We get it—not everyone enjoys social media, and that’s ok. Regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no denying the reality: It’s far-and-away the best tool to disseminate your content to a larger audience. For entrepreneurs, that kind of exposure can’t be beat.
However, grasping the importance of social media isn’t most people’s problem—their struggle is how to wield it effectively. And who can blame them? With constantly shifting algorithms and emerging trends and tools, busy professionals simply don’t have the time to experiment.
Luckily, Brilliant Thoughts’ editor and host Tristan Ahumada can save you some time. In a recent episode, Ahumada shares his tips for taking advantage of the internet’s most popular social media platforms and their audiences. Buckle up!
1. Facebook: A network for storytellers
In the past decade, Facebook has transformed from a place to stay connected with friends to a platform wrought with conflict and scandal. However, it is still a valuable tool if you embrace it for what it really is: a place to tell your story.
“This is how people have communicated through thousands of years—their stories,” explains Ahumada. “Tell me a story, relate to me, tell me a little bit about you, maybe about somebody else, but tell me a story. That’s the opportunity you have with Facebook.”
But where on this massive platform should you be telling stories and sharing content? The answer might surprise you. According to Ahumada, you’ll find your biggest opportunity with Facebook Groups, which now account for one of every five posts on your feed. Sharing reels is a great way to interact within a group, but ultimately, posts need to be focused on furthering a narrative and building relationships.
“If you don’t belong to one, go find one, and if you haven’t created one, that’s where I want you to think about story,” he says. “The thing that’s going to make people come back is how you communicate with them within the group.”
2. Instagram: A glimpse into your life
Once home to an endless feed of sunset and food photos, Instagram is now a destination for daily updates via stories. Like other platforms, live videos perform very well, as do short clips. Reels (edited videos up to 60 seconds long) perform even better, as long as they aren’t branded with the TikTok logo.
“It’s different than when you go on Facebook, where the feed and groups dominate—over here it’s the stories and reels that dominate,” Ahumada explains. “This is why I’m saying three to five reels daily, 10 stories daily and then one to two lives weekly.”
If you’re like most ordinary people, you might be thinking, My life’s not interesting enough to post that many updates each day! But here’s the thing: Updates don’t have to be revelatory to keep your followers’ attention. People just want a genuine glimpse into your daily life.
3. Youtube: Where content retains value
“Even though people gravitate to TikTok, I still think the biggest opportunity we all have is with YouTube,” says Ahumada. You read that right—YouTube is Ahumada’s first choice when it comes to social media networks.
Before you object, remember: YouTube is in the Google family. That means anytime you enter a query into the internet’s ruling search engine, a YouTube video is likely to be high in the search results. Plus, videos you upload to your channel never disappear or stop gaining likes, meaning their value only increases.
“YouTube is really a place people go to search how to do something or why something is happening, almost like an explanation or a guide,” he says. “Think of what you do for a living, what you sell… if you don’t sell anything, then what can you provide?”
Ahumada isn’t suggesting that YouTubers without a tangible product shouldn’t use YouTube, but they do need to be offering something of value. This is true for all social media platforms.
4. TikTok: Your best shot for going viral
If you use TikTok, you know just how addictive this app can be. With an endless stream of videos curated by a surprisingly intuitive algorithm, this social media platform hooks people of all ages. However, its scope is narrow.
“If you’ve chosen TikTok as a place to be, I mean, there’s not much you can do on TikTok,” says Ahumada. “It’s just short video stories or lives—that’s it.”
Despite its limitations, TikTok offers its users something incredible: the chance to go viral very quickly, faster than any other social media platform. To take advantage of this opportunity, Ahumada suggests posting three to five times daily with alternating content.
“Tell me the story behind this, connect with me through being funny,” he suggests. “Give me the emotions, go through the facts of something, the feeling, have something and make it fun… the three Fs—those are your opportunities.”
5. LinkedIn: Where the pros go
LinkedIn may not be glamorous, but for many professionals, it’s the best place to network.
“LinkedIn is probably, I don’t know, the ugly stepchild, and yet, it’s so amazing,” Ahumada jokes. “I am now doing almost one live a day on LinkedIn, and I love it.”
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn users are generally looking for business content, which is perfect for entrepreneurs searching for in-roads. By subscribing to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, users can take advantage of sales and prospecting tools, as well as valuable analytics.
“The point is, it gives you so many tools that a lot of people don’t use,” explains Ahumada.
The platform also has a newsletter tool that gives people who enjoy writing another chance to connect with their audience. If video is your social media go-to, look out for the LinkedIn reel, which Ahumada says is being tested right now on a limited number of accounts.
6. Twitter: A surprising new frontier
Compared to media-driven social platforms, Twitter may seem a little pedestrian. However, the home of quippy one-liners and multi-tweet rants could play an important role in diversifying social media offerings for that very reason. Instead of following the reels trend, Twitter is working on a new feature called Spaces, which will allow users to conduct live audio conversations.
“I think the opportunity we have with Twitter is to come and take a look at social media with a new set of eyes,” concludes Ahumada. “So pay attention to Twitter because I think that it may be next year’s future opportunity as it keeps growing.”
The bottom line
It’s clear that algorithms across platforms now dramatically favor organic content, meaning content produced directly in the app. However, not just any content gains traction; it needs to be original and compelling. Just like successful entrepreneurship, an effective social media presence requires you to always be giving value.