How to win at Social Media, Step 2:
Know your audience

Social Media

By Lena Brechtelsbauer & Diamanta Hykaj on 07/08/2021

This is part 2 of a 4 series on building a winning social media strategy. Step 1, highlighted the current social media trends and how these impact your business. This step is all about tailoring your strategy to your audience. We have considered the Top 4 Social Media Channels, which are: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. We will dive into the demographics and behavioral details of audiences on these platforms. These insights will help you strategize around your social media audience

Why focus on these Top 4? These social media channels have the highest global active user bases. Therefore, they form good starting points for most companies trying to establish a large community or build brand awareness.

HOW TO GET TO KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

As a brand, you will have extensive information on your target groups and persona types. You may have even studied and ascribed behavior patterns to different segments or personas. With your social strategy, you continue personalizing your communications in two ways:

  1. Prioritize platforms where your specific audiences congregate
  2. Engage with them through content that not only creates value for them but matches the tone of the platform.


Let’s consider an example. If you’re in a B2B setting, a platform like Linkedin is the right place to build a community. The content here needs to be professional with a personal touch. Since COVID, many members have shared their personal stories on this platform. Similarly, organizations can also tell stories about their teams, culture, successes, etc in addition to sharing valuable professional content.

However, if you’re in a consumer goods industry you want to consider platforms such as TikTok & Instagram. This is where influencers, consumers, and brands gather to create visual and engaging content. There’s room to be creative to fit with the type of fast-paced content that is consumed by users. E.g., creating short videos, participating in viral challenges, etc.

SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE ON FACEBOOK

Facebook has the largest global social media audience. The platform boasts 2.7 billion social media users. The demographic split is 57% male and 43% female. Moreover, close to 1/3rd of Facebook users are aged between 25-34.

Facebook social media users are concentrated in countries such as India (330 million), United States (190 million) and Indonesia (140 million users). The top European country is France with 33 million users. 

The live-streaming feature on Facebook is an excellent way to connect with millions of users right away. In comparison with reading a brand’s social posts, 82% of people prefer to watch a live video from that brand. Personalization enhances engagement and humanizes your brand. Whereas, features like scheduled posts and Facebook group insights simplify the posting and analytical process for businesses.

Facebook, Facebook groups, Livestreaming
Live Streaming, Scheduled Events and more on Facebook
Source: Watersky Digital

What this means for you: Don’t make Facebook Your Default Social Page


For most brands, Facebook is their first and sometimes only social media page. No matter how many social media users there are on the platform, the question is really about relevance to your social media audience. Is Facebook still relevant to your business in terms of its user base? 

If the answer is yes, analyze how your community is interacting with you on Facebook. Do they use it for customer service queries? Are they following you to keep up with the latest trends? or do they watch your stories or engage with image-based posts?

Based on understanding user interactions, you can use Facebook as a designated channel for that purpose. If you post the same material on multiple platforms including Facebook, it may be time to rethink your strategy.

YOUTUBE AUDIENCE & BEHAVIOR

With over 2 billion users, YouTube is the second most popular social media platform worldwide. Despite its slightly male-dominated user base of 56%, it still remains popular with women users and creators. Users spend about 1 billion hours on YouTube each year. Further, around 77% of them are 18 to 34 years old. 

The leading countries in terms of audience size are India with over 225 million, the US with 197 million, and Brazil with 83 million users. Similarly, Russia has 58 million YouTube users.

A key feature of YouTube is its ease of sharing and storing videos online. YouTube is popular for various topics ranging from tutorials to web series. With new features such as live streaming and an upcoming shopping tab, YouTube has become more diverse in its abilities.

YouTube, YouTube Live Streaming, Shopping Tab
Live Streaming & Trends on YouTube
Source: Watersky Digital

What this means for you: Leverage the trend of how-to videos


The majority of people use YouTube to learn new skills. During the pandemic, gaming and home-workout videos saw great growth. By 2020, beauty tutorials were viewed nearly 50% more than they were in 2019. Youtube is the go-to source for 50.9% of B2B consumers. Thus, it ranks even higher than Facebook (48.5%) and LinkedIn (33%).

YouTube is a valuable resource for brand awareness. As 21.70% of viewers have purchased from a brand after seeing it on YouTube. Now with its new shopping feature, social media audiences can move from awareness to purchase all within the same platform. 

HOW MANY SOCIAL MEDIA USERS ARE ON INSTAGRAM?

Instagram has the 5th largest user base globally. The gender mix is balanced with 49% male and 51% females users. Moreover, 25-34-year-olds make up the highest social media audience at 32.8%. The second-highest percentage is 18-24 year-olds, with 29.6%. Thus, indicating that over 60% of Instagram’s users are under millennials and younger generations.

Leading countries with the highest audience size are; India with 150 million, the United States with 140 million, and Brazil with 100 million. In our region, the United Kingdom leads with 34 million followed closely by Germany with 33 million users.

With features like Instagram Stories and Reels, you can create engaging, memorable content that builds and strengthens customer relationships. Over 500 million people watch Instagram Stories every day. Other features, such as the pin shopping and shopping tab, allow businesses to convert sales by integrating eCommerce functionalities.

Instagram, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories
The new trend: Reels on Instagram
Source: Watersky Digital

What this means for you: Appeal to Millennials & Gen Z


With so many social media users in these generations, Instagram presents businesses with an opportunity to build connections with newer segments of users. This is especially relevant for sectors such as finance, entertainment and other consumer goods and services.

For instance, a fintech company could easily appeal to millennials about investments, insurance, home loans and other products by keeping content simple and engaging. A relatable voice that shares valuable information to a generation that is becoming more financially conscious may be the recipe for success. 

Brands get discovered effectively on Instagram and their shopping feature could also enable you to shorten the consumer journey from awareness to purchase.

TIKTOK SOCIAL AUDIENCE

In just a short period of time, TikTok grew to 700 million users worldwide, attracting the attention of a highly youthful demographic. Therefore TikTok ranks seventh in terms of the most frequently used social media platform in the world, with a 53% male and a 47% female audience split. About 50% of the audience is under the age of 34, with 32.5% being under the age of 19. In addition to this, TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps in over 40 countries around the world, and it’s available in 75 languages.

Leading countries with the most users on TikTok are India with 119.3 million, the United States with 39.6 million, and Turkey with 28.4 million. In our region, Russia leads with 24.3 million followed by France and Germany with around 9 million users.

A key feature of this platform is creating, sharing, and discovering short video clips. In particular, singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing are the most popular ways to express yourself on TikTok. Also, TikTok has been engulfed by videos related to beauty and fashion. Using this app, videos have gone viral more and more, with the most-watched video reaching over 2 billion views. Guess, Kaja Beauty, and e.l.f Cosmetics are making the best use of TikTok for their brand awareness.

Brands on TikTok, Viral Songs, TikTok video content
Example of a successful brand on TikTok
Source: Watersky Digital

What this means for you: TikTok may be your brand’s IT platform


Due to its huge popularity and young audience, TikTok may be the best app for your brand. Thanks to its unique algorithm for delivery, all social media platforms are also adopting video-based content, which is highly engaging for users. Moreover, brands have the opportunity to develop their own content or use TikTok Ads, one of their newest features, to reach their audience. The choice of TikTok depends on the brand and the target market, since it may not be suitable for every brand.

OTHER SOCIAL AUDIENCES: SNAPCHAT, PINTEREST & TWITTER

These social media channels are also growing and adapting their functionalities to remain competitive. While they have fewer active social media users than the Top 4, their numbers range between 200 and 400 million users.

Snapchat

The social media platform Snapchat has become extremely popular in the US and seems to be the most popular messaging platform worldwide. Gen Z is actively using the platform, with 59% of users being female and only 39% being male.

AR lenses and filters enhance the platform’s attractiveness and usability. Accordingly, the 3D lifestyle that this platform offers is luring many new users, increasing its popularity, so it can be effective in building brand awareness.

Pinterest

Pinterest is the 14th largest social media platform. With regard to demographic split, women have outranked men on Pinterest, with 60%. However, the number of male “Pinners” nearly doubled in 2020. 

The main feature on Pinterest, is its pin functionality, with a new variety of features recently introduced, which simplifies the shopping process on the platform for consumers. 

Twitter

Twitter is the 13th most popular social media platform globally. It is truly male-dominated with a gender ratio of 70% to 30%.

The feature “Space” nowadays is one of the most talked-about new functionality on Twitter, As audio is a powerful tool that allows intimate and human interaction, which helps build relationships online.

What this means for you: Don’t disregard them


Smaller platforms don’t necessarily mean lower engagement. In fact, these niche platforms could foster a greater sense of community depending on the nature of your business.

In fashion and beauty brands, AR lenses and filters could very well come in handy so that people can try out products before buying, and customize them to their own needs. For businesses that want to be credible thought-leaders, Spaces by Twitter may be worth exploring. Whereas with Pinterest, which is more female-dominated, brands such as home furnishing, design, DIY, or fashion could benefit from integrating key shopping functionalities within posts.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

We hope this summary of different types of social media audiences has been informative for you. Stay tuned to our How to Win at Social Media series over the next two weeks as we explore the next steps for building a winning Social Media strategy. 

Curious about your current social performance? Talk to us: moin@watersky.digital