If you want to be successful on social media today, you absolutely have to be sharing visual content. Why? Because it’s essential for standing out in the crowd. In fact, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content.
But even if you understand the value in sharing visual content, you still may be completely at a loss as to which social media sites are best for your visual content. The keyword in that sentence is “your.”
Social media never has and never will be one size fits all. Where your content is best placed may not apply to the next business…and I really don’t recommend being everywhere.
Where should you put your visual content?
Well, that depends on who your target audience is. If you’re targeting anyone over the age of 50, for example, Instagram is not the best place to focus your content. You need to choose a highly visual network where your ideal audience is already hanging out.
To get an idea of where your content should go, you need to take a look at the demographics on the top visual platforms, according to the Pew Research Center:
While Facebook may be declining in use among young teenagers, it still remains strong with the rest of the country. According to Pew Research Center, 72 percent of online American adults and 77 percent of online women (the primary spenders in the home) are Facebook users. 82 percent of adults who are between the ages of 18 and 29 use Facebook, along with 79 percent of those between the ages of 30 and 49. And when you hear someone say that their grandmother is on Facebook, it’s actually true. A whopping 64 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 and 48 percent of adults older than 65 are using the social network.
The moral of the story? If your ideal client is over the age of 18, they are most likely on Facebook. While you may grow frustrated over the struggle to reach them, with 1.55 billion monthly active users, I fully believe that Facebook is too big to ignore. Facebook is also a highly visual platform and the better your visual content is, the more likely it is to find its way into the newsfeed organically and in front of your clients.
The crowd hanging out on Instagram is a little younger than the one hanging out on Facebook. Twenty-eight percent of online adults use Instagram, although this number is slowly rising. While 55 percent of all online adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are using Instagram, that number drops to 28 percent for users between 30 and 49 and 11 percent for adults ages 50 to 64.
I would only recommend this for your content if your ideal audience is in their twenties and thirties. This site also demands high-quality images that are relevant to your audience’s interests. Before you hit post, ask yourself: Is your image attractive? Is it inspiring or creative? Does it promote a lifestyle? Does it provide value to your audience? Does it show your products in use? And will it stand out in a fast-moving newsfeed?
When you think of visual platforms, Pinterest is definitely one of the first that comes to mind. And why wouldn’t it? The platform is literally a virtual bulletin board for images.
Like Instagram, you should be creating boards with images that are customer-centric. Pinterest has actually become a search engine in itself, with users searching for the solutions for their problems, whether that comes in the form of how-to articles, an inspiration for decorating or fitness or healthy recipes.
But is Pinterest the place for you? Well if your audience is primarily women, then the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”
Thirty-one percent of online adults use Pinterest. However, women dominate the platform, with 44 percent of online women using the site compared to 16 percent of online men. This is great news for brands whose primary audience is women. However, even if that isn’t the case, keep in mind that women do the majority of the shopping within households. If your products could be pinned to boards with gift ideas for men or children, for example, you still have a place on Pinterest.
Did you forget about this platform? Many of us don’t typically think of YouTube when we think, “visual content.” However, video definitely falls into the category of visual, especially with emerging technology like video 360!
YouTube has a huge audience, reaching 81 percent of all Internet users. That said, it’s the younger visitors who tend to spend more time on the site. In March of 2015, 98.3 percent of viewers between the ages of 18 and 24 spent an average of 10 hours on the site. Wow! And don’t think it’s just men who are hanging out on YouTube either. While men may be primarily into categories on sports and gaming, women are spending a lot of time in the makeup and skincare categories.
The platform even attracts older viewers. During March of 2015, it attracted more than 19 million visitors ages 65 and older who spent an average of almost 4 hours using the service.
For brands, the challenge on YouTube isn’t necessarily to find people and target them (because chances are your ideal client is there already), but to target them in at the right time with a message that fits.
If you are selling a product, the goal for all of your social media networks should be to create valuable content that is interesting, educational, or inspiring for your audience.
Choose one or two (three at most) platforms where your audience is hanging out and then focus on creating the best possible content for those audiences. And don’t forget to have fun. Social media is supposed to be entertaining and sociable and a chance to connect with your audience.