I enjoy reading market studies and applying them to all sorts of different businesses. In my latest research, I ran across Edison Research’s post “The Social Habit 2011″ and gave it a good think. Below is my recommendation to you in general business terms as to how each result of their study could affect your business. This is really interesting to read. So, what does it tell me?
- “Social Media now reaches the majority of Americans 12+, with 52% having a profile on one or more social networks. This figure is driven largely by Facebook, which is now used by over half (51%) of Americans 12+.” -- Tom Webster, Edison Research
- If half of the online American audience is on Facebook, then you probably should be too. Try it, see how it works, advertise, connect and build a network, get recommended. But, if you know that your clientele is not on Facebook or not predominantly American, then don’t spend your business time there because it will suck your time away.
- Twitter is heavily used by businesses. While the people who are regular twitter users are typically power users and power recommenders (the loudest voices and most knowledgable), the audience is small. If you have the time to keep up and if your clients use it a lot … let’s say ~30 – 50% of your client base… then, get thee to tweeting.
- People check things like Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry, etc. several times a day… try Morning, Lunch, and after Work, then likely again after bed. Ask your customers when they are online. If you have a Facebook page or twitter profile, observe and note when your clients respond, comment, etc. Then, target your updates (including blog posts) to post right around the time when they are online. If you are the first thing they see, likely they’ll read your stuff. It’s the same addage… if you send email at night, people look at it later the next day. But, if you send the first email of the morning, then likely you’re going to be read. Don’t you typically read the first thing on any list? Most people do too.
- Mobile, mobile, mobile. If you access on the go, then your clients may too. Does your blog or website look good from a mobile view? Can you shorten updates and sacrifice quality of images in order to reach people when they’re online? Go back to #3.
- Location Based Services – before you dive into this, find out if your client base even uses it. You could get into offering people discounts on location targeting sites, but if your clients are’t using it, don’t waste your time trying to drag them over. Wait until the majority are on OR go after a new segment of your market by targeting a generation who loves to “check-in” and become King of the Puyallup McDonald’s.
- Facebook influences buying decisions. Why? Because my friend said, “it’s cool”. Better yet, because my friend said it “sucks.”
- No one site is a major influencer. Why? because people are spread out based on their interests. Except when it comes to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter where people co-locate with several interests for the purpose of networking, most folks go to other forums or social sites that are targeted toward that interest. For example, Yelp helps with local items, recommendations, and what I can eat or do around me. So, if you were a restaurant, bar, or local brick-and-morter business, Yelp is perfect for you to build a presence on and offer coupons.