Our present social media world is incredibly vast, just a few years ago one brand would only care about one or two platforms at max, and if we go way behind past 10 years, we’ll see that companies didn’t care about social outreach as we see it today, they just had a website, a press release portal and maybe a blog. Such things have changed a lot, and for the better. Now people can interact directly with the brands they love and the influencers they like, something that describes the times we are living in.

So you are a small business owner, and you really want to get in this amazing, complex and always competitive field of social media, a place that has many rewards, but at the same time countless challenges to face. If this is your case, then you’ll need to know something I did not consider when I started out 7 years ago.

Every social media channel is completely different, they may look alike but they are not the same. And I’m not here to tell you what is Facebook, or what are the new features available on Instagram; in fact, we are going identify which social network works best for three fictitious brands, and as a result, you are going to have a very clear example of what you can do to determine which channels suit you the most.

  1. The Lighthouse, seafood restaurant.
    We are talking about food here, so it is a strong niche where sensorial and visual content must be put in place. Clients need to know where to find you, what are the options, how they look like, how do you cook them, customers may want to see your restaurant from the inside and outside, so it would be best to rely on visually appealing social networks that may boost what you are willing to offer via photos, videos and even live streams.

Right channels: (1) Instagram, (2) YouTube, (3) Facebook.

  1. Liongate Realty, real estate magazine.
    News outlets, blogs, magazines and other related businesses, work on the consistency of publishing updates, all in order to describe recent events in a specific field or industry. Liongate Realty needs to go out for readers, and since most adults interested in homes are on Facebook and Linkedin, that can be the starting point of all efforts in regards to their services.

Right channels: (1) Facebook, (2) Linkedin (3) Twitter.

  1. Julia Vermont’s Blog, influencer.
    Influencer marketing is on the rise, more and more companies trust in the direct impact these individuals can imprint on specific audiences, so video will be your best choice in this case. Go where the target is, the land of tutorials, video-essays and visual explanations better known as YouTube, don’t forget to consider other platforms in order to step up your game and to even expand your reach.

Right channels: (1) YouTube, (2) Instagram, (3) Snapchat.
Now, as we said before, the domain of social media is getting bigger and better, so you may encounter with tons of other platforms that are not mentioned here, such as TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram TV, Periscope, VK and so much more. The goal is to identify your target by looking very closely at the key points of interest (KPI) in regards to your business: What are you selling? What does your business provide? In which way? How can my business grow? What do I need to show? Those are questions that you need to answer first, before going directly for the likes and followers.

Many of these networks are trickier than others, and sometimes you may want to quit, but do not let this happen to you, this is a field that depends solely on consistency and creativity, take advantage of useful scheduling tools like Hootsuite (the one I work with), and explore your creativity with awesome services like Canva and Pixlr. Remember to look cool, learn to segment your audience and to clearly discern what your customers really need. The rest is up to you, don’t bother in breaking these rules.