250 million users and it is a platform that's focused on private conversations.
So I don't usually recommend that one at all for business owners. And then we have smaller platforms. Thinking about your Clubhouse, Lemon8, Clapper, Bluesky all of these platforms are too small for me to recommend to new business owners. They are too small to run significant marketing tests on them. So Clubhouse being a great example of one that I went all in on a couple years ago when it came out. And I personally did not like it. The live audio felt like it was taking way too much of my time. The, there's, it's like a very clique-y platform. I did not enjoy it. I did a test on there and by the time I did that, it was 6 million users, active users. So it felt like a lot of the same people in my circles were there.
Early adopters did see some success from that, but it seemed to be mostly people selling courses about how to use Clubhouse. So <laugh>, it seemed very insular to me. And so that's a great example of a platform where if you are a business owner, especially an online business owner or a small business owner, a solopreneur doing this all yourself, I would not recommend hopping on a platform like that so soon because it's untested. You may waste a lot of time trying to figure it out and the people who seem to have success either already had a large audience or recreating courses around the subject matter itself. So that being said, if you wanna learn more about these various social networks and how to use them, I do have a free offer for you. It's a free platform cheat sheet. Just go to onlinedrea.com/platform and you can grab that cheat sheet and take a look at the various platforms and their uses, how many users they have, keep that all in one place.
And of course, when you get it, you'll be in my world, in my newsletter. And that's how I keep y'all updated on all things social media strategy. I will wrap up the episode with this idea. If I were to pick one platform that I recommend to business owners to start with in 2023, it would be Instagram because of the variety of posts you can create, because of the ability to be discoverable and because of the ease of building an audience as a social platform, it is my go-to recommendation for business owners. I hope that helps you. I'll see you soon with another episode. Bye for now.