Landing Your Target Demographic in a Sea of Social Media

Your audience is out there, you just have to find them. And chances are, in this day and age, the fastest and most economical way to have your message received is using some form of social media. Earlier this year, Pew Research Center reported 72% of the public uses at least one form of social media.[1] That high percentage is indicative of how “locked in” Americans have become. In fact, a recent study by Nielsen found U.S. adults spend more than ten hours a day with some form of media.[2] And even when watching TV, a dominant screen in many households, 45% of respondents in that same Nielsen study said they “always” or “very often” were using a digital device at the same time. Another third claimed to “sometimes” scroll on their phone with the TV on. 

Once one realizes the potential goldmine social media can provide for a company, the challenge lies in knowing where to start prospecting. But that doesn’t mean your strategy should be setting off dynamite on every digital hill and mountainside you can see. Not all social media sites are created equal, and knowing who specifically is using them can be just the advantage you need to connect with your next customer.



The Top Dog

2004 was the beginning of drastic changes in the world of media. It marked the arrival of Facebook, the social media site which would eventually explode in popularity and usage across all major age, gender and race demographics. As Pew discovered, in terms of audience, it’s an advertiser’s dream: Seven out of every ten adults say they use it, slightly more of them are women, and 79% of the coveted “decision-makers” age group (30 -49) are browsing it. Even a robust 45% of people age 65 or older are logging on. It is far and away the top social site for the retired crowd.



Packed With Potential

There’s a reason Facebook spent one billion dollars in 2012 to acquire Instagram.[3] The social media behemoth realized the potential the picture-based app had among young audiences. The youth movement is still driving Insta’s popularity in 2019, but its reach continues to expand. Pew Research says 67% of young adults are using it (ages 18-29), but the numbers do decrease by ~20% each time you go up an age bracket. Similar to Facebook, its users skew slightly female and report using the app every day, which is not the case for all of the sites covered in this blog.



A Professional’s Portal

LinkedIn is unique among the most-used social media sites because its use is not designed for leisure. Intended as a place for professionals to connect and curate their resume, the site’s demographics show unique characteristics. Pew Research found a 37% usage rate among target-age adults (30-49) and a strong skew toward college graduates (51%).



A Digital Enigma

Initially touted as a place to express your thoughts in quick bursts of limited characters, Twitter has survived for years by carving out a unique space in the social media-sphere. Launched in 2006, it took until 2017 to become consistently profitable.[4] It actually has fewer users now than in 2018, though management says that’s because of bot purging and privacy law changes overseas.[5] Excluding young adults, Pew found Twitter’s usage numbers to be rather uninspiring, and a 42% daily usage rate that is significantly lower than other sites. People appear to use Twitter as an information utility but aren’t logging on unless they are seeking something specific in the moment.



It’s a Woman’s World

No other social media site displays a gender dichotomy like Pinterest.  Forty-two percent of women use it, compared to just 15% of men who are pinning content to their boards. Overall, its demographics are quite similar to LinkedIn, except it lacks having one particularly strong area. If you are trying to target your advertising message, it’s probably better served on a different site.

Let’s wrap this up with another analogy (or two): You might have the tastiest worm on your fishing hook, but you aren’t going to land that prized walleye if you’re casting into the wrong lake. And while navigating the sometimes stormy seas of social media, sometimes all you need is an experienced captain to right the ship. Baer Performance Marketing knows how to help you market properly in the digital media age. Click here to learn more about what we can do for your company!