There are so many social media platforms available for businesses and it’s often hard to decide which platforms you should use. You are hearing advice from all over that you HAVE to be on this platform or that. With my clients, I utilize my 3 Cs of Social Media to determine which platforms to utilize in the custom social media strategy I design for them, but what do we do to evaluate the latest and greatest, in-the-news platforms? Stay tuned to this episode to find out.

Initially, you want to do some general research on what type of platform it is. Why was it built? What type of content is shared? Who were the early adopters? Make a note of those influencers who are quoted in the articles you read, we will need them for step 3. This should give you a general idea of what is going on with a platform. Once you decide from this initial review that it may be a platform your business should consider, I recommend the following steps:

    1. Secure Your Handle. Download the app, create an account, and secure your handle. Remember we want a consistent handle across all platforms so try to match your existing social media handles. The advantage of jumping on early is that you should be able to secure your handle. I’m @laurabcreative everywhere.
    2. Complete Your Profile. Now, upload your profile image or logo and complete your profile including your website URL and any other pertinent information. Make sure it matches the imagery, logo, and branding of your other profiles.
    3. Listen. This is the biggest step. Don’t jump on and start pushing out content. First, find influencers in your industry or just early adopters on the platform and see what they are doing. Make sure you choose people who are using the platform well – remember any influencers mentioned in your initial research. Find brands that are doing well that speak to your same target audience so you are looking at both individual and brand voices. Be sure to follow more than one or two. You may find you just don’t like the style of some of the people and need to find others to follow. There are some bloggers and authors that I love but I don’t enjoy their Snapchat stories, for example, so I don’t follow them there. The benefit of listening is not just to see what other people are doing but also to get an idea of the culture of the platform so when you start producing content (if that is what you decide), you will be up to speed.
    4. Decision Time. Does this new platform make sense for your business and your audience?
      1. If the answer is yes, now you need to integrate this new platform into your existing social media strategy. What type of content are you going to share? What is the goal of the platform for your business? Is this something you can do well? Remember we are not just going to start autoposting our content here. [For more, read Friends Don’t Let Friends Autopost.]
      2. If the answer is no, this platform doesn’t make sense for your business right now. That’s okay. Be sure not to add this profile link to your website, email signature, or anything else. If you are not participating, you don’t want to be driving people there. But, you should leave your completed profile up for SEO reasons and so you will be well-positioned should this platform make sense for your social media strategy in the future. In fact, check out my next episode, How to Retire a Social Media Platform for more details on how to do this.

I hope these tips will help you make sense of the ever-changing online world. Did this process help you to choose or disqualify any platform? Let me know in the comments.

Originally posted as a blog post at Should I Use the Latest Social Media Platform? 

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