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Managing Social Media Platforms for Different Audiences

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most influential forms of social media that exist and a strong presence on them is crucial for maintaining a successful business. But even if you’re ticking all of the social media marketing boxes, are you filtering these checkpoints onto the right platforms?

Facebook

Facebook was established in 2004 and homes a massive 71% of all internet users. In other words, Twitter and Instagram look up at Facebook and tug at its shirt asking it for loose change.

Let’s take a closer look at the demographics.

We can see that Facebook's audience is reasonably balanced in terms of gender, ethnicity, income, location and education. However, huge 60% of 50-60 year-olds are on here! Now this percentage might seem low compared to the 84% of all 18-29 year-olds but when we compare this to just 9% of Twitter users and 6% of Instagram users of this age range, you can understand why my jaw just hit my desk...

So, from these numbers we can see that Facebook holds almost all of the 50-64 year-olds that use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined. Therefore, if you want your business to be reached by a wide range of ages, Facebook is where you target the more.. ahem.. mature audience.

Another important point of note with this platform is that the location of the users is more or less evenly spread over rural, suburban and urban settings. Although this might not appear as though it requires special attention, the location demographics of Twitter and Instagram show a significantly lower % of rural audience in comparison to those from other areas. This means that Facebook is your best chance at targeting those country bumpkins; those people who may have retired to a house in the country with a bouncy little pension to spend on what you have to sell them...

Analysis: Facebook is for the older audience.

So don't post exclusively about 'the freakin' weekend' on Facebook or over-dominate it with images of your shop's loveliest tie-dye items. Instead, imagine you're communicating with an older group and steer a few posts towards life in a rural setting. Think about what 50-64 year-olds are looking for from a business on social media. Engage with them, post thought provoking updates and by all means use your social media charm, just filter your bank of updates before it reaches Facebook and use it as your contact with the older demographic on your CMS page.

Twitter

In 2006, Twitter came flouncing through the swinging doors of social media and took a seat at the head of the table. And it hasn't looked back since. With 18% of all Internet users using the platform, Twitter's micro-blogging nature was an instant hit.

As a business, if you're not using Twitter, well, frankly I'm speechless. Where anywhere else constant posts may seem annoying or self-absorbed, Twitter's quick pace encourages continuous posting throughout the day, getting word of your business out there and forever increasing followers and engagement.

Now let's look at who you should be targeting on Twitter. With 37% of all urban & suburban internet users on Twitter in comparison to a lesser 11% of rural users and 50% of all 18-49 year-olds, this platform is a great opportunity to target a slightly younger audience in more urban settings.

We can see that a hefty 31% of 18-29 year-olds are regular Tweeters, which may tease you into pulling out the 'tbts' and 'yolos' in your posts, but we can't ignore the 19% of 30-49 year-olds that use this means of social media either.

Analysis: Twitter is the middle ground. 

Be young, be current, be 'cool' and use Twitter to target a younger audience. But when I say young I'm not talking exclusively Uni students, I'm talking a demographic that likes a bit of fun with social, of which many probably took part in the ice-bucket challenge and who really appreciate social media for what it is. This is a difficult audience to successfully target but you've just got to try and maintain a good flow of content that's both engaging and current to someone who's just been let into a bar for the first time as well as someone who has a child that's just been let into a bar for the first time.

Instagram

Created for the vain and flashy, Instagram first appeared on our phone screens in 2010 and has acquired 17% of all internet users since. Instagram is a tricky one for a business as if you don't have a stylist or professional photographer to hand it can quickly devalue your brand and make it look 'cheap'.

But if you can do it and do it well, you're onto a winner.

Looking at the demographics, Instagram is widely used by an urban/suburban audience and is dominated by 18-29 year-olds.

If you're a user of Instagram I'm sure you'll know that it's swamped by 'ootds' 'fbfs' and 'lfls'. And if you don't know what those are, well, you clearly don't use it enough. Every other picture you see is a selfie or a well presented plate of food.. but this is the tip of the iceberg as Instagram can be the perfect platform for any business that has something pretty to show off.

The nature of instagram means that it's largely dominated by fashionistas, of whom tend to be of a younger age (eg before their wardrobe begins to be based around which items of clothing best repel baby vomit). We can see that 37% of all 18-29 year-olds are using this app with 18% of 30-49 year-olds following suit.

Analysis: Instagram is for the cool kids.

So Instagram is your chance to pull out the top knots and engage with the young culture. Talk celebs, talk trends, talk selfies, talk hangovers, talk young. Filter your product(s) towards the eyes of student's and young professionals. Make sure your posts are enticing with a catchy caption and searchable hashtags and you've got yourself an award winning Instagram feed!

I hope this post has opened your eyes to the workings of social media and how you need to cater your brand, language and style towards a range of demographics to make sure your product is snapped up by every age, in every location. Now get posting!

*Statistics and images sourced from www.digitalinformationworld.com

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