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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Trippett

Choosing A Social Media Platform

For social media influencers just starting out or looking to leverage AI for enhancing their online presence, understanding the landscape of the top social media platforms is crucial. However, spending a bit of time to understand the pros and cons and how your content fits into the landscape can go a long way to finding your audience and succeeding as an influencer in the long run.

How to get started Choosing a Social Media Platform?

Here’s a focused comparison of the top seven platforms based on their unique features and audiences. Get familiar with them and maybe make an account on any that sound like a good fit. You'll learn a lot by reading a few posts from influencers and content creators in your area, and might even get ideas for what kind of content to make and how you can add value for your fans.

1. TikTok

  • Engagement & Content Type: Dominates with short-form video content, highly engaging, and supports creative expression with a wide range of editing tools.

  • Audience: Young, dynamic users looking for entertainment, DIY tips, and trending challenges.

  • Key Trends: Emphasis on e-commerce features and significant influencer marketing budgets, making it a lucrative platform for creators​​.

Ideal for: Creators who excel in producing dynamic, short-form video content that taps into current trends, music, and challenges. TikTok is perfect for influencers with a knack for entertainment, quick tutorials, or captivating storytelling that fits into bite-sized clips. It's especially suited for those who can adapt quickly to trends and are comfortable in front of the camera​.

Less ideal for: Creators focusing on long-form, in-depth content that requires significant viewer engagement time. Professionals or educators looking to share detailed tutorials or discussions may find the platform's short-form video format limiting. Moreover, TikTok's fast-paced, trend-driven nature might not suit those aiming for evergreen content that retains its value over time.

2. Instagram

  • Engagement & Content Type: Visual content reigns, including photos, stories, and short videos. Instagram Reels competes directly with TikTok for short-form video content.

  • Audience: Broad demographic, but particularly popular with millennials and Gen Z for its lifestyle, fashion, and beauty content.

  • Key Trends: Collaboration posts between brands and creators are gaining popularity, leveraging Instagram’s strong e-commerce integration​​.

Ideal for: Visual storytellers, fashionistas, travel bloggers, and lifestyle influencers who have a strong aesthetic sense. Instagram rewards high-quality photography and video content, making it ideal for creators who can produce visually appealing content. It's also great for influencers focusing on personal branding and those who wish to engage with followers through stories, live sessions, and IGTV for more extended content.

Less ideal for: Creators whose content primarily revolves around written form, such as bloggers or writers, might find Instagram challenging due to its focus on visual content. Similarly, those who produce content that doesn’t naturally lend itself to a highly aesthetic visual presentation might struggle to gain traction on a platform where visuals are key.

3. YouTube

  • Engagement & Content Type: Ideal for long-form video content, tutorials, vlogs, and more. YouTube Shorts provides a platform for short-form content.

  • Audience: Wide-ranging, with particular strength in areas requiring detailed explanation or storytelling.

  • Key Trends: Creators can monetize their content through ads, memberships, and super chats during live streams.

Ideal for: Video content creators who specialize in longer formats, such as detailed tutorials, documentaries, vlogs, or educational content. YouTube is ideal for influencers who are skilled in creating in-depth content that requires more time to consume, offering monetization opportunities through ads and sponsorships for established channels.

Less ideal for: Creators looking for immediate engagement or those who prefer producing content that doesn’t require significant production effort. The platform’s emphasis on longer videos means that users typically expect higher-quality, well-edited content, which can be resource-intensive to produce regularly.

4. Facebook

  • Engagement & Content Type: Supports a mix of content types, including status updates, photos, videos, and live streams.

  • Audience: Broad and diverse, with a significant portion of the audience over the age of 30.

  • Key Trends: 60% of users visit a local business Page at least once a week, highlighting its value for community engagement and local businesses​​.

Ideal for: Influencers focused on building communities around specific interests, brands, or causes. Facebook is suited for a wide range of content, including long-form posts, videos, and live streams. It's particularly effective for creators who engage with a slightly older demographic and wish to leverage Facebook groups or pages to foster a sense of community​​.

Less ideal for: Younger influencers aiming to reach teens and young adults might find Facebook less effective, as these demographics increasingly favor other platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Additionally, creators who specialize in quick, viral content may find the platform’s algorithm and layout less conducive to such content's rapid spread.

5. Twitter or X)

  • Engagement & Content Type: Focused on short, text-based updates, but also supports photos, videos, and live tweeting.

  • Audience: Broad, including news junkies, celebrities, politicians, and professional communicators.

  • Key Trends: The platform is experiencing a shift in brand usage and is being reassessed by organizations for its ROI​​.

Ideal for: Writers, journalists, comedians, and public figures who excel in creating impactful, concise content. Twitter is a platform where influencers can share quick updates, witty remarks, or commentary on current events, making it suitable for those who are adept at engaging with followers through text and sparking discussions​​.

Less ideal for: Visual artists and video creators may find Twitter’s text-focused platform less suitable for showcasing their work compared to more visually oriented platforms. Additionally, those seeking to build a community through in-depth content may struggle with the platform's character limit and fast-moving nature, where posts can quickly become buried.

6. LinkedIn

  • Engagement & Content Type: Professional content, including job postings, industry news, and professional articles.

  • Audience: Professionals looking to network, share industry insights, and build their personal brand.

  • Key Trends: Evolving from a job search engine to a platform for professional networking and thought leadership​​.

Ideal for: Professional speakers, corporate trainers, business coaches, and industry experts looking to share their knowledge and build their professional brand. LinkedIn is the go-to platform for content that revolves around professional development, industry insights, and networking, appealing to a more professional audience​​.

Less ideal for: Influencers focused on entertainment, lifestyle, and casual content might find LinkedIn’s professional and business-oriented environment challenging for reaching their audience. The platform is less conducive to viral content, humor, or personal vlogging that doesn’t relate to professional development or industry insights.

7. Pinterest

  • Engagement & Content Type: Visual bookmarking tool for discovering and storing creative ideas.

  • Audience: Users interested in DIY, fashion, beauty, home décor, and cooking.

  • Key Trends: Users are seven times more likely to purchase products they've pinned, making it an excellent platform for driving traffic to e-commerce websites​​.

Ideal for: Creative influencers in the domains of DIY, home decor, fashion, food, and more, who produce highly visual content. Pinterest is perfect for creators who want to inspire their audience with ideas, tutorials, and visual content that users can save for later inspiration. It's particularly effective for driving traffic to blogs or e-commerce sites​​.

Less ideal for: Content creators who focus on time-sensitive or news-related content might find Pinterest less ideal, as the platform thrives on evergreen content that users can discover and revisit over time. Additionally, influencers who primarily use video to engage with their audience may not find Pinterest as effective, given its focus on static images and links to external content.

Choosing the right platform(s) as a social media influencer involves considering where your content aligns best with platform strengths and audience preferences. While TikTok and Instagram are frontrunners for creative, visually engaging content, platforms like LinkedIn offer unique opportunities for professional branding and networking. Consider your content style, target audience, and engagement goals to select the platform(s) that will best support your growth as an influencer.

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