Which audiences can I reach on which social media?

If you want to increase brand awareness, connect with your customers, or find new ones. Using social media is a good idea. But which audiences can you reach where and what social media channels are the best fit for your company? This article will help you take your pick from the most commonly used social media channels. Rico den Burger, social media specialist at RdB Communications, shares his tips for getting off to the best possible start.

Pick the social media channel that your customers use most. Ultimately, that is where you stand to gain the most. Check whether the channel and the posts or messages shared on it are a good fit for your company. These 9 social media channels had the most users in 2022.

1. WhatsApp: active customers and associates

WhatsApp is the biggest social media app in the Netherlands, with 12.5 million users in 2022. It is a good way to stay in touch with active customers and associates. You could set up a broadcast list to which people can subscribe or unsubscribe themselves. It takes little time and is very effective. Especially since you can add links, images, videos, and files. To get started, download the WhatsApp for Business app. Follow in Den Burger’s footsteps, who shares a free social media tip under the name ‘Whatsupp Social?!’ every Wednesday.

Decide what you would like to tell contacts and prepare a few messages in advance. That way, you will not have to make up a new message every time. Send weekly or biweekly messages to keep your contacts engaged.

2. Facebook: broad target audience

Facebook is the second-largest social media channel in the Netherlands, with 10.3 million users in 2022. It is also the only platform in this top 9 that saw its user base decrease compared to last year. The majority of Facebook users are between 25 to 75 years old.

Facebook lets you post lots of different messages, from text updates and photos to videos and links to your website. Facebook users are mainly looking for inspiring, funny, and useful content. So share interesting facts, new updates, or a practical explanation of your product or service.

3. YouTube: all age groups

In 2022, YouTube had 9.3 million users in the Netherlands. On this video channel, you can reach almost all age groups. YouTube is often forgotten. “A shame”, according to Den Burger, “because YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Almost every major Facebook or Instagram page also has a YouTube channel.”

Den Burger continues: “Videos are a great way to go into detail on your service or product. The good thing about YouTube is that your videos can be as long as you want. Other channels have photo, character, or video caps, but YouTube does not. On the other hand, making a video can take a lot of time and money.”

Videos of 10 minutes or longer perform best on YouTube. That is because YouTube rates videos by duration and rewards long videos by boosting their ranking. They are also given a higher ranking in the list of videos that automatically play when a video ends.

4. Instagram: up to 40

Instagram is one of the five biggest social media platforms with 6.6 million users. You will mainly reach 15-to-40 year-olds who love beautiful photos, interactive stories, and reels (in Dutch). All of your posts should contain an image or video.

“Variation is the key for a wide reach”, Den Burger points out. “Combine photos, videos, stories, and reels to reach as many users as possible. To grow your Instagram follower count, it is important that followers respond to your posts. Ask them a question and respond to their comments. Make sure to respond to other people’s posts too.”

Stories are public for 24 hours. They are mainly used for background information, like showing viewers ‘a day in the life’. Good examples according to Den Burger are myrthe.de.groot (real estate entrepreneur) and celinecharlotte (self-development entrepreneur). They engage and entertain their followers by showing them what they get up to every day and promoting their services. If you sell products, consider Instagram Shopping.

5. LinkedIn: business contacts

In 2022, 5 million people used LinkedIn in the Netherlands. The channel has the fastest growth rate of all major platforms (6% increase compared to 2020). On this platform, you will mainly reach 20-to-50-year-olds who are interested in building a business network. People on LinkedIn might be looking for a new job or assignment. You can start a (one-on-one) video conference, add your services to your introduction section or write a blog on your company page.

Use LinkedIn to tell your followers more about your product and company. Explain how your product works (in a blog, for example), show what your workday looks like (video), and share your successes. Personal pages outperform company pages on LinkedIn. So make sure to use your personal page to reach out to your target audience as well.

6. Pinterest: timeless inspiration

In 2022, Pinterest had 4.2 million users in the Netherlands, making it a medium-sized social network. Pinterest is mainly used by 20-to-50-year-olds to save recipes, interior decoration ideas, DIY tips, and travel inspiration.

Incorporate your product or service into 'pins' to be found. Consider pinning a photo of your product or service and link it to a blog. Have the pin refer users to your blog or website. Pins on Pinterest show up in search results months or even years after they are published. Keep your pins timeless and mention specific keywords in the description and you will reap the benefits for a long time.

7. X for current events

In 2022, X (formerly Twitter) had 3.5 million users in the Netherlands. On X, your audience will consist of journalists, politicians, and more. Posts are short posts of up to 280 characters that are often about the news or current affairs.

X is a great channel to engage with your target audience using short messages. Users follow each other, comment, and share posts. Post interesting news stories or free tips about your business or industry. You can also use X as a customer service tool. Remember that posts are public, so everyone can read them.

8. Snapchat: temporary snapshots

In 2022, Snapchat had 3.2 million users in the Netherlands, 250% more than in 2020. Most Snapchat users are between 26 and 41 years old. On Snapchat, you can share photos and videos of up to 10 seconds that disappear after 24 hours.

Filters are very popular on the platform. You can also create your own paid filters, which users can then see and use themselves. Keep your posts lighthearted, funny, and not too serious.

9. TikTok: young people with a love for music

In 2022, TikTok had 3 million Dutch users. This social media platform is home to the youngest audience: many users are between 9 and 24 years old. On TikTok, you will mainly find videos, music, and (text) effects.

“Dutch entrepreneurs and businesses are still relatively rare on TikTok. Will you be one of the first?”, Den Burger asks with a wink. “If it were up to TikTok, you would be. At their first TikTok World Event, they announced new developments for brand collaboration, online selling, and advertising.”

Responsible use of social media

Stay alert and critical when using social media for business. It is very important to avoid misuse of your data. Make sure to follow the new rules for online selling and European Privacy Legislation. Since mid-2022, influencers also have to comply with advertising rules. Do you collect data from (potential) customers? Check whether you are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Advertising on social media often reaches more people than a social media post.