Updated: Jan 6
It seems like there are new platforms popping up all the time. The newest trending platform being Parler (pronounced par-lay; not to be confused with the dating app Parlor). With all of these social platforms out there, how do you know which platforms your company should be using to push out your awesome content through social media marketing? Well, it all comes down to narrowing down who your target audience is and then taking a look at the various demographics using the different social platforms.
Defining Your Target Audience
This is a big one because not everyone is your client or will be your client. Say it with me ladies and gentlemen: Not everyone is your client. We talked about how to define your target audience in an earlier blog, so check it out if you need a refresher. In order to determine which social platform(s) your business should be marketing and/or advertising on, you need to understand just who you’re marketing to. Advertising will allow you the ability to really narrow down your audience by demographics, but for just maintaining a presence, you don’t need to have as a precise of an idea.
For instance, if you’re a financial advisor, your target audience may be older adults seeking to retire soon. Or perhaps even the younger CEOs out there in their mid to late 30’s, who also tend to be predominately male. You may not find the older demographic on Instagram or Twitter as much but may rather find them on Facebook where the fastest growing demographic is 55+. The younger CEOs on the other hand may be easier to market to on other platforms - such as LinkedIn and yes, even Facebook.
It’s all about figuring out which platform your potential clients might be and maintaining a presence on them to maximize your Return on Investment for social media marketing. Keep in mind that you may not find leads as fast as you’re hoping without some form of paid advertising to build brand awareness because if they don’t know who you are, how will they convert to a customer?!
By far the largest of all social networks, Facebook boasts 2.41 billion (yes, you read that right) monthly active users. For global ranking and visibility, this social platform takes the third position as the most visited website globally, outranked only by Google and YouTube. Of those users approximately 10% of the total users are American and approximately 71% of American users are adults.
Facebook usage varies slightly by gender with 63% of men using the platform compared to 75% of women users. In addition to the differences in genders, we can also identify a wide disparity among age demographics:
18 - 24: 76%
25 - 29: 84%
30 - 49: 79%
50 - 64: 68%
Those numbers may be lower for older Americans, but don’t let that fool you. Seniors are the fastest growing group of Facebook users. In fact, eMarketer predicts that Facebook will see a 7% growth in the 65+ demographic. Older demographics of 50-64 come with a higher net worth and income, which is probably what you are interested in.
Are you looking to market to a wealthier demographic? Facebook has you covered there as well with 74% of high-income earners maintaining profiles on the social platform.
Should your company be marketing on Facebook? Quite frankly, if there were one platform to rule them all, it would be Facebook. It doesn't matter the industry, this is one platform you should absolutely be a part of.
Coming in as the fifth most popular social media platforms in the U.S., there are 675 million monthly active users. While 70% of LinkedIn’s users are located outside of the U.S., a whopping 167 million users are based out of the U.S. That’s approximately 27% of Americans.
Of the 167 million Americans using the social platform, 57% of LinkedIn users are men and 43% are women with a collective total of 61% of users being between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
With LinkedIn being a platform for professionals, this is a sure win for those companies in the B2B realm. This does not mean that those a B2C focus should steer clear of marketing on LinkedIn, if your demographic lines up with those using LinkedIn, we absolutely recommend using this social network.
In Q1 2019 Twitter announced that they had over 330 million monthly active users. Of those, there are approximately 145 million monetizable daily active users. What does that mean? That means that of the 330 million monthly active users 145 million are users that login daily and can see advertisements across their feeds. Of those 145 million, 30 million daily users are American. 44% of U.S. based Twitter users are between the ages of 18 to 24 years old.
There are some businesses that just don’t see the relevance in marketing their companies over Twitter. Other law companies are finding much success in getting their name out there. It all comes down to who you are marketing to. Our advice is this: If you’re already putting together content for other social platforms, why not copy + paste it to Twitter as well? As with the rest of the social networks, Twitter allows your company to maintain a social profile for free. So, what do you really have to lose?
Twitter and Instagram are both great platforms that allow you to really expand your organic reach through the use of hashtags. Not only that, but you can also find topics that are trending in your area (and nationally) to jump in on and get a little extra exposure for.
There are approximately 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram with 110 million being located in the United States. That brings us to approximately 37% of American adults using the social platform. Instagram is by far more popular among younger demographics with 67% of users being between ages 18 - 29. 62% of users say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
Like all previously mentioned platforms, Instagram is free to join. This platform is focused on photos, meaning you have to have a photo to post on this platform. One major bonus to marketing on this platform is that, like Twitter, you’re able to use hashtags to reach a larger audience organically.
On Facebook, your posts will reach about 1.6 - 2% of your page’s followers depending on the level of engagement. The more people engage, the more your post will be shown to. When coupling your content with valuable hashtags that people are actually looking at, you can really maximize your organic reach. This doesn’t mean that you should throw in a random hashtag that no one is looking at or for. For instance, if we were to post about a content market statistic with an amazing Rockstar image of something content related, we might include hashtags such as: #marketing #digitalmarketing #b2bmarketing. Some hashtags we would not be inclined to use include: #pendragonrocks. No one is looking at or for #pendragonrocks and so there is no value in that hashtag - though Pendragon does in fact rock.
Looking for a platform that outperforms all others? Look no further. YouTube ranks number one for social media platforms. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users and is on track to continue growing. 73% of American adults use this social platform, making it the most popular social platform in the United States. While the largest number of users stems from the age bracket of 15 - 25 years old, all other age brackets give that demographic a run for its money. At the lowest rate, 58% of those ages 56+ use YouTube.
Even the other platforms (such as Facebook) have come to prioritize videos over regular content. What does this mean for your company? It means you should really consider having some videos made to post to YouTube (and to other social networks) to work on building your brand awareness and following.
Social media marketing is a long-haul effort unless you’re paying to advertise. You’re working towards building brand awareness and brand recognition with your current and potential clients. Not everyone will need your product or services today, but they might tomorrow, and you want your company’s name to be the first that comes to mind when that day comes. Whatever platform you choose to market on, social media is a necessary beast these days as it not only expands your reach into new potential customers but also helps to build brand awareness as well as credibility. Take your social media marketing efforts to the next level by determining your target audience and getting your company listed on the relevant social platforms.
Check out our cheat sheet below and don't forget to subscribe to our blog!