Looking back on history, humans have achieved unbelievable feats. We’ve evolved over millions of years to become (arguably) the most intelligent species on the planet, and we’ve done so by adapting and changing.

Some of us adapt quicker than others and nowadays we would refer to them as the ‘early adopters’. You know them – they’re your mates who always have the latest gadget, family members with their finger on the pulse of pop culture, those who line up at ridiculous o’clock just to get the latest advancement in hand-held technology.

Organisations can also fall victim to the early adopter philosophy – especially when it comes to social media.

Social media has changed the human landscape forever – as a species, we are more connected than ever before.

According to the United Nations, over 4 billion people use the Internet. That’s more than half of the world’s population (somewhere in the 7.6 million-plus) and has grown by over 1,000% since 2000. Africa alone has increased its Internet usage by over 10,000% in just eight years!

But it’s the staggering numbers of our population who are active DAILY on social media platforms that really blows the mind.

Unsurprisingly, the big three are Facebook (2.2 billion), YouTube (1.8 billion) and Instagram (1 billion), with Twitter (326 million) and Snapchat (186 million) still posting incredible numbers despite recent downward user trends in recent years.

Looking at their numbers, it’s no wonder entrepreneurs see dollar signs with new and emerging platforms popping up every day. But for organisations looking to reach their consumers, what’s the best plan?

Do you cast a wide net and have an account on every platform? Or do you put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak?

There are arguments for both. However, in my opinion, having an inactive presence can do more damage to your brand than being on the platform itself.

Studies show that a poorly managed social media account can have a discouraging effects on consumers – consistency is key. In fact, according to the Nielsen Norman Group, consistency can provide a 23% revenue increase compared to brands who lack in.

In a lot of ways, where you share your message matters almost as much as what you’re sharing. Therefore, the first step is to understand WHO your audience is and WHERE they are active.

Have a product that’s popular amongst 40-65 year olds? Facebook is king. Want to engage the younger generation in your company? Better get on board Snapchat. Is your company visually-appealing? Instagram is your best friend.

Sometimes it works to have a presence across multiple channels (hello Facebook and Instagram being owned by Mr Zuckerburg, making advertising scheduling SUPER easy!) because that’s where your audience is living. Just make sure you give BOTH accounts the love and attention they deserve.

Think of your social media accounts as plants. If you love and nurture them, plan out how regularly they need ‘watered’ (uploading content), check in with how its feeling (it’s a great tool to communicate with your consumers!), then you will see it flourish and grow. If you opt for set and forget, you will quickly realise you aren’t having the impact you wanted.