Co- Authored by Morning Brew's Jack Appleby
Choosing the right platform can be tricky. You’ll need a guide.
I’m Jack Appleby, creator of Morning Brew’s Future Social, a newsletter that navigates the current landscape of social media. After working with brands and ad agencies for 10 years, I’ve joined the Brew Crew to write about the space and teach tricks ready for the biggest of brands and the smallest of mom-and-pops.
Welcome to the first installment of my 4-part series with Paysafe, the payment solutions providorplatform focused on making small business payments seamless, safe and secure. We’ve teamed up to help your small business level up its social media game. Keep reading to become a social wiz!
Running a small business ain’t no small task. From navigating supply chain storms to keeping your customers smiling from ear to ear, SMB life can be a total brouhaha. Not to mention mastering the social media game—that’s a whole ’nother kettle of fish to fry. Becoming the life of the online party is tricky, but it can be done with a little know-how.
Let’s begin by taking a look at how to choose the right platform for your biz. Easier said than done! Picking a platform is different for every SMB owner. I’m gonna go over a few considerations so that by the end of this article, you can make an informed decision on where to begin building your biz on social.
First things first: Where are your customers?
Before doing anything at all, start by hitting the books a bit. You must align your social strategies with your customer base, so you need to figure out where your customers like to congregate.
Here’s a list of the most common platforms:
I know you’ve heard of these before, but howwww to choose one? That’s the tough question. If you’re a B2C SMB, it’s likely gonna be IG, FB, or TikTok. These are hangouts where consumers dwell. If you’re a B2B biz, think about LinkedIn and Twitter as your go-to platforms—writing and thought leadership go a long way there.
Say you’re a barber, that timeless profession of artistry and utility. Since you operate in the land of B2C, you’re gonna wanna choose IG, FB, and TikTok. Check out various haircut and barber hashtags on those platforms and you’ll find tons of inspo to jumpstart your creative gears.
Next, match your personal skills to the right platform
Here’s the reality: Social only works if you’ve got the skills to make the content. Now, you can grow those muscles—nobody starts out as an expert—but we want to lean into your natural creative ability. Got a sharp eye for photography? Consider Instagram or Facebook, where images are reigning champs. More of a video person? Then make Reels (IG’s filmic side) or TikTok your go-to. And if you’re more of a wordsmith, slam those editorials to LinkedIn and Twitter timelines. Again, this is a soft science, as much about your customer’s home base as your personal abilities.
Choosing a platform frequented by your audience and using your personal skills to finetune your content will not only make flexing social muscles easier, but it will also create an authentic representation of your brand. This is what consumers love.
Lastly, learn how to manage personal and professional accounts
You’re gonna wanna also consider content amplification and account setup when picking the right platform. Don’t worry though—this ain’t as scary as it sounds.
Let’s start with a personal mantra of mine. Repeat after me: My business account is not my only account. You’re gonna wanna have separate accounts with separate purposes so customers know where to reach you and what type of content they can expect.
Lemme break this down by returning to our barber example. A barber should navigate between three accounts:
- Employees’ personal accounts (not professional—their literal personal accounts)
- Employees’ professional accounts (where they show off the business and cuts)
- The barbershop’s account (ran by the owner or manager)
Now, even though each account is specifically dedicated to one entity, all three should cross-promote each other. @BarberShop should share @EmployeeBiz content (and vice versa). Employees should share their barber content on their personal accounts. That’s where that little “share to Instagram Stories” button on any IG post is so handy—one click and you’re cross-promoting. Even better, one click and your customer is sharing that photo of them you posted to their personal Instagram, linking all their shaggy pals back to your business account.
Now that you've picked your platform, it's time to start learning how to leverage for success.