Social Media Platforms for Every Audience

How To Leverage Social Media

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.

Read more about Instagram analytics for businesses 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.

Whole Foods' content tailored to their Pinterest audience.

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. 

Final Thoughts

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.

Sources

Share of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018

Change in user engagement with selected social media platforms in the United States from 2017 to September 2019

Most popular social media apps in the U.S. 2019, by session length

Most popular social media apps in the U.S. 2019, by audience

TWITTER STRATEGY INFO FOR EVERY BUSINESS

Twitter is an extremely powerful tool that can drive consumers to your business if done right. It’s a unique social media platform because of its fast-paced, conversational nature. A well-thought-out Twitter strategy is essential to the success of your business’ tweets.

WHY TWITTER?

Along with most other social media platforms, Twitter offers a forum for businesses to share crafted messages to a diverse audience. Twitter is more casual and conversational than other platforms, offering your business opportunities to create or reinforce your brand, your voice, and strengthen your brand recognition. By using an effective Twitter strategy, you can shape the narrative and popular opinion of your organization. If your business does not have a clear brand voice, Twitter is the best platform to create or reinforce that voice because of the high levels of interaction. Once your brand and brand voice are solidified, users will be able to associate your organization with the content posted on your account.

Read about common social media mistakes here

WHAT TWITTER CAN DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS

An effective Twitter strategy affords your business a wide-reaching channel to highlight accomplishments, help consumers, and ultimately, increase revenue and expand your business.

ExxonMobil highlights their accomplishments in their Twitter strategy
Highlight accomplishments in your Twitter strategy

WHAT TWITTER CAN DO FOR YOUR CONSUMER BASE

A successful Twitter strategy can be mutually beneficial to your organization as well as your audience. For your organization, Twitter can be a useful tool to strengthen support among your current audience, reach audiences you wouldn’t otherwise, and create the sense that the company is personified. For your audience, your organization’s account can give them a community and a sense of belonging that they may not get elsewhere.

Netflix's strategy for Twitter is to share content that doesn't have a place on their platform.
Use a Twitter strategy that shares content your audience won’t get anywhere else.

TWITTER STRATEGY BASICS

To have the best chance of succeeding on Twitter, the account should be used to create or reinforce the organization’s brand, create or reinforce brand voice, and to insert the organization into timely conversations happening on Twitter. The organization’s brand can be emphasized by the way tweets are phrased and by the content the organization tweets. The brand voice should be tailored to the industry and the organization’s average consumer. Your organization should know the demographics of its average consumer and what that consumer expects of your organization outside your products or services.

Denny's uses a Twitter strategy that reinforces its relatable brand voice.
Reinforce your brand voice.

Your Twitter strategy and content should not be centered on sales. While posting about your products or services is important to draw in business, making it the sole focus of your account can come off as cold and uncaring. By focusing your account on helping consumers and weighing in on relevant news, your audience will perceive your organization as less profit-oriented when your organization does post about your products or services.

A Twitter strategy should be crafted around consumer expectations, your organization’s core values, and the products or services your organization offers. Twitter users will be drawn to the organization’s account, and ultimately, will buy what you’re selling.