Social media platforms: “Should I use them all?”

As digital and social media continues to grow, the common mistake of using each and every social media platform to support organisations is quite common, in hope that this will target a larger audience. However, this can sometimes be quite off-putting.

There are three things (in no particular order) which I believe to be of considerable importance when deciding which platforms your organisation should use:

  1. What are the main goals of your organisation?
  2. Have you analysed your target audience?
  3. Do you understand the main benefits of each platform?

These may seem like the simplest things ever – but understanding how important these points are is key. Firstly, understanding the main goals of your organisation is essential for narrowing down which platform you should be using. For example, if you are a start-up photography company with the main goal of raising awareness by showcasing your great photography, your first social media profile to create would be Instagram: A social networking service giving you the freedom to edit and share photographs and videos. As Instagram is all about photographs (of literally anything), your photography will soon become noticed by individuals who have an interest in photography (only if you #effectively, of course).

Not only this, but analysing the target audience for your organisation is also essential. Let’s stick with the start-up photography company, who specialise in wedding photography. Without even doing any research or analysis, a target audience that springs to mind would be couples who are nearing their wedding, looking for a photographer (I know, crazy people). Having a clear target audience in mind for your organisation helps you to understand which social media platform you should be using. This is because, couples who are nearing their wedding, probably wouldn’t be posting videos on Vine about it. They would most likely be searching for a portfolio of work done by wedding photographers so they can visually see (and judge) the work. Therefore, understanding your goals along with your target audience should bring you to a specific social media platform.

Last but not least – Try to understand what each social media platform is for. This may sound obvious, however using every single platform just be too much. You need to utilize a select few platforms which will really engage with your target audience, in order for them to stay loyal to your page. Often, organisations will spend money on creating a large amount of platforms, only to realise that their target audience prefer to use 3 out of the 8.

So, photographers: Maybe stick to Instagram and Twitter instead of LinkedIn and Vine, and you’ll soon see the benefits… But most importantly, don’t forget to #Hashtag to raise that awareness!

Engage effectively with your target audience, focusing on your main goals and using the right social media platforms.

Sarita Singh, 2016.