Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.
“What social channels should I be on?” Let me tell you, this is a question that is asked of me or my team probably every week, if not multiple times a week. And it’s understandable with as many social channels as there are out there, we have to make really strategic decisions about where we’re going to show up and how we’re going to show up because we make a full-time job out of showing up on social media. And if you’re trying to run your business, you can’t do both. You can’t show up on social media as if it were your full-time job and also run your business.
So we really work with our companies to make strategic decisions and help them decide where they should be and what’s worth their time. So before I get into this, if you already feel comfortable with your social strategy for the year, feel free to skip to a different episode and find something that might be more useful to you.
If you are like “Uhhh, clueless. I have no idea where I should show up,” this is an episode for you. I’m super excited to walk us through it. We’re going to primarily talk about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn since those are the primary ones; there are obviously a bajillion different social platforms, but these are the ones that we mainly play with and the ones that we’re most familiar with.
I will let you in on a secret about TikTok and Snapchat and stuff like that. Most of this information I found by researching, and there’s a particular Sprout Social article where I found some numbers and they linked to some Statista articles as well. And so I’ll include those in the show notes if you want to see where all of this came from, but I’m going to give you some stats, I’m going to give you some observations that they made, and then I’ll give you some personal opinions about where I think you should show up. By the end of this, hopefully, you will know where to spend your time and where not to spend your time.
So without further ado, let’s talk about Facebook. So Facebook can claim to have 2.91 billion users, 31% of those fall into the age group of 25 to 34, 22% of them are from 18 to 24, and then 18% are 35 through 44. So that tells me the majority of the platform, over 60 or 70%, are between the ages of 18 through 44 with the primary audience being that millennial age.
Here’s the thing that’s interesting: is that the user growth rate is slowing down. And that’s really because our younger generations, gen Z and the people younger than them, are not flocking to Facebook. They have business in other places, which we’ll talk about later. But even that being said, even though the user growth is slowing down, ads are still growing. And so Facebook would not be able to sell ads if they were not successful. So that’s something to keep in mind, and this is still the largest platform. So when people ask me if they should be on Facebook, the two things that I talk them through is one, if you’re going to want to run ads on Facebook or Instagram, you definitely want to have a Facebook page because that’s necessary. Two: I think Facebook is a prime platform to show what I would call proof of life. That is simply to show people that you are alive and that your business is still running.
So those are my opinion. If you show up once a week, that is sufficient for proof of life. A lot of people use Facebook as a search engine platform for restaurants, reviews, and stuff like that. And so you do want to make sure that your business is present there, although you don’t have to worry about being ridiculously active because right now the algorithm is not in the Facebook business page favor.
So the second one is Instagram. Instagram claims 2 billion users. 31% of those are also in the age range of 25 to 34. So again, millennials, but it’s super closely followed by 18 through 24 at 30%. So two-thirds of the platform is made up of people from 18 through 34. Instagram is taking on an e-commerce emphasis. It also has a video centricity and photo centricity emphasis. And so the way I like to talk about it, and in my opinion, if you can make creative content, you should be on Instagram, whether you’re making videos, whether your shop is shoppable and you could load it onto Instagram, like that’s another really good reason, if you’re product-based. But also, if you can just create the videos or the photos that are necessary, to be on this creative platform, your stuff will become shareable and it will become followable by these 18 through 34-year-olds.
Twitter has 211 million people at it. Of those, 42% are between 18 and 29 years. The next age range is 30 to 49 at 27%. So if you think about that, that is 70% of the people are between 18 and 49. So a lot of working-aged people. One of the things that I found fascinating, that they were reporting on, is the fact that one-third of the users are college-educated and make $75,000 or more annually. I find that super interesting. And so if you know your audience really well, you might realize, okay, that’s my audience. I have highly educated people and high earners who I’m trying to reach.
Twitter is kind of, in my opinion, very industry-specific. Right now, we know it to be a great platform for breaking news, for events. If you’re in the political world, if you’re in the tech world, that’s also an important thing to be on. If you have advocacy work, that would be another industry that would be a strong one to be on Twitter. To be quite honest, we actually discourage most of our clients to be on Twitter. A lot of them are in the creative space or skincare or service industries that don’t necessarily find relevancy on Twitter. However, if you are in any of those things that I mentioned: events, breaking news, politics, tech, et cetera, this is a platform that you’re going to want to be on mainly for engagement. And so this one, you do have to be careful because you do need to create the content to put out there, but it’s actually more important that you engage, that you comment, et cetera, than it is to just put out content because it is a very interactive platform.
So if your industry falls into one of those, I would use it. Also, if you have time to engage with those industries, then I would also use it.
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The last platform that we’re going to address today is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has passed Twitter in number of users; it has 810 million. 58% of those are in that millennial age gap again. So the 25 to 34, but what I thought was interesting is that they’ve been able to track usage and they can see that 63% of all of those 810 million users, 63% of those are active weekly. 22% of those are active daily. This is a great, great platform for B2B marketers and for ads that are B2B, their lead generation has been spectacular this past year because as they have devoted more and more time and resources to these ads, they’ve been able to hone it in better.
Another interesting fact is that they have a massive international reach. Only 25% of their users are in the United States. And so if you are B2B, if you’re a B2B industry, it’s probably very important for you to be on LinkedIn. If you want to try B2B ads or lead generation, it’s also a great place to be, or if you’re trying to get an international reach, this would be another really spectacular platform for you to be on.
And so that, in my opinion, is what’s most important when considering LinkedIn. It is more and more having a personal effect. It’s not quite like Facebook where people will sometimes, this is really throwing Facebook under the bus; my opinion, sometimes on Facebook, you just get people who are airing their dirty laundry and on LinkedIn, you don’t get that. But personal posts are becoming more and more effective because it’s almost like this platform is trying to elevate a work-life integration and how we show up at our work as real people.
And so if that’s something that you’re interested in, it would be something very strategic for you to be a part of. So basically what we’ve talked about is four different platforms. And we can see the majority of the people on these platforms are millennials. I think one of the interesting things with that is that millennials, which is my generation, we grew up with all these social channels, just coming up while we were becoming teenagers, while we were becoming college students, while we were becoming new employees. And so it makes sense that we adopted those, but as we also can see is the other age groups are not that far behind.
And so when you’re trying to figure out where you should be, you need to consider, “Okay. Who are my people? What age group are they in it? Should I be taking this B2B emphasis on LinkedIn? Am I in the right industry for Twitter? Do I just simply need proof of life on Facebook or can I create the creative content that should be on Instagram?” Those are some of the questions that I would ask you.
If you’re wondering where the young people are because your age group are those gen Z or younger, I can tell you they are on TikTok and Snapchat. The TikTok age group that is most popular is 10 through 19 years of age and Snapchat, it’s 15 through 25 years of age. So both of them are skewing younger.
If you do not market to those age groups, I would highly advise you to not be on those platforms because they do take a lot of intent and a lot of creativity to stay on top of things. A lot of people just assume like, oh, TikTok is super popular, I should be on it. But no, if you’re trying to sell the 50-year-olds, don’t go on TikTok. That’s not where you’re going to find them.
However, if you do reach those audiences, you should be on it. One thing that I found fascinating is that they can say TikTok users get sucked in, and I do say sucked in on purpose, because there is like an addictive quality to social media, but TikTok users stay on the platform for about 89 minutes a day.
Guys. That’s like an hour and a half a day! People stay on Instagram and Facebook for about an average of 30 minutes. And so a lot of things could contribute to this. It could be the age group, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But all that to say, if your audience is on TikTok, go for it. If it’s not, don’t do it. It won’t be worth your time.
So hopefully this helps you determine what social channels you should be on. If you have more questions or more specifics that you would like to know, feel free to reach out to myself or my team. We’re always happy to talk about this. We get a little bit too nerdy about it, but hopefully, this will give you some guidelines and give you a starting place, because this is what I would say: don’t try them all at once. Even if you decide, okay, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That’s where my people are at. You don’t have to do all of them. Start with one and see how it’s going. Make sure you get into the rhythm and then start adding more. Don’t feel the pressure to do everything at once, because if you do, it’s all going to fall behind, and then you won’t do anything with excellence.
Alrighty. So feel free to reach out to us. If you have any questions, otherwise we will be back next week with a new episode.
In this episode…