Choosing the right social channels for your target audience?
The Cowbell Agency
In today’s digital age, trying to select the right social channels to reach your target audience is like trying to pick a movie on Netflix. There is so much to choose from, where do you begin? As of 2023, there are well over 20+ platforms, including the major powerhouses of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.
In this blog, we will outline 5 major steps you can take on the road to aligning the right channel with your audience.
Step 1 – Defining your Target Audience
The truth is, to arrive at the right social channels you’ll need to first start by having a clear understanding of who you are marketing to. Considering factors such as age, gender, location, interests, buying behaviors, and the motivators influencing their purchases is the key to identifying the best fit. Know thy audience!
Step 2 – Researching the Major Platforms
Each platform is unique in the way they utilize different features, demographics, functionalities, and types of content they focus on. Look for channels that align with your audience’s characteristics and preferences. Here are some of the most popular ones below:
- Facebook: Originally popular among college students, it has now grown to include a wide range of age groups, with the largest user base consisting of adults aged 25-54.
- Twitter: Popular among users seeking real-time news updates, trending topics, and discussions. It has a diverse user base, attracting users across different age groups, interests, and professions.
- Instagram: Initially popular among younger demographics, particularly teens and young adults, Instagram continues to have a strong presence among those age groups. However, it has also seen significant adoption among older age groups.
- LinkedIn: Primarily used for professional networking and job searching, LinkedIn’s user base consists largely of working professionals, businesspeople, and job seekers. It tends to attract users of various age groups, with a higher concentration of older professionals.
- Pinterest: Known for its focus on visual inspiration, DIY projects, and lifestyle content, Pinterest has a predominantly female user base, with a higher concentration of users in the 25-54 age range.
- Snapchat: Initially popular among younger demographics, particularly teenagers and young adults, Snapchat’s user base skews younger. It has a strong presence among Gen Z and Millennials.
- YouTube: With a vast range of content, YouTube attracts users of all age groups. However, it has a significant presence among younger audiences, especially teenagers and young adults, who consume a wide variety of videos.
- TikTok: Known for its short-form video content, TikTok gained popularity among younger demographics, primarily Gen Z and Millennials. It appeals to those seeking creative and entertaining content.
Let’s dig in a little deeper. Do you like pizza? Let’s consider how each platform has its own way of communicating content, as shown in the example below.
Again, it all comes down to “knowing thy audience” and matching up with the best demographic that aligns with your target audience.
Step 3 – Consider the Type of Content & Interactions
Some platforms drive content with video, others with graphics and links. Each is unique in the way it matches your target audience’s interests and engagement patterns.
For example, if your target audience is C-Suite level, CEOs, VPs and Presidents then utilizing a business platform like LinkedIn where professionals interact by sharing articles, or corporate news updates would be a far better match than a platform like TikTok whose demographic skews much younger and is more focused on video content. If you plan to use visual content or products to show off, platforms like Instagram or Pinterest might be more suitable where visual graphics are front-runners to grab your audience’s attention.
Step 4 – Prioritize Platform Popularity
Just because YOU love a platform, doesn’t mean it’s the best one for your target audience. Consider the popularity and user base size of each platform. A larger user base usually means more potential reach, but it also means more… dum, dum, dum…. Competition! Balance the size of your audience with your ability to stand out and engage effectively with the right social channel.
Last but not least…
Step 5 – Test and Measure
Once you have identified the most suitable platforms, (that’s right, there could be more than one!) start by creating a presence on those channels. Nowadays, most channels have amazing digital insights that allow you to drill down the metrics. Monitor your performance, engagement levels, and conversions. Adjust your strategy based on the platforms that yield the best results.
At the end of the day, choosing the right social media platform(s) for your target audience requires careful consideration of their demographics, preferences, and marketing goals. By following these 5 simple steps, you can make informed decisions and optimize your social media presence to effectively reach and engage with your desired audience. Remember, social media trends are consistently evolving, so be sure to periodically review and adapt your strategy to stay relevant, and maintain a strong connection with your audience.