Choosing Social Networks for Your Audience - Five Minute Friday

Remember when "social networking" was just MySpace?  Today's social networking landscape looks a lot different, and to make the most of your time and resources, Digital Content Specialist Caroline Gillan discusses how to choose the right social networks for your audience in this week's Five Minute Friday video.



Hi guys, and welcome back to another Five Minute Friday.  My name is Caroline, and I'm the Digital Content Specialist here at Launch, and each week I'll take five minutes or less to talk about a digital or social media topic.  This week, it's all about how to choose the right social networks for your audience.

Facebook.  Instagram.  Snapchat.  Twitter.  Pinterest.  Youtube.  LinkedIn.  There are SO many options when it comes to where you can post content and advertise.  So you should be on all of them, right?  After all, if you're on every network, the more people will see you!

WRONG.  Don't do this!  Each network has its own demographic, and that's really going to play into your decision when it comes to choosing which networks to use.  Let's do a quick run-through.


Facebook has the widest penetration of any social network in the U.S.  68% of U.S. adults are on Facebook, and 84% of Facebook users have a household income of $30,000 or below.


Instagram's popularity has skyrocketed over the past couple of years.  They've recently surpassed a billion monthly users.  It's a popular network with 18-29-year-olds, and 53% of Instagram users already follow brands.


If you want to reach the teen to young adult segment, then Snapchat is really going to be your best bet.  It's most popular with 13-24-year-olds, and especially with teenage girls.


Twitter's largest demo is also the Millennial segment, so 18-29.  Its users tend to be in a higher income bracket as compared to other social networks.  It also has more of an even split between male and female users.


Pinterest is another popular platform with 18-29-year-olds, although it is popular with 30-49-year-olds as well.  The largest user base is made up of women, especially those with young children, but men are starting to get in on the action to.  40% of new sign-ups are actually from men.


Did you know that YouTube is actually the second-largest search engine?  Yeah, that's pretty crazy.  It's most popular with 24-44-year-olds.  We actually spend 40 minutes a day on average watching YouTube videos.


LinkedIn is another popular network with higher income-level users, and it's a great way for B2B brands to generate new sales leads.


Depends on Your Audience

Phew, that's a lot of information to remember!  So, how do we know which networks are right for us?  Well, it really comes down to who we're trying to reach.  For example, if your target is young moms who are interested in home improvement, then Pinterest is really going to be a great channel.  But if your target audience is, say, business owners and CEOs, then LinkedIn is going to be your best bet.

There is no one social network that has the best reach and engagement for all brands.  It's going to be different for everyone just because you're trying to reach different audiences.  You need to know where your audience already congregates on social media in order for you to effectively reach them there.


Conduct Research to Determine Best Networks

So how do we find this out?  By doing a little bit of research.  Survey your current and potential customers to learn more about their social media usage.  What networks are they already on?  Do they follow brands on those networks?  Where would they prefer to follow brands?

You can also use information like age, gender, and household income to make some inferences about which channels would be best for you.

All of this information together provides a ton of insight as to where you should focus your time and efforts.  Remember, it's better to have an amazing and engaging presence on just a few networks than an uninspired and boring presence on all networks.