How does a brand stay consistent, if social media audiences differ?

Social media has become a huge part of brand awareness and management for companies in the 21st century. Consumers are quick to turn to a brand’s social media platforms to gather information they may be seeking. Social media is an effective way to disperse one simple message to a variety of audiences across the world. Each social media platform has a different audience with different demographics, so how do brands keep their message consistent across platforms while altering their content for the platform’s specific audience.

When Yvonne Leow, Senior Snapchat Editor at Vox, spoke to us earlier in the term, she mentioned that Snapchat has the youngest audience, but what about Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

According to AdWeek:

Facebook: Of the 156.5 million Facebook users in 2015, 32.1 million (20.5%) were between the ages of 25 and 34. Followed by 26.2 million users (16.7%) who were between the ages of 18 and 24.

Twitter: Of the 52.9 million Twitter users in 2015, 11.7 million users (11.7%) were between the ages of 18 and 24. Followed by 11.3 millions users (21.5) who were between the ages of 25 and 34.

Instagram: Of the 60.3 million Instagram users in 2015, 19.4 million users (32.2%) were between the ages of 25 and 34. Followed by 16.7 million users (27.6%) who were between the ages of 18 and 24.

This demonstration by AdWeek expects to see the largest increase of 65+ social media users during 2016.

I spoke with Sarah Craig, the Director of Social Media at Duck TV. Duck TV is the University of Oregon’s student-run television network. It consists of 8 segments including news, sports, and six individual creative programs and a Public Relations Team. This television network is made possible by 150+ dedicated students who are involved with the program. Students have the opportunity to produce, direct, anchor/report, edit, write, compose, act, assist with production, and be involved with public relations efforts. Duck TV is truly a place for students to grow and it allows them to get hands-on experience in the television world.

Over the past few years, Duck TV has worked towards a more professional and recognizable brand and they have utilized social media to make this goal a reality. Duck TV has several social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Recently, they created a Snapchat for behind the scenes footage and a LinkedIn to display their accomplishments. “In Duck TV we strive to achieve consistency throughout different platforms by using the same hashtags and content from the same programs. I think consistency across different networks is essential to being viewed as a professional network.”

Since Duck TV is a college based brand, “Duck TV’s audience is almost entirely students or recent graduates, aging from 18–25. A few parents of students involved follow us as well, aging from 45–55.”

When asked which platform gathers the most interaction, Craig replied “Duck TV’s Instagram has the most user engagement by far. I think a big factor contributing to that is the use of more aesthetically pleasing content on Instagram than other platforms.” These “aesthetically pleasing” posts include photos, graphics, and boomerang videos.

Craig joined Duck TV in September 2015, working as a member of the Social Media Team. She was promoted to Director of Social Media a little over 3 months ago. “My biggest takeaway from my position is that brand image relies heavily on social media content. All the content shared needs to reflect the professionalism Duck TV is trying to promote or we aren’t taken as seriously.”

According to Craig, keeping content consistent is the best way to keep a brand consistent. Therefore, Duck TV’s content does not vary too much depending on the audience platform, but rather the goal of the overall brand. In the past year, Duck TV has gained many new followers, as well as added new platforms to their brand. Duck TV has taken a big step this year and is looking forward to continuing to build their brand and refine their current social media platforms.

Duck TV was on the right track when they decided to make a Snapchat this year. According to the International Business Times, Snapchat is the fastest growing social network for millennials, outranking Instagram. Snapchat offers way more than just visual communication. They have added many new features, including messaging, filters, and geotags. However, one of the largest new features is Snapchat Discover. This feature allows a user to view news stories from top publishers, watch live footage from trending events, and check out local campus stories.

In conclusion, I gathered that social media is one of the most effective ways to build a brand and give that brand an online presence. Additionally, using similar content across social media platforms creates a consistency among the brand, even though the audience may differ depending on the platform.

By Emily Sarale

Works Cited:

Craig, Sarah. “Duck TV Social Media.” Telephone interview. 9 June 2016.

Flynn, Kerry. “Snapchat Outranks Instagram As Fastest-Growing Social Network For American Millennials: Harvard IOP Poll.” International Business Times. N.p., 10 Dec. 2015. Web.

“Home: Welcome to Duck TV!” Duck TV. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2016.

Monteiro, Carlos. “Infographic: Who’s Really Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in 2015.” AdWeek. N.p., 12 Jan. 2015. Web.