Today is Get To Know Your Customer Day.

But there is a problem.

How do you get to know your customers in a world where everyone is online?

In the old days, good customer service called for human interaction, smiles, handshakes, knowing your clients by name, recognizing their faces. There was a personal touch.

Nowadays everyone is plugged in 24/7 on their computer and mobile phones making connections.

The stats back this up. In a world of 7 billion people, 4 billion are internet users. And out of those 4 billion, 3.196 billion use social media.

In 2018, there’s no way to get around it, a social media strategy is the way to interact and engage with your customers.

But then another problem arises.

Which social media platform should you choose? There are so many options. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat and so on and so on.

And all of these platforms have different audiences. Some cater more toward millenials, others to baby boomers, others to women and others to men.

Which ones are your customers using?

Luckily, there is a ton of data out there that breaks down the demographics of each social media platform to make it easier for you to choose the right platform.

Since today is Get To Know Your Customer Day, I figured it would be helpful to summarize some of this data for you and provide a list of the main social media platforms people are using. Hopefully after you read this, you’ll have a better idea of which platform to choose to promote your brand and for your targeted audience.

Let’s begin with the big dogs.

Facebook

Who is using Facebook?

Arguably the social media king, Facebook has a total of 2.234 billion monthly active users as of April 2018 and 1.45 billion daily active users who visit the site an average of 8 times a day.

The numbers are roughly evenly split between men and women, although women have a slight edge over men when it comes to ages 45 and up.

Who is NOT using Facebook?

Facebook is VERY unpopular among teens, with only 3% of Facebook’s overall users aged 13-17. This suggests its future may be on the decline as people born in the 2000s prefer Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. But for now, Facebook continues to dominate the numbers game in terms of users and therefore is essential for most businesses. Just don’t rely on it if teens are the target audience you want to market to. Instead use Facebook to market to their parents.

How to use Facebook to promote your brand

People mainly use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family and share photos, videos, articles they are interested in. Your posts should mirror this content. They should be visually engaging and incorporate pictures, videos, memes, quotes and infographics.

Beyond just creating a Facebook Page, you should join as many Facebook groups as possible related to the industry your business operates in. By being an active member in such groups, you can establish meaningful connections with people interested in topics related to your business and who may hopefully become paying customers in the future.

If you are interested in Direct to Consumer advertising…there are plenty of resources online including Facebook itself to support boosting posts and creating ad campaigns.

YouTube

The king of video. YouTube allows users to watch videos online for free or create their own videos and earn money off them. With 1.5 billion monthly active users and around 30 million daily active users, no other platform comes remotely close to competing with them.

Who is using YouTube?

YouTube’s demographics are fairly evenly split between men and women. However men still dominate the platform as they spend 44% more time using the service each month compared to women. While YouTube boasts users of all ages, millennials and Generation Z (people born in the 2000s) spend the most time consuming and creating content on the platform.

How to use YouTube to promote your brand

Creating a YouTube channel for your business is a great way to produce interactive content to compliment an existing blog or website. We made a separate post on how to get started vlogging here.

Examples of good vlog topics include guest interviews with experts in your industry, filming a day in the office, customer testimonials or Q&A sessions from your subscribers.

Partnering with influencers

Even if you don’t want to make videos, you can still use YouTube to promote your brand through influencer marketing.

Find a YouTuber who vlogs about a topic related to your industry and who has a solid amount of subscribers. Contact them and see if they would be interested in plugging your product in a future video. You will probably have to shell out some money for this, but it can go a long way in boosting brand recognition or launching a new product.

Instagram

Who is using Instagram?

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. Members use it to share photos of themselves as well as short videos called ‘stories’. The platform is popular because of its simple interface showcasing your life in a visual format.

Instagram is evenly split between male and female users. There are 800 million active monthly users and 500 million daily active users. Young people dominate the platform, with 90% of Instagram users being under the age of 35.

How to use Instagram to promote your brand

High quality photos are what you should be posting to Instagram. You can also post ‘stories’, or short videos, showcasing your product or service.

For photos, you should research different hashtags in your industry that have an active community behind them. This will ensure your posts are seen by people beyond your followers.

Just like with YouTube, influencer marketing is huge on Instagram. Try contacting people with a large amount of followers and ask them to mention your product in a future post. Just beware of accounts with fake followers.

Twitter

Who is using Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform where users send out short posts called tweets limited to 280 characters about what’s on their mind and links to articles and videos. The platform has about 330 million monthly active users and 100 million daily active users.

Men have a slight edge over women on the platform, making up 53% of all Twitter users as opposed to 47% for women.  Millennials are more likely to use the platform, at least in the United States where 18-29 year old form 37% of users, as opposed to 25% for 30-49 year olds.

How to use Twitter to promote your brand

You can use Twitter to post short updates about your company like new product releases, upcoming events or job postings. You should also share articles that your customers and followers would find interesting, especially if you are in B2B.

Twitter is also a useful way to demonstrate your customer service. You can be transparent and respond regarding any concerns and thank those and show your appreciation- interactions are imperative.

LinkedIn

Who is using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook boasting roughly 500 million users worldwide. It is a platform specifically designed for online networking. This makes it great for B2B companies.

Men have the edge on the platform, with 57% of users being male as opposed to 43% women.

How to use LinkedIn to promote your brand  

Since LinkedIn caters to a more professional crowd, the content you post to it should also be more professional. Whereas you can get away with posting funny memes or videos on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, this type of content should be avoided on LinkedIn.

Instead, focus on posting long-form blog posts and articles about your industry or sector. If you work in finance, you could post an article outlining your opinion on the cryptocurrency craze. And just like with Facebook, make sure to join and post your articles in as many professional LinkedIn groups as you can. This will help you network with professionals in your industry and connect with like-minded individuals.

Pinterest

Who is using Pinterest?

Pinterest focuses on visual imagery, allowing users to share images, infographics, videos or other online material they find interesting and ‘pin’ them to their boards.

Pinterest is unique among social media platforms in that it is dominated by women who make up 71% of all users on the platform. As of September 2017, the network had 200 million monthly active users.

How to use Pinterest to promote your brand

Use Pinterest if your target audience is female. The pins that are most popular on Pinterest are topics traditionally associated with women, including cooking recipes, fashion, arts and crafts and travel. For an ultimate guide on how use Pinterest to promote your brand, check out Neil Patel’s comprehensive Pinterest manual.

Snapchat

Who is using Snapchat?

Snapchat is where the cool kids are these days. The platform is most popular among teens and 18-24 year olds. It has over 300 million monthly active users and 191 daily active users. Around 78% of internet users in the United States aged 18-24 use Snapchat, with the numbers sinking quickly after that. Only 11% of U.S. internet users aged 45-54 use the platform.

How to use Snapchat to promote your brand

Use Snapchat if you are selling an item or providing a service that is traditionally associated with a younger audience including video games, fashion trends, movies etc.- anything tween goes on this platform. Tell your brand story in a hip and modernized way.

Video rules the day on Snapchat. Use it to send short videos, or ‘snaps’, from conferences or networking events you attend. You can also show what it’s like to work in your office or display your work for a client. For instance, if you are a hair salon, you can send videos on Snapchat of how you style a client’s hair.  Get creative and come out of your comfort zone!

Other platforms worth mentioning…

Soundcloud

Soundcloud is an audio-sharing platform popular with DJs and musicians and podcasters. It is the perfect platform to use if you want to begin hosting a podcast related to your business and share your expertise in a more informal way. You can check out Detailed Content Marketing for a good example of an audio podcast on the platform related to marketing.

Reddit

Reddit is a discussion forum where users submit content that then gets upvoted or downvoted by other members in a subreddit community. By joining different subreddit communities on topics related to your business, you can build a solid reputation among potential customers who are active on the forum. These users may end up visiting your website, following you on your other social media channels and perhaps eventually become paying customers.

Quora

Quora is similar to Reddit, but offers a more Q&A format favoring in-depth answers to questions. Users ask questions on topics they need an answer to, and others who feel component enough to speak on the matter reply. Using Quora to promote your business is simple. Just begin answering questions related to your business. The more questions you answer, the more your reputation on the platform will grow.

Medium

Medium is a recent addition to the game. It touts itself as a platform delivering high-quality articles tailored to user interests. When signing up, a new user chooses various topics that they would like to receive articles about in their newsfeed. Medium then uses its own algorithm to send users those stories.

Getting started on Medium is easy if you already have a blog on your website. The platform lets you import your blog to their website to make the process easier. The platform is especially popular for topics related to entrepreneurship and tech.

Flickr

Flickr deserves a mention. It’s basically Instagram for professional photographers. Use it to showcase high quality photos of your business. It is a great platform to use if you travel a lot. You can also use it to host pics from conferences or events you attend.

Another great resource to understand the audiences and social media forums is the PEW Research Center.

A final word

One thing is for sure, Social media is a landscape that is always changing. Focus on your brand, your audience, your story/message and the platforms that align and are consistent with your goals.

It can be tempting to hedge your bets and try to be on as many social media platforms as possible. The problem with this approach is you may end up biting off more than you can chew.

Instead, double down on the one social media platform that you KNOW is being used by the customers you want to target. Engage with them, interact with them and post content that they would appreciate. This will yield much better results then trying to do them all.

Lastly, create unique valuable content and HAVE FUN!!!

#ALLCAPSBlog