Getting Social to Discover Your Audience

Audience is everything when creating a campaign. Anyone trying to convey a point to group of people must consider whom they are talking to and how to reach them. A communicator must know what the target audience doesn’t want as much as what it does. Most importantly, what will have the best results for your efforts.

Why is this important? Crafting the perfect message and knowing your customer or stakeholder can only take you so far in our oversaturated digital environment. Not knowing precisely where to find your audience in the vast digital landscape will produce lackluster results and drive up your CPM (cost per measurement). Shouting your message in one direction where no one wants to hear it while failing to spread your message in the area in which it would thrive is deadly combination.

What are the most popular social media platforms and which fits your campaign or message best? This year, Tracx produced analytics on user characteristics for each platform, revealing insights that public relations practitioners should use.


Facebook is the most popular social media site with more than 1.9 billion unique monthly users. With the highest traffic of any social media site, Facebook can be one of the most effective marketing tools. Facebook offers some of the highest ROI of any advertising on social media because of its high traffic and information about its users.

Facebook users

• Facebook user base is primarily female with 83 percent of online women, compared to 73 percent of online men.

• Facebook is also one of the best places to reach Millennials and Generation X. Facebook’s primary user base is the between 18-49 years old. According to the study, Generation X spends almost seven hours per week on social media.


Instagram is regarded as the fastest growing social media platform. As compared to Facebook’s 1.9 billion monthly unique users, Instagram only attracts around 600 million monthly unique users. Instagram’s UX limits the capabilities that users are able to publish and utilize. In my opinion, however, this is one of Instagram’s strengths compared to Facebook’s endless features. Sometimes simplicity can trump complexity.

Instagram users

• Like Facebook, Instagram’s user base is predominately female with 38 percent of women online using Instagram, as compared to 26 percent of men online.

• One of the most interesting statistics is the age of users. As compared to Facebook’s broad age range spanning over three decades, 90 percent of Instagram users are under 35. This statistic shows that advertisers and public relations specialists can use Instagram for targeting younger audiences.

• In addition to the age of users, 53 percent of users follow brands. This means that users actively follow brands for curated and organic content as opposed to Facebook users.


Twitter has been named one of the most oversaturated social media platforms for many reasons. Twitter has approximately 317 million monthly unique users, close to half of Instagram’s and about a sixth of Facebook’s. Earlier in 2017, Twitter was struggling to make any profits to support the large social media platform. Twitter’s inability to monetize its free services, like Facebook and Instagram have been able to do, are the result of the platform’s capabilities and its user base.

Twitter users

• As opposed to the predominately female user base of Facebook and Twitter, 22 percent of online men use Twitter compared to only 15 percent of online women.

• Like Instagram, Twitter users are younger than Facebook with the majority of users between the ages of 18 and 29.

• The next two statistics give insight into how and why Twitter has been struggling to monetize its platform. Over 50 percent of Twitter users never post updates. This means that these accounts are ghost accounts or these users only use Twitter as a feed instead of a publisher. In addition to this, the average user will only spend 2.9 minutes on the mobile app per day. These two statistics are red flags to advertisers when they know the window of viewership is so limited and active use on the site is minuscule.


LinkedIn is one of the few major B2B social media platforms that brands can use to get their message out to other companies. Compared to the rest of the platforms in this analysis, LinkedIn has the fewest users, coming in at 106 million monthly unique viewers.

LinkedIn users

• The breakup between male and female users on LinkedIn is fairly equally, with 31 percent of online men using the platform and 27 percent of online women using the platform.

• One of the most interesting aspects about the survey results showed that LinkedIn users are typically slightly less likely to use other social networks. This can be important while evaluating if campaigns revolving around LinkedIn should expand to other platforms.

• People making higher salaries are more likely to use LinkedIn, i.e., 45 percent of individuals make more than $75,000 annually. This is compared to only 21 percent of those making $30,000 or less who use LinkedIn.

Using these guidelines, PR practitioners will increase the chances of reaching their target audience. Platforms, while overlapping, also feature distinct user preferences.

Knowing your audience and then locating them are among some of the most effective techniques a digital strategist can use.

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1 Response to Getting Social to Discover Your Audience

  1. Carson Mlnarik says:

    As a PR practitioner in the making, I found this post extremely informative. I’m an engaged journalism student so I have all of these social networking sites but I sometimes forget that I’m the exception, not the rule. We really have to come to our audiences and not wait for our audiences to come to us.
    That being said, I think it would be interesting to have seen a study into Snapchat’s reach, especially their brand coverage and news. I know they have a lot of the same features as Twitter but they also aren’t super strong at monetizing. Their content is also made for immediacy as it disappears after 24 hour at the max. However, I think we might see them grow as a promotional network, especially because their filters and news networks are evolving.
    It’s interesting to see Twitter is low in engagements and isn’t as far reaching. I would’ve expected the opposite because of President Donald Trump’s frequent usage. I think Twitter has grown as a news tool but agree, it’s easy for users to ghost the service and not regularly utilize its features.
    Judging by Tracx’s analytics, I think Instagram shows the most promise, especially as millennials age with the platform and start sharing their baby photos, their homes, etc. I see big opportunity for specific companies and corporations to get involved with this generation directly as time goes on.

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