For all that's wrong with social media, and there is a darker side; there's also the side that's about connecting people and sharing information. That's the side to lean into.
I have a friend who's so concerned about what she writes. She stresses over every word and then hesitates to send. I have another friend who is so concerned about the algorithms and ensuring that they get the best return on one post that they don't see the big picture - that their post isn't getting to anyone.
To paraphrase Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail," I like to start my social media posts as if we are friends. Don't make things too complicated with social media; post like you're sharing your thoughts with a friend or offering advice to your neighbor. The only caveat, remember you are in public.
So my social media advice to my friends:
Know your friends (aka audience). Understand your friends - some need critical information with a spoonful of sugar, others with a slap in the face. Which friend are you talking to? Once you understand who you're talking with (not to), you can start connecting.
Where are your friends meeting (aka social media site)? Some are on Instagram (that friend who wants pictures of everything). Others Twitter (that friend who texts all the time). And still, others must see the video or it didn't happen and are on TikTok or YouTube. When you know where to meet your friends, the party can begin.
It's not about you. You know those friends who only talk about themselves? That's what your social media feed becomes if you're constantly talking about yourself. Instead, think about what you share that will help your friend. What do they need to know?
That's the basics, ace that, and you've got a solid foundation to build your social media outreach.
If you're asking yourself, how do I know the answers to all those questions? Well, hopefully, some of it is self-evident. For example, if you're a beauty salon and want to reach your customers, do you know the age and gender of your typical customer - or the customer you want to reach? With just that little bit of information, you can begin to narrow down where to post. Simply match your audience with the characteristics of the social channel.
From a November 2022 article, "Social Media Users — How Many People Use Social Media In 2023," some statistics to help:
2.91 billion monthly average users
Users: Male - 56.6% Female - 43.4%
A merger of life and career - focus on how to help people make either better or easier
436 million monthly average users
Users: Male - 56.4% Female - 43.6%
A place to track and share information and news
1.47 billion monthly average users
Users: Male - 50.7% Female - 49.3%
A place to share photos of products, people, places, etc. The focus is on visual.
1 billion monthly average users
Users: Male - 43% Female - 57%
While Instagram does have a video format, TikTok has taken over as the place to share video of products, people, places, etc.
310 million monthly average users
Users: Male - 57.2% Female - 42.8%
A gathering place for businessess
The bottom line in all of this. it's about connecting with people where they gather. So where would you meet your friends for a chat?
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