Finding Your Audience on Social Media
Do you ever feel like you’re talking to an empty room when your brand posts on social media?
While much of it has to do with the quality of the content you’re posting, another reason could be that your brand is simply not engaging your audience in the right places.
Every brand’s target audience is different. Engaging yours can only be done with a thorough assessment of your audience’s unique makeup, including where they are most likely to be found on the social web. Analyzing customer demographics in a breakdown of each individual social network can make the most of your time and marketing efforts on social media.
Assess Audience Demographics
- Who is buying my product or service, and why?
- What problem does my product or service solve for my customers and clients?
- Does my product or service cater to a specific age group?
- Does my product or service cater to a predominantly male or female audience?
- Does my product or service cater to those in a particular geographical location?
- Does my product or service cater to those who make a specific salary range?
The answers to these questions will be invaluable to the process of targeting posts when it comes time to use the paid advertising platforms on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Close in on Competition
Knowing your audience will allow your activity on social media to be more thoughtful and intentional, but remember you aren’t the only one trying to grab their attention. If your company or brand is new to the social media landscape, you must also evaluate your competition’s approach to social media.
- Who is your biggest competitor?
- Who is your biggest local competitor?
- Which social networks does your competition use?
- Which social networks are the most responsive and engaging for your competition?
- What types of posts or content perform well for your competition?
- What times of day do you see the most engagement with your competition?
Breaking Down the Big Three
Here is a breakdown of the most popular social networks for businesses and brands. Your audience may be active on multiple social networks, so familiarize yourself appropriately with each one.
Facebook is the most popular social network on the internet. It offers an immersive experience for sharing links, posting status updates, uploading photos and videos, engaging in real-time discussions, and promoting brands, clubs, or events.
An overwhelming majority of people online access Facebook regularly, including those in rural regions. While there are more women than men on Facebook, the difference is not significant. With its internal ad platform and business pages, Facebook has made the biggest strides in social media marketing by offering access to a wide range of tools and data that brands can use to shape a social buying experience and drive more sales and site traffic.
Twitter is a social micro-blogging platform for sharing whatever you can fit into 140 characters. Users can share photos and video, but are limited to a 140 character count for each message, or tweet, which accounts for the quick pace of short, informal communication.
The use of hashtags is also most prevalent on Twitter. #Hashtags allow users to easily join the global conversation by creating channels where users can follow trending topics and live events. Those in news and technology look to Twitter to keep up with the fast pace of their industries and were early adopters of the hashtag feature. It’s popularity among the tech crowd might also reflect the platform’s lack of interest from rural communities.
LinkedIn is a professional social network for updating your employment history, searching for job openings, publishing industry-related content, and endorsing friends and coworkers for their skills and career accomplishments.
It is where you will find the predominantly older users (50-64 years old) within the social media landscape, if at all. This older demographic can also account for its users higher average income. LinkedIn also offers business pages similar to the way Facebook does, including an internal ad platform for facilitating paid promotional posts.
Google+ is Google’s own attempt at a social network. While some argue its functionality and features make it one of the most thoughtfully-designed social sites on the web, it failed to find acceptance among your average internet users.
It also lacks user diversity as the site is trafficked most frequently by strictly American men. Google+ has gained noticeable traction among those in the technology and marketing industries for its SEO benefits. All businesses should, at the very least, verify and populate their local map listings on Google+ My Business. In our experience, posting content to our Google+ page as soon as it is created can speed up indexing within Google’s search engine results.
Instagram is a basic photo-sharing mobile application owned by Facebook. Users are capable of editing and posting new photos, as well as “liking” and commenting on others’ photos. Brands can start their own Instagram accounts too, but unlike Facebook’s Business Pages, all accounts on Instagram are treated the same.
It offers a highly visual user experience. The app is also so simple and straighforward to use that its popularity has skyrocketed among early teens and the youngest generations of mobile users. While some sponsored content from major brands has started appearing in the feeds of Instagram users, expect the platform to grow its advertising reach significantly going forward.
Pinterest is essentially a virtual scrapbooking site. Users can “pin” items they like from around the web and categorize them in different “boards.” From keeping an ongoing wishlist to storing design inspiration and sourcing DYI project ideas; no matter what your interest, there’s something for you on Pinterest.
Pinterest caters to everyone from addicted shoppers to web designers to the artisans of the online “maker” community. Despite the diversity of the subject matters found on Pinterest, the site is dominated by female users.
Looking for new ways to connect with your audience online? Improve your brand’s reach on social media to increase site traffic and grow your business!