Understanding Social Media Customers [Research]

As a social media marketer, content marketing plays a key role in my overall social media strategy. Content marketing is not only focused on selling, but it should also inspire loyalty and interest from current and potential customers. With that said, as a business you should know who you’re trying to target. Many businesses attempt to appeal to everyone, but this can often lead to mixed messages and sometimes confusion. It’s important to narrow your market and select a niche to focus your social media content marketing efforts. This will allow you to craft targeted messages and content that will attract the customers you’re looking for.

Understanding Social Media Customers

I recently came across a study by VisionCritical which identified important factors for organizations to consider when trying to understand their social media consumers. The data was focused on their behavior and actions using different social platforms. Here are a few key points the study brought to light:

What social networks are your customers using?

In order to use social media to reach your customers, you need to understand where to find them. Understanding what customer segments are using which social networks is key. This will help identify opportunities and direct your social media strategy to address the needs of your different customer segments.

Understanding Social Media Customers [Research] image Social Media Audience Pinterest FacebookSocial Media Audience - Pinterest Facebook

Question: Which of the following social media sites, if any, do you use?

What do they want from your social media presence?

Users engage on social networks differently. For example, users may turn to Pinterest to learn about DIY projects, or Twitter to learn about current events. As a brand you need to understand what your customers like to do on each social network, and most importantly how they want to engage with you. The keys are to provide content that is relevant and understand the tone that resonates with your users.

Understanding Social Media Customers [Research] image Presense on social networkPresence on social network

Does purchase lead to sharing or sharing lead to purchasing?

The study identified that the relationship between sharing and purchasing is largely dependent on the individual. There are instances where social sharing is a very weak indicator of purchase intent, but in other cases social sharing can lead a consumer directly to a purchase. The study found two important data points:

  • 41% of people purchased because they just happened upon it while researching and they hadn’t even thought about buying it
  • 88% of people purchased by searching for it and were already thinking about buying it or something like it

Key lesson: Ask your customers whether they share during their discovery process. This will help you focus your social outreach to customers who are actually researching your products.

You can find the entire study here (highly recommended). Research and images courtesy of VisionCritical.

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