Social Segmentation Key For Brands Reaching Consumers

As the father of a teenage daughter, there are a few things that I know for sure: Teen girls love to shop, always have their phones (quickly becoming smart devices), and are all extremely active on Facebook. A few more things to consider: Facebook's growth will only continue; the proliferation of smart-mobile devices will explode in the next few years; and teens will still gather and meet to shop. Yes, as in real brick-and-mortar stores.

That should make all brands who market to teen girls smile with possibilities. Marketers can marry these to reach and engage teens to drive purchases. But, increasingly, brands need the ability to segment their audience to deliver relevant content based on a consumer's likes, interests, location and other factors. Social segmentation is a key to your brand's social media success.

Hyper-targeting and localizing content to fans is finding much success. In fact, Facebook announced last week it's starting to mine real-time conversations to target real-time ads. This is really brilliant as it plays towards the long-held promise of local to deliver timely, relevant and measureable ads that will drive sales. And Twitter is now letting some marketers segment by location, allowing a Twitter user in, say, England to see a different ad than a U.S. user.

This is a trend we are seeing across the industry -- using the power of the social graph to hyper-target content to consumers, both in paid advertising and through the content your brand publishes on Facebook and other networks.

Consider this possible experience: My daughter, armed with her mobile phone, enters an American Eagle store. She checks-in via Facebook Places so now American Eagle can deliver her timely and relevant content, like a coupon or sales information on their new line of cool sweaters. The coupon pushes her to purchase. While checking out, American Eagle can deliver additional rewarding and engaging content -- a thank you for her purchase. Maybe it's another coupon?

Or, even better, 20% off if she buys a virtual gift card for a friend, perhaps to purchase one of those cool and hip new sweaters. So the virtual gift card, along with an image of that really cool sweater, shows up in that lucky friend's newsfeed. Of course, all this is happening for her social network to see. And I'm certain that lucky friend who got the gift card will come to the store (or go online) to purchase something. And then the process repeats itself.

According to Facebook, the average user has 150 friends, and I'd argue that teens average slightly higher. And we know that peer recommendation accounts for 90% of purchases. That's a powerful and influential social network. Social media has a tremendous local-connection capability. Brands just need have the tools and platform to target and segment their audiences so they can capitalize on it.

It is Marketing 101: Know your audience and what they want ... and then deliver it to them at key times. Today, there are platforms like ours that allow brands to deliver locally relevant and timely content effectively and efficiently, as well as plenty of other social functionalities. It doesn't have to be hard and complicated if you have the correct tools to manage your increasingly expanding and sophisticated social communities. And with Facebook's growth, marketers are moving towards these comprehensive, turnkey platforms to harness social media's full potential, especially the growing need to segment and target.

One of our clients, a global quick-serve restaurant, does a remarkable job of leveraging the full potential of social media. Its social presence is not only through its national voice on its official Facebook Page and Twitter accounts but also through locally relevant content delivered via its "Local" Tab. It allows the QSR to segment its 7.6 million Facebook users to deliver locally relevant content about events, coupons and specials. The iconic brand is enabling highly personalized, targeted and relevant social content that gets customers in the door and drives sales. That's true social segmentation that gets incredible engagement and results -- a real ROI.

Facebook holds a wealth of opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers based on location, interests, gender, history and even your circle of friend's interests. And teenagers are the most active audience on Facebook. Think of the possibilities for your brand.

As social media continues its mainstream adoption, brands must start truly maximizing all its opportunities and functionalities. We believe further social segmentation, especially at the local level, will be a key to success. Social segmentation is a word your marketing staff should be actively promoting and using daily. Get to know it and put it into action.

Tags: teens
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2 comments about "Social Segmentation Key For Brands Reaching Consumers ".
  1. Carri Schiff from o2 media inc , March 31, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.

    A really great site to target teens is www.todaysteenonline.com
    Its written by teens for teens and the daily content is a big hit.

  2. Wendy Just , April 1, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.

    Excellent "heads up" of the power of social segmentation. I do plan to get to know it and put it into action. Thanks for the great read.