What’s a kicka$$ social media plan I can use right away?
What’s a platform that’ll work best for my business? How do I get my name out there, get myself known and get some traction?
Should I pick YouTube or Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn — or all of them — for maximum visibility and ROI?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had students and clients ask these questions and here’s my honest answer…
ALL social media platforms can work for your business. They’re all great for marketing, audience-building and sales — BUT here’s the problem…
There’s a massive amount of pressure to be everywhere on social media… all day, every day.
It feels like there are a ton of new developments you have to pay attention to and must-do social media tactics you have to implement if you want to skyrocket your visibility, audience and sales.
And just when you think you’ve come up with an awesome social media plan, you stumble on a popular marketing guru who says “fill-in-the-blank” platform is THE one you need to go with… and it’s not in your plan!
Even worse, you look around and you realize different gurus swear by different platforms.
Some say if you’re not on YouTube, you’re as good as done. Some say you have to live and die by Instagram.
Others push Facebook like there’s no tomorrow.
Major FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) sets in and next thing you know, you’re spreading yourself out on every one of those platforms — YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok (the list continues to grow) — because you’re scared it’s all over for you and your business if you don’t.
Playing to Win
Whether we realize it or not, we’re playing an “invisible” game when it comes to creating sales and success with social media…
I call it Social Media Roulette.
It’s a lot like regular roulette where you put down heaps of cash on one number, spin the wheel and hope the ball lands on the number you bet on.
So you win when you bet on the right number. You lose when you bet on the wrong one.
The way I see it, Social Media Roulette shares the same central idea…
You have to pick just ONE number — one social media platform — to win big.
But here’s where things start to get interesting.
With regular roulette betting on one number means you could win… or you could lose.
It’s hugely risky.
But with Social Media Roulette betting on ONE number — one platform — is all you need to do to win.
With one platform, you’re far less likely to be distracted and pulled in a hundred different directions; you get to focus your attention and energy and spend time building your audience.
And you’ll become known, liked and trusted on that single social space.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t play it this way.
They bet on ALL the platforms. They put their chips on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram and whatever else that’s out there…
And they lose BIG.
All Out and All In
So maybe you’re thinking, “Really, Marisa? Just pick one platform? That’s it? That’s the plan?”
Yes, that’s it.
And there’s a lot of evidence to prove “just pick one” works.
Take a look at some of the biggest names and up-and-comers online… they bet everything on ONE number, they pick ONE platform and they win BIG.
As of this writing…
Investor, author and lifestyle entrepreneur Tai Lopez picked YouTube, and he has over 1.3 million fans on his channel. He’s since built a massive presence on other channels… but YouTube was where he first channeled his energy and efforts.
Entrepreneur, best-selling author and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. Despite recent personal troubles, her account is still going strong.
Travel influencer Jen Ruiz pivoted to TikTok when lockdown first hit in March 2020. With over 10M video views and 2M likes in just under a year, the platform has been a game-changer for her business.
Best-selling author and journalist Shea Serrano has become an influencer on Twitter with over 430K followers and tremendous engagement. He uses his account to drive awareness and sales for his best-selling books.
Mega personal brand and influencer Gary Vaynerchuk has over 5 million fans on Instagram, over 1.8 million on Twitter, and over 1.9 million on YouTube… I know that’s 3 platforms, but he started with just one — YouTube.
The most successful entrepreneurs start with ONE. They pick the platform that suits their communication style and their audience, and they go all out and all in.
Start with _______.
No matter where you are in your business, no matter where you are in your social media strategy, pick one and go with it.
Don’t worry… once you nail one, you can always add more later — or not 🙂
If you’re not sure which platform to start with, here’s a quick guideline:
Start with YouTube If…
- Your Strength is… you love the camera and the camera loves you and if you feel energized, excited and enthusiastic about being filmed, YouTube was made for you.
- Your Target Audience is… really any demographic. The latest stats from Hootsuite show that YouTube is most popular with users 35 and under, but only slightly. 73% of Americans aged 36 to 45 use YouTube, 70% of those aged 46 to 55 and 67% of those 56 and older.
- Your Industry/Business is… focused on solving day-to-day problems or you’re a motivational speaker or author. Most YouTubers get on the channel for a dose of inspiration and to find easy solutions to everyday problems.
- Your Content is… video-friendly. Guidelines, walkthroughs, tutorials and demonstrations are perfect for YouTube. Cooking and makeup videos continue to be huge on this platform, as well as gaming and tech.
- Advertising is… not your thing or you don’t have a budget for it just yet. YouTube is mostly a free channel, and it’s still possible to organically grow your audience and increase engagement and reach. But you really need to go all-in to be successful.
Start with Facebook If…
- Your Strength is… you love community and you enjoy writing. Although Livestreams and video are incredibly popular, written content is still a big part of Facebook. And more recently, simple engagement prompts have really taken off for certain industries (like content publishers and radio stations).
- Your Target Audience is… people aged between 35 to 65.
- Your Industry/ Business is… designed to appeal to older adults. Products like shapewear do well on Facebook and so do travel-related, marketing and business services.
- Your Content is… educational or business-related. Business audiences and older adults looking to add to their skills and knowledge turn to Facebook for answers.
- Advertising is… definitely your thing. When it’s done right, Facebook Ads can bring in a ton of revenue with robust features like audience targeting, and Carousel Ads that let you display multiple, eye-catching photos and videos in one space.
Start with Pinterest If…
- Your Strength is… you have a good eye for graphics and you could happily work with images and photos all day long.
- Your Target Audience is… mainly women. Pinterest isn’t as popular with men. Also, a recent survey found that 8 out of 10 moms use Pinterest, so if your product appeals to moms, you might give the platform a closer look.
- Your Industry/Business is… visually rich. Things like jewelry or cute t-shirts for girls and women are perfect for Pinterest.
- Your Content is… short, snappy and easy on the eyes. Recipes, quotes, and step-by-step DIY images work well.
- Advertising is… not a major priority or you don’t have the budget for it yet. Organic audience growth and reach can happen on Pinterest if you consistently share quality, eye-catching images on your boards.
Start with LinkedIn If…
- Your Strength is… you can easily relate to and work with career professionals and executives.
- Your Target Audience is… down-to-earth professionals and high-income earners. Interesting side note: unlike the other platforms on this list, more men than women are active on LinkedIn.
- Your Industry/Business… offers products or services related to career or business advancement. Reigning champs on LinkedIn include recruitment firms and executive coaches.
- Your Content is… smart, well thought out and is preferably evidence-based with statistics and input from respected experts. Long-form written posts work well on this platform.
- Advertising is… on the cards for you but get ready to invest to get the results you want. Ads on this platform can be pricier than most.
Start with Instagram If…
- You Strength is… capturing and sharing images and videos and you’re open to posting photos and videos of your personal life. Instagrammers love “behind-the-scenes” shots of the people behind the brand as much as they love gorgeous images of the product they’re selling. Short videos in the form of Reels are becoming increasingly popular and Instagram is giving priority to these videos. So if you don’t mind being in front of the camera and you love being creative, Instagram might be for you.
- Your Target Audience is… Young adults. Generally, people below the age of 35. Hootsuite found that the younger the Instagram user, the more likely they are to use the social network multiple times per day.
- Your Industry/Business… is product-based. Fashion, beauty, automotive and sporting goods are bigon Insta. But the biggest industry is media, so if you’re a publishing company or regularly publish valuable content, you could find great success.
- Your Content is… mainly photographs, images and video — that’s pretty obvious. What’s not so obvious is the type of visuals that work best. Stats show inspirational quotes, pictures and videos of animals and food, and images of human faces are massive attention-grabbers with Instagrammers.
- Advertising is… something you definitely want to explore. Ads on Instagram Stories — where posts and videos disappear in 24-hours — are currently gaining major traction. In fact, one-quarter of Gen Z and millennials use stories to find products and services to purchase. Stories Ads are full screen and immersive, allowing users to move seamlessly between organic and sponsored content.
Start with TikTok If…
- Your Strength is… You hate Instagram (or are tired of the over-saturation of “fake” content) and thrive on being raw and authentic. You don’t get hung up on creating “beautiful” content. You’re creative, carefree and a light-hearted kind of person. You have a passion you want to share with the world.
- Your Target Audience is… Gen-Z. Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 32.5% aged between 10 and 19.
- Your Industry/Business is… product or service-based. Beauty, fashion, art and home decor have found success but so has food, cleaning and maintenance and the dental industry. A new wave of entrepreneurs and business coaches are also gaining traction on TikTok. The platform is still new in the social media landscape, so a variety of businesses and industries are finding success.
- Your Content is… video-friendly (obviously). But also authentic and unmanicured. You’re not afraid to be open and maybe a little silly. Entrepreneurs and business coaches are also getting results by creating highly-valuable and brand new content directed to one particular niche. So if you’ve got your niche down and they’re on TikTok, this might be a good avenue for you to grow your brand.
Powerful, Reliable… Doable
Make it a personal goal to be an A+ student on the platform you pick and aim to build a solid following before you add an additional one.
“Just pick one” is a powerful, reliable, doable social media strategy.
It’s a fast, effective, sustainable path to an engaged audience of real fans and followers who’ll fall in love with you and your products or services and clamor to buy from you again and again.
So, are you ready to win at Social Media Roulette? Okay, let’s spin the wheel…
What’s ONE social media platform you want to start focusing on for your business? What’s one platform you feel drawn to and why?
Spin the wheel, pick your platform and share below… I personally read and reply to every single comment 🙂
Note: This post was first published April 15, 2019, but was updated with new information and examples on January 17, 2022.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
Sigh of relief. Thank you, Marisa, for clarifying such a confusing topic!
At the moment I’m posting twice on Facebook – to a personal + ‘business’ page, which is same name as my website.
Just starting out, and the few people who are following me, have requested friends to the personal page – people seem to like to link to the person rather than ‘business’ page. This is confusing as to how to move forward with this. As I can see going forward, people are likely to request friends to the person page, rather than follow the ‘business’ page.
This also means I’m always needing to post twice!
Any thoughts/suggestions most appreciated 🙂
Thanks Marisa! Very helpful article and ready to implement!
Very helpful. Looks like FB is our best bet for our market. Also going for Podcasts.
Thank you very much for sending this.
I have a few questions for you, please:
1. Do you consider Podcasting as Social Media?
I loved your post on Social Media Roulette and was wondering how Podcasting fits into the audience spectrum.
2. For example what demographic listens to Podcasts?
[My target audience is Boomers.]
3. How does one do a Podcast? Do you have training on this?
I was a guest on Blog talk radio a few years ago and have wondered how to do my own Podcast
Thank you in advance for answering my questions. I appreciate it.
You certainly stand out in a crowded space! And I always enjoy your insightful posts.
My intuition is telling me Instagram since primary market is women with young children living with a breast cancer diagnosis. I have also written a children’s book for families to discuss their breast cancer diagnosis. Secondary market is grandparents, educators and hospitals. I really appreciate this post. Please let me know your thoughts?
I loved this post! I read your blog fairly often and
you are always coming out with some great
stuff. I will shares this on my facebook, instagram and some of my
loyalty followers. Great jobs! Keep work it with it.
The media platforms may not be the biggest challenge, but the contents that we present to the viewer’s.
Yes! The right content on the right platform for the right audience, can work wonders.
I am also an EPM student. I will start with LinkedIn as my target audience are (senior) managers.
Sounds like the perfect platform to be on, Milan!
Thanks Marissa 🙏🏼. Really useful advice. I’m new to the world of social media and am planning to launch my health and wellness online product. I’m going to take your advice and go with one .. Facebook 🙌🏼.
Awesome! So glad you found it valuable. I would definitely consider creating your own Facebook group around health and wellness. I look forward to following your journey 🙂
I have been posting and interacting on Linkedin for 6 months and I got results 2 months ago: my first 4 sales.
I focus only on this plattform and it takes a while to increase engagement, as much as in real life.
One of the strengths is that you can find and also discover your best customers by searching and interacting.
That’s an awesome strategy, David! Thanks for sharing.
What a super helpful post. Thank you. My audience is women 35+ who have left unhappy, destructive situations and relationships in order to pursue the life they really want, so Facebook is my place, but business page seems just for ads these days, not for content for my audience. Maybe a Facebook group would be more useful for an audience that speaks only to a small part of my personal page audience.
Yes, definitely consider starting a group. Thanks for reading!