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Know thy audience: Understanding social networking platform demographics

John Murray

With one in every four minutes spent online being on a social network platform, it’s well established that they are a giant captive audience for boosting the profile of your content, but which site should you be focusing on?

The temptation is to target the big boys, Twitter and Facebook, but this strategy could see you missing out on your key demographic audience. Choosing where to market your content is an important decision and to make it wisely, you need to understand who uses which site and keep monitoring the trends.

According to one survey, Facebook has seen the number of teenagers choosing it as their primary social networking site fall from 72% to just 45% over the course of 2014. The same research also showed that teenagers responded better to direct marketing over Instagram or Twitter – in fact, Instagram is the most popular site for teenagers with 32% of teens citing the popular platform as the most important social network (compared with just 14% for Facebook).

Although Facebook user figures account for well over 70% of the social networking market, popular sites LinkedIn and Pinterest are two very different beasts with very different user profiles.

Pinterest users are predominantly women, with one survey suggesting that just 13% of men use the site.

LinkedIn users, however, are more likely to have university educations and higher incomes than on any other platform.

Instagram, YouTube, and image sharing apps such as Vine, Tumblr and Snapchat are increasing in their market share, particularly with young adults and teens.

So, what does this mean for your content marketing strategy? Well, knowing your audience is an essential element of how you publish your content for use across different platforms, but tailoring it to suit the medium you are using is just as important. Ignoring some of the rapidly growing areas and focusing on the traditional big players could mean alienating a section of your target audience.

John is every inch the wordsmith and loves a game of Scrabble above all else. With experience writing for newspapers, John’s time at university was spent studying Creative Writing – something which comes across in his love of the pun.

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