The Secret Formula: How to Pick the Perfect Social Platform for Unstoppable Growth

Matt By Matt
19 Min Read

Knowing how to pick the perfect social platform is your secret weapon for growth in a digital world overflowing with options.

The internet has given you a true creative superpower—the ability to spark waves of inspiration on an unprecedented scale. But with this power comes great responsibility… and potential chaos.

Are you here to reshape society and improve the world around you? Are you here to build a profitable business that provides you and your loved ones with a comfortable lifestyle?

Psychographics are the psychological and cognitive attributes of a consumer that reveal their beliefs, values, and goals. In marketing, psychographics are used in conjunction with demographics to understand and market to consumers’ purchasing habits.

Hubspot

So, how do you ensure your authentic truth pierces through deafened ears to reach the audience destined to embrace and support your message?

With so many opportunities and directions, how do you choose the right social platform?

The answer lies in intimately understanding your tribe and community.

Key takeaways

  • Understanding your audience is key to choosing the right social platform.
  • Match your content style with the platform that best suits your goals.
  • Stay adaptable and explore new platforms to keep your message relevant.

Who Are You Here to Wake Up?

The first step is to think carefully about the very specific people you want to inspire, connect to and uplift.

Imagine them as real humans and visualise who they are, and what they do each day.

Take some time to really understand the wants, fears, and perspectives of the people you’re trying to reach.

After all, how can you aim your creative work at them if you don’t know what makes them tick?

How to Identify Your Target Audience in 8 Steps

Step 1: Define Your Niche and Mission

Before diving into audience research, make sure you’re crystal clear on your unique niche and mission as a creator or changemaker. Ask yourself:

  • What topics or causes am I passionate about?
  • What unique value or perspective do I bring to the table?
  • What specific change or action do I want to inspire?

A well-defined niche and mission will help you attract the right audience and create resonant content.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience Demographics

Next, visualise a picture of your ideal audience member, persona or “avatar.” Consider demographics like:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education level
  • Income bracket
  • Occupation or industry

Understanding these basics will give clues about which social platforms your audience will likely use.

 

For example, younger audiences often favour platforms like TikTok and Instagram, while business and corporate professionals flock to LinkedIn.

Step 3: Dive Into Psychographics

Understanding what makes your audience tick will help you connect with them on a much deeper level.

Dive deeper into psychographics like:

  • What are their dreams and struggles?
  • What kind of lifestyle do they currently have now, and what lifestyle do they want to have in the future?
  • What matters most to them?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What are their values and beliefs?
  • What challenges or pain points do they commonly face?
  • How much disposable income do they have?
  • Where do they usually spend time online?
  • What time of the day do they usually go online?

Analysing psychographics will help you choose platforms where your audience actively engages with topics and communities related to your niche.

Step 4: Conduct Social Media Listening

One of the best ways to understand your audience is to listen to what they’re already saying online. Use social media listening tools to:

  • Monitor keywords and hashtags related to your niche.
  • Identify the platforms where relevant conversations are happening.
  • Analyse the tone, sentiment and language your audience uses.
  • Discover the influencers and thought leaders your audience follows.

Social listening gives you valuable insights into your audience’s preferences, behaviours and unmet needs – all of which can inform your platform choice.

Step 5: Analyse Competitor Presence

Study the social media presence of other creators, influencers and changemakers in your niche. Take note of:

  • Which platforms they’re most active on?
  • The types of content that perform best for them.
  • How they engage with their audience.
  • Any gaps or opportunities they’re not addressing.

While you don’t want to copy your competitors, analysing their strategies can give you insights into what works for your shared audience.

Step 6: Consider Your Content Strengths

Different social platforms lend themselves to different types of content. Consider your own content creation strengths and preferences:

  • Do you shine on camera? YouTube or TikTok could be a good fit.
  • Are you a strong writer? Substack, Medium, BeeHiiv or LinkedIn might be your jam.
  • Do you have an eye for visuals? Instagram or Pinterest could be your sweet spot.

Choose platforms that align with the type of content you naturally excel at creating.

Step 7: Set Goals and Metrics

Before committing to any platform, get clear on your specific goals and how you’ll measure success. Common goals for creators and changemakers include:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Growing a loyal community
  • Driving website traffic
  • Generating leads or donations
  • Paid or free subscribers to your newsletter

Set clear, measurable targets for each platform, and track your progress over time. This will help you continually refine your strategy and make data-driven decisions.

Step 8: Experiment and Adapt

Remember that social media is an ever-evolving landscape. What works today might not work tomorrow, and new platforms are always emerging.

Be willing to experiment with different platforms and content formats, and pay attention to how your audience responds. Continuously gather feedback and insights, and adapt your approach as needed.

The key is to stay focused on providing value to your audience and building genuine connections – no matter which platform you choose.

 

Be in it for the long term.

By following this step-by-step process, you’ll be well-equipped to identify and understand your online audience and start shortlisting the social media platforms to help you make the biggest impact as a creator, influencer or changemaker.

Remember, it’s not about being everywhere – it’s about being strategic and intentional with your presence.

Choose the Right Social Platform for the Right Audience

Once you have clearly defined and understood your core audience, then you can decide which platforms make the most sense.

Different platforms work better for different purposes and audiences:

The Main Social Networks

Each one has its own unique user base and what works for one may not work for the other.

First up, we have Instagram. This visual powerhouse is popular in the fashion, beauty, travel, food or industries where visual impact is important. Instagram is your go-to platform for showcasing your products and building a loyal community.

With features like Stories, Polls and Reels, there are plenty of ways to keep your audience engaged. Driving website traffic can be tricky, though, since links are only allowed in your bio. So you’ll need a ‘link in bio’ service, such as Nuelink. 

TikTok has quickly become a worldwide hit. This short-form video platform is perfect for sparking creativity and going viral. TikTok opens many doors and is great for brands looking to show off what makes them special, keep up with new trends, and connect with young people.

Vero is algo freeThis new platform does a great job of focusing social sharing on original content and real connections versus viral entertainment and hard-to-break algorithms. On there, you’ll find professional photographers, Hollywood filmmakers, and other visual storytellers who are more interested in building human connections than likes.

There are currently no ads or algorithms on Vero – https://vero.co/

Facebook’s primary strength as a community-building platform is its sheer scale. With nearly 3 billion monthly active users as of 2022, it provides unmatched potential reach and ability to connect with a global audience.

But Facebook isn’t just big – it’s also exceptionally sticky when it comes to active engagement. Users spend enormous amounts of time consuming content and interacting within Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages.

LinkedIn is a social network tailor-made for career-minded individuals who want to grow their professional circles. With over 900 million members across 200 countries, its incredible global reach cannot be ignored if you’re targeting business professionals.

LinkedIn Company Pages act as central hubs while LinkedIn Groups allow focused discussions on niche topics. Followers can share insights, ask questions and collaborate in a relatively distraction-free environment.

X (formerly Twitter) thrives on the here and now. It’s where words rule, and the latest buzz and quick chats, debates, and arguments are given priority. It used to be Ideal for delivering top customer care, sharing insights, and having deep talks with your followers.

However, X has more recently become a bit of a cesspit for abuse, trolling and hate towards minority groups, especially the trans community. Although X is still an important platform, I would think twice before committing a lot of time or money to paid marketing on it.

Choosing among these social media leaders depends on knowing your crowd, the kind of content you wish to make, and your aims.

For beautiful content and community vibes, head to Instagram. For fun, young appeal, and creativity, TikTok calls. And for instant updates, news, and primarily text-based updates, X is an option.

Writing Platforms – Medium, Substack

These work well for longer writing and storytelling. People visit expecting in-depth, high-quality content. Writers and creators can build loyal followings if they consistently produce reliable and regular written content.

Medium

Medium is a space for writers to share their thoughts, from personal stories to expert insights. It’s a platform where content is king, and readers can stumble upon a wide array of topics.

Medium’s strength lies in its diverse and large community of readers and writers, allowing for exposure across a wide range of interests. However, writers must navigate through the crowd to find their specific audience.

Substack

Substack takes a different path, focusing on email newsletters. It offers writers a direct line to their readers’ inboxes, making it personal and targeted. Here, creators build their subscriber base, often leading to a more engaged audience.

Substack suits those looking to monetise their content directly through subscriptions. It demands consistent and high quality writing to build up a strong following.

Email Newsletters – Beehiiv, Convertkit

Email allows you to communicate directly with your supporters. Creating a high-quality newsletter can be a powerful way of growing a strong and well-connected community of followers.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is designed with creators in mind, offering tools to grow and manage your audience effectively. It’s a powerful platform for building email campaigns with automation and easily integrating with your website.

ConvertKit is ideal for those looking to turn their followers into a community. It provides analytics to track engagement. However, mastering its full suite of tools may require some time.

Beehiiv – The New Kid on the Block

Beehiiv is a newer platform that focuses on simplicity and the latest email newsletter trends. It’s user-friendly, making it accessible for beginners yet powerful enough for seasoned marketers.

Beehiiv aims to enhance the newsletter experience with innovative writing features and audience segmentation, supported by detailed performance insights. Its growing reputation attracts those keen on exploring fresh email marketing avenues.

We currently use Beehiiv at Bona Parle, having migrated recently from ConverKit.

Other popular email marketing and newsletter platforms are listed below –

NameDescriptionKey BenefitsLink
MailchimpAn all-in-one marketing platform that helps you manage and talk to clients.Easy to use, integrates with many apps, advanced analytics.Mailchimp
Constant ContactEmail marketing software that allows you to create effective email campaigns.User-friendly, great support, event management tools.Constant Contact
Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)A digital marketing platform that includes email marketing tools.Automation features, transactional emails, SMS marketing.Brevo
ConvertKitA marketing platform for creators to send emails and build landing pages.Creator-focused, automation, easy to use.ConvertKit
AWeberAn email marketing service provider with over 20 years of experience.Autoresponders, integrations, customer service.AWeber
GetResponseAn online marketing platform to grow your audience.Webinar hosting, landing pages, auto funnels.GetResponse
Campaign MonitorAn easy-to-use email marketing tool that allows you to send beautiful emails.Elegant email templates, A/B testing, analytics.Campaign Monitor
ActiveCampaignA cloud software platform for small-to-mid-sized businesses.Advanced automation, CRM integration, email segmentation.ActiveCampaign
BeehiivA newsletter platform built for growth with advanced email tools.Segmentation based on behaviour, fast growth, monetisation tools, list hygiene.Beehiiv
Popular email marketing and newsletter platforms

Private Forums, Chat Apps

If you want a tight-knit community discussing sensitive or unconventional ideas, private forums, Facebook Groups or apps like Discord provide secluded spaces away from the open internet.

Discord

Discord is a popular, fast-growing chat app that lets communities connect with each other online. It’s like a big treehouse where you can invite all your friends to hang out, play games, and share stories. You can type messages, talk through a microphone, or even video chat with your community.

Discord is the tool of choice for many growing communities as it helps people feel like they belong in a safe and supportive environment. When you join a Discord server, it’s like walking into a big room full of friends who all like the same things as you.

The best part is that you can make your own special corner of the treehouse and decide who will come in and hang out with you. ​

Alternatives to Discord

NameDescriptionKey BenefitsLink
SlackA messaging platform for team collaboration and communication.Workflow integration, collaboration tools, channels.Slack
ElementA secure messaging app using the Matrix open network.End-to-end encryption, self-hosting, interoperability.Element
GuildedA chat app that is often seen as an alternative to Discord.Advanced server customisation, calendar features.Guilded
TelegramA cloud-based instant messaging system.Speed, security, and privacy-focused features.Telegram
ZulipAn open-source chat app with unique topic-based threading.Organized conversations, open source, integrations.Zulip

Let Your Message Guide You

At the end of the day, you’re the visionary with something important to share. The platforms are just tools to broadcast your authentic truth to the right people who need to hear it.

Trust your instincts to lead you to the spaces where your ideas can make the biggest positive impact, whether that’s quick videos, thought-provoking writing, behind-the-scenes exclusive content, or intimate community discussions.

Stay flexible as new platforms emerge. And never lose sight of your driving purpose – to be a voice for the messages burning most urgently inside you.

The world is waiting for the change you want to bring… if you’re ready.

Trust your instincts, stay true to your mission, and keep putting your audience first.

You’ve got this!

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By Matt
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I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.