Insights

Marketing to different social media audiences

7 minute read

Brendan Wolmarans

As social media continues to dominate the digital landscape, marketers face the challenge of engaging a diverse and dynamic audience. From the visual appeal of Instagram to the professional networking hub of LinkedIn, each platform attracts users with different interests, behaviours, and motivations.

Written by Digital Marketing Executive Brendan Wolmarans, this blog aims to clarify the process of marketing to these different social media audiences, providing you with the tools and insights needed to tailor your campaigns effectively and maximise your reach and impact.

Adapt your social media strategy based on audience insights.

Our perception of the world is continuously shaped by the information we take in from social media platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. These platforms influence how much time we spend online, the communities we engage with, and our purchasing decisions.

Age range graph showing average times spent on social media in relation to age.
How active different age ranges are on social media.
Source: McKinsey

Brands are increasingly leveraging these aspects of social media to build their online identities and engage with their audiences in a more personal and relaxed manner. Social media enables them to tailor their content to the specific needs of their target audience while maintaining a consistent and credible brand image.

Before launching a social media marketing campaign, it’s important to understand where your target audience spends most of their time. This information will help you identify the most effective platforms to reach your audience and grow a stronger and more meaningful connection with them.

A deep dive into different platform’s audiences.

Facebook Logo - Marketing to different social media audiences

1. Facebook -3.06 billion active monthly users.

Facebook is regarded as the largest and most widely used social media platform available today, with over two thirds of their monthly users being active daily. It’s audience covers a  broad demographic spanning all age groups, but with a stronger presence among users aged 25-34. Interestingly, the platform is considered by many to be a pre-Gen Z social media site, but the data shows that a large portion of its users sit within this age bracket. It boasts a global reach with the largest usage in North America, Europe, and is growing in developing regions. Despite the fact that Facebook has faced billions in fines over the years and is often considered a ‘lame’ or ‘old’social platform in popular culture, it is still the largest platform by a mile!

Distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of April 2024, by age and gender
% Distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of April 2024, by age and gender.
Source: Statista
Distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Source: Statista
Facebook marketing strategy tips:

1. Engaging Content: Create content that is engaging and shareable. This includes videos, infographics, and articles that resonate with your audience's interests and values.

2. Community Building: Utilise Facebook Groups to build communities around your brand. Engage with group members by providing value through exclusive content, discussions, and prompt responses to queries.


3. Targeted Advertising:
Leverage Facebook’s robust advertising tools to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. Use Facebook Pixel to track and optimize your campaigns.
Facebook marketing campaign.
Creating Competition.

Wallmart engaged with their Facebook audience by creating a ‘like’ vs ‘share’ competition. A person can “Like” the post to vote for option A or “Share” the post for option B, which lead to Walmart gaining a 650% increase in average Facebook likes.

X social media logo - Marketing to different social media audiences

X (formerly Twitter) – 335.7 million active monthly users.

X’s audience tends to be younger, tech-savvy, politically motivated, and interested in real-time updates. It’s a platform where news, trends, and conversations happen quickly, making it ideal for brands looking to engage with followers on current events and trending topics.

Distribution of X (formerly Twitter) users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group
% Distribution of X (formerly Twitter) users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group.
Source: Statista
Distribution of X (formerly Twitter) users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender
Distribution of X (formerly Twitter) users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Source: Statista
X marketing strategy tips:

1. Real-time engagement: Create content that is engaging and shareable. This includes videos, infographics, and articles that resonate with your audience's interests and values.

2. Concise messaging: X's character limit demands concise and impactful messaging. Use this to your advantage by crafting clear and engaging updates.

3. Visual content: Use images, GIFs, and videos to increase engagement rates. Visual content tends to perform better and catches the eye in a fast-moving feed.
Netflix Twitter marketing campaign.
#NetflixCheater

In a study released by Netflix, 46% of couples admit to Netflix cheating—watching a series ahead of your significant other or friend. Netflix took a relatable moment and had fun with data to create a consistent and engaging branded experience on their twitter page, which spoke to everyone.

Instagram Logo - Marketing to different social media audiences

Instagram – 2 billion active monthly users.

Instagram is popular among younger audiences, particularly those aged 18-29. This visually driven platform is perfect for brands with a strong visual identity and those that can tell their story through images and short videos.

Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group
% Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group.
Source: Statista
Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Source: Statista
Instagram marketing strategy tips:

1. High quality visuals: Invest in high-quality photos and videos that reflect your brand’s aesthetic. Use Instagram's stories and reels to showcase behind-the-scenes content and more casual, authentic moments.

2. Influencer partnerships: Collaborate with influencers who resonate with your target audience. Their endorsement can significantly boost your brand’s credibility and reach.

3. Hashtags and trends: Use relevant hashtags and participate in trending challenges to increase visibility. Make use of Instagram’s shopping features if you’re in the e-commerce space.
Missing the sun, Innocent Instagram Post. An example of successful Instagram marketing.
Innocent – Missing the Sun

Innocent tapped in to their audience’s humor by posting this relatable image just as Winter began in the UK. Their caption was “If you were the one who took it, please return it. We’re not mad, just disappointed”.

LinkedIn Logo - Marketing to different social media audiences

LinkedIn – 424 million active monthly users.

LinkedIn caters to professionals and businesses, making it the perfect platform for B2B marketing. The audience here are keen to advertise their experience and qualifications. They are interested in industry news, professional development, and networking. Although many users in the past decade were trolled and admonished for posting ‘social media’ style content that user’s deemed ‘irrelevant’, the general community have now adapted to a more inspirational and relaxed approach to content, with ‘social media’ style post’s becoming commonplace on the site.

Distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group
Distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group.
Source: Statista
Distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Source: Statista
LinkedIn marketing strategy tips:

1. Thought leadership: Share insightful articles, whitepapers, and case studies to establish your brand as an industry thought leader. Participate in discussions and comment on relevant posts.

2. Networking: Use LinkedIn to connect with industry peers, potential clients, and influencers. Join and participate in LinkedIn Groups to expand your network.

3. Targeted advertising: Utilise LinkedIn’s targeting options to reach professionals based on their job title, industry, and company size. Sponsored content and InMail are useful tools for direct engagement.
Semrush marketing on LinkedIn with thought leadership.
Semrush’s Useful Content

Semrush posts content that highlights pain points within their target industry, as well as provides solutions. This type of marketing is more likely to be engaged with and shared across the platform, positioning Semrush as a thought leader in the marketing industry.

TikTok Logo - Marketing to different social media audiences

TikTok – 1.22 billion active monthly users.

TikTok is popular among Gen Z and younger millennials. The platform is known for its short-form, viral video content that ranges from entertainment to educational clips. TikTok’s exceptional growth rate sets it apart from the competition. From 2018 to 2022, the platform gained an average of 340 million new active users annually. Following the “digital boom” triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, TikTok reached the one-billion-user milestone and surpassed Instagram in user numbers by 2021. TikTok is expected to reach 2 billion active monthly users by the end of 2024.

% Distribution of TikTok users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group.
% Distribution of TikTok users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group.
Sources: BacklinkoeMarketer
Distribution of TikTok users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Distribution of TikTok users worldwide as of January 2024, by gender.
Source: Statista
TikTok marketing strategy tips:

1. Creative content: Focus on creating fun, engaging, and shareable content. Participate in trending challenges and use popular sounds to increase the chances of your content going viral.

2. Authenticity: TikTok users value authenticity and creativity. Be genuine and relatable in your content to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

3. Influencer collaborations: Partner with TikTok influencers to tap into their established audience. Influencers can help spread your message in a way that feels organic and trustworthy.
YouTube Logo - Marketing to different social media audiences

YouTube – 2.49 billion active monthly users.

YouTube has a broad audience, with significant engagement from users of all ages. It’s the go-to platform for long-form video content, tutorials, product reviews, and entertainment.

Distribution of YouTube users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group and gender
% Distribution of YouTube users worldwide as of April 2024, by age group and gender.
Source: Statista
Distribution of YouTube users worldwide as of April 2024, by gender.
Distribution of YouTube users worldwide as of April 2024, by gender.
Source: The Social Shepard
YouTube marketing strategy tips:

1. Educational content: Create detailed tutorials, how-to videos, and product reviews. Educational content tends to perform well and helps establish your brand as an expert in your field.

2. Consistent posting: Develop a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. Use YouTube’s scheduling tools to plan your content in advance.

3. SEO optimisation: Optimize your video titles, descriptions, and tags for search engines. Use compelling thumbnails to attract clicks and ensure your content is discoverable.

Social media for search?

Many users now prefer to enter their search queries directly into social media platforms rather than using search engines like Google or Bing. With social networks available for every interest and purpose, searching within these platforms can often be quicker and more convenient. This may be due to the fact that mobile apps tend to operate faster than a phone’s web browser.

Instagram and TikTok have recently become popular tools for search purposes. TikTok, in particular, now displays suggested search terms in video comments, which are clickable and lead to a page of related videos. Additionally, you can use the platform’s search bar to see a preview of other ‘trending’ search terms.

By adapting your social media strategy to the unique characteristics and behaviors of each platform’s audience, you can maximise your reach and build stronger, more meaningful connections with your audience. Remember to continuously monitor and analyse your campaigns to refine your approach and stay ahead of the curve in the dynamic world of social media marketing.

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