From Anonymity To Insight: 5 Demographics That ‘Uncloak’ Your Social AudiencesFebruary 19, 2015
Are social media audiences truly anonymous? (Spoiler: no.) In order to see success in today’s changing, real-time landscape, marketers need to shake off, Taylor Swift style, any outdated ideas of ‘lacking’ information on prospects and customers.
The Challenge Of Perception
A Marketer’s biggest roadblock is that social media audiences are thought to be cloaked in mystery, almost like a Game Of Thrones character cast for the real world. And, unfortunately, that fact colors the way we view the efficacy of social media marketing.
Time after time, we see articles that read: “Social media doesn’t have ROI.” Well, how could it, if we only use 140 characters of audience content to tell us about who they are? There are no guarantees, as media outlets have been quick to tell us. But when it comes down to it, social media isn’t the problem. It’s our rigid perception of ‘limitations’ that drags us down.
A New Equation For Impact
But, oh how the times are a changin’. While people initially flocked to social media platforms in the mid-2000’s because of the ‘online anonymity’ (read: a network our parents couldn’t see), now it’s pretty much a universal joke that we put EVERYTHING out there. So that dismissive “ROI-less” argument needs to move over for a more modern equation of success:
OLD SOCIAL EQUATION: Developing a Large Audience + Blasting Brand Messaging = ROI
NEW SOCIAL EQUATION: Audience Insight + Engagement = Long-Term Brand Loyalty
Arguably, long-term brand loyalty is ROI on crack. Because when a social media prospect gets turned into a brand advocate, they are likely to both make multiple purchases from you and encourage others to do the same. This is something that you can ONLY do on social media, where a single positive mention from a fan has the potential to be seen by thousands of new audiences around the globe.
Finding YOUR Demographics
General social media demographics, like the fact that Facebook is now skewing older, are things you should already know. What’s more important are the demographics for your unique business. Just like traditional marketing tactics, success is 100% based of analytic insight. Here are 5 ways you should be breaking down your audiences:
Creating marketing messages that resonate for Gen X is a completely different ball-game than Millenials. Knowing this breakdown is the number one factor that will impact your core messaging, and even your pricing and customer conversion process.
Skipping the whole “Men are from Mars” concept that messaging impact changes between the genders (it does btw), studies have shown that gender is a factor in impulse purchases, dedication to a brand, and even responsiveness to free product samples. Whether your approach is a hard sale or educating through content marketing, your audience’s gender breakdown is going to play a role.
While this might seem an outdated metric, ethnicity breakdowns can actually help you resonate across different cultures and languages. For instance, if a large percentage of your social audiences are Hispanic, you should be doing A/B testing on Spanish vs. English campaigns, to see which resonate better and add a stronger sense of community.
This is the most obvious demographic. Where do your ideal audiences live, so that they are most likely to see the messaging in the first place? Not all social platforms are created equal for your business, and knowing where your audience is active is half the battle for your effort and time spent.
Knowing that the majority of your fans live in a certain location helps you connect on a local level. Besides focusing your strategies to where people would be most receptive, Geo Social understanding also helps you identify the native content preferences for regions, states, and even individual cities.
The Knowledge Is Out There
Social audiences offer up all these demographic insights on a silver plate for marketers. Gender, age, preference, location, and even ethnicity can be learned just by doing a little research on a person’s profile page. Manual? Doesn’t have to be, with the abundance of social media analytic tools that are both automated and cost-effective for growing businesses.
But remember that great social media analytic tools should tell you all 5 of the metrics above. The more insight you have to remove social media anonymity, the more power you have to target, engage, and convert.