Thoughts about Targeting in Social Media

Social Media.  HUGE buzz word – but it’s just a “thing.”  Things don’t move the needle when you’re working in online marketing – actions and activities do.

A thing isn’t a strategy.  So what do you do with this “thing” that everyone is talking about?  If you’re like most small business owners –  you have no idea what to do with it.  You’re claiming profiles, you’re putting up a photo of your logo or business, or yourself….but you’re really not even close to answering the “WIIFM.”  (That’s “What’s In It For Me.”)

This recent report by Burst Media, plus a piece of advice I’m about to impart – is going to go a long way towards helping.

First the report.  I ran across this in my Facebook feed and really, it has some pretty awesome information in it.  If you’re thinking Social Media is right for your business, the first question you need to answer is “Where?”  Where you participate is important.  If you know your customer profile – age, gender, income, profession (you should know this – and it should be in your business plan) – then you can determine the best fit for your business with the information contained within it’s pages.

The report surveyed 2700+ Americans.  Not a huge group, but enough to get some ideas about who uses what – when.  First – the data that tells us where you should be participating.  Which gender uses what platforms.  This is so important.  If you sell car parts, Pinterest is probably not your place.  Facebook and Google+ with their gear-head-specific pages and groups are going to get you so much more.

If our target market is female – with no other qualifier – most social media platforms are going to work for you.  It seems men don’t interact as frequently as women, but that doesn’t necessarily count them out, but your time is finite – and finding the biggest “bang” for your “buck” is important.

This next graphic is going to be really important as a way for you to figure out WHAT content to share.  Don’t look at the colored bars, look at the percentage numbers next to each item – that really tells the story.

Showing support for causes, and accessing coupons and offers are on the top of the list for women and men – so make sure your content ticks these boxes.

The last part you need to know is how people interact with social media.  This is moving in a huge way towards a portable or mobile device.  Tablets and smartphones are becoming more and more popular.  Your website and your social strategy need to take this into account.

Remember – this survey is taken of Americans.  Go overseas – and you’ll see a drastic change here.  Most residents of Asian countries (China, Japan, Singapore) access social media via a mobile device.  If these are your markets, you better have a mobile friendly website and shopping experience.  Check out the collections of Mobile statistics (from 2012) I grabbed from

  • 44% of Facebook’s 900 million monthly users access Facebook on their phones and are 2x as active on the network as non-mobile users. (Facebook, 2012)
  • It takes 26 hours for the average person to report a lost wallet. It takes 68 minutes for them to report a lost phone. (Unisys, 2012)
  • 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. 70% of online searches result in action in one month(Mobile Marketer, 2012)
  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase(Search Engine Land, 2012)
  • 61% of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call. (Google, 2012)
  • 52% of all mobile ads result in a phone call. (xAd, 2012)

So now you have the who, and the where, and even the why – but let’s answer the “how.”  Here’s my piece of advice.

If you’re not into Social Media – find someone who is to do this for you.

Your audience will see your slipshod attention to your streams and engagement.  You cannot fake it.  A half effort will be seen as virtually no effort – and it will not work.

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