Finding your social media audience: II

Perhaps this post should have been part ‘I’, as I’m stepping back to look at my findings from my social media statistics adventures. Part ‘I’ is a focused analysis of a particular audience for my case study (McMaster University), but I will backtrack and tell you how I got there.

Under the Lens: a closer look at the tools

Even though there are hundreds of patented social media platforms with thousands more in the patent application process (Wikipedia), I am choosing to focus on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogs.

According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (Michael Seltzer), these are the top four tools used by marketers, “…with Facebook leading the pack”.

courtesy of http://www.nouveller.com/ creative commons license

Marketers are among the most avid users of social media and see it as key added value to any communications campaign. In a SHARE based community it makes sense that the communicators would be willing to share discoveries in the social media frontier. We love to share, by nature. It’s the transparency and helping attitude of one person to another which drives the reciprocity we all crave. So it makes sense to model and organization’s social media plan on that kind of exchange.

How do the numbers stack up?

An Ipsos study, as quoted by Webfuel.ca in their Canadian Social Media Statistics (2011) report, found the 18-34 year old demographic as the heaviest users of social media in Canada. They state 60% of Canadians online are using social media, with 86% of those users on Facebook. The numbers vary slightly from study to study but are roughly the same across the board.

David Scholz, Executive VP of Leger Marketing published results of a Social Media Reality Check (2011) with the following results: image courtesy of Leger MarketingLeger Marketing states that 69% of Canadians who are online use social media. Of those, 91% are active on Facebook. They also found that 51% of social media users surveyed prefer to read about topics of interest and 35% research services or products. These categories are most relevant to a higher education institution wishing to outreach to online communities of prospective students.

A survey from The Creative Group  (2012) found, “more than half (56 percent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said Facebook would be their social media site of choice if they were limited to using just one”. It seems to be the lead horse in this race for both personal and professional users of social media applications.

Blogger Ken Burbary posted some interesting bullets on his blog “Web Business” about Facebook (FB):

  • An average FB user spends 15 hrs/month
  • 20% of FB users are ages 13-17
  • People who access FB via mobile device = 200 million/day
  • Mobile device users are 2x as active on FB

This certainly seems true anecdotally. I see high school and University students living with their smart phones seemingly ‘attached’ to their hands. Perhaps my case study should not only consider McMaster’s social media strategy on Facebook and Twitter, but how to optimize its use for mobile devices. (Don’t even get me started on the geo-location based applications that are the next trending wave!)

So this post should clear up any questions you might have had after reading part ‘I’. It also elaborates on the primary and secondary research I’ve conducted. And it proves once again, how much professional communicators LOVE to communicate. 😉


2 comments on “Finding your social media audience: II

  1. Dear Alice in Wonderland, LOL. Valuable information here for all of us – especially the 2011 Social Media Statistics. Your anecdotal comment on the students is my perception too. My anecdote for all: It seems every generation has a bone to pick with the next one, aka “those kids! why, when I was their age…..”. I’m looking forward to the time when social media and smart phones attached to hands are not frowned upon by the “elders”.

  2. I’m curious: Are you pro-location-based networks or anti-location-based networks? (Nice referencing by the way.)

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