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3 Ways Social Media Has Changed Your Audience and How to Adapt

This is a guest post by Savannah Marie, a writer and online marketing enthusiast. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which focuses on online marketing, social media, and business.   

Social Media Has Changed Your Audience

You know that social media matters in the marketing realm. It’s where your target audience probably spends the majority of their time, it’s how they connect with their world and it’s how they make an impact by sharing their voices. While you may have a social media presence, is it doing what it needs to in order to add value to your marketing efforts? Is it helping your bottom line while increasing your search engine rankings? Is it helping you connect purposefully with those around you?

If not, it may be time for a change. Social media has changed your target market; because of this, it’s time to adapt. Consider the following statistics and ideas to get started.

There Is a Universal Social Network

According to a study by the Pew Internet Research Center conducted during the second half of 2013, almost all social media users can be found on Facebook, in addition to other sites. In fact, over 80% of individuals who use social media of any kind use Facebook on a regular basis.

While this doesn’t mean other networks should be ignored, it’s a clear indicator that Facebook is an excellent starting point for any brand looking to establish a presence. Because of its versatility, brands can share photos – even more important with the newest Facebook change that makes prominent visually appealing posts – videos, news stories and special offers with followers, while reaching out like never before. If social media is foreign to you, this is the place to start.

Knowing Your Demographic Matters More Than Ever

There are cliques in real-life – certain individuals and demographics are more likely to congregate in specific areas to discuss certain topics and to share similar interests. This is just as true on social media. While the statistics vary from network to network, below are a few worth mentioning.

  • Women are 4 times more likely to use Pinterest than men.
  • Pinterest and LinkedIn users are wealthier on average than those on other networks.
  • Men are more likely to frequent LinkedIn than women – this is the only network on which this is the case.
  • Older users – 65+ – are most likely to use Facebook over other networks.
  • City dwellers are more likely to be on Twitter than rural residents.

This list could continue indefinitely, but the bottom line is this: certain social networks appeal to certain audiences – cliques now apply online just as much as in the real world. Because of this, your strategy may need adjusting. Take the time to understand who you’re trying to reach and be sure your social media strategy reflects this.

Social Media Is Not Just for the Youth

In the beginning of social networks, college students and young adults were most likely to be found congregating online. Because of this, businesses targeting the elderly, young families or teens were best advised to avoid social media as a marketing strategy. This was especially true for a business specializing in a trade, since many youths are not out to hire those services.

The game has changed.

While Twitter and Instagram are still dominated by the younger generation – making them excellent starting points if this group is part of your target market – Pinterest now attracts the older population; 23% of Internet users aged 50 or older use the network. The same is true of Facebook with 45% of Internet users 65 and older using the network on a regular basis.

What does it mean for your brand? It means that if a few years ago you were advised to stick with traditional marketing tactics, the time has come for a change. Learn about your audience – talk to them, ask your customers questions, get to know why they take the time to use social media. From there, build a strategy. Do research to learn how to effectively market to a not-so-traditional online market and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Social media has changed the way information has become available and how it spreads, it’s changed your audience, now it’s time to allow it to change you. Take control of the situation and create a meaningful campaign that leads to long term growth and success starting with social media.

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