As a social media manager for the past 10 years, I see the following recurring scenario: every client wants to be on every platform. Is it FOMO (aka fear of missing out)? Perhaps, since after all, social media is indeed all about it. But as experience has taught me, being on every platform isn’t just unnecessary for small businesses, it’s also detrimental. Why? Let’s go over a few basics of the three largest platforms worldwide to see.
I’m starting with this, since it seems to always be the first place everyone assumes they need to be on.
Who’s on it? Your mom. Just kidding...maybe. But according to this article, as of April 2019, Facebook has over 2.32 billion monthly active users. The highest number of users are in India at 300 million, with the U.S. following at 210 million. Only 75% of users go online daily, 36% of them are ages 25–34, and only 51% of teenagers use the platform.
When it comes to content, this platform is meant for posts that tell stories, facilitate conversations or debate, and provide your followers with valuable information. If you’re a small business, you should be aware that creating a Facebook page will create the need to produce this type of content on a consistent basis.
One thing to highlight about this platform is the potential of paid social capabilities. Businesses looking to run promotions based on geographic and demographic information will benefit from the degree of detail available when selecting target audiences.
The "new" news outlet and the place where memes are born.
Who’s on it? Politicians. I’m not joking. According to this article, as of January 2019, Twitter was reported as the number one platform for government leaders. But aside from them, 326 million people use Twitter every month. Only 67 million of those are in the U.S. and 45% of them are 18–25 years old. Only 6% of teenagers report Twitter as the most important social network (because they’re probably on Snapchat). However, 71% of overall users are going to Twitter for news. So it’s no news that news is king, or rather queen, of Twitter content.
If you’re not in the news business or have a lot of news to share on a regular basis, putting resources into a Twitter account is probably not good news.
Or as I like to call it, the lookbook. The prettiest of the platforms.
Who’s on it? Everyone. Not really, but according to this article, as of June 2019, Instagram has over one billion users. Is that not everyone? Anyway, 71% of a billion people on the gram are under 35 and 72% of teens use the platform, while their moms are on Facebook.
What about content? Beautiful, beautiful, and beautiful photography. Did I say beautiful? An aesthetically cohesive feed featuring exquisite photography is what this platform is about. If you’re considering Instagram for your business, know you’ll have to consistently produce photography that showcases your product and creates experiences for your followers.
So while you may think it's ideal to be on all three networks, sometimes you can’t be all things to everyone. Review the facts and find the platform that best suits your business and goals based on your target audience and content strategy. Creating pages and producing content that is mediocre and inconsistent is more detrimental than having no presence on a specific network. Focus all your efforts on the one platform that suits you best and your followers will follow if and when it makes sense for you to cross to others. But maybe reserve those handles in advance, just in case.