With so many social media tools out there, how do you choose the right ones for your business?
Start by working backwards. Define your target market then use their favourite social media tools.
When it comes to target markets, 3 of the biggest groups who are the easiest to reach via social media are baby boomers, mums and teenagers.
Let’s take a look at the tools favoured by these 3 groups.
“Relationship building via social media marketing is not a one-size-fits all endeavor.”
Excuse the American spelling, the valuable data in this article, and the quote above, came from a terrific blog over at Social Media Examiner. For you social media fans, I’d highly recommend subscribing to their blog, it’s one of my favourites and is run by award winning author Michael Stelzner.
Before we jump into the insights by generation, are you a baby boomer?
Most sources agree if you were born between the mid-40’s and mid 60’s that you’re a baby boomer. This would make you somewhere around 45 and 65 years old in 2010.
About this time last year the fastest growing demographic on Facebook (based on US data) was women aged over 55 (InsideFacebook.com).
Now for you sales and marketing types, it’s obvious that the better you know your target market, the more successful you’ll be at getting them to engage with you.
So when it comes to incorporating social media with your marketing portfolio, if you’re targeting 1 of those 3 markets (baby boomers, mums and teenagers) then I have good news for you … and it starts with an ‘F’.
Baby Boomers love Facebook
I won’t go into all the terrific insights here, you can go to the source article on Social Media Examiner to find out more, but here are a few of the juiciest facts. There’s been a big jump in social media use by Baby Boomers, let’s take a look what tools they prefer to use:
- 107% increase in the use of Facebook by Baby Boomers from 2008 to 2009.
- 46% of Boomers said they maintain a social network profile (compared to 30% in 2007).
- 13% maintain a Twitter account (this jumps to 17% for the mid 60’s to mid 70’s age group).
- 13% use LinkedIn (compared to 4% of the more mature market).
How to engage with Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers place a high value on social media for connecting them with friends and family, so make your efforts personal and tap into word-of-mouth to grow your fan base. If you only choose one social media tool to engage with Baby Boomers, give Facebook a go first. Twitter would be a smart second choice.
Mums increase social media use by 462%
There’s been a healthy jump in the use of social media by mothers. Here are some of the most interesting facts and figures:
- 44% of mums use social media for word-of-mouth recommendations on brands and products.
- 74% says they find trustworthy information about products and services through niche online community sites.
- 75% of mums on Facebook are fans of at least 1 company or brand’s Facebook page.
- 16% of mums follow more than 10 companies’ Facebook fan pages.
Mums said their favourite pages were about parenting, coupons, restaurants, groceries and entertainment options, especially entertainment for their children.
How to engage with Mums
This is another target market where Facebook should be your first choice. Don’t make your page too generic though, focus on niche subjects highly relevant to mums, even if you have to set up 2 pages on Facebook and focus one on information and offers targeted just towards mothers / parents.
Teens to late 20’s: blogs down, social media up
You have probably guessed already that this technology-savvy group are some of the highest users of social media. The sites this market spend time on differ from the previous two groups.
- Nearly 72% of teens to late 20’s used social networking sites (this compares to 40% of adults aged over 30).
- The younger the audience, the more they favour MySpace (66%).
- 71% actively maintain a Facebook profile.
- 14% of teens blog (down from 28% in 2006) with 52% commenting on friend’s blogs (down from 76% in 2006).
- Twitter has been slower to catch on with teens, with 10% aged 14 to 17 using Twitter and 5% aged 12 to 13.
- For older teenagers that do use Twitter, it is dominated by the girls (13% of high school girls use Twitter versus 7% of high school boys).
How to engage with Teens to late 20’s
No surprises here, Facebook comes out on top again, but don’t overlook MySpace if you’re targeting the younger end of this market.
For the whole list of insights and to delve deeper into the original research, head over to Social Media Examiner (and no, there’s no affiliate stuff going on here, I just thought their article and these insights were worth sharing with you).
If you liked this article and you’re in love with Twitter as much as I am, feel free to head on up to the green ‘retweet’ button (top right) and share the love.
copyright Anna Gervai and Orchid Web Design March 2010