Blog / 9 Elements of Your Consumer’s Social Media Identity

9 Elements of Your Consumer’s Social Media Identity

Your social profiles make up your public brand. They invite your friends and network to learn more about your values and everyday interests. By nature, they also keep pace with your evolving tastes as you tap into your channels each day.

For companies, this means that social media is rich with consumer insights that traditional databases can’t provide. You can understand your consumers well beyond their transaction histories, and gain deeper intent data that’s informed by their everyday interest and social activity.

Read Also: What is Social Identity Data?

With 39% of the global population, or 2.9 billion people, actively using social media as of April 2017, social identity data is even more powerful (and available) than years prior.

A person’s online identity can be as intricate as his or her real-word personality and provide transparency into real-time emotions. You can also analyze the likelihood of him or her taking interest in your brand.

While identity involves a large variety of characteristics and behavioral cues, the elements below create the skeleton of a person’s social anatomy. Keep these in mind as you aim to personalize your marketing, which relies on a clear understanding of your consumers’ digital lifestyles.

9 elements of consumer social media identity


1. Social Presence

Does your prospect have a Facebook profile? How about a Twitter handle? Or an Instagram account? Your consumer most likely uses multiple social media accounts for various needs and expressions.

For example, think about your daily social media habits. You might use Twitter to share or comment on real-time news. On Instagram, you share your top-notch vacation photos. On Facebook, you brag about your orange tabby cat, Bruce.

Even if you don’t have a cat named Bruce, you get the point, right? You own various social handles because each channel serves a slightly different purpose.

Therefore, the sum of your profiles tells the most complete story about who you are.

In the same sense, you must consider all the various channels your consumers are actively using. Or if you’re only observing one social handle, remember that this single-channel identity is only a sliver of the user’s personality and may easily differ from his or her identity on other channels.

2. Demographics

Demographics have long served as the building blocks of segmentation strategies. Using information like age, gender, ethnicity, employment status, and more, you’ve likely created a persona or two to target.

While you can now choose from many other attributes to pare down an overall population, these building blocks still apply.

Social media offers unprecedented depth and accuracy in the data. Today’s top social channels match first-party data with various third-party data to better evaluate income levels, political affiliations, and more. Your consumers are also filling out their own profile details, or expressing their individuality on social media, to further confirm demographic details about themselves and to help you get to know them on a one-to-one, human level.

3. Locations

Location details can involve geo-tagged posts, or the “checked-in” locations of a user, on top of his or her digital footprints. While there’s been controversy over the “creepiness” of location-tracking, using location data responsibly can help you create better, more personalized brand experiences—similar to how Google can promise a faster, customized web search by automatically tailoring search results to your current locations.

A user’s geo-tagged posts can help you stay in touch with his or her reactions to live events, and provide additional context to his or her mood or interests at a certain location.

4. Profile Biography

On Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, a profile biography is the description you see under the name and handle of an account.

Twitter profile biography

Bio descriptions can give you an acute sense of how people identify themselves and what they value most. For example, in our analysis of 200K tweets around digital marketing, we found that 19% of authors used the term “marketing” in their bios, 7% included the word “business,” and 3% included the word “entrepreneur,” “founder,” or “consultant.” This helped us fine-tune our Twitter ad targeting, lowering our CPC by $2.02 while maintaining a consistent conversion rate in the following two months.

Such bio words can help to reasonably determine the types of personas within your audience, and to benchmark their behaviors across various social media conversations. You can also identify groups of your online consumers based on their bio terms using advance analysis tools like our Audience Builder.

5. Activity

How long has your consumer been plugged into social media (read: look at “account created” dates)? How often does he/she post to each channel? What type of content does he/she post?

By benchmarking activity, you can start identifying patterns around most-engaged times, or most appealing formats of content—and determine whether Twitter versus Facebook is the best channel to reach your consumer.

While up until now, you’ve probably seen numerous guidelines on best times to post, you can use social listening tools to analyze popular times to post by the individual, or by the segment.

Case in point: As we’ve been tracking conversations around #contentmarketing over the last month, we’ve aggregated a report showing that most content marketing posts are consistently published at around 11 a.m. (EST) or 2 p.m. (EST).

social media time of day breakdown

However, for conversations involving digital marketing and digital marketers, which we tracked using a different feed, the most popular times to post are between 9 a.m. (EST) and 10 a.m. (EST).

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t necessarily post during a noisy, high-traffic hour simply because the majority of users are doing that. But this provides more contextual understanding of when your target consumer(s) is active online, discussing or tuning into a particular type of conversation.

You can also track and analyze data more granularly to see whether your consumer is, in fact, participating in a certain conversation and to evaluate how he/she feels about it.

6. Associations

Associations encompass a person’s affinity towards particular brands and influencers based on who he/she engages with regularly on social media.

Using association data, you can identify the specific products your consumers may be scouting or purchasing, alongside the celebrities, shows, or brands they like.

This is helpful for several reasons:

  • You can better understand and predict certain buying habits
  • Monitor whether a user follows or expresses interest in your industry and/or a competitor
  • Conversely, by mapping associations with sentiment data, you can track whether a user recently had a bad experience with any brand in your industry
  • Discover the types of communication a user is receptive of, or expects, from brands on social media
  • Explore new promotion, partnership, or influencer marketing opportunities


7. Language and Expressions

Aside from a user’s preferred language, emojis can be telling of a person’s underlying emotions, motivations, and communication styles. While traditional word processors can’t detect sarcasm or moods like 😂, 😡, or 😝—emoji analytics can put sentiment into context and teach us how to effectively (and appropriately) use emojis in our conversations with customers.

Likewise, your consumer’s use of hashtags can serve as a good indicator of the events, movements, or products that he/she identifies with. As an example, consider the social media rally around #WomensMarch earlier this year. Beyond recognizing #WomensMarch as a trending topic, you’d benefit from knowing your consumer’s involvement in the movement so you can carefully word your communications around such a sensitive, emotionally charged topic.

8. Influence

Does your consumer have clout over any social audience(s) or topics? Do people listen when he/she posts to social media? Does he/she have real relationships with other social media users?

Remember, influence does not rely solely on a person’s follower count. A person may flaunt 100 million followers, but could receive minimal engagement on his or her posts—in which case, follower count would mean little to nothing.

#IRL this could equate to a celebrity who’s often in the public eye, but whose opinion is often discredited or disregarded. Whatever the case, influence can signal a person’s authenticity or familiarity with social tech. It can also indicate a person’s basic interest in social media. If he/she has a low influence score, perhaps he/she prefers standard modes of communication over social media?

9. Follower Breakdown

To fully understand a person’s influence or network of friends, it’s important to analyze his/her followers and connections. This means discovering the common traits, mutual friends, and associations looping a community together.

What professional circle(s) is your consumer part of? Who influences his/her social group?

As the adage goes, we are the products of our surroundings. This rings especially true on social media, where nearly half (45%) of digital buyers worldwide said that reading reviews, comments, and feedback influenced their digital shopping behaviors.

Follower details can help you understand consumer communities at large, and hone in on new partnership opportunities or conversation starters.

Using our Twitter Follower Analytics, you can easily get a rollup report of the shared demographics, behaviors, and characteristics of the followers of virtually any Twitter handle.

Twitter follower analytics



For as long as your consumers have been plugged into social media, data around their personalities, backgrounds, and relationships has been stacking up. Make sure to capture and understand these traits and buying signals to better personalize your marketing!

Which of these traits are you already observing? What other attributes do you care about? Need a way to enrich your current customer lists with social media information? Let us know by tweeting us @Zoomph, or learn more about our social media APIs!


See our Social Data API solutions. Matching, enrichment, and more.


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