For all my online health and fitness professionals who feel like they have to be everywhere, where is the best place for YOU?
The answer to today’s question is not going to be something that is definite. That’s for a couple of reasons. For one, social media platforms are always changing, disappearing, and new ones are being planted. And also, your creation process and preferences may change overtime, requiring you to experiment or migrate onto other platforms.
So while I may talk about specific platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and others, know that what we talk about today applies to all social media platforms that come up in the future.
First things first, when you are starting out in business, I am a very aggressive believer in the fact that you need to be on one single platform, go all in, and then you can expand. But I do wish personally, that I would have considered a long-term approach when I chose Instagram to be my single platform years ago.
So keep that in mind as we move forward and break down different aspects of types of social media platforms, and why you may choose one over the other.
We first need to distinguish a search-based platform and a social platform. Because I will be lumping those together today, but they are not the same. And it’s very important that you understand the difference.
A search base platform is a platform where content lives evergreen and has a value for as long as the piece of content exists. This is because when you go to YouTube or Pinterest for instance, you can search how to change your oil in a 2010 Volvo S 60, in the most popular or widely used video could ranked number one even though it was posted seven years ago. Now that person‘s content is continuing to drive traffic without them having to create new content on a daily basis like most social platforms.
Pinterest works the same way. There are still algorithms on these search-based platforms. Even on Google. But your content at least has the potential for longevity and to live evergreen on search based platforms.
The downfall to a search-based platform is time. Generally speaking, it’s going to take a longer period of time to gain traction and traffic, and to monetize anything on a search-based platform. Now that’s not definite, and there are exceptions. But on a platform like TikTok or Instagram, or even Facebook for that matter, the potential to gain followers and an audience that can potentially become customers for you, is higher on these platforms. And can happen more quickly.
But that trade-off is, social-based platforms typically require high frequencies of contact creation and output. Or someone may post one to two YouTube videos per week, which are more time intensive, someone would need to post 5 to 14 pieces of content on a platform like Instagram, TickTock, or Facebook. I mentioned these because they are currently the most widely used social platforms in the world.
All of that is to say, if you can swing it, I want you to think long term and which two platforms make the most sense for you, the type of content you like to create, and where your audience is already searching for the type of information you provide. On one social platform, and one search based platform.
From a business standpoint, it behooves you to be on platforms, social, or search-based, that allow you to generate income. Not directly from the platform necessarily, but that make it easy for a consumer to click a link, and end up on your website able to purchase something from you, or apply to work with you.
Always think about these platforms from a functionality standpoint in the eyes of a business owner. Do you want to create content that is organic to the platform, but also think like the entrepreneur. Never lose that frame of mind.
In deciding which platform you are going to be on, I really encourage people to think about the type of contest that they want to create. And that they are naturally good at. And if you feel like you aren’t good at creating content, do you likely just lack experience and exposure. Because if you love what you do, I guarantee that there is a way for you to demonstrate that, and communicate that through contact creation. You can absolutely enjoy that process.
Because like anything, if you don’t at least enjoy some aspect of contact creation, it’s going to be very difficult to stick with it, and remain consistent. And that applies to putting out some thing on LinkedIn or YouTube once a week, or staying on top of posting 5 to 14 times a week on Instagram.
I am not against you choosing a platform that you enjoy organically, or that you think has the form of content that fits what you want to do best.
The other side of that coin is making sure that your messaging is needed there, and that people are already searching for it, or taking in your type of content and messaging.
If you really like speaking, but don’t love being on camera, consider starting a podcast. If you really enjoy longform content, and creating longform content, then I would start with YouTube.
The good thing about YouTube or other search based platforms, is that they’re at the top of the content in the media web. Meaning that you can take search based content and break it down into smaller pieces of content to use on social platforms. Or even other search-based platforms. It tends to be harder to go in the other direction.
If you already send a ton of time on Instagram as a consumer, you might as well start creating your own content and shift from consumer to creator. You understand the platform, how it works, what people want to see, so channel that and start optimizing your own content.
I know people don’t think Facebook is still valuable. I don’t love it personally, but it’s still one of the most globally used platforms. And what I suggest using this for is groups, and pages. If community is some thing that is very important to you, and you want to cultivate that either from a free standpoint, or a paid standpoint, I highly highly highly suggest using Facebook for that. And plugging into a platform that we already know works very well for people who highly value community.
There are many other platforms that provide community, but they don’t provide the potential reach for getting new people into the community like Facebook does. Which is why I am not mentioning those.
Whatever social platform you choose, commit to sticking with it for the long-haul. It’s not going to be easy on any platform. Especially with algorithms which exist everywhere. But it will eventually pay off if you are consistent and commit to learning how to become a better communicator and content creator on a given platform.
There’s no one size fits all, and no matter what, it’s going to require work from you. Each platform has pros and cons. And that’s why I really encourage you to choose some thing you think you’ll enjoy, because that gives you the highest chance of sticking with it. And that’s what most important.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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