Social media is not for the faint of heart. For our personal lives it’s a means of keeping in touch and meeting others who share similar interests, but on its worst days it messes with our ego, sends us spiraling into thinking we’re not good enough, and leaves us feeling confused as to how we’re ever supposed to build an empire off photos and captions. In short, it’s kind of a mess figuring social media out, and even more so when you have no idea which if the major platforms you should be focusing on.
I’ve been there—it can feel really exhausting to try keeping up with everything. What I’ve learned over the last year especially is that by focusing in on just one platform I really love and giving it my all, I’m able to really build my audience, define my brand, and grow at a much more rapid rate than if I was trying to be everywhere at once.
Quick disclaimer, I’m by no means saying you should only be on one of these platforms. The reality is you should at least be on all the major three—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and then on whatever other ones you feel are a fit. This article isn’t to give you permission to abandon all but one platform, but rather, how to focus in and choose the one to spend the most time on—the one that best fits your personality and natural preferences. So let’s get started!
What do you gravitate towards in your downtime?
When you’re just hanging out on the couch, watching your favorite trash television show and you pick up your phone during the commercials, which social media app do you turn to? Whatever just came to mind, that’s a pretty good indicator that you have a natural preference for it and that you’re going to enjoy spending time on it more than any of the others.
The reason this is important is because you’re going to be spending some time on these platforms, so it’s important to choose the one you not only prefer but that you already know inside and out.
Which medium makes the most sense for you?
Each platform has its strengths. It’s up to you to decide which one aligns with your own strengths and interests. For instance, are you an extremely visual person? Are your fans? Do you enjoy posting your day to day as much as you do the highly polished versions of your life? If so, IG seems like a natural choice.
On the other hand if you prefer quick, quirky, witty banter and don’t want to be bothered with the sometimes long captions that IG and FB seem to favor, then Twitter might be more your jam.
If you like to do a lot of live videos, or prefer lengthy captions that don’t necessarily need photos with them because that just isn’t your thing, Facebook might be the better fit.
This is all about thinking hard on your preferences, and, with that and the other tips in this article, using that to determine which platform will give you the most return for your efforts.
Where are your fans?
Usually where you’re most comfortable interacting is where your fans will be—they tend to be a similar age as you and share the same kind of lifestyle and interests so for the most part, you should expect that where you are is where they also are—but it’s not a given.
Take some time to assess who your fans really are (or who you want them to be if you’re currently not sure) and where they’re most likely to hang out. For instance, if your fan base is 40s and above, odds are they’re on Facebook, not Instagram. But if you’re appealing to teens or people in their 20s or even 30s, they’re probably more likely to be on Instagram or even Twitter.
Take some time to see whose around you on each platform and perhaps even pick out 5-10 of your most loyal fans and go to each of their social media accounts. See how much they’re on each and consider asking them what kind of content they most prefer to see on your preferred platform. For instance, what kind of content do they like to see on IG feed or IG stories? What do they use Twitter for? Do they still look at FB pages? It’ll give you a clear idea of what they’re looking for and where they’re hanging out.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Spotify, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as the Co-Founder of Music Launch Co. Her free training ‘Reaching a Wider Audience Without Spending A Dime’ helps emerging artists cut through the noise and get in front of fans and industry influencers in just a few steps. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.