Apr 18 So You’ve Decided to Use Social Media
Here’s a scenario that thousands face every day: you and your brand have a great message to share but you’re unsure of with whom and where to share it. To determine that, it’s time for a little internal Q&A: Who is my target audience? Where does my target audience spend time on social? Will this message be delivered to my target audience?
All are great questions. To figure that out, let’s explore what makes each channel, and their audiences, unique.
Finding Your Social Media Audience
First things first, spend some time thinking about who your target audience is. Who do you want to reach with a post or campaign? Do they have any specific interests? Does your audience skew towards any age, gender, or location? Once that is all determined, time to prioritize which social channels will be best to reach your audience.
Facebook: Almost Everyone Is Here, Should You Be Here Too?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room (no, not Evernote), but Facebook. As the biggest player in social, Facebook is often at the front of mind when considering where to post content. Nearly everyone has a Facebook account, but that doesn’t mean everyone is using it the same way. According to AdWeek, over half of Facebook users are over 35, and the largest growth segment will be in the 65+ age group. Twitter skews younger, and both Instagram and Snapchat take that even further.
If your audience is mainly 35 and older, Facebook offers a lot of opportunities, particularly when it comes to reach. However, it often requires spending money to get the word out.
Twitter: Is It Right For Your #Brand?
With over 300 million active monthly users, Twitter is a massive platform where messages can spread quickly, but also get lost quickly. Whereas Facebook leans older and female, Twitter is most used by 18-29 year olds and has slightly more male than female users. Additionally, when looking at users aged 30 and up, the numbers decline rapidly. If your message is short (remember the 140 character rule), and your audience is 20-something guys, Twitter could be a great channel.
Instagram: Now With More Algorithms!
Like Twitter, Instagram has a heavy bias towards users under 30. However, a higher percentage of Instagram’s 400 million users are female rather than male. Though it’s mainly known for photo sharing, Instagram can now host videos up to 60 seconds. One differentiating factor with Instagram’s users is that they not only enjoy, but expect images and content to feel organic and look beautiful.
While these are the big 3 channels for most brands, others have found success on Snapchat and other channels with their own unique audiences. It is important to not only know your audience and where they spend time, but to have a strategy for your brand, not just your message. If your target audience is likely on Snapchat, for instance, a commitment to that channel needs to be in place before the first message goes up.
Here’s an excellent team exercise for finding your audience. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is our audience clearly identified?
- Do we understand where our audience is on social?
- How do we craft our message to respect each channel and their audience?
- How do we keep our audience engaged on each channel we choose? Remember, engagement is not dead.