Beginning around 2003, we were introduced to the world of social media. MySpace was one of the first platforms developed. It was followed a year later by Facebook. One is dead and the other continues to thrive. The difference, Facebook was open only to college students for the first 3 years while MySpace was open to everyone, and the world was not ready for it.
Mark Zuckerberg and some of his college buddies developed a friendship connection network while students at Harvard University (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook). At the time, it was only open to college students, who were the right demographic. College students love to take risks and try out new things, the most intent on adapting to new technology. While MySpace quickly died out, Facebook succeeded because it was tested on a market that is ideal for new technology. The right demographic!
Fast forward to 15 years later. We now have over 300 social media platforms (social media map – ovrdrv.com/social-media-map/). All these platforms are some of the most useful tools in marketing. Facebook for families, LinkedIn for professional development, Twitter for on the go conversations, Instagram for your real-time photos, Pinterest for social buying and selling, Youtube for cool videos…and the list goes on. There are billions of people milling around all these platforms. Not all of them will do business with us. Finding your demographics and where they spend their time makes all the difference.
For example, if I wanted to market to parents, who make the most decisions for both their children and parents, I need to know that they spend a lot of their time on Facebook. I can then narrow this down to groups, geographical areas, interests, and other specifics based on the product or service I’m offering. Facebook marketing tools help you reach these people once you set up your demographics. If I wanted to reach working professionals then I know LinkedIn is the go-to platform. I would be spinning wheels if I tried to find them on Instagram. The only thing worse than not being on social media is marketing to the wrong demographic.
I firmly believe that Social Media is the way of the future. I want to see the world of marketing made better because of it. In order for this to happen, it is important for us to establish who we’re trying to reach. Social media marketing is coming of age and we can no longer expect blanket statements and campaigns to reach our audience. There’s a lot of noise out there and we face the opposite challenge from what MySpace faced, the market is saturated with apps and networks. Finding the right demographics still counts now just as it did then.
All in all, social media is great for marketing. Like anything digital, it must be used appropriately in order to draw benefits from it and avoid the potential pitfalls that come with it. Don’t be MySpace. Find your demographic audience!