So many channels, so little time! Where can you make the most impact on a shoestring budget? Where are you most likely to find your audience(s)?

Seriously, start working with one channel — and get really good engagement on it — before you add another to your repertoire.

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook tends to be a friendly online environment where people go to hang out and chat. This casual atmosphere lends itself toward a light and friendly approach to your social media content.

Tip: Keep updates light and friendly. Sharing videos and photos (and creating photo albums) is one of the best ways to keep your fans interested. (Post your videos directly to your Facebook page (as an MP4 file), as they perform better than sharing a YouTube link.)

Ask yourself: Should you create a business page or a persona to manage a Facebook group?

twitter

Twitter

This microblogging site is designed for quick ‘short-distance’ communication between followers in real time.

Tip: Use targeted hashtags to increase tweets chances for engagement. But no more than one or two. Mention another handle (with @ symbol) to increase your chances of being retweeted.

Ask yourself: Do I have time to monitor and engage?

instagram

Instagram

Best used to enhance the human value of your brand and create better brand awareness; 600 million active users each month and 300 million daily users.

Tip: Include others’ handles (with @ symbol) and at least 1-3 hashtags to direct posts to trending topics. Behind the-scenes and non-professional images tend to work well here.

Ask yourself: What exactly would your followers want from you on this channel? Do you have time to find good, original content, every day?

youtube

Youtube

YouTube is a video-hosting channel. Videos range from “vlogs” people make in their homes to slick, well-produced ones by YouTube celebrities and brands.
Tip: Since you are representing a major, internationally recognized institution, create high quality videos.
Ask yourself: Do I have the resources to populate a channel with high-quality videos?

linkedin

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most popular social media network for career professionals and thought leaders. Not nearly as “fun and casual” as Facebook, this network is used by those serious about networking, industry information and idea sharing.

Tip: The best days to post are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; the best times are noon and 5 pm.

Ask yourself: Would your audience be interested in continuing discussions in a LinkedIn group?

Snapchat

Snapchat is a picture- and video-sharing mobile app. Messages are short-lived and self-deleting — and can either be sent to individual friends or to your “Story,” where all your friends can see your uploads. Snapchat is predominantly used by those younger than 25.

Tip: Like Instagram, Snapchat content can be less professional than on other social platforms. Content is often silly and lighthearted. For brands, storyboard your snaps in advance to make sure you get the content you want.

Ask yourself: Do I have the resources to create content on a daily basis? Do I have a smartphone that can take decent-quality images and videos?

medium

Blogs

Medium, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogspot, you name it. Companies that maintain a blog typically use it to drive traffic to their own website — and to create credibility and trust with their customers via their owned content.

Tip: Write for the audience, not yourself. Respond and encourage comments. Break up your copy, so it’s easier to read and scan.

Ask yourself: Does your unit have the content and bandwidth to support this?