It’s easy to feel like you should be on every social media channel. Get a facebook, a twitter, and instagram, a youtube, a pinterest, a blog so that you can reach everyone. The more people who see your page, the more who will follow, the bigger influence, growth, and revenue = social media jackpot!
Except, people don’t just follow you because you’re around. They follow you because you’ve got good content, because you’re providing videos they want to watch and share, or memes or information. Basically, like in all things business, you have what they want.
The problem is, every platform is a little different and if you put the same content on all the platforms, you just come off as stale and lame. But if you produce different content for every platform–well, you don’t have time for that as a startup.
So how do you choose?
- Do the thing you’re best at. Not everyone presents well on camera, and not everyone is interesting to listen to, or can write engaging blog posts. Think about your strengths and interests and those of your team. It’s going to take dedication so choose a form of content that can be produced both well and consistently.
- Go where your market is. Not everyone is on facebook as their primary platform. Instagram is influencer-heavy. Both lend themselves well to video. If your market includes commuters, people who exercise and students, a podcast may be a good fit. Blogs are great for every website because they’re easily integrated into SEO-optimization strategies (in fact, they’re often a cornerstone) but they, too, require writing skills, good visuals, and a bit of technical knowledge.
Videos and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My!
Video marketing is said to be the big thing of 2017. The American Marketing Association says that 85% of US search traffic will be driven by video by 2019. Engaging video content is already king on social media. Every major social media platform now includes options for video, whether it’s a disappearing snapchat-style video, live streaming, or improved options for sharing.
Of course, the payoff for viral video is significant. It’s what everyone hopes for. But creating viral video may be one of the most energy and time-intensive options. It requires scripting, equipment, editing, music, not to mention content that quickly engages your viewer. In other words, unless you have a really great company to make your videos and the budget to spare, it’s probably not the best option to start with. (Then again, if you have the strategy and the means to execute, go for it! But don’t bother with trying to maintain other social media channels as you get it off the ground.)
Podcasts have a very low barrier to entry. All it takes is a microphone and a computer. But for a well-produced podcast, a podcast that gets listened to and that gets advertisers and a strong listener base (which is the reason you’re putting it out, right?) then you should at least get an editor. Plenty of podcasts start out without one, but production values will be much better which means more people will be willing to listen and share. You can invest in nicer equipment and greater sophistication as you go, but since podcast is all sound: make it good from the start.
In addition to the technical aspects of a podcast, it requires a weekly commitment. Are you going to interview a new guest each week? In person, by phone or by skype? Think about the time it will take to find, research, book and interview guests. If it’s not an interview show, what value will you be providing your listeners and who will be in charge of producing that content? How will you promote it? How much time will you devote each week to producing and recording?
Blogs are arguably the easiest and most low-maintenance form of content. They also help to boost your SEO rankings, and all you need is a solid writer. A good blog should always be a part of your website and your social media strategy. Like podcasts and video, it’s a great way to build brand awareness and establish your company as a leader in your field. Video is showing up more and more in search results, but people still visit websites and scan pages for their answers. It’s easy to share information at a glance, to tell a story in the time it takes to scroll down the page. Plus, embedded graphics are shared on social media sites, providing another avenue for visibility and traffic.
No matter what you choose, you’ll have to invest some money and time. You need a strategy for engaging and growing your audience, converting views and likes to sales, and a consistent production schedule. Commit to one and make it amazing.