A reader asked about the various social media platforms I use in my business.
Which do I recommend?
I use Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Medium, Linkedin, and Twitter.
I’ll explain what I think is the usefulness of each.
The most popular social media platform, by far, is still Facebook. As of early 2019, there are 2.2 billion active users.
For any demographic you’re trying to reach, or finding people with particular interests/passions, Facebook will be the one platform where you can reach the most number of them, and most easily, through Facebook Ads. (I teach an online course on how to use Facebook Ads.)
What I like about Facebook is that you can post different types of media -- writings, videos, images, links. And since just about everyone has an account, it makes it easy for people to comment on your content. You can find my Facebook posts here: George Kao Facebook Posts.
Besides sharing my content and offerings, I also use Facebook to get feedback and ideas. For example, recently I asked what people thought about my next course idea (see here.)
This is the second most popular social media and content platform, clocking in at 1.9 billion active users. Youtube is also the second most used search engine after Google.
Here’s my experience with uploading videos to Youtube (I have over 1,000 videos by this point) -- it’s really hard to get viewers, unless you are savvy with Youtube SEO. The simplest way to learn it is to search Youtube for these kinds of topics -- Youtube SEO, Get more views on Youtube -- because the videos that are at the top, are proof that the person knows how to do it!
I haven’t spent the energy to learn Youtube SEO yet… but it’s on my list. What I basically do is make my videos using Facebook Live (to overcome perfectionism) and then download the FB Live video, and upload them to Youtube, for my few viewers who prefer to watch there.
Most of my Youtube videos only get about 50 views, compared to Facebook where I typically get 200-500 in the same timeframe. Once in a long while, I happen to upload a video to Youtube that gets more views than my Facebook does, maybe one out of 75 videos. In those rare cases, it goes much farther than on Facebook. Example: my zoom tutorial video.
The way I think of it -- if you’re going to make videos, you might as well upload them to both your Facebook and Youtube. You’ll get more views on Facebook in the short-term, but occasionally, a few of your Youtube videos will bring many new viewers for years to come. And, if you are willing, learn Youtube SEO!
Find me on Youtube here: George Kao on Youtube
This has been the up and coming platform for a few years, and it is currently #3 in popularity after Facebook and Youtube. If you like taking photos, or making image quotes, or making short casual videos, then Instagram is a great place to post your content.
The way I do it is to quickly create a short image-message using Canva -- how to create simple instagram images on canva -- and then post a short version of my blog post (up to 2,100 characters, using Wordcounter.net) as the image caption.
I also record a short video (up to 10 minutes) using Instagram Live and share it to my Instagram profile.
You can see these examples here: George Kao on Instagram
Medium.com has become the go-to place to quickly start a blog. It is designed beautifully and is simple to use.
The problem is that just writing on Medium isn’t going to get you any readers. You have to learn how to get viewers for your Medium articles. It’s something that hasn’t been on my priority list because I already (gratefully) have an active readership via Facebook and my Email Newsletter.
To get some readership on my Medium articles, I send the links out via my weekly Email Newsletter.
The reason I publish to Medium isn’t because it gets me more views, but rather, I find it to be an easy way for people to rate my articles. This helps me determine what are my best articles to feature in my monthly email newsletter.
I would recommend posting your article to your own blog first, then submit to the Google Search Engine via Search Console to index it, then post it to Medium.com a few days later.
Find me on Medium here: George Kao on Medium
For more than a decade, Linkedin has been the default online resume for hundreds of millions of professionals, including myself.
Besides updating your Linkedin profile once a year, or whenever you have professional updates, I honestly wouldn’t recommend being concerned about putting content on Linkedin. (The exception is if you are in the industries of information-technology, human resources, or career-change.)
I still post regularly to Linkedin, but it only takes me a few minutes a week: when I have written or recorded something, I quickly post it to Linkedin, since I do have a few regular readers there.
The most productive way to use Linkedin is really to contact people 1-1, those who are potential clients or referral sources. Contact them thoughtfully, not as a mass message, but individually, having studied their profile and finding a way where your message is a benefit to them, not just to you.
Here I am: George Kao on Linkedin
Compared to the above platforms, Twitter has been the hardest for me to get traction for a couple of reasons: (1) It is not easy to compose an interesting tweet (the maximum is 280 characters.) and (2) Even with using hashtags, one’s tweets get relatively little engagement.
To really get engagement on Twitter requires actively commenting on other people’s tweets. If you are already interested in using Twitter and enjoy interacting there, then definitely put your content links there as well.
Find me here: George Kao on Twitter
Besides the above, I’ve also briefly tried Pinterest, Tumblr, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Snapchat. But I haven’t enjoyed them nor found a reason to use them. The ones I’m already using are enough. I forgot to mention -- Reddit -- I use it almost daily to browse interesting posts but I have found it hard to get engagement there, or rather, I haven’t really tried. Quora is another interesting one that requires thoughtful content, but it can be competitive. I’ve decided not to use it for now.
If you’re wanting to keep it simple, my recommendation is Facebook Pages, especially learning how to use Facebook ads. Besides that, make sure you are sending a monthly newsletter to your current/recent clients and anyone else who wants to subscribe. Keep your newsletters simple like mine, so it is quick to do.
Any questions about the above, let me know. Comment on my Facebook video :)
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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