• How choose the right social media channel for your target audience

    Australians are obsessed with their mobiles. We crave a constant connection to the world, with a Deloitte report indicating we collectively look at our phones 440 million times a day.

    Despite – or maybe even because – of this hyperconnectivity, communication specialists now face the challenge of effectively connecting with audiences through social channels. Your choice of social media channel will depend on your target demographic's preferences.

    So, let's take a look at the main social platforms as well as how use varies among generations. 

    Australians are hyperconnected on social media.Australians are hyperconnected on social media.

    Social media's key channels

    Facebook is by far the most popular platform with 1.71 billion users and six new profiles every day, according to Brandwatch. There are 400 million active small business pages and 2 million businesses paying for advertisements. 

    YouTube has the next largest following with over 1 billion users. A key challenge for the platform is that, to increase brand channel visits or subscriptions, viewers need to be engaged for more than 30 seconds.

    Instagram is in third place with 400 millions users; 90 per cent of which are under 35 years old. With a whopping 80 million photos uploaded per day, half of all users follow brands. 

    With 320 million users, Twitter's platform sees 6,000 tweets a second. Interestingly, nearly more than 70 per cent of people that engage with or complain to a company on Twitter expect a response within an hour, according to Hubspot. 

    Also making the list of top social media platforms, Pinterest boasts 100 million 'pinners'. Highly active online shoppers, two-thirds of all pins originate from brand websites. 

    Now that we know what traffic quantities we're talking about, let's look at each generation's preferences.

    Every generation has different preferences with the social media they use. Every generation has different preferences with the social media they use.

    Generations and their habits

    If your target audience is Generation Z – or those 13 to 19 years old – your weapon of choice should be Instagram. With an attention span of only 8 seconds, 33 per cent of teens say the visual platform is their preferred social media, according to Brandwatch.

    Millennials, on the other hand, are definite Facebookers. Communicating with this target audience should have a strong user generated content focus, as 50 per cent believe it's more trustworthy and over a third think it is more memorable than branded imagery.

    While mobile devices keep rising in popularity, Generation X (36 to 49 years) prefer to view content on laptops. Nearly half of this generation is on Twitter, but not consistently active, with Pinterest a close second in terms of popularity. 

    Lastly, Baby Boomers join the Facebook train with 84 per cent of this generation on the platform. Pinterest is also an effective way to reach the population with the most disposable income. 

    Success for communication experts relies on understanding both the key motivations for your publics, and then adjusting strategies accordingly. 

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