Tailoring your organization’s social media usage to your consumer is essential to attracting and maintaining a devoted audience. While the specifics of your organization’s social media activity depends on the organization itself and the industry, the organization’s social media platform selection can bring in a larger, more engaged audience.
The platforms I will discuss are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. These outlets have consistently ranked among the most popular with people of all regions, ages, genders, and ethnicities.
Platform Purpose and Voice
Each social media platform has a unique offering which creates interactions unique to that platform. Different voices and content must be applied to each different platform to capitalize on what users want from others on the platform.
Instagram should be used to display thoughtful or aesthetically pleasing content. Here, aligning yourself with other popular creators or brands can help boost your audience.
Twitter is fast-paced and casual. This platform should be used to build connections with your audience with quick conversations when possible. Twitter can be used to humanize the organization through the creation or reinforcement of the organization’s voice and interaction with followers.
Facebook can be more professional or personal, depending on your organization. This is a great place to highlight organization or employee accomplishments and share important information. Facebook can be used to humanize the organization if the organization shares photos or videos of day-to-day or behind-the-scenes work.
Pinterest should be used to share aesthetically pleasing content or helpful information. Captions of the content are less important than the other platforms, but the images shared drive users to become followers.
YouTube is unique because there is no one style that defines the platform. YouTube has a wide array of content, so following industry norms is likely to do best here.
Platforms for Target Audiences
While remaining active on each of these five platforms would be ideal, organizations often don’t have the ability to do so. To get the greatest benefit social media activity has to offer, organizations should focus on platforms used most by their audience and where the organization’s content will do well.
Organizations may target social media content toward men or women. The two generally have the same social media platform preferences, with the exception being Pinterest. If your organization wants to tailor content for women, Pinterest may be a beneficial platform to do so.
If age is important to your organization’s target audience, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are the top three most popular platforms for those ages 18 to 49. Snapchat and Twitter are more favorable for people ages 18 to 39, whereas Pinterest and Twitter are more favorable for people ages 39 to 49. The 50+ age group deviates slightly from the norm. If your organization’s target group is 50+, Pinterest ranks among the top three favorites of this crowd, beating out Instagram.
There are other considerations such as the frequency users use each platform, length of time users spend on the platform, and growth or decline in popularity. The platforms with the most daily users are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter capture users’ attention and win the top three for the longest amount of time users spend on the app. Finally, Twitter engagement has grown the most over the past two years with a 6 percent increase. Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are tied with a modest increase in engagement. Interestingly, Facebook engagement has declined by 26 percent over the past two years.
Overall, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube consistently rank among the most popular platforms, but they are also oversaturated with organizations and seem to be in decline. Instagram and Twitter seem to offer the most opportunities for your organization to build a strong, younger audience. For older audiences, Pinterest and Facebook are likely the two social media platforms with the most promise.