Social Media
Victoria Kuhn
by Victoria Kuhn
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Segmenting to a successful social media campaign

05/17/2011
Segmenting to a successful social media campaign

Social media, it’s everywhere. Icons are popping up on Web pages, mailers, and receipts. We can check in, link up, like, friend and tweet businesses, work peers, family, classmates and movie stars. Organizations have caught on and are using social media to reach us. Social media has become a critical tool in the marketing/advertising toolbox. There are many ways to use it. There are many social sites from which to choose. Much of it is free. If you deploy advertising, it’s simple: CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per impressions), and the amount you spend is up to you.

A great feature of online advertising through a social media site, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, is that you can choose to target a very broad, diverse audience, or one that is narrowly defined. Either way you need to know just who makes up your audience. It’s market segmentation. Segmenting the market is key to online social ads.

Take for example the financial industry, a traditional business sector. Even banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are getting into social media. If a regional financial institution has a Facebook Page (only people can have Profiles, please read our blog post), it can create an ad for a service or for a promotion. When creating the ad, select the demographic to view it. You can choose age, gender, income, geographic location, relationship status, and/or interests. The list goes on. The more questions answered the more segmented the target audience becomes. But make sure the audience you are targeting to see your ad (and hopefully click on it) is part of the demographic your organization currently serves or is seeking to serve by offering appropriate products/services.

Here at Dirigo we use the competitive intelligence service, Hitwise, including the Mosiac psychographic dataset. We enter our client’s Web site, and then segment the demographic we want to view. This can be done by filtering for the state (or multiple states) in which the brand operates. If it’s a "local" bank the customers will primarily be “local” as well. We learn what percent of customers come from the home state (or other states). We can also look at the financial industry as a whole and filter by state (or states). We learn the top competitors for the region, how our client ranks against them, what percentage of their customers are in-state, and how big a piece of the state pie the client has in comparison to their competitors. We can also segment by age range and income.

We are adept at mining the Hitwise dataset at a highly segmented level. For example, we learned that more than nine in ten online users (e.g. your customers if this is your brand!) from a Maine financial institution came from (no surprise here) Maine. But what about the other 10%? Thanks to Hitwise we know that the remaining customers hail from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. And then there are the filters. But more about that later in a future blog post.

The combination of advertising in social utilities and market segmentation is a powerful business tool that can be used for many different business goals. You just need to ask the right questions and have the right marketing partner.

How are you using social media to reach out to customers and potential customers? We’d like to know. You can comment here, post to our Facebook Page, e-mail me, or ring me the old fashioned way at 207-358-2990.

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