On experimenting with exploring social media audiences for marketing

Two years ago, I quit Facebook. It was bad for my mental health, and I didn’t trust Mark Zuckerberg after his company’s handling of Russian interference in American elections. For some reason, having your friends in a private room judging you is more intimidating than a bunch of strangers on Twitter or Instagram judging you. However, as an experiment, I have returned to Facebook and started a business page for this blog. Facebook still commands a large audience, even though people my age and younger have abandoned it. And a conversation on Twitter reminded me of a maxim of social media marketing — social networks are merely audiences. They are not our buddies, even though we may meet friends through these platforms. It is our job to market to those audiences.

Without further ado, my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Lost-on-a-Spaceship-100299768320351 and I could use more follows.

Anyway, that conversation on Twitter was bashing Facebook as being an ineffective method for promoting or selling anything. Admittedly, I struggled with my Facebook page for my photography back in the day; the algorithm is quite challenging, and I stayed at 200 likes for years. But that conversation also opened my eyes to an intriguing truth about social media marketing. Each platform has its own audience, and these audiences are silos that don’t cross over much. Thus, they are all potential clients, customers and readers.

For quite some time, Instagram was my only social network, and I eschewed the others. I hated Twitter; it’s still not my favorite platform, even though I currently use it the most. I felt more comfortable on positive, visual, artsy Instagram, so that was all I used. I often feel, even now, that Twitter is full of judgmental people who are only seeking validation for their unhealthy behaviors, and people who will retweet all day and not click on a link. However, I have likewise met many supportive, intellectual, like-minded people who want to read good writing, on the flip side.

Many folks on Twitter just use Twitter. That’s their only social network. They have experienced trauma over their previous use of Facebook and avoid it at all costs. They don’t understand Instagram and see it as superficial and shallow. (And yet, they love bitching about Twitter, too. Some of my most popular tweets are complaining about how people use Twitter.)

Conversely, people on Facebook stick to Facebook. It caters to an older crowd. People my age use it only because their families are on it. Older Facebook users like to stay connected to their friends. There is a swathe of Facebook that enjoys ranting about and debating politics, but there is also a pocket that just likes posting random pictures of one’s day, or funny memes. Many Facebookers use it to communicate in place of calling someone on the phone or texting them. They use it to find out about garage sales, or local events, or what’s happening in their neighborhood. Conversely, although some use Instagram, most active Facebook users don’t understand Twitter, and see it as a waste of time.

That’s what really got me back on Facebook. I don’t want to reconnect with old friends from high school. I don’t have time for that. I would rather talk to them privately. I realized it was another potential audience of readers.

My ground rules are simply this: I will not post to my personal page, aside from crossposting what I generally post to my Instagram. I will not add family members or coworkers to my personal page. I will not post about politics or get involved in political debates. And I only use it on my computer, to restrict the amount of time that I spend there.

I don’t know anything about Facebook marketing yet, though, so I have a lot of research to do. I will report back what I find.

And I have a future post to write about relationship-based vs. exposure based marketing on Twitter. Intrigued? You’ll have to wait for the post.

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