Platforms part 3

Following last week’s discussion, here’s a break down of some of the more popular websites and how to use them to build an audience. Again, you have to experiment with each site to know if it works for you and no one has been successful without a unique idea and a constant stream of content. It’s important to note that being viral does not automatically equal a platform – a reliable amount of followers and high interaction is  proof of platform and what agents look for when considering new writers. No one has ever had success overnight.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media site with the most users, meaning the largest audience available. This can be a double-edge sword though because as more and more people join the site, it’s become less and less a “safe space” away from the annoying people in your life, so some users are leaving. According to this Forbes article the number of teen users is dropping and it’s expected for that pattern to appear in other users.

That said, Facebook can still be a valuable tool. Everyone knows Humans Of New York (HONY) started on Facebook before launching to other sites and becoming an international success. Facebook has become an integral part of many peoples’ lives – they check it daily and share the content they find with their friends.

To be completely transparent, Buck Off Magazine utilizes Facebook to promote this blog, our magazine and to interact with readers on a more regular basis. Not having a Facebook severely limits your outreach potential.

Tumblr

Tumblr is fun because it’s often ignored or overlooked. The most important thing to know about Tumblr is that there are a lot of users but those users are after specific content and it’s usually fan-driven and is very picture heavy. This can be great for artists, because Tumblr users rely on the tagging system to find posts. For example, if an artist creates an image of Steve Rogers running in his Captain America suit and tags it “Captain America”, they have a higher chance of someone viewing their work compared to placing it on Facebook.

That strength is also a hard weakness – users are after fan work and might not stay for non-fan related items. That’s a big generalization and discredits Tumblr users but a reality to the site. Tumblr users are (more often than not) more willing to accept unusual blogs – so if you’re not having a lot of success on WordPress, you might find an audience with Tumblr.

Pinterest (and others)

The reason I chose Pinterest for the final site breakdown is because it’s the best to illustrate one point: know you’re audience. This Marketing Land article breakdowns the gender stats on Pinterest – siting that nearly 80 percent of users identity as female and that more that 90 percent of posts are from female users. (There are other pinterest-like sites that are guy heavy but none of them have the kind of user-base Pinterest has.)

This is important to note because most social networking sites’ user-base is split evenly between the genders. But because Pinterest is different, different content flourishes faster. Creators need to know a site’s user-base and what those users want to see in order to produce the correct content. Pinterest is great example of how different sites have different audiences.

SUMMARY

Think of social media sites as people – each with their own personality, level of interaction, acceptance levels, etc. By knowing what’s expected, you can find a site that matches what you’re making and how to share it. Social media sites are great supplements for finding an audience but they don’t replace hard work or actually creating content – that’s up to you.

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