Nothing stays static when it comes to technology. Just when you think you have the latest gadget or social media site figured out, either the current one changes its interface or a new one comes along that you have to adapt to.
Social networking is a constantly changing and evolving tool. To stay relevant and use social media to best connect with a target audience, authors can’t stay stagnant. Instead, we must adapt our strategies to fit the trends.
Following are seven social media facts from a recent Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults. I encourage you to use the findings from this survey to inform you of best practices in using social media to reach readers.
1. Facebook Is Still the Most Popular Social Network Site.
A little more than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) are Facebook users. Nearly 75% of these users check Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans of all generations use Facebook. Facebook is still an important place for authors and publishers to connect with readers.
2. Most Americans Use Three of the Major Social Platforms.
The average American uses three of the eight major social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and WhatsApp). Know your target audience. Find out which three social networks these people use the most and be present on these sites.
3. Instagram Shows the Most User Growth.
Pew Research has been collecting social media data since 2016. Over the course of the past three years, seven percent more U.S. adults now use Instagram then did in 2016. The percentage of adults who use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest remains the same as it was in 2016. Instagram is now the second most popular social platform for Americans.
4. Women Are the Primary Users of Pinterest.
Pinterest has always been heavily used by women. The Pew study found that 41 percent of women use Pinterest compared to just 16 percent of men. Since women influence 83 percent of all consumer spending in the United States, books geared for men can still be promoted on Pinterest.
5. LinkedIn Is Most Popular With College Graduates.
Around 50 percent of Americans with a college degree use LinkedIn, compared with just nine percent of those with a high school diploma or less. Studies have shown that people with higher education read more. LinkedIn remains a great place to connect with people who read.
6. Most of Senior Citizens Don’t Use Social Media.
Only 37 percent of those over 65 use social media. If your target audience is retired folks, then don’t spend a lot of time on social media promoting your books. Use more traditional channels to reach this age group.
7. Few People Have a Lot of Trust in the Information on Social Media.
I found this finding the most surprising. Only three percent of social media users say they have a lot of trust in the information they find on social media. It appears that earning people’s trust via social media may be an uphill battle—and trust is required for people to buy your books.
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Photo courtesy of Tracy Le Blanc.