Focusing Your Efforts and Targeting the Right Audience
There are so many social media platforms and new ones are being created all the time! However, it is important to not stretch yourself too thin and to remember that not all platforms will serve your interests well. In other words, you want to narrow down your choice to a few select platforms that allow you to focus your efforts, target the right audience and in return, get a good investment on your time.
So how do you know which social media platforms are right for your business goals?
Let’s take a look at how you can narrow in on which social platforms are right for you.
Location, Location, Location
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Location, location, location.” This really matters in social media, or in this case, it matters who your audience is and which social media platform they are hanging out on.
Identify Your Audience
To narrow down which platforms you should be focusing your efforts on, you first have to identify who your audience is. Ask yourself some of these questions to help you define your target audience:
- Who is your typical customer or client?
- How old are they?
- What is their gender?
- What is their income level?
- What is their education level?
- What else are they interested in outside of your product or service?
Define Your Goals
Furthermore, you need to define your goals. Is it to attract new customers? Push sales? Build brand awareness? Offer customer support? These goals matter to which platforms you use and for what. For example, many companies offer support on Twitter with a handle like @companysupport or @companyhelps. We’ll look at the platforms and what each can do for you further down in the article, but first, just list out your goals.
Find Your Audience
Now that you have your audience and goals defined, you need to find your audience as well as the platforms that will help you meet those goals. Not only do you need to understand which platforms your audience is on, but how active they are on that platform as well. For example, younger Facebook users may have profiles, but they are often more active on Instagram.
Now, let’s dive into the platforms, including what each has to offer, who their typical user is and how you can use it to meet your goals.
Facebook has been dubbed the king of social media and there is a reason why: it has the most users of any other platform! Users range in age and across all genders and nationalities, giving you wide reach on the platform. Facebook is often used to build relationships and keep in contact with old friends. This makes Facebook a good platform for building brand loyalty. Here, you’ll want to provide useful content to your followers.
Unfortunately with all the noise on Facebook, it can be hard to reach a new audience and organic posts have limited reach, even with proper SEO. So if your goal is to reach new customers, Facebook won’t be where you would focus your efforts. But if you are dedicated to keeping current customers or clients happy, Facebook is a great option to keep in touch with them or even use Messenger to provide customer support.
If you have a visual-based business, Instagram is perfect for you because it relies on photos and videos to start conversations. This platform tends to have younger users, but it is growing so there is less noise on it than on Facebook, making it great for generating new leads. Make sure that you do a little research on hashtags and consider using less popular hashtags that are still relevant; this can help you break through some of the noise.
Instagram has been pushing their Stories and Reels (a response to the popularity of TikTok). So if you decide to use Instagram, make sure that you are routinely taking advantage of these two types of posts, beyond regular feed photos and videos.
Because of its reliance on hashtags and keywords, Twitter is an excellent platform for brand awareness. Consider taking advantage of popular hashtags or topics in the trending section; just be sure that you either have something witty to say, or that that topic or hashtag can come full circle back to your brand. And like Facebook, Twitter’s users are of all ages, genders and nationalities, giving you wide reach to build brand awareness.
Not only is Twitter great for brand awareness, but it can also be paired with live events because of the ability to share real-time updates with an audience. If you have an event coming up, consider live tweeting it. Create a branded hashtag and encourage users to follow the hashtag for updates and to join in on the conversation.
TikTok has exploded in growth over the past couple of years. It tends to skew younger, with GenZ really being active on this platform; however, users from other age groups are joining all the time. Even celebrities and brands are getting in on the fun. In January of 2020, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world!
TikTok focuses on engaging short videos and offers the ability to pair it with music that the platform has licensed for your use. Like Twitter, it uses hashtags (though they refer to it as “challenges”) that prompt user engagement. Because of the hashtags, this gives you an opportunity to build brand awareness on the platform and even encourage user-generated content.
LinkedIn is considered the professional’s platform. It focuses on building business relationships through professional networking including employer to potential employees and business to business. The audience also tends to skew a bit older. If you are looking to recruit fresh talent or sell items or services to other businesses (e.g. plumbing parts to plumbers), then LinkedIn is your platform!
Pinterest, like Instagram, relies on visuals. Users can save content they like to a board. Pinterest is great for not only sharing ideas such as recipes and style guides, but it has also been linked to strong retail sales. This makes Pinterest perfect for bloggers, crafters, home decorators, fashion brands and more! So pin your own content to your brand’s boards and be sure to include keywords in your pins’ title and description so people can find you when they search Pinterest for ideas.
While YouTube does allow you to sign up as a user, you don’t have to be one to view videos; the reach of YouTube is far greater than its 1 billion or so users. It has become one of the biggest search engine platforms, with people looking for “how to” videos and product information. It is also used for entertainment purposes. If any of these types of videos are something you want to put out, then YouTube will help you reach the audience that is hungry for that type of video content. Make sure you include keywords in your video title and description.