When it comes to social strategy, it’s important to put your budget and efforts into platforms that make sense. Not all platforms are going to get your the net returns that you’re looking for. In order to be efficient in your digital marketing strategy, we want to be selective on what social networks are going to make sense based on your target demographic and your typical customers personalities and behaviors. Each social platform offers a completely different experience and therefore attracts different audiences based on it’s typical use.
For example, if your business is a local toy store, it doesn’t make sense to run toy ads on LinkedIn. Parents (and kids) aren’t looking on LinkedIn for the latest deals on toys.
So let’s look at the steps for narrowing down the social media networks that make sense for your business.
Step 1. Determine Your Target Market
Usually a good exercise for this is to build a very specific persona. Pick out a single individual that describes your perfect customer. Get extremely detailed about this person’s life, and document it for future use and reference for all your marketing campaigns.
– What is their name?
– Male or Female?
– How old are they?
– Where do they live?
– What job do they have?
– What car do they drive?
– Are they married?
– Do they have kids?
These questions will help you narrow down and identify exactly what a perfect customer would look like for your organization. By doing this, you can focus your marketing campaigns directly as an individual that fits that persona. You’ll be able to build content and speak directly to that individual because you’ll be very detailed on exactly who you are targeting. This is how companies get so personable during their campaigns. They’ve identified exactly who their target is. Most business will probably have more than one target persona. But even so, you’ll be able customized marketing campaigns aimed directly at these individual personas which will help you greatly in the long run of hitting your marketing goals.
Step 2. Compare Your Target to Actual Social Network’s Demographics
Now that you know your target market, we can now look at the social platforms and determine which social networks your target market is utilizing the most. That will help us narrow down what social networks it makes sense to put our marketing efforts into. Let’s take a look at a 2015 study that looked at demographics for some of the most popular social platforms.
|18 – 29||82%||32%||55%||37%||22%|
|30 – 49||79%||29%||28%||36%||32%|
|50 – 64||64%||13%||11%||24%||26%|
|High School Grad or less||71%||19%||25%||25%||9%|
|Less than $30,000 / yr||73%||21%||26%||24%||17%|
|$30,000 – $49,999||72%||19%||27%||37%||21%|
|$50,000 – $74,999||66%||25%||30%||41%||32%|
Source: Pew Research Center, March 17-April 25, 2015.
Comparing your target market demographics to the actual usage of the social platforms gives us a really good idea of where we should be spending your efforts. But this doesn’t necessarily tell the full story either. We also want to look at what each platform is used for. How do people actually use these platform? What are they doing on them specifically?
Let’s go back to our toy store example. Let’s say you sell higher end toys that cost more than standard toys, therefore you are targeting higher income individuals that can afford the higher end toys. According to the income information, higher income individuals are using LinkedIn more often than Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. But LinkedIn is designed to be used as a professional tool for networking and B2B relationship building. People are not talking about toys on LinkedIn, so even though it fits your demographic goals, doesn’t necessarily make it the right choice based on the platforms purpose and functionality. So you still have to be strategic in selection rather than relying on data only.
After going through the process of selecting the right platforms for your business, it’s time to build a game plan on how it’s all going to be managed. Social Networks require time and energy in order to be successful. Creating them and letting them sit alone is not going to help you or your business reach it’s digital goals. Building a content calendar is important to keep yourself on-top of the networks and create an engaging community out of your efforts.