5 Social Media Tips for Finding and Engaging Your Target Audience: New Research

By Compliments Of SocialMediaExaminer.com Do you know where your customers and prospects spend time online? Marketers have long relied on market research to determine where to spend their advertising dollars on television, radio and print advertisements. In the last few years, research organizations have begun providing intelligence on how consumers behave on social networks. The following article is based on new social media research studies. These findings will help you better strategize your company’s social efforts to match your customers’ behaviors.

#1: Know Where Your Customers Spend Their Time

Three recent research studies show active Internet users spend anywhere from 16% to nearly 25% of their online time on social networks. In comScore’s 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report, researchers found that 90% of all U.S. Internet users visited social networking sites in December 2011. Additionally, consumers are spending 1 out of every 6 online minutes on social networks (16.6%). That’s up from less than 15% at the end of 2010.
share of total time spent  />If trends continue, social networks will soon surpass Internet portals like AOL and Yahoo!  </div></div></p><p>Nielsen recently released the <a href=State of the Media: U.S. Digital Consumption Report, Q3-Q4 2011. The study found Internet users spend 21.3% of their time on social networking sites. This report shows a much smaller percentage of time spent on Internet portals like Yahoo!

share of internet time by categoryNote the significant differences between this Nielsen study and comScore’s.

PQ Media found the average U.S. Internet user spends around 33 hours per month on the Internet and about 8 of those hours on social media.

These researchers didn’t disclose their methodologies, so we can’t explain why the results differ so dramatically, though I imagine it’s due to how they defined some of their terms. That said, all three reports show an upward trend in the volume and percentage of time spent on social networks.

Key Lesson: Your online customers are spending significant amounts of time on social networks. While the average person might only spend 15-30 minutes per day, many people spend multiple hours each week. Your strategic marketing plan should include a steady dose of social media along with email and other marketing strategies that reach your target audience.

#2: Find Content That Will Resonate Deeply With Your Audience

The comScore graphic above shows an upward trend in online entertainment consumption. Given the growing numbers of consumers ages 18-34 who watch videos and engage on social networks simultaneously, it is important for marketers to become skilled at engaging in conversations about hot cultural topics seen in the entertainment industry.

Nielsen’s study revealed that owners of mobile devices are increasingly multi-tasking while watching a TV program. While the majority of people check their email, a significant 44% also visit social sites.

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