Simplifying Social Media

There is a wide variety of social media users. While millennials, Generation Zers, and Generation Xers all use it more frequently than Baby Boomers, 80% of every generation uses social media. Whether people use it as a form of entertainment, a news source, or a way to stay connected, social media platforms are an incredible source of information about all consumers.

Learning Your Social Media Audience

With all of this data in mind, it is imperative that when you’re using social media as an advertising tool for your brand or organization, you make sure your efforts result in communicating with your target audiences. That is, the group(s) you intend to see, and engage with, your content. To reach your target audiences, you need to identify some details about them to make sure you understand their communication needs.

  1. Demographics – According to Webster’s Dictionary, a demographic is statistical data about the characteristics of the population. This includes age, gender, race, and more. Demographics tell you who your audience is. For example, common demographics include age, race, gender, and more.
  1. Psychographicspsychographic information tells you why your audience consumes the content they consume and buys the products they buy. It studies their attitudes, their aspirations and other psychological criteria. This includes information such as their hobbies, their values, and their spending habits. For example, some psychographics could be if they enjoy going on Twitter, spend money on Amazon, and are interested in animal welfare.
  1. Geographic Information – According to CBS News, this is information about your audience with explicit (i.e. their specific coordinates) or implicit (i.e. the name of the coffee shop in their Instagram pic) geographic reference. This includes information such as your audience’s physical location, where they live, and where they travel to.

Once you know how to better understand your targeted audience(s), you should use that data to identify which platforms would garner the best two-way communication between them and your organization. There are several major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and different audiences are most active on each one. 

Who Is On Each Platform?

  1. Facebook – Facebook is the largest social media platform, with over 2 billion active users, and  44% of them check their Facebook several times per day. Most of Facebook’s users are between the ages of 25 and 54, and with this age range in mind you may think you should only put efforts towards this platform if you are targeting an audience that skews older. However, Facebook has the most robust targeting capabilities of any social media platform. They have an extensive amount of aggregated data about their users and regardless of your targeted audiences age, you may be able to effectively target them through Facebook’s paid advertising capabilities. Additionally, Facebook owns Instagram, so if you plan to advertise on Instagram, you execute this through Facebook’s Ads Manager as well.  
  1. Instagram – Instagram is a social media platform that offers great reach, with 500 million users and 59% of those users checking the app every day. Most of these users are between the ages of 18-29, so if your target audience is a younger one, then Instagram is a solid platform for you to invest in. Additionally, Instagram offers native features like hashtags that help you increase the reach of your shared content organically. When you use a hashtag in your post, you include your content in an aggregated group of other content that uses the same hashtag surrounding a topic that is hopefully relevant to your audience (be smart about the hashtags you choose). Something you should note is that since Instagram is a visually focused platform, you need to be sure that you are investing time in the content you share to make sure it cuts through the clutter. 
  1. Twitter – Twitter is also a good choice when trying to reach a younger audience. This platform is often used as a news source. It’s a great place to jump in on newsworthy and trending conversations to reach a greater audience. Similarly to Instagram, you can also leverage hashtags on this platform to join conversations that may be relevant to your targeted audiences and engage with them outside of the content you share from your own account. The average user spends hours on the app each day. If you want to easily reach your targeted audiences in real-time, Twitter is the go-to platform.
  1. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. It’s an ideal platform for sharing editorial content published by your brand/organization or contributed content from outside publishers. Sharing this type of content can help you establish your company as a trusted leader in its field. Unlike Twitter and Instagram, LinkedIn has more users between the ages of 30 to 49 than they have users under 30, indicating an older audience. LinkedIn has incredible opportunities for B2B efforts as well and can help you position additional members of your team as thought leaders.

Creating Content for Social Media

After you have identified your targeted audiences and the best platforms for sharing content to connect with them, you’ll have to develop the content to share. Each platform requires content that is formatted differently due to the nature of how users digest the content. Additionally there are different types of ad placements within each platform and those should be acknowledged as well. Lastly, since we have identified that different audiences are most active on each platform, your content should vary to attract the most active audiences that you are trying to reach. 

  1. Facebook – The best content to post on Facebook is curated content, which is content that is created by other organizations and then sorted through and shared by your organization. Other great content is original blog posts and native videos (meaning that they are shared directly to the platform and not linked from YouTube). Including a video or image in your post works in your favor when it comes to Facebook’s algorithm and will improve the performance of your posts.  Relevant third party content in your mix helps position your company as an industry thought leader.
  1. Twitter – Twitter, like Facebook, is great for sharing videos and links to blog posts. Another fun type of content to use on twitter is GIFS. Twitter has a native library you can use. Videos and moving pictures tend to get better engagement overall. Keep in mind that Twitter is also a great platform for sharing content from real-time events like conferences.
  1. Instagram – Instagram users appreciate aesthetically pleasing things, so your content should be made up of your best high-resolution pictures. One thing to really consider using here is User Generated Content (UGC). UGC is content posted by fans/users. You can find this kind of content by searching for what you have been tagged in and related things like branded hashtags. User Generated Content is important because it increases engagement and makes your audience feel like they are valued.
  1. LinkedIn – Because LinkedIn is for professionals, the type of content and language used on this platform should be a little different. The most suitable content for LinkedIn is job listings, career information, and company news that will promote your employer brand. Other things to include are industry-related blogs and third party content.

Get Help with Your Social Media Marketing

While this list isn’t a complete list of every social media strategy, these are the fundamentals of social media strategy, simplified. If you want to know more about how Slice can put these social media strategies to work, you can find more information on our website and connect with us here

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