You Don't Have to Be on Every Single Social Media Platform
When you're starting as a freelancer, a creator, or a startup you kind of have to be on social media, right? Well. Yes and no. Let me explain!
One social media platform for everything
No platform does it all… well. Many try (wink, wink, Facebook) but it might actually be hurting them. There is a good reason why so many different social media platforms thrive. And why plenty of them fail.
Let's take Twitter as an example. I love Twitter because I'm a writer. My main objective as a writer is… obviously writing. Text is my content format. And Twitter is and has always been primarily a text-focused social media network. As much as they try to figure out other ways.
Sure, you can upload pictures to Twitter, you can embed YouTube videos, and even create stories… oh sorry, I mean "Fleets". And those are all valuable assets but the focus still lies on Tweets, basic text-based tweets. With a link or embed here and there. That's not to say that you're better off not using images or Fleets. But don't make those your priority on Twitter. Not yet.
I firmly believe text will never get old as a social media content format. Certainly not with us writers, bloggers, and authors. So Twitter is pretty safe. What about images and video?
Visual platforms for visually driven people
Many people I've met are much more visually driven. They communicate through pictures, images, or videos. For them, a text-based network like Twitter is not going to be the primary choice. Not really.
Visually driven people have a plethora of other platforms to choose from: Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat. Even YouTube or Twitch if you allow me to group them under the term "social media" here.
Sure, you can write a lot of text under an Instagram picture. The primary focus will still be the picture itself. This is good… and bad.
It's good because it is (as said before) the perfect outlet for people who love to communicate through visual content. My wife is a great example of this. She loves to take pictures and to tell her story with a short caption or a few emojis.
It's bad in the sense that you NEED to say most of what you want to convey through this visual aid. Because many people will only see the image or video and not bother to read the text next to it. No lengthy one anyway. Again, my wife. I, on the other hand, really can't communicate with a limited number of words. I need my words! At least a tweet's length or two.
Audio is the new king in 2021
And then there's audio. Everybody knows Clubhouse by now. To be honest, I would have never guessed that this format could strive the way it does. But I was looking at it the wrong way. Audio has always had a place in our everyday life, in form of Podcasts, or audiobooks, with services like Soundcloud, and, of course, in the form of music through platforms like Spotify, Apple Music & co. It's no wonder then, that a social media platform based purely on Audio thrives.
I have to say though, I still can't grasp the full potential or let's say the full magnitude of what Clubhouse has to offer. I've always been a writer, I've never been good with the spoken word. I do think Clubhouse is here to stay though. And it's just the beginning. If the spoken word is your thing, then the world of audio social media is yours to conquer right now!
Choose your platform wisely
With this, let's get to the simple principle behind social media:
Pick the social media platform that fits your content format. And make this your priority, at least in the beginning.
As I just said, if you're good with the spoken word, the timing could not be better! Hop on the Clubhouse train and ride with it into the sunset.
But if you're not - I'm most definitely not - then stick to your strength. If you're a writer, present your words on a platform focused on words.
If you're a photographer, showcase your skills on a picture-driven social media platform.
If you're a video creator, the world of TikTok, YouTube, and even Instagram Reels is yours. But be aware of the big difference between short and long-form video content.
Whatever you do, make the social media platform a priority that fits your content format best. Of course, be present on other social media networks if you want, but try not to get carried away in the beginning.
Mediocre content on numerous platforms will never beat great content on one. I'm still trying to learn that myself.
Finally, there are a few gifted people that can do pretty much anything. Pictures, videos, blog posts, stories, podcasts. If you're one of those lucky content chameleons… damn, you have a lot of social media work to do ;-)