Defining Objectives, Audience & Platform
The first step in growing a social media presence is to identify your objectives, find your target audience, and choose social media platforms to reach that specific audience.
What is the overall purpose of your business being on social media? What do you hope to accomplish by integrating your marketing efforts with social media? Each of these questions should be answered and planned accordingly in your social media objectives. Social media objectives are the key areas of your social media marketing campaign that your efforts will be the most focused on.
Recall the benefits of using social media that we described in part 1. In this phase, you will determine which of those benefits are the most important to you and coordinate your social media campaign to accomplish those objectives. For example, if Pizza Hut’s main goal of using social media is to increase their brand awareness, then they may want to focus primarily on increasing their fans, followers, and shares. On the other hand, if Pizza Hut’s main goal of using social media is to increase sales, then they may want to focus more on specific incentives, promotions, or contests to spark quicker purchases from their target audience.
Defining your main objectives for using social media is the most critical part of any campaign. It provides you with a framework to coordinate your online marketing strategy. By having clear and concise objectives, you are able to select various strategies to accomplish them. In addition, you would be able to measure the effectiveness of those strategies by assessing whether or not it helped you to accomplish your objectives.
Select and Find your target audience
Who is your ideal customer? What age, gender, or economic status do you aim to reach? It is important to know the answers to these questions before selecting the social media platforms that you want to advertise your business on. Right now, there are businesses who are spending tons of money and resources on marketing their brand on a social media platform that their target market is not actively using. In this section, we will provide you with more insight on the demographics of popular social media platforms to help you select the best platforms to reach your targeted audience
Who uses social media?
The first step in understanding the demographics of social media platforms is to understand who is the most active on social media today. View the graphic below for further insight.
This graphic shows us that nearly 90% of all people within the ages of 18-29 years of age are using social media today, which is the largest percentage of social media users out of all of the age brackets. Although the adults that are over 50 years of age seem to be ranking last as far as their activity on social media, this percentage has been rising dramatically over the past decade. So, if you were wondering what generation uses social media actively – the answer is everyone.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for your Business
The first step in truly understanding the demographics of various social media platforms is to realize that different social media platforms appeal to different audiences. Your objective is to find out which of those platforms your target audience uses the most. If there are multiple platforms that touch the same demographics as another, then you should grow your social media presence on all of those platforms. There may be a platform that your ideal customer prefers over the other one, so by utilizing multiple platforms you will be able to capture your target market from multiple angles.
For example, Facebook is known for having over a billion users, which is more users than any social media platform today. When studying the demographics of Facebook, you will find that it reaches a broad audience that consists of nearly all ages, ethnicities, and races of people. However, these demographics do not account for the millions of users who are now actively using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram instead of logging into their Facebook accounts. Therefore, to ensure that you are maximizing the effectiveness of your social media campaigns, it is important to use multiple platforms.
What you need to know about Facebook demographics
There is plenty of data available on the web about the demographics of various social media platforms, so we are going to skip over the lengthy details and tell you the most important component that you need to understand about Facebook. According to ISL, Facebook user growth is declining in the ages of teenagers and young adults. This is a critical fact to soak in for all businesses that are targeting this audience.
This chart also shows that Facebook’s user growth for the people over the age of 55 has grown by over 80% in the past three years. This implies that the Facebook is becoming a great platform for businesses to use to market their business to an older and more mature demographic. As you can see, the younger the age, the less likely it is that your target audience is using Facebook.
So please, do not become a victim of Facebook Marketing if you are targeting a young demographic. From experience, we’ve noticed that Facebook is the first avenue that most business owners think about when the topic of social media marketing arises. This could be because many “older” people are still very fond of using Facebook over other platforms, so they irrationally think that it is the best platform for marketing. Don’t fall into this mistake. Do your research and understand where your customers are the most active.
What you need to know about Twitter demographics
Now that we’ve touched on Facebook, let’s take a look into a quick age breakdown of Twitter.
As we can see, over half of the users on Twitter are under the age of 34. This platform is much more popular amongst mid-aged and younger adults. However, users over the age of 45 tend to prefer Facebook.
What you need to know about Instagram Demographics
The picture-oriented platform, Instagram, is dominated by the youth. According to The Social Habit, over 87% of Instagram users are under the age of 34. Therefore if you are trying to reach an older, more mature audience, you need to stay away from Instagram. In contrast, if the audience you aim to reach is young, then Instagram needs to be at the core of your social media strategy.
What you need to know about Pinterest Demographics
Business owners ask us all the time – What about Pinterest? Well, Pinterest is a bit more unique in nature compared to the other platforms. The first thing that you need to understand about Pinterest demographics before investing into growing your presence on it is that Pinterest is a woman-oriented platform. Over 80% of the users on Pinterest are women.
As it relates to age, Pinterest is used by an older demographic. Majority of its users are between the ages of 25-44 with over 20% of its users also being over the age 45. With Pinterest consisting of primarily older women, most of the content delivered on this platform is tailored toward that audience. For example, a large number of content posted on Pinterest is related to home items, fashion, and food. Therefore, if your business involves women or the topics that they are talking about the most, then it is a good idea to grow your business social media presence on Pinterest.
What you need to understand about Google Plus
The biggest misconception about Google Plus that we have ran across is that Google Plus is nearly as big as Facebook. This is true and false, depending upon how you look at it. In 2014, Google Plus officially reached over 1 billion users, closing in on Facebook’s 1.2 billion users. However, anyone who has a google account, such as Gmail, is considered a user on Google Plus. This means that Google is tracking “Google Plus users” who have never even logged onto their social media platform. Thus, Google Plus may be statistically near the size of Facebook but in actuality there is a huge difference. For example, some reports show that Google Plus only has 500 million active users that actually use the platform.
Choosing the best social media platform(s) for your business
So which social media platforms is the best platform for your business? This depends on the following:
- Your Objectives
- Your Target Audience
- The Demographics of Various Social Media Platforms
Remember, you always want to start by defining your overall purpose for using social media in the first place. Once you have clear and concise objectives, determine who you will target. Each social media platform serves a different purpose and your job is to choose the platforms with the demographic characteristics of your target audience so you can accomplish your objectives. There is no set number of “good platforms” for your business to be on. The key is knowing which platforms your audience is located. Once you know this, we can move into the next step into capturing your audience into your brand, which consists of designing a humanized and appealing social media presence.