How to tailor your content for two of the most popular social media platforms.
A little over a week ago, I asked my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers to vote on the topic that interested them most for Issue 3 of the Creative Technology Newsletter. The votes were almost set to a three-way tie, but the final vote was cast, and the winner declared: the people want to hear about how to market to Twitter vs. Facebook. So let's get to it!
First, let's start with some basic information. Instagram user @iamahyell asked, "Are there widely varied demographics between the users on each platform?" That is a fantastic question, and the perfect place to start.
TWITTER VS. FACEBOOK: DEMOGRAPHICS
Twitter and Facebook are very different in a lot of ways, one of them being their user base. Generally, Facebook users can be summed up in four words: Anyone and Practically Everyone. Really, just about anyone could be a Facebook user, from a young teenager in the suburbs to a grandmother in a rural setting. There are 1 billion users worldwide, and the users are widespread so that they aren't solely concentrated in the United States.
Twitter, on the other hand, has a significant amount of users in the United States--many of them being young, in an urban setting, and of a non-white race. In fact, many users of Twitter overlap with the user bases of Instagram. These two social media platforms are actually integrated together in a lot of ways, but that's a topic for another issue.
What do demographics matter in your marketing scheme? Well, for one, when you are marketing on any sort of platform, social media or not, knowing your audience is absolutely key. If you are engaging in a primarily younger audience on Facebook, you happen to be alienating a huge percentage of its users. And if you think that you'll get a great response by tweeting three times per day, you're going to get lost in the shuffle.
TAILOR YOUR APPROACH
If you're new to using Facebook or Twitter as a business, there are a couple of things about posting content that you should know. It's not enough to post something on one platform, and regurgitate it to every other social media account you own. Some social media apps will allow you to automatically "push" your post to other platforms; such as setting Twitter to automatically post to Facebook every time you tweet. This is definitely NOT a good idea.
Facebook is for engaging content that includes multimedia, a question, or some other interactivity that allows for a discussion and encourages response. A photo with a story, short videos, polls ("Which symphony do you like best: Mahler 1, Mahler 3, or Mahler 5? Answer in the comments!"), interactive games ("Who are your Top 3 favorite composers?"), and sharing content from similar pages are all ideas for the type of material you should post on your Facebook page. If you are sharing tweets, you are basically spamming your followers with content that is difficult for them to respond to--and Facebook is all about discussion.
Twitter is a whole different ballgame. In the infographic above, you may have noticed that little factoid about 5,700 tweets sent out every second. That is a lot. Of. Talking. If you're tweeting once a day with a link to your latest blog post, no one is going to see that. It gets lost in the shuffle. To effectively use Twitter, you need to tweet often--somewhere in the range of 5-7 original tweets per day and 10-15 retweets or responses. But it's not as hard or as time-consuming as you think. Take a look at this example schedule, then remember: there are websites and software that allow you to automatically schedule tweets! So you don't have to actually wake up at 8:00 a.m. to go on Twitter.
ARE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER REALLY WORTH IT?
After reading that schedule, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Like Facebook user Whitney, who responded to a post of mine, you may be asking yourself, "Is it worth it? Does it really draw customers?" Twitter and Facebook may feel like a lot to handle, but if you plan a weekly schedule for yourself and write your posts ahead of time while utilizing a scheduling tool (more on that in another issue), your social media presence can really make a difference in your business. If you're involved in a creative project--whether it's pottery, music, or working as a hairstylist--having social media will absolutely connect you with your existing and potential customers. And it may only take a couple hours out of your week. Let's face it--like me, you're probably glued to your phone or computer anyway! I don't know about you, but I'd rather be doing something productive and creative on my phone, instead of staring at the screen playing Solitaire.
The main points are this: Come up with a weekly schedule for yourself, including recurring posts (like Throwback Thursday or sharing inspiring works from other artists every day at noon). Do this for Twitter and Facebook, and stick to it. Try not to talk about yourself too much, because the more you do, the less people will listen. Involve your audience in your social media!
ENGAGEMENT IS KEY
I'll give you an example from my own personal experience. This past week, I decided to try an experiment on the heypoletti! LLC Facebook page. My Facebook likes had been consistently growing since I started the page, but I was finding that the engagement was really low and I was only getting a like or two every so often. I thought about it, and I realized I was spending too much time talking about myself. I wasn't giving my audience anything that made them feel involved, or that inspired them to share my content with their friends.
So, in correlation with Issue 2 of this newsletter (2 Innovative Practices for Modern Musicians), I decided to feature an innovative musician every day from Sunday through Friday. My thoughts were, simply, that if I write about other people, those people will want to share the post with their friends.
The idea was, promote other musicians, and in turn, they will promote me. And it totally worked.
As you can see in the image above, my page likes, post reach, and engagement have skyrocketed since I started the "Innovative Musician of the Day" series. Here's another peek into the growth of the page:
I'm planning on continuing the series, although I'll be reducing it to once per week to see how that pans out. But this all just goes to show you: your audience wants to be involved. Over the past week, I've had people mention my company to me in person and tell me how much they like what I'm doing, and I've also had 3 business inquiries.
I hope these Twitter and Facebook tips have inspired you to brush up on your social media marketing game. If you've got an entrepreneurial spirit like I do, you'll find the challenge fun!
Which do you prefer: Facebook or Twitter? Why?