To create brand engagement, companies must learn the ins and outs of how consumers communicate across the multiple channels available today. Understand that each brand—and even each brand offering—has a unique base of potential and existing buyers. In other words, don’t spend time learning where millennials engage with brands if your products or services aren’t aimed at that demographic.
- Facebook: By far, Facebook (FB) is the most popular social media site, used by 71 percent of online adults. Here, you’ll find that women (77 percent) are better represented then men (66 percent)—but, still, both sexes are more present on FB than on any other social platform. Age-wise, there are more millennials (87 percent) than any other generation on this site. Usage actually declines with age; nevertheless, a majority of the over 65 crowd (56 percent) uses FB. If your business is international, be aware of FB usage differences by country. For example, while the United States represents 14 percent of the FB audience, Mexico represents just 4 percent.
- LinkedIn: Usage of this platform (28 percent of online adults) continues to grow. Known widely as a social platform for business, it’s no surprise that demographics for the site include a higher average income (44 percent of adults make over $75,000) and education level (50 percent graduated college). A vast difference exists between urban (32 percent) and rural (14 percent) users.
- Pinterest: You’ll find a high percentage of female (42 percent) vs. male (13 percent) users on this social platform. Plus, this is the one major site used by more rural (30 percent) than urban (25 percent) adults. The network (as with every other major social platform) does skew younger—with millennials at 34 percent, compared to seniors at 17 percent. The site is more popular, as well, with higher income (over $75,000) earners, 34 percent, than lower income (less than $30,000) earners, 22 percent.
- Instagram: Twenty-six percent of online adults engage in photo sharing on this social media site. Millennials dominate usage (53 percent) compared to other age groups—from 25 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds to just 6 percent of seniors. Here you’ll also see a significant difference between urban (28 percent) and rural (19 percent) users. Plus, more women (29 percent) than men (22 percent) are fans. It’s also the one major platform that does not have college graduates (24 percent) as the top education demographic; that honor goes to users with some college experience at 31 percent.
- Twitter: Used by 23 percent of online adults, Twitter is a fast-paced and high-volume social media platform preferred by the 18- to 29-year-old crowd (37 percent). Usage skews down significantly with age, as just 10 percent of 65 and older adults partake of its offerings. Twitter is also used significantly more in urban (25 percent) than rural (17 percent) areas. The platform is differentiated by education level as well. Thirty percent of Twitter’s audience has graduated college vs. 16 percent who have high school degrees or less. The Twitter audience also skews higher with adults earning over $75,000 (27 percent) vs. less than $30,000 (20 percent).
Although it doesn’t have the large user base of the platforms listed above, you may also want to consider online search engine site Google+ for building your brand’s presence. YouTube is another great option if you have video content to promote. Snapchat, too, has gained prominence as a social media site—where content lives for 24 hours, tops.
Work to align your marketing efforts with the consumers you hope to target—but keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to have a presence on every social platform. Instead, choose the right channels for your brand, and use them to deliver meaningful content. In this way, you’re more than likely to develop customers loyal to your company’s products and services.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.