Social media is a great tool, but the number of platforms out there can be over whelming. Chambers, nonprofits, and businesses all want to know which platforms are worth their time (and money).
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: there is no one answer.
If you ask marketing professionals which social platforms you should focus on, here’s the most common advice you’ll get:
- Be where your audience is
- Be a pioneer on a new platform to reach a younger audience and/or be *the* community already established once everyone else makes it there
- Start with one platform you know you want or need, and then another once you’re ready
And this is all great advice. But it sounds like they’re all saying different things, so let’s combine them.
#1 Start with one platform, and get good at it. This will probably be the one you feel the most comfortable with, or know your chamber members are there.
#2 Once you feel like you’ve built it up and are comfortable with it, start researching a second platform to branch out to. This might be a new trendy platform, or just one you hear more and more colleagues, volunteers, or locals talking about.
#3 Continue building your brand and communications plan. If you’re not sure how to create one, check this out.
What does “Be where your audience is” even mean?!
You want to decide what social media accounts you chamber members or future chamber members are on. For many of us, it’s Facebook since almost everyone has an account.
For find out where else they are, ask. Ask your members, volunteers, peers, anyone in your community until you start to hear the same answer over and over. Whatever they’re telling you – that’s where they are, and that’s where you want to be, too.
Social Media Comparison
To help you get started, here’s the platforms my chamber is on:
(Note: B2C = Business to Consumer. Posts should be more personable or natural. B2B = Business to Business. This is where you can get away with sharing more membership information or business tips)
- Facebook – B2C, you can reach the masses since everybody and their grandmother is here
- Twitter – B2B, Not many of our local businesses are here, but there’s a few large corporations that we’ve been able to reach here. So we use it, but don’t spend a lot of time on it.
- Pinterest – B2C, Not a lot of direct or quick ROI, but my chamber is/has a CVB, so it’s a great long-game tool for promoting our area and businesses
- Instagram – B2C, same as pinterest for us, but I’ve seen many medium to large chambers do a good job with promoting their events & members here
- LinkedIn – B2B, same as Twitter for us. Again ask around and see how many people you know spend time on it. If they don’t, then don’t worry about it.
- YouTube – probably B2C, but I actually use it as B2B as I mostly use it to share member ads I’ve edited (like chamber chat) and membership on-boarding videos
- TikTok is no longer ignorable, even for chambers, as in 2021 people spent more time on TikTok per day than Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. This audience is primarily Gen Z, but will likely eventually grow & change demographics over time just like Facebook did.
Is your chamber on a different platform? Comment below!
Again, don’t take on more than you can handle. But if you have a dedicated marketing or social media person, you might want to rethink skipping over a few of these platforms. Social media can improve your Google rankings and drive new traffic to your website.
Site like Pinterest and YouTube are different than Facebook in that you don’t care quite as much about followers/subscribers. What you want is post/video views, and people don’t have to follow you to for those numbers to be big. They’re also really good places to work on SEO and start sending traffic to your website for specific key words. A post on Facebook will probably die after 3 hours, but a post on Pinterest/YouTube will be as relevant for as long as people are searching for it.
Work smarter, not harder
Save yourself some time and automate and reuse what you can. Some ways I do this are auto-posting from one platform to another and using an evergreen social media scheduler:
In short, if you think you should be using a particular platform, go for it. But don’t feel bad for not being everywhere. You know best where your time is best served. And no matter what you’re using, look for tools and automation to save you time.