figure out who your audience could be, not who they are.

Social media content isn’t one-size-fits-all

Creating good social media content across different platforms can be difficult. It isn’t just about creating images in different sizes, or figuring out how to fit three paragraphs from Facebook into a single tweet.

Not all social media platforms were created equally. For one thing, not all social media platforms have the same functionality. There are obvious differences, like Twitters character count, or Pinterest’s image-forward interface, but even similar platforms have some big differences. And that’s all before you consider your audience.

Here are three quick tips to help you give your social media the quality and impact you’re looking for:

1. Figure out who’s listening

Your audience on each social media platform is going to be different, but that’s not really a surprise. Most everyone knows general information about the user base of each platform: Facebook users tend to trend older, and Instagram users are younger, etc. But do you know the average age of your fans and followers? Are more of them men, or women?

The key here is to identify who your listeners are before you try to reach them with generic content. The world of social media marketing moves quickly, and it doesn’t take much for someone to give up on you. This means you’re going to have to do some listening, first.

2. Match your message with their interest

This is maybe the most important question to answer: why are your members there?

This might seem obvious, but people do different things on different social media sites. The people and networks are different, and so are the interface and interactions. So, why would anyone keep the same approach across all platforms?

Product pushing on social media is the most frustrating mismatch of message and interest that I see, and probably the most common. Your followers and fans most likely didn’t come to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to find a product. How many times do you think they’ll see your post before unfollowing you?

3. Recognize when you’re wasting your time

People are spoiled for choice when it comes to social media content. With all of the options available, it’s fair to say that formulaic or generic content is probably a waste of their time, and yours.

But I’m not just here to tout custom, tailored content. There are other ways you could be wasting your time, and they come back to these same ideas of audience and purpose. Who is listening, and why?

If your audience is virtually no one, either because you’ve just joined a social media platform or discovered a company account that’s been neglected, then your efforts need to be refocused. You need to figure out who your audience could be, not who they are.

Similarly, for example, your audience on Twitter might be to be made up of unhappy, complaining people. If that’s the case, you probably don’t want to be sending them content about products or how happy your members are. You’d be better off figuring out why they’re so unhappy in the first place.

There’s also something to be said for recognizing when a certain social media platform has very little to offer you. You don’t have to be everywhere at once.

Sam Dicken

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