I recently had a conversation over Facebook with one of my friends, and he asked me why I was favoring other social platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn over Facebook–where he was almost exclusively focused and where I had already built a pretty decent following.
It inspired me to answer this excellent question to why you need to be socially diverse as well.
Facebook is Trending Down in Growth & Usage in Key Demographics
A recent Pew Research Center study revealed that bellweather teens, aged 13-17, are moving away from Facebook for social and prefer YouTube, Instagram and Snap.
Only 51% of that demographic regularly use Facebook while 85% use YouTube, 72% use Instagram and 69% use Snapchat.
Facebook is King of the MAUs, But Other Networks Have Huge Audiences Too
Facebook still wins with over 2.38 billion monthly active users (MAU) compared to 1.9 billion MAU for YouTube, 1.3 billion for Facebook Messenger, 1 billion for Instagram; and a paltry 301 million MAU for Snapchat and 260 million for LinkedIn.
Follow the Youth to Discover Where Social is Headed
You can frequently look to teen platform usage to see where the market is moving. If you also want to reach younger audiences, then it makes sense to see where they are spending their time.
Neither of my children (ages 22 & 28) even bother to use Facebook at all. They use YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.
If you have almost 2x the number of younger folks on YouTube and about 1.5x on Instagram and 1.3x on Snapchat, it makes sense that those platforms are going to be the dominant in the foreseeable future. It’s important to get a foothold in all of them now.
What About Facebook Messenger? Is Messaging Replacing Broadcast?
Facebook Messenger, which is now an app independent of Facebook, serves 1.3 billion MAU but is growing at almost 700,000 users per day according to MobileMonkey, and current trends favor messaging over broadcast apps.
Should I Be On LinkedIn Too?
Bar none, LinkedIn owns the business market and its 260 million MAU are exactly who I want to be in front of for all of my B2B offerings.
If your target market includes B2B, you simply must create a presence on LinkedIn.
Different Platforms For Different Purposes
As you can see, Messenger and LinkedIn serve different purposes for my target markets. While Messenger Stories, bots & ads, and LinkedIn ads provide additional channels that allow me to reach my target market of business users. Therefore, I’m heavily investing in developing those channels as well.
If you want to reach businesses, you need to be on LinkedIn. If you want to connect better with your target market in a more personalized one-on-one basis, then add Messenger to your mix.
Is It Too Late for Me? I’ve Really Only Focused nn Facebook So Far
Like many people, I focused primarily on building a Facebook following (over 1.1 million as I write this), and that audience has generated millions of dollars in revenue for me, and I suspect it will continue to do so for years to come.
However in the words of Game of Thrones anti-hero, John Snow, “winter is coming.”
If you want to be a person who “sees around corners,” then being prepared for the potential demise of Facebook is just smart thinking.
According to some, Facebook is shrinking now, not growing, or at least shrinking in key markets that might be most important to you. If that’s true, then you should be investing in social presence on several platforms, not leaving all your social eggs in Facebook’s basket.
I waited a long time on Instagram and only now am I playing catch-up to build a significant audience there. The same can be said for YouTube. But, the good news is that it’s never too late.
It’s Never Too Late!
How I Built Over 1 Million Facebook Followers from Scratch in 8 Months While Monetizing it in 90 Days
I waited until just 2 years ago to build a public Facebook page.
I grew that audience to over 1 million in about 8 months with an investment of only $5k per month in ad spend without fancy media or a content team following me around 24/7. It was just me and my iPhone, interviewing friends and boosting my unedited video posts to my target audiences.
I was able to start from nothing, build an audience and monetize it within about 3 months. I’m doing the same thing now with IG and starting in earnest with YouTube, LinkedIn and Messenger this month.
You can do this too!
How We Recently Started Building Instagram And Immediately Monetized with a “Small Following”
We have already generated about $60k in revenue from Instagram through daily organic posts of new and previously created content to small followings of 3,000 and 9,000 followers.
The revenue numbers and the followers will grow dramatically as we self-fund the expansion of these channels over the next year.
You Don’t Need a Large Audience to Monetize Immediately
Remember, it’s not the number of followers or how late in the game you start. It’s the quality of your message and the quality of offers you are able to make to even the smallest of audiences.
So What About Snapchat?
I have a hard time seeing how to really effectively monetize Snapchat. Therefore, I’m setting my sights on Instagram first, then YouTube followed by LinkedIn and Messenger.
Ultimately if Snapchat grows in the areas I care about most, then I’ll be there as well.
The good news is that if you are creating content for FaceBook, it isn’t that difficult to repurpose for YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
But the truth is, Snapchat is just another messaging service. So if you want to built an audience there, you would monetize it with the same strategy of creating content–sending it to your audience as messages and providing similar calls to action that you would with Messenger.
YouTube Strategy: Long-Form Video that Feeds Other Social Channels
For YouTube, you need long-form videos that dive deeper than FaceBook, Messenger, Instagram, or Snapchat Stories. Start with longer form videos for YouTube and then edit and cut for stories.
Image-Rich Facebook Content is Perfect to Repurpose to Instagram & Stories
Take your image-rich Facebook content and repurpose it for Instagram. If you’re already using Facebook Stories then that content should work well for Stories on Instagram, Messenger and Snapchat.
Content For LinkedIn
Post your longer form YouTube videos on LinkedIn and or transcribe them into text articles. Better yet, do both.
What About Podcasts?
If you are also podcasting, post the audio onto YouTube. You can also create images that play and change during your audio. Lastly, you can start videoing your interviews and post the whole thing.
Then, cut up those interviews and post snippets on other social media like LinkedIn, Instagram (don’t forget about IGTV), etc.
I consider podcasting a different channel than social media. So while I strongly believe that everyone with anything valuable to say should have a podcast, I’m not going to cover podcasting here.
Diversify Your Social Presence
Ultimately, you don’t know what any of these platforms are going to do. The more you can diversify your social presence, the better positioned you are for whatever happens.
For example, Google+ shut down despite having roughly 300 million users. If you built your social presence exclusively on Google+, you’d be starting at ground zero today. Algorithms can change. Social media channels can come and go. Remember Meerkat, MySpace or Friendster?
As my friend & former Google+ rockstar, Yifat Cohen, says, “it’s important for us to realize that we are “building our houses on rented land.”
The Ultimate Goal Is Moving Qualified Candidates to Your Owned Media
Your social channel itself is not a sustainable business model. Creating a presence across all the major platforms helps us draw customers from these marketing channels, but we should be thinking about how to move people into our owned media that we control.
Owned media is media is what you own and control–like a blog, an email list, a phone contact list, an SMS list, a direct mail list, or events you own, etc.
I’m making a push on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and LinkedIn right now to ensure no matter what happens on Facebook, my social media presence will continue to thrive across a diversified array of channels.
So, consider taking some time to start now, get yourself out there, and be omnipresent across all channels.
It’s not too late. I proved that with Facebook over the past 2 years and again with a small Instagram audience over the past 60 days.
It’s not too expensive. I built my Facebook audience with videos recorded on my iPhone at meetings I was already having without editing or fancy graphics.
I built my Instagram audience over a couple months from organic posts of images and content I created with no team of people following me around. It just yielded $60k in revenue in the past 30 days.
It’s not too late. It’s not too expensive. You can monetize it quickly. You can do it as a one-person team.
All that’s left is to take action.
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