Wednesday Sep 05, 2012

Social Targeting: This One's Just for You

Think of social targeting in terms of the archery competition we just saw in the Olympics. If someone loaded up 5 arrows and shot them straight up into the air all at once, hoping some would land near the target, the world would have united in laughter.

But sadly for hysterical YouTube video viewing, that’s not what happened. The archers sought to maximize every arrow by zeroing in on the spot that would bring them the most points.

Marketers have always sought to do the same. But they can only work with the tools that are available. A firm grasp of the desired target does little good if the ad products aren’t there to deliver that target. On the social side, both Facebook and Twitter have taken steps to enhance targeting for marketers. And why not? As the demand to monetize only goes up, they’re quite motivated to leverage and deliver their incredible user bases in ways that make economic sense for advertisers.

You could target keywords on Twitter with promoted accounts, and get promoted tweets into search. They would surface for your followers and some users that Twitter thought were like them. Now you can go beyond keywords and target Twitter users based on 350 interests in 25 categories.

How does a user wind up in one of these categories? Twitter looks at that user’s tweets, they look at whom they follow, and they run data through some sort of Twitter secret sauce. The result is, you have a much clearer shot at Twitter users who are most likely to welcome and be responsive to your tweets. And beyond the 350 interests, you can also create custom segments that find users who resemble followers of whatever Twitter handle you give it.

That means you can now use boring tweets to sell like a madman, right? Not quite.

This ad product is still quality-based, meaning if you’re not putting out tweets that lead to interest and thus, engagement, that tweet will earn a low quality score and wind up costing you more under Twitter’s auction system to maintain. That means, as the old knight in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” cautions, “choose wisely” when targeting based on these interests and categories to make sure your interests truly do line up with theirs.

On the Facebook side, they’re rolling out ad targeting that uses email addresses, phone numbers, game and app developers’ user ID’s, and eventually addresses for you bigger brands.

Why? Because you marketers asked for it. Here you were with this amazing customer list but no way to reach those same customers should they be on Facebook. Now you can find and communicate with customers you gathered outside of social, and use Facebook to do it. Fair to say such users are a sensible target and will be responsive to your message since they’ve already bought something from you.

And no you’re not giving your customer info to Facebook. They’ll use something called “hashing” to make sure you don’t see Facebook user data (beyond email, phone number, address, or user ID), and Facebook can’t see your customer data.

The end result, social becomes far more workable and more valuable to marketers when it delivers on the promise that made it so exciting in the first place. That promise is the ability to move past casting wide nets to the masses and toward concentrating marketing dollars efficiently on the targets most likely to yield results.

Tuesday Aug 28, 2012

Moms on Mobile: Are They Way Ahead of You?

woman working with babyYou may have no idea how much and how fast moms are embracing mobile.

Of all the demographics that can be targeted by marketers, moms have always been at or near the top of the list. And why not? They’re running households, they’re all over town, they’re making buying decisions, and they’re influencing family and friends.

They, out of necessity, become masters of efficiency and time management. So when a technology tool, like mobile, comes along that assists with that efficiency and time management, we would obviously expect them to take advantage of it.

So if it’s obvious, why are so many big, sophisticated brands left choking on the dust of moms who have zoomed past them in the adoption of mobile, and social on mobile?

Let’s break down some hard truths as presented by a Mojiava report:

-Moms spend 6.1 hours per day on average on their smartphones – more than magazines, TV or radio.

-46% took action after seeing a mobile ad.

-51% self-identify as “addicted” to their smartphone.

-Households with an income of $25K-$50K have about the same mobile penetration among moms as those with incomes of $50K-$75K. So mobile is regarded as a necessity for middle-class moms.

-Even moms without smartphones spend 2.5 hours on average per day on some connected mobile device.

woman working on tablet-Of moms with such devices, 9.8% have an iPad, 9.5% a Kindle and 5.7% an iPod Touch.

-Of tablet-owning moms, 97% bought something using their tablet in the last month.

-31% spend over 10 hours per week on their tablet, but less than 2 hours per week on their PCs.

-62% of connected moms use shopping apps.

-46% want to get info on their mobile while in a store.

-Half of connected moms use social on their mobile. And they’re engaged. 81% are brand fans, 86% post updates, and 84% comment.

If women and moms are one of your primary targets and you find yourself with no strong social channels where content is driving engagement and relationship-building, with sites not optimized for mobile, or with no tablet or smartphone apps, you have been solidly left behind by your customers and prospects. And their adoption of mobile and social on mobile is only exponentially speeding up, not slowing down.

How much sense does it make when your customer is ready to act on your mobile ad, wants to user your iPad app to buy something from you, wants to be your fan on Facebook, wants to get messages and deals from you while they’re in your store…but you’re completely absent? I’ll help you cheat on the test by giving you the answer…no sense at all.

Catch up to momma.

Friday Aug 24, 2012

Social Targeting: Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?

darts on a targetAre you the kind of person that tries to sell Clay Aiken CD’s outside Warped Tour concert venues? Then you don’t think a lot about targeting your messages to the right audience. For your communication to pack the biggest punch it can, you need to know where to throw it. And a recent study on social demographics might help you see social targeting in a whole new light.

Pingdom’s annual survey of social network demographics shows us first of all that there is no gender difference between Facebook and Twitter. Both are 40% male, 60% female. If you’re looking for locales that lean heavily male, that would be Slashdot, Hacker News and Stack Overflow. The women are dominating Pinterest, Goodreads and Blogger.

So what about age? 55% of tweeters are 35 and up, compared with 63% at Pinterest, 65% at Facebook and 70% at LinkedIn. As you can tell, LinkedIn supports the oldest user base, with the average member being 44. The average age at Facebook is 51, and it’s 37 at Twitter.

babyIf you want to aim younger, have you met Orkut yet? 83% of its users are under 35. The next sites in order as great candidates for the young market are deviantART, Hacker News, Hi5, Github, and Reddit. I know, other than Reddit, many of you might be saying “who?” But the list could offer an opportunity to look at the vast social world beyond Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (which Pingdom did not include in the survey at all due to a lack of accessible data).

As for the average age of social users overall:
26% are 25-34
25% are 35-44
19% are 45-54
16% are 18-24
 6% are 55-64
 5% are 0-17
 and 2% are 65

Now you know where you stand on the “cutting edge” scale for a person your age. You’re welcome.

Certainly such demographics are a moving target and need to be watched and reassessed on a regular basis to make sure you’re moving in step with the people you want to talk to. For instance, since Pingdom’s survey last year, the age of the average Facebook user has gone up 2 years, while the age of the average Twitter user has gone down 2 years.

With the targeting and analytics tools available on today’s social management platforms, there’s little need to market in the dark. Otherwise, good luck with those Clay CD’s.


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