As a business owner or marketer, you need to know where your customers, both actual and prospective, spend their time online. This is standard marketing practice. In the past, marketers used market research results to figure out where to spend their advertising budget when it comes to TV shows, radio programs, and print media. The same practice applies in this day and age; research organizations are providing intelligence on how people are using social networks to guide businesses on how to craft their social media marketing strategy.
Social media demographics continues to shift, but current data show some interesting facts:
- Women are more active on social networks
- Facebook is the most popular network for both men and women
- Twitter appeals to the younger crowd while the older generation prefers Facebook
If you want to reach your target audience, you need to find out which channel is best for each demographic group.
Even if Facebook is the clear winner in terms of popularity and number of users, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the other networks and focus your efforts on it. Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. all have their loyal following and regular users.
Pinterest has a very enthusiastic set of pinners comprised of women in their twenties and thirties. Many of them have boards focused on fashion, beauty routines, wedding plans, crafts, etc. The moms have boards on parenting, child rearing, interior decorating, etc. While these women are also probably active on Facebook, based on their activities on each site, related businesses best attempt to reach them on Pinterest when they are in the right frame of mind.
There’s the psychology behind it as well. Do women like Facebook more than they do other networks? This could be a reasonable conclusion, considering the finding that women use social media to connect. They tend to favor networks that have ongoing discussions that they can join. Women also tend to like more social interaction, engagement and approval comments from their friends and peers. Facebook is a prime venue for this kind of social and more conversational activity.
On the other hand, would it be fair to say that men prefer Twitter over other networks? Survey results actually indicate that men prefer Facebook to Twitter, but considering that Facebook tops everything, this really doesn’t take away from the conclusion that Twitter is a good place for reaching out to the male demographic. Men tend to use social media to gather information for up-to-the-minute updates and to follow specific people (athletes, business leaders, authors, etc.) according to studies, so Twitter is a great place for them since many announcements and “latest developments” are posted here. Seeking approval or engaging in a conversation with their followers is not their primary goal.
When it comes to my personal accounts, I find myself using Twitter much more frequently than Facebook these days. With Facebook I’ve adopted a “touch and go” strategy, meaning, I log in, do a quick review of recent posts, and log out right away. If you don’t do that, it’s easy to find yourself spending hours going through endless conversations and other people’s posts that mean nothing to you but throw your schedule off before you know it. With Twitter I can check selected tweets in just a couple of minutes, get my news and move on.
Knowing such findings, you are better equipped to strategize your social media efforts to correspond with your customers’ behaviors.
How’s your social media program working for you? If you need assistance, be sure to reach out to our Social Media Team. We’ll get your campaign customized and right on track for your particular business.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)