Saturday, 7 November 2015

Understanding Your Blog and Social Media Audiences (and How to Treat Them Accordingly)

Understanding Your Blog and Social Media Audiences (and How to Treat Them Accordingly) | Not Dressed As Lamb
The idea of having different audiences across different social media platforms (and my blog) was not something that had ever occurred to me until about six months ago. Until earlier this year I had merrily been posting content on my blog, then simply repeating it on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. in order to reach all my followers in all the different places.

In theory this worked perfectly fine. Not every reader follows you on every platform. Therefore repeating my content in order to reach everyone, everywhere seemed perfectly logical...

...Until I questioned why certain posts were incredibly popular on the blog, but failed dismally on one or more of my social media platforms. So the concept of reaching my audience on each platform wasn't actually working as well as I'd hoped.


I'm not sure when I had this eureka moment, but I didn't read about it on another post or see it on Pinterest. (I'm sure someone somewhere has written this exact same thing in a post, but I've not come across it.)

One day it occurred to me that the people I was interacting with on Twitter were mostly bloggers. Not exclusively, of course, but a large percentage. I know myself that if I want to contact a blogger quickly, I'll tweet them.


I then realised that every new "like" on Facebook generally wasn't from a blogger. And Facebook is starting to get a bit old hat for teenagers, who are using platforms like Snapchat much more. So I knew my audience on Facebook weren't bloggers, and I knew that they were almost exclusively female (which figures, considering the type of blog I have), and I knew that the highest proportion of followers (77% in fact) were in the 25-54 age range:

Facebook audience | Not Dressed As Lamb
So the eureka moment was simple but blindingly obvious: Different people follow you on different platforms. But I was dishing out the same information to everyone, everywhere. The reason why my latest blogging tips post failed to get much interest on Facebook was because my followers on Facebook weren't bloggers. However, tweeting a link to that post at the right time (with the right hashtags and an image) was a success, receiving lots of favourites and retweets.


You may be reading this and thinking: Of course it's obvious! Why wouldn't you know that? But to me it wasn't obvious, so maybe there are other (seasoned) bloggers out there who haven't realised it either. Secondly, there may be bloggers out there who do know this (at the backs of their minds maybe?) but aren't addressing the fact by not filling each platform with information that's relevant to that platform's audience.

So in order to up your game on all your social media platforms as well as your blog, you need to treat each one entirely differently. Don't publish a post on your blog and then simply post it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. as if you're simply ticking off a check list.

Give the readers on each platform what they want. And then give them something more.


I've broken down each of my social media platforms here so you can see the differences between them all, and what I do for each one. I won't say that I'm doing all of them perfectly - far from it! - but I recognise how each one is different and where I need to make changes.

(Please note this is purely how I came to understand my followers - this is not meant to be how you should understand - and therefore treat - yours! Everyone's audiences will be different, these are just some examples for you.)

1. Facebook

Facebook is the easiest platform to see who is following you. This was the biggest revelation for me, and I'd always hated Facebook... until I understood who my audience were. As you can see from the screenshot above (go to Insights > People > Your Fans to see who is following you), my audience is mostly made up of British, Irish and American women in the 30-50 age bracket. Therefore I started to publish more articles and posts that would appeal to these women, not just regurgitated blog posts.

As a result, my likes, comments and shares started to go up much more quickly than ever before. I now I actually enjoy conversing with my followers on Facebook because I now understand them, and what they want, much better.

2. Twitter

As mentioned above, Twitter is my go-to for having a quick chat with other bloggers. Apart from replying to others and tweeting little titbits and thoughts, I make sure I schedule regular links to my social media platforms, new and old blog posts, and join in Twitter chats. Whilst not exclusively for bloggers, of course, I find it's the best way to reach out to the blogging community.

3. Instagram

Oh, wonderful Instagram! It has, of course, totally changed since it was launched in 2010, going from somewhere to post instant snaps (hence the name) with all the filters and borders (remember them?) to a platform that's as much about the aesthetics of the whole feed of an account as it is about the aesthetics of each image. Many Instagram followers do not follow your blog in any way at all, and as you can't add linked URLs to your posts then you IG feed is the only way they'll get to know your brand.

By becoming much stricter about what I post on Instagram, I noticed my follower numbers increased rapidly. I no longer add every image from every post on my blog; if it doesn't fit my aesthetic, I won't post it. Instagram doesn't send much traffic to your blog because you can't add a linked URL to the post, only in your profile.

Instagram is now generally all about pretty pictures. If it ain't pretty and/or work with my aesthetic and colour scheme, I won't post it.

4. Pinterest

Like Instagram, Pinterest is all about the aesthetic, but unlike Instagram you get the benefit of working links. There are two types of pin that are always the most popular on my feed: The pretty outfit/nails/make up/hairstyle, and the "how to" pins. I still use Pinterest as a platform for my own personal use - the classic "pin now, read later" or simply because I like the colours of something - but I'll address my audience by pinning plenty of the "how to" posts and outfits.

5. Youtube, Newsletter, Google Plus, Bloglovin - and the blog

I've put these altogether because not everyone uses these (with the exception of the blog, of course).

Youtube: I've yet to master. One technical/logistical problem after another has meant my video-making stalled big time, but I'll get there. Studying what my blogging peers are doing on Youtube has given me lots of ideas on what to post once I'm ready to vlog regularly.

Newsletter: I've steadily built up my mailing list over a year to just over 1,000 subscribers, and it seems a fairly even mix of bloggers and non-bloggers. So I'll look at the stats for each newsletter to see what people are clicking on most, and stick with that. A mailing list is the one way to "own" your followers outright without having to rely on an App or a social media platform. I use (and highly recommend) Mailchimp as a reliable and user-friendly email marketing service.

Google Plus: Isn't particularly popular but remember this: Anything you post on G+ will go near the top of Google searches of those people who follow you on this platform. Get followers > Use keywords > Enjoy more traffic. My followers on G+ are a strange and mixed bunch (a lot of men and all sorts of countries, not just my usual UK/US/Canada/Australia), so it's hard to know what to post on G+. I add my posts to relevant community groups as well as my own feed in order to reach more people.

Bloglovin: This is essential as a key platform for readers to follow you. I think it's the bloggers' follow-method of choice, so ensure you've claimed your blog and give a link to your blog on Bloglovin, not your personal profile. If the Bloglovin link on your blog goes to a page showing all the posts you've saved and liked, you've got the wrong page. It should list all your blog's posts, nothing else.

Your blog: This is the most obvious as of course this is the "hub" of all your content! Use Google Analytics to understand who your audience are, where they're from, what they read your blog on, what keywords they're using to find you, what posts are the most popular, and so on. Here's a great post about the basics of Google Analytics for bloggers - it's tricky, but absolutely worth the effort.

What about you: Have you come to understand the difference between your followers on all your platforms - and do you treat them accordingly? Tell me if this post has helped you "see the light" (like my eureka moment!) in the comments below, or if it's easier tweet me @notlamb!


P.S. Like this post? You might also want to read 11 Ways to Use Twitter to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites

Main image credit: Free-to-use image not filtered by licence.


  1. Being in advertising, this is part of my job. Which is why I am grateful to still being in the business. All these young people surrounding me who manage the social media and who educate me in how it works and how to target to your audiences. But, as I post mostly outfits, I have less worries. Somewhere though I have attached my personal Facebook to a medium instead of my blog page. Have to set that right. As for men on Google+... I have been checking them out and blocked all of them except one. They seem very fishy: hardly any photos or posts, usually a military profession... I smell a scam here. I don't believe they are who they pretend to be and I think they have alterior motives. Sometimes it is obvious and I see lots of photos of scarcely dressed women....

    1. Hmm yes the men on G+ are a bit of a worry, aren't they Greetje?! As long as they just +1 my posts and nothing else, I'll leave them alone... What they get out of it I have no idea (I'd rather not think about it)!!

  2. Not that I had an eureka moment (for me it was a bit more of an organic experience where I discovered through trial and error what works best on which platform) but yes, I absolutely agree that each of the platforms has to be addressed differently. Which is also why it requires so much time and work. It's almost as though you have a different personality on different media.
    xx Abby

    1. SO much time and work, you're absolutely right Abby! But the results are definitely worth it, aren't they :)

  3. This is such a helpful and informative post Catherine. I know that I need to get better at this type of thing but it is so far out of my comfort zone that I tend to just put it to the bottom of the 'to do' list. Anything to do with IT and data and analytics freaks me out! This has given me some motivation to try a few things out. Lorraine x

    1. I'm glad, Lorraine - I hope it works out for you! Just tackle one thing at a time x

  4. Brillant! I think this information will help many.

  5. Excellent and very useful post, Catherine. I have been putting off adding Instagram, but I know it's in my future. See you later at VisMon. xox

    1. Oooh it'd be lovely to have you on Instagram at last, Patti!!

  6. Thank you for this, Catherine...although I am still pretty clueless...To be perfectly honest!
    I really dislike facebook so I don't look at it as often as I should and put a pathetic amount of effort into it (I do respond to comments though). I should try harder, but my heart is not in it (even though I know that my demographic is!).
    I love twitter (but it had not twigged that there are a lot of bloggers on there...maybe I just think everyone is blogging?! hahaha)
    As for instagram....I have only just started using it and I LOVE it!! After thinking "Why do I need that? Sounds boring/just for kids". My eyes have been opened. Lots of fun! I know we can not add links but I don't care...I love it you say, pretty pictures!
    I have a question...How do you join/start/find twitter chats? I have not figured that out yet (so much still to learn). Can they lead to blog traffic?
    Thank you again for another insightful post.
    Fake Fabulous

    1. It goes to show just how different they all are, doesn't it Samantha? And it proves my point about having to treat them all differently (she says, trying not to sound too smug)!!

      Honestly, you will enjoy Facebook so much more once you "tap into" what the type of woman who uses it wants. I dislike Facebook as a platform intensely (so damn confusing and user-UNfriendly), but I've manipulated it so that I get more enjoyment out of it. Took me ages, though...!

      Twitter chats: There's nothing more than just knowing what they are, when they are and just joining in. I'll tweet you a link to a good blog post that lists them! xx

  7. Luckily I worked as a digital strategist and knew to use each social platform different. I learned quickly that my motivational, lifestyle, and social posts do not perform well on IG or FB. So I share those posts in Google+ communities which helps with traffic. It takes a lot of trial and error when it comes to social bc our audiences in each will change with time which also affects our strategy.

    Xo Miriam
    Scripts of Flair

    1. I think I sort of knew it, Miriam... It was like it was always at the back of my head, but because I hadn't read it anywhere else I just didn't apply it! Trial and error is right, it takes a while - but the results are worth it, aren't they? Thanks for your comments x

  8. Hi Catherine, that was an interesting read and something I just shared onto my twitter. I should show this to some of my clients. xx

  9. I'm still trying to figure out social media to get more blog traffic. Great post!!

    1. As with the theme of the post, Jaymie, each one is so different - sticking a link onto each platform and hoping for the best just won't work (more's the pity)!! Stick with it, and apply everything you read that seems relevant - you'll soon see results :))

  10. Really helpful post, thank you! I'm going to have a look at my social media following tonight and try and figure out who my audience is for each one.

    Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches

  11. I totally get this! I find the post I write involving special offers goes down best on facebook for some reason.
    So really I should link my affiliates to my facebook. Eureka! Now that's got me thinking. ...
    Thank you for yet another great informative post
    Laurie x

    1. I'm so glad, Laurie... You're having the eureka moment that I described in the post!!

  12. This is such an interesting and informative article. I'd not really thought about different kinds of audiences (mostly my "audience" is my family and friends!) but I'm logging this info for a possible future when more than three strangers ever read my thoughts! Very much enjoying your blog as well! Visiting from #brilliantblogposts

    1. Then you're one step ahead of me at the same stage, Jennifer - I've been a pro blogger for two years and I only just worked this out recently!! Good luck with it, and thank you for the kind words! x

  13. I'm bookmarking this for sure. I knew this for my job as a social media manager. I have no idea why I haven't used it for my blog. Revelation moment!! xx #brilliantblogposts

    1. Haha funny how it doesn't click like that sometimes, isn't it Chloe...? Thanks hun, hope it works well x

  14. What a fantastic post! Very helpful. I'm bookmarking it for future use! :)

  15. What a brilliant post! I have only recently had the Instagram revelation and now only post images that 'make me feel a certain way' rather than just pictures of my dinner. I've always struggled with Facebook but I definitely need to look at my followers and tailor my content accordingly. Thanks so much for the advice #brilliantblogposts

    1. Tell me about struggling with Facebook, Natalie...!! I honestly have no idea why it's so popular, it changes every week and is so confusing. I've enjoyed it so much more since identifying my audience because the interactions I have more than make up for the craziness of the platform itself. Hope it works well for you, thanks for dropping by :)

  16. Thank you for this, Catherine. My, social media can be a minefield, not least because as you've highlighted the subtle and not so subtle differences! I've now had time to properly read this post and digest it and there are so many nuggets here to take away - thank you for sharing them. How bloggers manage to 'manage' all the platforms boggles my mind to be honest. I'm just focusing on 3 - pinterest, instagram and twitter - as that's all I can handle at the moment!

  17. Yes I'm a fairly new blogger and I have been experimenting with each platform and some days it works and some it doesn't . It really seems hit or miss most of the time, so frustrating. But your post had given me some insight, thank you.

  18. Hello Catherine - Thank you for sharing your blog background experiences. I am inspired to try a new template via your blog designer and to venture into other audience platforms. I love to write but having a very busy job, thank goodness, it's hard to find the time.


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