One of the biggest mistakes people make, especially people who have multiple social media accounts, is believing one post works for all platforms. Plus, it doesn’t help that platforms like Facebook and Instagram, for example, allow a user to shoot a post off to their other accounts.
What am I trying to get at?
You cannot use the exact same post for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on.
Sure, you can write about the same thing, like a new blog post, but you need to adjust it to fit the platform. More specifically, your caption/post needs to make sense to that platform’s audience.
Yes, that’s right. Just because Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on live under the “Social Media Umbrella” doesn’t mean they are all the same. Know what tone and voice to use! Know your audience!
Note: What you do on your personal account(s) is your prerogative. That’s not why I am here. The following will be a brief discussion on what you should and need to consider if you are using social media to achieve your current or future business goals. Yes, that includes blogs, like ours, where you are essentially creating a brand for yourself. Whether you make money off your blog is besides the point. We aren’t talking moolah. We are talking content.
With that in mind, I will be calling your venture a “business” throughout this blog.
Let’s get to it!
The first thing to do is figure out which platform your audience is using.
The worst thing you can do when starting your social media journey is make assumptions about where your audience spends their time online. Always, always, always, take demographic information for all major social media networks into account to help you gauge where your audience spends their time online.
Know Your Audience
Developing a solid picture of who your customers/viewers/readers are and who is already interacting with you online will help you include elements in your social media plan that will help you reach more people like them.
Stats for thought: 60% of consumers say content from friends or family influence their purchases, while 23% say content from celebrities and influencers are impactful (survey via Stackla).
Quality > Quantity
As a small business using social media, the most important thing you can do is create quality content that offers value. In doing so, you can really connect with your audience. If all you do is pitch and sell, there’s very little motivation for people to follow you. Keep in mind that social media marketing is all about building relationships. Provide great content by being human and being honest. Coupled with the write tone and voice for that platform’s demographic, you will be GOLDEN, PONYBOY.
Stats for thought: 86% of consumers say authenticity influences which brands they like and support (survey via Stackla).
Finding your voice and place on social media can be a challenge, especially with all the platforms and users vying for a single person’s attention. Nevertheless, when it comes down to writing content, remember that if someone comes to your business, for example, you wouldn’t immediately jump right into the hard pitch. Instead, you make small talk, talk industry, and get to know each other a little bit. Your person-to-person approach is what you need to keep in mind when writing for social media coupled with the audience and particular platform.
One source I find invaluable when it comes to familiarizing myself with social media demographics is Hootsuite. Sure, you may know them as a social media management platform, but they also provide a ton of insight into the world of social media.
Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you know everything there is to know about social media just because you are a user. It will be to your own detriment. This is a world that changes at a rapid pace. Once you get the hang of it, it will change.
Here is an example of U.S. stats concerning Facebook via Hootsuite as of April 2018 that would have been pertinent at the time if you were using social media for something beyond personal posts:
– Daily Active Users: 1.4 billion, an increase of 14% year-over-year
– Monthly Active Users: 2.13 billion
– FB Messenger Monthly Active Users: 1.3 billion
– A majority of Americans of all ages now use FB (with the exception of those 65+ and older)
– 25 to 35-year-olds are the largest cohort on FB
– 76% of 12 to 17-year-olds use the network
– 34% of teenagers think that FB is for “old people”
– 81% of people ages 18 to 29-years-old use FB
– 68% of adults now report that they are FB users.
– 75% of adults use FB daily
– 40% of adults 65+ and older use FB (double what it was in 2012)
– 74% of FB users are women
– 62% of FB users are men
75% of adults who use FB make $75,000+
77% of adults who use FB have a college degree or more.
– Monthly Active Users: 330 Million
– Nearly one-in-four Americans say they use TW
– 73% of TW users also use IG
– 45% of 18 to 24-year-olds use TW
– 8% aged 65+ use TW
– 33% are 25 to 29-year-olds, the second largest demographic
– 24% of TW users are women
– 23% of TW users are men
– 32% of TW users make more than $75,000 a year
– 45% of TW users have a college degree
Looking at these stats side by side gives you a pretty clear picture of how different these audiences are. Try putting it outside of the social media sphere. The way you would speak to a 29-year-old female would probably be different from the way you would speak to a 19-year-old male, right? So why are you doing that online? Think about it.