Your audience is not everywhere and you don’t need to be either. Even the most social savvy target audiences are not using every channel equally; so don’t waste your time and resources trying to be on every channel. Define your audience and select the social channels that make the most sense; then, focus on personalizing your message to best meet the needs of each audience, on each channel.
Picking the best social media channels
My girl Ashley put together an amazing guide to each of the main social channels that you should check out, but here are a few more statistics that will help you decide which social media channels are best for your company:
- Tumblr’s audience is younger than any other social network.
- Instagram is largely used by African-Americans, Latinos, women, urban residents.
- Pinterest (21%) is now more popular than Twitter (18%) among Internet users.
- Facebook is aging. 45% of Internet users aged 65+ use Facebook.
- Almost all social networkers use Facebook. In fact, over 80% of ‘other’ social network users also use Facebook.
- Contrary to popular belief, most people aren’t using multiple social networks. Over 50% of Internet users either don’t use any social networks, or use just one.
Personalize for your audience
After selecting social channels for your company, you need to think about the audience of each channel every single day and personalize your message for each channel. People want different things on different channels; in fact, 60% of social media users vary their actions and connections vastly across social sites, so don’t post every message you write on Facebook to Twitter (or worse – post on Twitter that you posted on Facebook!). Personalization will make your audience happy and increase both engagement and reach.
Personalize for engagement
Let’s stick with Facebook and Twitter as example channels. The most obvious reason to rewrite your message for each channel is because you only have 140 characters on Twitter versus 5,000+ on Facebook, but more importantly, people engage on Facebook and Twitter differently.
Your Facebook audience wants creativity
Facebook is far more visual than Twitter. People are looking at the thumbnails you include, photos you feature and your profile picture before they even decide to read your status. Thus, it is crucial to make sure your visuals are captivating. Also, because your links include the title of the page you are linking, you need to be clever and creative with the text portion of your status.
Your Twitter audience wants simplicity
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is text-focused and users tend to scan for keywords. Even if you include photos in a tweet, sometimes they still only show as a link. To get clicks on Twitter, you need to be more straightforward; either include the title of the article or a summary of the topic.
Personalize for reach
Your engaging content doesn’t mean much if your messages only make it to your mom’s newsfeed. Messages need to be crafted differently on different social channels in order to maximize reach.
Tag on Facebook
Recently, Facebook actually made a change that makes your job easier (rare, right?). When you tag a page in one of your posts, your post will show up on the newsfeeds of that page’s fans, thus increasing your reach.
Use tagging to increase your engagement and your reach (which can sound confusing, but it’s important). When someone shares, likes or comments on your post, it shows up on the newsfeeds of that person’s friends. To engage those people already seeing your posts, use visuals, ask people to share or create contests where people need to comment to enter (but be careful there…remember to make it valuable!)
Search on Twitter
On Twitter, it is all about keywords and hashtags. Twitter is incredibly search friendly; many users find new people to follow by searching their favorite hashtags or topics. For example, when I want to find new people to follow in my industry, I simply search #SocialMedia or #ContentMarketing on Twitter.
Like with Facebook, getting current followers to engage with your content increases your reach. Unlike Facebook, making this happen on Twitter is easy; your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet.”
I know personalization just sounds like more work, but doing it will give you more reach and engagement – both of which make for better ROI.
Feel like you need help defining your audience and personalizing your content? Download our Best Practices in Social Media eBook today for step-by-step instructions for defining your target audience and a template that will help you manage all your messages and channels in one place. Use the code BLOGSAVE5 to save $5 on the ebook!