Why Do I Need To “Target” An Audience? I Want To Reach Out To Everyone!
Businesses that advertise or market their products and services to the general public are used to spending money – sometimes lots of money, if their advertising strategy includes radio, television and web advertising. This can lead to small business owners with limited experience and budgets embracing as many free social media services and online resources as they can, believing that they can leverage a wide range of free services effectively and productively as marketing tools.
Unfortunately, a service that requires an ongoing investment of time and intellectual resources is never really free, even if it doesn’t require a subscription fee. Spreading these resources over too many services often results in poorer content, more sporadic updates and the eventual abandonment of some services.
The best way to build the proper foundation for your social media strategy and online voice is to carefully choose which social media services are the most effective at targeting your optimal audience. As of 2013, two services should be utilized by all businesses and organizations – Twitter and Facebook. Other social media services like YouTube, Tumblr and Pinterest may or may not be a good fit for your business and your social media strategy depending on the audience you want to target and how much of an investment you are willing to make to produce multimedia content.
What Makes Twitter and Facebook So Special?
Simply put, Twitter and Facebook are indispensible social media services for one reason: popularity. Facebook has 1.11 billion active accounts as of March 2013 and Twitter has 200 million active accounts as of February 2013. The immense popularity of these services and the corresponding diversity of users will enable your business or organization – no matter the size, industry or market – to effectively target a specific audience. Also, while both services feature the ability to share and distribute images, audio and video, it is not required that your business produce any original multimedia content in order to effectively engage an audience.
What About YouTube, Tumblr Or Pinterest?
YouTube is a service for sharing video and audio content. While not a “social network” per se, the service is utilized by many businesses and organizations to easily host and share audio and video with a set of subscribers, which are similar to “followers” on other social media services. YouTube may be a poor fit for your social media strategy if you are unable or unwilling to produce audio or video content on a regular basis. However, if your business does produce multimedia content, or you are marketing a product or service that greatly benefits from visual demonstrations, YouTube could be a great fit for your social media strategy.
Tumblr is a microblogging service that has recently received a lot of attention due to its acquisition by Yahoo! Inc. Microblogging is similar to traditional blogging, but posts are meant to be brief and limited in scope. Tumblr currently hosts 100 million blogs and their audience skews younger than other social media services – half of their users are below the age of 25. Unless your business or organization specifically targets an audience below 25, Tumblr may be a poor fit for your social media strategy. But if you are seeking actively seeking a younger audience and you want to embrace microblogging as part of your strategy, Tumblr would be a great addition to your social media strategy.
Pinterest is a photo-sharing website that also functions as a social network for many. Pinterest is unique among social media services because of the demographic makeup of its active users. While roughly half of Tumblr’s audience is below the age of 25, 83% percent of all Pinterest users are female. If your business or organization specifically targets male consumers, Pinterest may be of limited use in reaching your social media audience. In addition, if you are unable or unwilling to produce photos and other types of images then Pinterest will also be a poor fit. However, if your business or organization targets female consumers or if you regularly produce visual content, Pinterest could be an excellent service for targeting your optimal social media audience.
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