Posted by heatherribelin
It should come as no surprise that social media plays a huge role in our society today. We all know how entertaining it can be to catch up with an old classmate on Facebook, or spend hours planting crops on our virtual farms; how exciting it is to follow our favorite celebrity on Twitter, or keep up with breaking news on a heated national story; and, of course, we all know how exhilarating it is to spend hours upon hours pinning recipes and craft projects we know we will never get to in this lifetime, and possibly the next! The importance of social media in our personal lives is a given. We get that! But, do we fully understand the importance of social media in our professional lives? Whether you work for an up-and-coming small business, or a corporate entity – the answer is the same. In today’s world, the use (or lack thereof) of social media could mean the difference between success, and getting left in your competitor’s dust.
So how do you know which platform is the best one to use? Do you just jump in feet first and attack all social media with a vengeance, or do you timidly test the waters first? The answer is – well, it depends! It depends upon several factors, but the most important factor is… your customers. Where do your customers “hang” on the internet? Are they the Farmers, the Tweeters, or the Pinners, or some combination thereof?
The great thing about social media is it allows businesses to connect with current and potential customers in an effort to foster or strengthen a relationship. So, the best platform to use is the one your target market is already using. You can offer all the deals in the world on Facebook, but if your customers are hangin’ on Twitter, your deals are falling on deaf ears. To use social media successfully, you need hang where your customers hang! Got it? Good!
So, where is that exactly? Well, lucky for you there is a lot of data out there regarding the use of social media, often broken down by age, sex, income, education, shopping patterns, etc. For instance, glancing at the Infographic below, you can see that 29% of Pinterest users are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 79% of those users are women. Furthermore, their top interests include entertainment, home decorating, crafting, gardening, and fashion. So, if your business caters to that segment of the population, Pinterest would be your best bet for connecting with your customers. If, on the other hand, your business sells farm equipment, or bait and tackle, Pinterest would probably not be the most effective platform to utilize.
In a nutshell, know your customers! Where do your customers hang out on the internet? With a little bit of research, or some handy infographics (for the visually inclined), you should be able to determine, for the most part, where your customers spend their time online. Then, meet them there! If they are Tweeters, focus your campaigns on Twitter. If they are Farmers, make sure you have a strong Facebook presence. If they are Pinners, get creative and provide visually appealing photos with a “Pin It” button. But whatever you do, don’t waste your efforts on a platform your customers don’t support. Gone are the days when you build it; and the customers flock to you. You must flock to them!
Below is a very informative infographic describing the users of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in regards to age, sex, income, education, etc, to get an idea of which platforms appease most to which types of people.
- Interestingly, taking sex alone, women spend more time on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, respectively, whereas men spend more time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, respectively.
- In respect to age, Pinterest and Twitter appeal to the younger crowd with 46% of Pinterest users and 46% of Twitter users being between the ages of 0 and 34. In contrast, only 34% of Facebook users fall within that age range.
- In respect to education, Pinterest users are slightly more educated overall, with 66% holding a bachelor’s degree, and 16% a graduate degree. Twitter users come in a close second with 60% holding a bachelor’s degree, and 17% a graduate degree.
- As for income, a majority in the 25k-49k bracket are Twitter users, the majority in the 50k-75k bracket are Facebook users, and the majority of 75k+ are Pinterest users.
So, where do your customers hang?