Reaching your target market through social media
The uproar in different social media sites over the past few years has altered the online marketing strategy plans and budgets of many companies and shifted their marketing focus to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Myspace, digg, Stumbleupon, Ning, and so on. For expansion stage software companies, this shift has been important because it’s cheaper, the reach is greater, and you can get your users to do a large chunk of your work by urging them to start talking about your product on social media before it’s even in the market!
Social media is still new to many marketing managers. So, before you launch a Facebook page or start a Twitter discussion, be strategic, and do research in advance to learn a little bit more about your customer in each of the social media sites.
Here are a few key statistics to get you started:
• Twitter and Facebook users don’t have large gender skews. Myspace, on the other hand, has the greatest gender divide. Myspace is female heavy with 64% female users and only 36% male.
• In terms of income, Twitter has the largest division of wealthy users. 27% of Twitter users earn $75k or more. Facebook is slightly lower at 23%. In contrast, 63% of Myspace users earn $50k or less.
• 37% of Facebook users are 45 years or older, so Facebook has the highest division of older users compared to the 45 or older Twitter and Myspace populations of 28% and 24% respectively.
• Twitter has the highest proportion of users with a secondary education; 37% at least have a bachelors’ degree.
The above statistics will give you an idea about the general demographics of the users you might be targeting with your social media marketing. It is important for companies and management teams to know these so they can create a good profile of their target customer. According to the above numbers, for example, if your product is geared toward older people, Facebook might be a better option for you. However, let’s say your target audience is graphic designers; you might want to broaden your social media advertising to websites such as StumbleUpon. So remember to keep your target audience in mind when using social media marketing.
One important component of social media marketing is to understand and use the affinity score. The affinity score estimates how many more times you are likely to reach an audience who visits a specific site or searches for specific keywords versus an audience on the internet overall. It ranks Twitter and Facebook users by their affinity toward keywords and gives you insight into better targeted social advertising and your product’s social performance. It is built using metrics that range from clicks on Facebook “like” buttons to posts on Twitter. By analyzing the natural language of the millions of status updates every day, the system identifies customer attitude, objective and action. For instance, an affinity of 0 means no awareness; 1-33 means some recall; 33-66 means good awareness; 66-99 means a strong purchase intent and an affinity of 100 means purchased/converted.
So, do some research around customer demographics and their social media use and look into their affinity scores as a start to better your social media marketing.