Social Media: Demystified

Social Media: Demystified
[You] have to have a total understanding of your audience to effectively reach them.

Social Media: Seemingly the most confusing and convoluted way to market to ones audience. Most retailers and designers understand the need for social media, but can't get a firm grasp on it. How do you monetize it? Where does the content come from? These are all great questions, but it's irrelevant if you're not putting your message in the right place. With so many options nowadays (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.) choosing what to focus on can make your head spin. The biggest mistake you can make, is trying to do too much socially. You most likely don't have the time or manpower to effectively run 8 social media accounts, so why stretch yourself so thin? My recommendation is using the following method to identify 1-3 platforms for you to focus your efforts on.

Step 1 - Get a Facebook Account

Well that was easy, wasn't it? Already have one of your 3 picked out for you. The reality is that Facebook is still the goliath of social media. With over a billion users worldwide and a plethora of integrations perfect for business (reviews, events, offers, etc.) I would go as far to say it's the 1 must-have account for any business.

Step 2 - Identify Your Buyer's Persona

If you haven't already, be sure to read this article on identifying your buyer's persona. Why is this important? Because you have to have a total understanding of your audience to effectively reach them. Think of these characteristics and try to identify them in your customers:

  • Who are you targeting? Men? Women? Both?
  • How old is your target audience?
  • Are they local or (inter)national?
  • Are they typically affluent? Middle class?

These are just some of the qualities that will help you identify how to reach your audience.

Step 3 - Look in The Mirror

Understanding your customers is critical, and understanding your brand is right alongside it. What do you do? Are you a photographer (or retailer) that has a lot of photos to share? Maybe you're an insurance agency whose world revolves around industry updates and company articles. Once you understand your content, and who is going to access it, you can narrow it down to a small handful of accounts. Below are suggested personas with the major social media platforms

Social Media Explained

Facebook

  • 1.5 billion users worldwide
  • Great for all age groups
  • Powerful photo organization
  • Reviews, bios, etc.

Twitter

  • More popular with millennials
  • High connectivity with hashtags and user tags
  • Great for quick updates
  • Limited character count (changing soon)
  • Least amount of users over 45 (compared to Facebook and Instagram)

Instagram

  • Fastest growing social media platform
  • Popular with millennials
  • Heavy focus on photography
  • Unique users

Snapchat

  • Great for live content
  • Used heavily with younger crowds
  • Little to no practical use for audience over 35

LinkedIn

  • Basically Facebook for business
  • Great for B2B environments
  • Little to no use in B2C environments

Ryan lives at the crossroads of marketing strategy and content curation. As Content Manager for Designers Today, Ryan strategizes with companies to develop integrated marketing campaigns via custom content and other vehicles.