Week 4 - Choose Your Platform

Start: Figuring Out Your Media Speak

While creating content you can generally get a feel for the platform you want to market to based solely on the type of content you are creating. If you are making videos, YouTube is a platform that will benefit you a lot. If you are a blogger then hitting up Pinterest is a great platform to readily share your content. Photographers primarily use Instagram to market themselves and their work. Public speakers may do best using Twitter to share their thoughts. Each mode of digital communication corresponds with a platform that suits their content the best and allows their content to reach an audience similar to their media focus. With that said, it is not just all black and white. 

Using social media today is a game of algorithms, daily engagement, the use of hash tags, and of course the quality of creation. Regardless what type of content you are creating, a mix of use on all social media platforms can benefit you in some way. There are heaps of platforms out there too outside of the most well-known  platforms. Not to mention the most important, the Alt Perspective Travel Circle! This platform combines them all in the best way without the annoying ads or drama, AND rewards you for sharing your content in so many ways. You may have figured that out already if you are reading this, but hey it’s worth a mention! The point overall is social media platforms all have a language and you have to figure out what language works the best for you in order to convey your message through your content. That is what this lesson will focus on so you can get the most benefit from creating your content and use it on in a way that works most efficiently for you!

Path to Success: Narrow Your Choices Down

Progressively we have started out each week with small micro-steps leading up to the overall goal of what we are trying to accomplish. That is what you will need to do when it comes to choosing a social media platform to market yourself on. There are heaps of choices each with pros and cons of using them so it can be intimidating trying to get yourself set up on every single one. Well, don’t do that! We are going to narrow down your choices to two and scale up progressively over time. As you work through the steps for each week, it is helpful to have a pen and paper or a Microsoft Word doc ready to take notes and write down your thoughts. This will serve as a helpful resource to you as you dive deeper into each goal week. Let’s take a look now at how to decide. 

Content Creation

Step One: The Relevancy of Social Media

“Don’t use social media to impress people; use it to impact people.” 

―  Dave Willis

Let’s talk very briefly  on the relevancy of social media platforms. We don’t have to tell you all the crazy awesome benefits of the Alt Perspective Travel Circle since you’re reading this right now! Other platforms however sort of need a bit of justification as to why they’re relevant because at first glance it may just seem a bit over-saturated and overwhelming. Understanding the key uses of other platforms can help you truly understand how to utilize two of the platforms that will help your content the most. Yes we have probably all used other platforms at some point, like we all have a Facebook or had one at some point and we’ve all heard of Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. But do you know the ins and outs of how their algorithms work? That is what is important to understand. 

If you truly understand the back in features of these platforms, you can make a more well-rounded decision on where your content will thrive the best. Not every platform is the exact same so you may be spending valuable resources on a platform that just isn’t working for you. At this stage you should have a good understanding of the type of content you enjoy creating, whether it be photos, videos, blog posts, essays, etc. Sometimes it seems obvious which platforms work best but when you get down to the specifics that might not be the case. We have created a quick guide to social media to take a glance at and get familiar with throughout this lesson. This quick guide is a nice study tool of sorts that you can add to as you go along through this lesson. We are going to go into specific highlights and which platforms target them the best. By the end of this week’s lesson you will know exactly which platform you want to specialize on in sequence with the Travel Circle! 

Step Two: Strengths of Each

“What’s important is finding out what works for you.” 
― Thomas Moore

As an average daily user of social media, it would seem pretty user friendly at the surface for personal use. When you begin using social media accounts under a business profile there are different rules. Switching your social accounts to ‘Business Profile’s is what will give you the most bang for your buck. Think of these platforms as strategic pieces to play alongside all the benefits you already have working for you in the Travel Circle! We are going to give you a quick guide of the purpose for each social media platform with a business point of view in mind. You are not limited strictly to these social platforms but these are likely where the majority of the general public are. The Travel Circle is where you want to spend the most time to share content. Then depending on the style of content you are creating, one or two of the platforms below can help support your content and reach a bigger audience. Check out the suggestions below on which supporting platforms can help you! 

Photos: If you will primarily be using photos your best bet to market your content is Instagram and Pinterest. These platforms were built to capture someone’s eye quickly with sharp, professionally edited photos. It is easy to follow tags and specific niches on these platforms so content providers can really focus on their niche and stand out more easily than on other platforms. Really focus on the tags and target audience you are going for since this mode of content is so heavily saturated.

Videos: Creating videos will better suit you on YouTube, duh, but other platforms like Vimeo are also a good place to capture attention for video content. Be careful mixing YouTube and Facebook as these two platforms compete so your viewership goes down quite a lot when you share YouTube links. The key is to use other platforms just to give shout outs and short teasers to announce you have new content up. Instagram stories is a great place to share short video teasers.

Blogs: Blog articles are often found on platforms like Blogger.com, WordPress of course, and other multimedia publishing platforms. Your content is likely to get most noticed using Pinterest and LinkedIn. These platforms are great places to share short clips and build a professional portfolio of your work. You can also share a photo that you included in that day’s blog post on Instagram with a brief introduction on what the article will be about. You won’t need to update LinkedIn as often so you can focus primarily on Pinterest and Instagram to gain your primary following. 

News/Journals: Publishing content focused around popular trends, news updates, and journals centered around a particular profession is better focused for Twitter and Facebook, potentially either YouTube if you have video accompanying, or LinkedIn if you have written entries accompanying. Your following will build much more slowly as you develop credentials to back up what you are claiming. There may be better platforms suited for your needs so a bit more exploring will be necessary. You will likely be writing for someone with an agenda of what needs to be written so you shouldn’t have to do too much extra work on your own.  

Products: Creating content centered around advertising products is best suited for Facebook, Instagram, and potentially Pinterest. You can readily explore groups centered around the audience you are targeting and create campaigns on these platforms to be more effective at reaching that audience. No one enjoys being slammed with ads and spammy gimmicks to try to get you to buy something so you will need to utilize the use of photos and videos to appeal to your audience in a settle and professional way. 

Professional Services: Creating content to showcase a professional service will better suit for LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also send quick updates via Twitter. Professionals use LinkedIn more often to build their portfolios with skills, job history, and their resume. Often you will find a link to a business Facebook profile as well.

The World is Yours

Step Three: Benefits of a Business Profile

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” 
― Doug Conant

Now that you briefly know which platforms are better suited for your style of content, let’s take a look at what it means to convert your handles to a business profile. Generally this process is the same on each platform. In the backend of your profile in your settings you will usually see a button titled ‘Business’ or this may be listed under ‘Account’. You will be promoted to follow a couple steps to convert your account to a ‘Business Profile’. If you need help figuring out how to do this, you can usually reach out to the Help Center of whichever platform you are working on, but this process is typically quite simple. When you make the switch to a business profile, a few things will happen. You will see additional information boxes and tags that helps sort out the type of business that you are. These are very helpful to draw more eyes to your page!

Another change you will notice after switching to a business profile is access to insights and analytics. These statistics track information about what your audience is looking at and how many likes, comments, and shares your content is getting. If you didn’t know, you have an amped up version of this from the Affiliate Area of your partner profile as well! Use these stats to see your engagement  and understand which content is working the best for you. These stats are meant to help you improve and truly understand your audience. Create the content to serve your own purpose and for your own reasons. Then, share it and utilize the stat features to make it work for you after you publish it. The goal is to have your content working for you in the background while you focus on creation! We are going to talk more about utilizing your affiliate partner code to the fullest in the next step. 

Step Four: The Power of Sharing

“Creating is about sharing ideas, sharing aesthetics, sharing what you believe in with other people.” 
― Shepard Fairey

The power to re-purpose content to create a sustainable lifestyle for yourself is something that has never been done before. The potential to truly change the way content is being used is held in your affiliate partner area. Using your affiliate partner code bridges the gap between your ideas and your story to the rest of the world. When you make that connection for someone, you are not only earning Alt-Travel points to be used for traveling to get more content, but you are also earning real monetary commissions. That is huge!

Where is all of the content you have already spent time, love, and effort now? We can take a guess it is figuratively sitting on the shelf collecting dust, in other words sitting in an album or page 50 of a website not getting looked at or bringing anything back to you. Do not let your hard work go to waste or be ignored. Your story is important and the world wants to hear it but how do they find you? Reinvent what you have already done in a way that gets people to see it, that’s how. 

We aren’t asking you to tear down everything you have already done just to build it back up on our platform. We are asking you to ADD it to our platform to double up the chances of eyes seeing it, and including your partner affiliate code so that you get credit and amazing perks back. You aren’t having to pay extra every month for website hosting or fees to add content on our platform. You also don’t have to rely on heavy click throughs like traditional affiliate marketing just to generate a profit. Just simply adding your partner link can give you a means to earn money from all of that amazing content you have already created and will create in the future.

So, if you have ever dreamed of creating content and traveling as a lifestyle, now you can fund that dream and make it a reality. We have even made it possible to create a campaign with your partner affiliate code so you can see exactly which content is bringing the best engagement. As you are growing your niche and branching into other topics you can easily name all of your content so you can efficiently see where your views are coming from and how to improve to get more eyes on it. Other platforms don’t give you this kind of tracking and commission structure. Power comes in numbers, and our platform combined with outside social media platforms and YOUR personal partner affiliate code brings everything together to get more from sharing. We are going to wrap up this section by reiterating all the ways of being involved in the Travel Circle can be the platform to elevate your content!

Content Creation

Step Five: Belief in Something New

“What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.” 
― Ezra Pound

Thinking of something that has never been done does not come easy. But what is even harder is sharing that new idea and helping others understand how to make it work for them. Whether you are just starting the process of creating content and using these lessons to fine tune the process or have a library of already published content ready to be used for something bigger, set an intention on the belief that the Travel Circle can work for you. It can be scary diving full on into something new but all you need to do is believe in yourself and use the tools already given to you to make it happen. Content creation is a personal journey and when you have that confidence and belief that your story should be heard you harvest the power to inspire. This platform gives you a place and tools to take your content to the next level. 

All it takes is deciding to begin and learning how everything works. Choosing the Travel Circle as your go to platform to reinvent the way content is shared is choosing something that has never been done before. The thought is exciting and perhaps a bit far fetched or hard to believe. If you are creating content however, then you already believe in the power that content can have. You already have the tools and platform to make it move too, so what are you waiting for? You know exactly what to expect by sharing content on other social media platforms. The question is do you expect more than what you are getting now and are you willing to raise the bar higher to meet your expectations? The Travel Circle can and will meet your expectations the moment you decide to choose to. 

Optional: Do Week Five Content Creation

When you have completed each step for this week’s lesson, you should be prepared to choose our platform that gives you more back and how to use outside social media platforms as leverage so you are getting the most back for your content. If you feel you have completed each step thoroughly and are ready to move on, take a glimpse at the goal for week five! 

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