Hi there, I’m Trevor Robertson, and I’m an Interactive Marketing Student Assistant at Chapman University. I wanted to talk about an online strategy I think is really important, but not everyone fully recognizes: social network targeting and strategic implementation.

We’ve all heard that everyone is on Facebook, and that everyone should be on Twitter. A big question that always comes up in regards to social media usage is “how can I get better at using Facebook and Twitter,” when the question people ought to be asking is “Should I be using Facebook and Twitter at all?”

Now, I don’t want to give off the impression that I don’t like Facebook or Twitter, or recognize their usefulness; they are both extremely powerful tools for reaching large groups of people. When it comes down to it, if you’re going to be on just two social media networks, it should most likely be those two.

But here’s a quick quiz for you: You want to reach a large amount of high schoolers, aged 16-18; Which platform should you use?

If you answered ‘Facebook,’ you’re wrong. Well, you’re not wrong, but you aren’t making the most of your time and effort online. Studies have shown that increasingly, high schoolers are stepping away from Facebook (they say it’s ‘too stressful’) in favor of two other social networks: Twitter and Instagram.

My little sister, who’s a junior in high school, says that she rarely uses her Facebook anymore. Twitter, she says, is more useful for keeping in contact with people she wants to talk to, and Instagram fulfills the ‘bragging’ aspect of Facebook better than Facebook does. She says she knows people in high school who don’t even have Facebooks anymore, which is something that would have been unbelievable just a few years ago to those who are ‘in the know’ about social media.

What this means is that targeting your social media is just as important as having good things to share, or content, on social media. There are a few ‘wild west’ kinds of social media as well, where we don’t know exactly how to promotionally leverage them: sites like Vine, Reddit, and Buzzfeed can mean different things to different people, and, because they’re so new to the public consciousness, the gamut runs especially wide in marketing.

This all boils down to doing your research: where is your target audience? What do they like seeing, and how do they like seeing it? What is your role in their life? When you understand these questions, and the answers to them, it makes it a lot easier to develop relevant content and deliver it in poignant ways.

artwork via edudemic.com