To date, there are 3.8 billion active social media users.
That’s a ton of people (more than half the world’s population!).
Which gets us thinking, “social media is a huge platform to market our brand.”
But wait. ✋
Stop right there.
A sentence like that could be the reason you’re not succeeding on your social platforms.
Because the truth is, social media isn’t a single channel.
It’s made up of separate, individual platforms with different audiences.
And each audience has its own unique desires, habits, and goals.
So the next time you’re thinking of copying your FB post and pasting it on LinkedIn…
…don’t do it.
To succeed in social media marketing, you need to deeply understand each platform’s audience, then craft a unique message that speaks to them.
Ready to do that now?
Let’s dive in.
Understanding the Audience of Each Social Media Platform (Plus: What to Do to Reach Them)
Think back to the past.
I mean, way back. Before you were a marketer, entrepreneur, or educator.
Which social platform did you use?
Facebook, maybe, to keep up with your friends’ vacation news.
Or Instagram, if you love visual art.
Or maybe it was Pinterest, especially if you’re the creative type searching for inspiring ideas.
And when you started looking for a job or business contacts, I bet you signed up for LinkedIn.
Not all social platforms are created equal.
Here’s how they’re unique.
Facebook is the largest social platform with over 2.7 billion users.
But way back, before the hype and lawsuits and ads, it was a tiny site built to connect Harvard students and alumni.
This means it’s a platform founded on the goal to form meaningful connections with other people.
In fact, it’s #1 mission is: to bring the world closer together.
Here’s another stat that proves Facebook is a platform for connections:
Eighty-eight percent of Facebook users go on the platform to keep contact with family and friends.
How to reach people on Facebook:
Focus on building connections.
There’s a ton of ways to do this but one that stands out is creating a living, breathing community of like-minded people.
Just go to Facebook and search in the “groups” section. What you’ll find thousands of groups, depending on what keyword you use to search.
For instance, check out the results for the keyword “fitness.”
Creating your own group is a powerful way to build your authority and grow your reach.
But even if you decide not to, keep this in mind each time your brand posts on Facebook:
Avoid spammy sales language at all costs. Speak to your ideal clients like friends and family.
Connect deeply with them. Help them.
Build lasting relationships with them.
By following this rule, you’ll avoid turning Facebook users off as they visit the platform to connect with friends and loved ones.
Question: what do you do when you’re dreaming of a dip in the ocean, but you can’t go for a swim right now?
If you’re like me, you’d live the pleasure of sand and saltwater in your head.
To do that?
You need a stunning photo of the beach.
And the best place to get it is Instagram, a platform built to allow users to share gorgeous digital photos.
Yup, the pictures on Instagram are stunning.
Just check this out.
Now, here’s the exciting part.
Instagram has over a billion active monthly users.
When you learn about its audience and their desires, you’ll reach a ton of engaged followers.
How to market on Instagram:
Lead with unique, attention-grabbing photos.
Notice the most popular influencers on Instagram?
They say everything they want to say with fewer words and more gorgeous photos.
As I mentioned, you probably didn’t have a LinkedIn account as a kid.
I bet you signed up for one when you were ready to showcase your skills and attract a boss or client.
Because unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn is about business connections.
It’s like a huge business event packed with entrepreneurs, educators, marketers, and influencers from across the globe.
Sounds genius, right?
And while it’s smaller than the other social media platforms out there, its 722+ million members are all business.
For example, check out James Altucher’s profile.
How to reach people on LinkedIn:
If you’re on LinkedIn, you already know it’s not the best place for your adorable cat videos.
But you need to go deeper than simply deleting your Gen Z-toned posts.
Take a look at your connections.
What are they looking for?
What do they need?
Nine times out of ten, it’ll be business ideas, people to hire to grow their team, networking connections, and outsourcing options.
And if you create helpful, authoritative content that speaks to their needs, you will get noticed.
Twitter is an essential tool for building a community through social sharing.
And unlike Facebook and Instagram, the shorter your message, the better. (Besides, you can’t write long-form content with a 280-character limit! 😉)
Here’s what a great Twitter post looks like. As you’ll notice, it’s short, meaningful, and memorable.
How to reach people on Twitter:
- Infuse your posts with personality. Remember, you don’t have a ton of space to catch attention. Use every word wisely.
- Don’t be late on news that’s important to your followers. The sooner you post hot news, the more retweets you’ll get.
- Ask questions. People love to share their stories and opinions. And because Twitter is all about social sharing, they’ll be happy to comment if your Tweet asks the right questions.
Quick question: where do you go to learn how to cook keto cheese bread?
Or play a Taylor Swift song on your new guitar?
Or braid your daughter’s hair for prom night?
If your answer is YouTube, you’re just like me (and the other 2 billion users on the platform).
Because here’s the thing: YouTube is all about learning the fun way. It’s also packed with entertainment, for those dull moments in life when you just need a laugh.
Want proof that YouTube users love the “info-tainment?”
Take Rhett and Link of Good Mythical Morning.
Ever since their first humorous “Mega Tater” videos, they’ve amassed a huge following of 16.8 million subscribers.
And while their content is educational (at times 😉), it’s the laughter they bring that keeps subscribers glued to their channel.
How to reach people on YouTube:
Be helpful and show your worth. But most of all, be entertaining.
People don’t treat YouTube like school. They get on the platform to smile, cry, laugh, and have their hearts touched.
Ever plan a room renovation, and find out you had no idea how to do it?
What paints matched? What color furniture would you buy? How about the rugs, pictures, and curtains?
If you’ve ever felt confused like this, you probably went to Pinterest for ideas.
I mean, who wouldn’t be inspired by a post like the one below?
That’s the beauty of Pinterest.
You can go there and find inspiration for anything.
Want to wrap your gifts beautifully for Christmas or Valentine’s Day?
Go to Pinterest.
Want to braid your friend’s hair like a Celtic woman’s?
Go to Pinterest.
Out of marketing ideas?
Pinterest has something for that, too.
That’s why we (and its 322 million other users) adore it.
So, how do you engage people on Pinterest?
How to reach people on Pinterest:
Pinterest is a largely visual platform, so be ready with your quality photos and videos. Do something more than just wow your audience.
Show them how to do what they want to do, and do it well.
How to Pick the Social Channel That’s Right for You
I know, that was a lot.
Right now, your head might be spinning.
“How on earth can I create all that content?” 🤷♀️
Well, here’s good news for you.
You don’t have to.
You don’t have to jump from one platform to the next, staying up until three in the morning just to put the finishing touches on your 30 different posts.
All you have to do?
Pick one platform and focus 100% on it.
If your brand is all about connections, pick Facebook.
If you create trendy, info-tainment videos, pick YouTube.
If you love visuals and you can portray your brand in stunning photos, pick Instagram.
And so on.
When you’ve chosen, focus on giving people on the platform exactly what they signed up for.
You’ll be surprised at the sudden spike in engagement you’ll get.
- How to Create Engaging Social Media Content: 12 Tips to Drive Results
- The Top 15 Tools for Managing Social Media Accounts
- How to Dominate Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
All screenshots taken by author, January 2021