Top Tips For Choosing The Right Social Media Platform

Navigate the world of social media with these easy tips that will help you choose the best platform for your purpose.

The world of social media may look confusing at first. Where should you start? Should you sign up for everything? Read this article first. There are a few things you can find out that will help you choose the best platforms for your needs. 

Familiarize yourself with the social media landscape

There are different types of social networks. Each platform has its own characteristics. Familiarize yourself with what they are so you can understand their benefits and differences. Popular social media platforms can be broadly categorized as follows:

  • Social networking
  • Image-sharing networks
  • Messaging services
  • Video networks 
  • Professional networks

Choose popular platforms

Social media platforms have risen and fallen in popularity over the years. New formats have gained popularity with new features, while others have faded away. Some platforms that were purely for sharing photos, for example, have declined in popularity, because photo-sharing platforms with many other functions have emerged. There’s no use signing up for a platform that people are moving away from. Choose platforms that offer more consolidated and robust ways to share images. 

There are over 4 billion social media users worldwide. New platforms are constantly emerging, including some that are very localized. You should ask key influencers, young people, and savvy internet users around you which platforms they recommend. 

Conduct a quick internet search to determine which platforms are currently “hot” in your part of the world.

Search suggestions: 

top social media networks + [your country or region]

social media user statistics + [your country or region]

Go where your audience is

Take your message to your audience.

When choosing a social media platform, consider where the people you want to communicate with spend their online time. Your choice should not be about which platform you’re familiar with or which platform suits the style of your organisation. You need to ask yourself which social networks can your audience NOT live without.

Use the Step-by-step guide to develop your social media strategy to define your target audience.

Stick to one or two platforms

Don’t try to be everywhere at once. Concentrate your efforts to strengthen your community on one main platform, and learn to use that one well. 

Is it too hard to choose just one platform? Do you need to be on two platforms to make sure you reach your audience? If that’s the case, there are tools to publish content on one site and replicate it on other sites at the same time. 

Use a free social network manager like Buffer to post on multiple platforms at the same time. 

You can sign up for as many as three accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. You can then post the same content (photo, graphic, text) to all three services at the same time. 

There are other free social network managers that you can research. Read here to find out more about planning your social media content.

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Does my intended audience use this network? 
  • Does this social network make sense for my content? For example, tweets on Twitter may be too short for my lengthier content. 
  • Can I produce the type of content needed for this network? Do I have the resources and capabilities needed to maintain a regular presence on this platform?

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