In last week’s post, How to Stop Wasting Time, I discussed the importance of focusing your energy and time only on those social media networks where you’ll find your audience.
For example, it doesn’t make sense to invest your time in Tumblr if you’re not writing YA or New Adult novels. If you write Romance novels, you need to have a presence on Facebook and Pinterest.
Today I’m going to share with you data from the Pew Research Internet Project that further supports my argument.
Study Audience Metrics to Target Your Readership
As of January of this year, Pew Research determined that 75% of adults who engage in online activities use social media.
Women hold an edge over men in social media and younger generations, especially Millennials, dominate. And it seems as though users with the lowest income and those who make more than $75,000/annually, are more active.
Of those adults who use social media, 19% of those adults use Twitter. What’s interesting about this chart is that the income level starts at 79% for those making less than $30,000/year but climbs back to 78% for those earning $75,000/annually or more.
As a client who works with chief technology officers told me, she couldn’t connect with that demographic on LinkedIn but she could find them on Twitter.
Among those adults engaged in online activities:
- 71% of online adults use Facebook
- 21% use Pinterest
- 22% use LinkedIn
- 17% use Instagram
While Facebook remains the shopping mall that everyone likes to visit, Instagram is considered the fastest growing social media network.
In the graph below you can see social media’s tremendous of late. Again, the 18-29-year-old users lead the pack by older adults, including those 50 years old and above, are making great gains.
If you’re buying Facebook ads that appear on the right column of the news feeds, it’s time to change that habit. Increasingly, the social platform is becoming mobile and everything you do – from your website to your blog to your social alertness – needs to accommodate that transition.
This is what the Pew Research Internet Project says in its Social Networking Fact Sheet:
“The growing ubiquity of cell phones, especially the rise of smartphones, has made social networking just a finger tap away. Fully 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day. Young people, blacks, Hispanics, the highly educated and those with a higher annual household income are more likely to use SNS on their phones than other groups.”
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Why Do People Use Social Media?
Our primary use of social media is to keep up with friends and family members. At least that’s what two-thirds of online adults told Pew Research.
About 14%, mostly middle-aged and older adults, said they use it to connect around shared hobbies or interests.
So what are we as authors doing on social media? It has to be more than just hawking our books.
The reason social media use is climbing isn’t because we rush to Facebook or Twitter to see what Mercedes, Coca-Cola or United Airlines is selling. We go to social media to connect with other people.
Those companies who are successful at social media marketing, such as shoe retailer, TOMS, excels at social media because they connect with people.
For every pair of shoes that a customer purchases, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in a Third World country. Their mission is clear, and their fans are fanatical about them.
TOMS, Mercedes and Coca-Cola may be brands, but they humanize their social media outreach and client experience. They don’t simply preach their mantra to audiences everywhere. Instead, they target their audience using metrics and experiment with messaging that encourages more sales.
Authors need to follow their lead.
If you write a nonfiction book, your audience should be easily and clearly defined. But what if you write literary fiction, romance, sci-fi or other types of fiction? Find out who your audience is and then meet them on the social media platforms where you will find them.
Once you’re there, experiment with your messaging. Here’s what Stephanie Chandler has to say on this topic in her book, Own Your Niche. Wherever she says business, substitute the word with author.
“Everything about marketing comes down to the audience—your target audience. And the audience is different for every business. Once you identify your audience, every marketing decision you make becomes easier ….”
Look at who attends your readings, follows you on Twitter or joins your LinkedIn groups. Review studies that track social media affinities by age and other demographics and then focus your time on those networks.
For social media not to be time-consuming, it must be targeted.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web