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Which social media sites should I use to promote my business?

Social media is well established and not going to go away. Recent research from Pew Research Center shows 73% of online adults using social media, and 42% using multiple sites, to communicate with friends, share photos, post comments, find news, recommend good products and services and generally pass the time.

 The appeal for individuals is understandable, whether you are a fan or not. But what about business use?

We have found that many companies just aren’t sure what to do with it, which is not surprising as it is such a new and diverse marketing discipline.  But for some business sectors social media marketing will become an essential and profitable part of the marketing mix. Given the right amount of training, time, effort and investment, you have the opportunity to meet your customers and potential customers where they are – and achieve real pull not push marketing.

The benefits of social media marketing for businesses, as we see it, are:

  • Increase your brand, products or service awareness amongst targeted customers
  • Grow targeted traffic to your website
  • Ability to change customers perceptions favourably
  • Monitor what is being said about your company
  • Perform or support targeted online marketing activities
  • Gain a better understanding of your customers
  • Increase new business revenue
  • New product or service research and development
  • Early warning of potential service or product issues

A large percentage of organisations don’t use social media at all, assuming perhaps it is not relevant to their business or a passing fad. Or perhaps they don’t feel they have the necessary skills to get involved and don’t understand it. And it can be difficult to link social media marketing to ROI or the bottom line. But what about you? We are going to look at the demographic breakdown of people using social media, as published by Pew Media Research in December 2013, to see whether they contain relevant target markets for your organisation.

Demographic breakdown of people currently using social media

Facebook

  • 71% of online adults are on Facebook, up from 67% in 2012
  • 63% of users visit at least once a day and 40% multiple times during the day
  • A huge 84% of online adults who use Facebook are between 18 and 29 years old, followed by 79% of 30 – 49 year olds
  • But it also has a growing number of adults 65 and older – up 10% in one year to 45%
  • 69% of adults users have an income more than £50,000
  • 68% of adult users have completed college

Twitter

  • 18% of online adults are on Twitter, up from 16% in 2012
  • 46% of users visit at least once a day and 29% multiple times during the day
  • Highest user group is between the ages of 18 and 29. Only 9% of twitter users surveyed are 50 to 64 years old and this drops to 5% for the 65+ category
  • 53% of Twitter users also use Instagram

LinkedIn

  • 22% of online adults are on LinkedIn, up from 20% in 2012
  • Only 13% of users visit at least once a day, dropping to half using it less than once a week
  • It is the only site where usage among 50 to 64 year olds was higher than 18 – 29 year group
  • Biggest group of users have income of £50,000 or more at a noteworthy 38%
  • 38% of adult users have completed higher education

Pinterest

  • 21% of online adults are on Pinterest, up from 15% in 2012
  • 23% of users visit at least once a day dropping to half using it less than once a week
  • Females dominate usage with 33% compared to 8% males
  • Biggest group of users have income of £50,000 or more with 27%

Instagram

  • 17% of online adults are on Instagram, up from 13% in 2012
  • 57% of users visit at least once a day and 35% multiple times
  • The most popular age group is 18 – 29 with 37% of online adults dropping to 1% for the over 65s
  • More popular with women at 20% compared to 15% men
  • 53% of Instagram users also use Twitter

So perhaps unsurprisingly Facebook is still the most popular of the social media sites by far and has a young following who connect with the site on a frequent basis. But they have high results in the wealth and education categories as well. Does this sound like your customers? A significant majority of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn users also use Facebook, so you may decide just to concentrate on Facebook to start with. You will also need to consider whether to run separate, complimentary or the same social media marketing campaigns when overlapping with Facebook.

Other sites are developing a more unique demographic profile. For example, Pinterest appeals more to women and LinkedIn is second only to Facebook in terms of high earning and highly educated users. Twitter and Instagram are predominately younger audiences and they have a substantial overlap in their user bases. Facebook and Instagram have the highest levels of user engagement, with the most frequent visits, so you need to be prepared to connect with users on these sites on an equally regular basis too. For any more advice feel free to give us a call on 01225 863047.

And remember your social media interactions should be conversations ….listen and engage. 

References

Pew Research Center – Social Media Update 2013