Social Media: What’s Behind the Numbers?


Social-media-whats-behind-the-numbersAt times it seems that the only constant with social media is that it’s constantly changing. Not only is there a steady stream of new social media tools, but there also seems to be a never-ending series of reports about which tool is capturing what percentage of usage.

There is new data from the folks at TechCrunch about how people are using social media. The headline of one of their recent posts proclaims: “73% Of U.S. Adults Use Social Networks, Pinterest Passes Twitter In Popularity, Facebook Stays On Top.” But does that mean you should be pumping more time, effort, and money into Facebook marketing? Should you dump your Twitter account and pump up your Pinterest posts? What’s behind those numbers, and what do they mean for you?

First of all, you need to ask yourself where your audience is. For example, it may be true that 71 percent of adults use Facebook. But that doesn’t guarantee you’ll have business success using it as a marketing tool. Are the people you want to reach on Facebook? How often are they there? Are they looking for information about what you sell there, or are they simply staying in touch with old high school and college friends?

The data in the TechCrunch post (which comes from Pew Research Center) shows that while 71 percent of online adults use Facebook yearly, only 22 percent of them use LinkedIn. But for us here at TMR, LinkedIn is actually a much better source of leads. If the products and services you provide are highly visual (think of things such as clothing, artwork, homebuilding, home renovation, etc.), a platform such as Pinterest or Instagram might be more effective in grabbing attention than Twitter.

Good marketing isn’t about getting in front of the most people—it’s about getting in front of the right people. And then it’s about moving them to interact with you. And good marketing isn’t about using the newest (or even the most popular) tool.  It’s about using the right tool at the right time as part of an over-arching marketing strategy.

Here are two things to keep in mind as you set your overall marketing strategy. First, know your audience. Who are they? What problems are they trying to solve? What kind of information are they looking for? Where are they looking? Second, deliver the information they’re looking for in the way they want it. If they’re looking for data, give them data. If they’re looking for pictures, give them pictures. If they want “how-to” instructions, give them short videos. If they’re on Facebook or Twitter, give them helpful, clear information that lets them request more specific information on your website.

By the way, if you’re looking for some specific help with social media, download our free 3 Steps to Social Media Success e-book. It’s a great primer for getting started.

3 Steps to Social Media Success