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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Hardcastle

How to Choose the Right Social Media Networks for your Brand

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

As most social media marketers can attest to, everyone thinks they’re a social media expert. Working as a marketing director I’ve gotten ideas for social strategy from quite the range of colleagues - those in sales, finance, editorial and beyond. While they make these suggestions with good intentions, knowing your audience and some key stats can help quell irrelevant requests and help you focus your time and energy where it matters — where your audience is.

At the higher ed media company I work for, our audience skews older and highly educated. Many of our readers are in their 50s, 60s and 70s and most have at least a Master's degree. While my friends and I may love using Instagram personally, our audience simply isn’t there, as 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35 (source: Science Daily). So, where are they? Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Our follower numbers reflect this fact as well. Spending more time optimizing strategy on those platforms will yield higher following and engagement.

Here are some action steps you can take to ensure you're using the right platforms for your audience:

1. Take inventory of your platforms and followers. What audience info do you have? Tools like Google Analytics or MailChimp can help you find this info.

2. Utilize the built-in analytics tools in Instagram business accounts, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can see demographic information such as the gender, age and location of your following.

3. Once you know who your audience is, research what platforms they are using. Simply Google terms such as "Instagram age demographics" and you'll find a wealth of resources giving you relevant stats.

4. Cross promote your channels. Because people have different preferences and habits, I encourage my freelance clients to cross promote. An example of this would be posting to your brand's Facebook account telling your followers to make sure they are following you on Instagram for real-time updates and additional content.

So, who's ready to get started? Social media is ubiquitous now, so it is well worth your time to do an audit of your followers and platforms and make sure your efforts are in the right place. And as always, if you'd like help with this, don't hesitate to reach out.


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