Social media can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to marketing your business. With so many options, it’s often easy to invest a lot of time without reward. And with more companies going online for their marketing, competition can be fierce.
But by planning your social media and understanding the platforms you’re using, you can still find solid success. In this first Social Surgery column, we take a look at how to find your ideal audience on social media and build content that is suited to them.
1. Identify your audience
It can be tempting to create accounts across all platforms when you’re starting out. But as a rule, you’re more likely to find success if you focus initially on one – you’ll be able to build a core audience, understand them, and take that knowledge forward to other platforms.
So, which platform is best to start on? Thankfully, making that decision can be much easier than you think. Look at your existing client base and match them up with the most relevant social media site. A quick search online will help you find reports that point towards which platform is best for which age group. Some of these reports can be surprising – and challenge what you might expect.
For example, while Facebook used to rule the roost with millennials, data by SproutSocial suggests it’s quickly losing ground to Instagram. If they’re your target audience, it might be better to get ahead of the curve and start on Instagram. On the other hand, nearly two thirds of people between the ages of 50-64 are now on Facebook. Don’t assume social media is only good for reaching younger clients.
2. Get your timing right
One of the most frequently asked questions when planning social media content is “when should I be posting?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal answer to this. The team at scheduling tool Buffer analysed five separate studies on this topic and all five suggested a different time and day.
The simplest strategy is to post when the majority your followers are online. Facebook and Instagram both offer up this information. Go to the Insights tab on your page and you can see the days and times that your current followers are most active. Using this data, you can start to plan content to go out at your busiest times. However, make sure not to “flood” your social media with content at these popular times. Posting multiple posts in short succession drives down the “reach” of each post. This means fewer individual people will see that post, even if it’s at your busiest time. Quality in one strong post is always better than quantity.
3. Create audience-specific content
There is a certain amount of trial and error when it comes to the type of content you should create. Photos and videos tend to perform much better than simple Facebook posts or automated Twitter reviews. But if you want a better idea of what your audience is interested in, you can once again turn to the social platforms themselves.
While all platforms offer standard audience data such as gender and age, Twitter Analytics also suggests other interests relevant to your audience. Use this to either create your own content similar to these interests, or share relevant content. You’ll get increased engagement from your current followers, but also can bring new eyes over to your page. PB