Know Your Audiences

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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

Know Your Audiences

posted this on Friday, July 12, 2013 at about 7am.
Know Your Audiences

A few months ago, I wrote a post titled, "You Can't Automate Social." Even though people do it all the time, they shouldn't. But, I know why people try.

Social media is hard.

Don't get me wrong, posting to one platform like your own Facebook account is easy. You simply say the first thing that comes to your mind (which you hopefully won't regret later).

Social media for business is very different than social media for personal. You have to step outside of your personal way of thinking and now think about your business and communicate that to very different audiences.

When thinking about the time it takes to post coherent meaningful messages to even just your main social networks it can be a very time consuming process. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can take a lot of time to post, monitor and manage. Now we add other platforms like Google+, Instagram, Vine, Trip Advsior, Yelp, Google Place Page, etc. and we need a team of marketers are required to even figure it all out.

I get it. Automation makes things so much easier. Posting something to just Twitter then having it automatically repost to Facebook, LinkedIn and perhaps other locations sounds pretty compelling. It also becomes compelling to have automatic posts from your blog posts so that you don't have to do the work to tell people about the post you just spent 45 minutes putting together.

In my opinion, this is a lazy way to market your business. If social media is that important to you, then you shouldn't automate anything unless you have automated in such a way that still honors your audience.

For example:

The same message to all your platforms: bad.
Scheduling an audience specific message to each platform: good.

I thought I'd make an attempt to identify the common audience types for each of the three main networks. Understanding these audience types might help you understand why the same message for all three platforms is a really bad idea.


Twitter SketchTwitter started as a social network with the intention of just saying what you are doing right now. In fact, like Facebook, it's intent was to have your username as the subject of a sentence. You might still see people with this old school approach to tweets or status updates like: @corey_smith is drinking chocolate milk.

It didn't take long for Twitter to be more of a micro-blogging platform. Micro being the operative word. In 140 characters you can say everything you want. It leads to some bad spelling and grammar but it's intent is for you to be pithy or concise in your communication. It's not meant for diatribes. It forces brevity.

As a result, the audience expects that. They don't want to see a majority of your updates linking to other locations so they can finish reading your thoughts. They don't want to see long-winded discussions over multiple tweets.

The audience tends to be younger and a bigger fan of text messaging (although text messaging is 160 characters - traditionally). You'll find a greater level of tech savvy in your Twitter audience.

Because of this, your posts need to be very prescient. They need to talk about what is happening now and not dwell on the past. In 10 minutes, your audience will never see that post in their timeline so it has to count in the moment.


Facebook SketchFacebook users tend to be a bit more long-winded than Twitter users. This is not saying anything bad about Facebook users but they have the space to opine and therefore they do.

You'll find a greater quantity of images and videos in Facebook because the platform allows them.

While Twitter followers tend to be people you won't necessarily know, you are more likely to be connected to people you know in real life on Facebook. I know that's not always the case but if it's your personal profile, you are less likely to interact with people you don't know on your Facebook page than people you do know.

Facebook users expect a little more personal interaction and often tend to be less forgiving to political or religious rants. Your Facebook audience will tend to be more family oriented

Because of the way Facebook users interact, your posts have a greater likelihood of being seen long term. If your images are compelling and your video links are meaningful, your audience will be more likely to read longer posts. In fact, your posts can be more blog-like and text heavy and people will read them. However, pictures and videos are going to get you the best results.


LinkedIn SketchLinkedIn is the least social of these three social networks. LinkedIn has come a long way with their groups feature but it's still a bit complicated to track certain users. Part of that is because when it was originally built it was more of a giant Rolodex online and now has incorporated many of the successful elements from other social networks.

Your audience on LinkedIn will naturally have more of a business mindset. They are going to be more interested in talking about their industry or topics that will help them grow in their career. Because of this the two most common uses for LinkedIn are for sales professionals to connect with business owners and purchasing managers and in the job-recruiting field (both job seekers and recruiters).

Your content for LinkedIn on your personal page, your company page or in the groups should be more professionally driven. Your updates and posts can be short and concise like you might find on Twitter but it must be geared toward your professional audience.

Summing it up

When writing for your various social locations, make sure you understand your audience. Don't try to have a once size fits all approach. It's not a good idea and will just indicate that you are a lazy marketer.

Above all, no matter which audience you are writing for remember to pitch less and contribute more. No one likes that guy that's always pitching his product.

Don't be that guy.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Design & Marketing Agency.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?