Building Flawless Author Foundations
We continue our series on building flawless author foundations by reviewing some social media demographic research to help you choose the right social media channel for your platform.
If you’ve already begun your author marketing journey, you may have some established social platforms. If you’re new to social media from a professional perspective, it can be overwhelming. The most important thing to remember, is that it’s not about being everywhere. It’s about being where your readers will find you.
Before we can understand how to find your reader, we have to know who your readers is.
Creating your reader avatar
Before determining where you should be on social media, you must know who your reader or avatar is. Unless you’ve written a dictionary, your target audience isn’t everyone. And that’s okay Fine-tuning this target reader will help improve not just you’re your social media but all of your marketing efforts.
What is an avatar?
An avatar is a sales/marketing term for a detailed description of your ideal customer. In your case, this is your reader. Your description should be so detailed, you should feel like it’s a real person. If fact, it’s a great idea to name this person, find a photo of what this person might look like, and write a description you can print out and put in front of you when you write.
You may be like some authors who knew who they were writing for before they ever put their hands to a keyboard. Some authors write books out of the abundance of their imagination and may not have defined this person. Either way, let’s take a look at these five key characteristics of your avatar:
- Marital status
- Children (especially important for children’s authors)
How to use your avatar
Now that you’ve created an avatar, let’s use some research from SproutSocial to confirm or learn where to find them. Keeping in mind that social media algorithms and user habits change all the time. Research is always going to be a year or so behind and can’t always predict what’s happening today, but it’s still better than guessing and failing. For our purposes, we’re going to assume, the location is the United States.
If you have established social media channels, I recommend you use the analytics associated with each account to confirm the details of your avatar. You can find these details on your social media platform’s dashboard.
At the time of this blog post, these are the primary social media platforms and their target audiences:
The audience here is almost evenly divided between men and women, with men leading slightly. Ages 25 – 34 make up the largest population, but I would argue, are probably not the most active age. I think there’s been a shift to an older audience on Facebook for several years.
Owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram’s audience is almost the same with ages 25 to 34, closely divided by men and women, with women leading by just a few percentage points.
This audience is older, ages 30 to 40 with a mostly male audience of 78% to 22% women.
This site is no longer just for “pinning” recipes. This growing platform is still primarily women with a 78% user base, ages 30 to 49. It’s a great site to “pin” blog posts and freebies.
What was once primarily a job search site, LinkedIn has become the premier networking site for professionals. This audience’s average age is 46 to 55 with almost a 50/50 split between women and men.
Nearly 72% of all men and all women on the Internet use YouTube. It’s no wonder, since every how-to and major brand hosts video on this platform. YouTube has 2 million subscribers, with the largest group ages 15 to 25 years old.
Of all the platforms, TikTok boasts the most time spent by users – an average of 45 minutes per day. While the primary demographic is 18 to 24 with 59% women and 41% men, the age seems to be rising as the platform ages and GenX and older Millennials get more comfortable behind the camera.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of social media platforms, but these are the primary platforms used by authors to reach readers. It’s always a good idea to check back with the SproutSocial’s annual report to confirm these platform analytics. Never underestimate your gut. If analytics say that your avatar spends 20 hours a day on Facebook, but you’ve been insanely successful interacting with her on TikTok, go for it. Create some video content and connect with her there.
Something to consider
Create a social media plan that works for you. If you’re new to social media or even the business side of social media, you might find the learning curve to be a little steep. And that’s okay. Everyone starts somewhere. You may need to find tutorials on how to manage these sites. YouTube is a great resource for basic social media training. I suggest you take one platform at a time. Learn how to use that platform and move on to the next.
I hope this series has been helpful. My hope is that even if you’ve taken just a few of the steps outlined in these blog posts, that you’ll review where you are and maybe learn something new to help improve your visibility and grow your platform. If you have any questions, please feel free to reply below. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. If you’re feeling stuck and need a little help, click here to schedule a time to get “unstuck” in a free, 30-minute consultation with me. I’ll do my best to help you get unstuck.