Social Networks Have Different Audiences, Content Should be Tailored to Each

Social media is the most dominant online communication channel, but there are a variety of social networks and each has their own unique audience.

Therein lies one of the key misconceptions of social media: Marketers shouldn’t always be publishing everything to all of their different social media profiles and accounts. Consumers use the various platforms for different purposes, and brands should be doing the same. Not only will this help reduce the time you spend managing your social presence, but it will also enable you to improve the relevance of your content.

According to a study by LinkedIn and TNS, consumers tend to categorize social platforms as either professional networks (LinkedIn) or personal networks (Facebook and Twitter). “The research found that people are more than three times as likely to use personal networks for entertainment rather than professional networks,” the joint report added. “In turn, they are three times as likely to use professional networks to keep up to date with their career over personal networks.”

Relevant Content for Relevant Consumers
So what does that mean for brands? As you develop promotional content, you need to tailor it to what people are looking for on any given social network. For example, a retailer may want to publish offers and share light-hearted stories on Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to professional networks, they may want to consider career-oriented content – industry trends, white papers, employment stats, technology integration tips, etc.

Many marketers have already begun to use LinkedIn in this fashion. A separate study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute suggests as many as 82 percent of business-to-business marketers utilize LinkedIn to distribute business-related content. In 2010, Facebook and Twitter were tied at the top, showing that brands are beginning to realize the difference in audiences.

Managing a variety of social profiles and creating specific content for each audience can be a daunting task. Tools such as marketing automation solutions can help, allowing marketers to schedule and post relevant content to the proper social network. When time and resources are limited, marketing automation can be a huge boon.