Monday, August 30

Changing Landscapes: Marketers Miss With Social

PEW Research
Last Friday, the Direct Marketing Association and Colloquy released a study that suggests most marketers are spending nearly twice as much to deepen customer loyalty as they do on other core social media marketing programs.

Specifically, the study says that marketers typically invest $88,000 on customer loyalty, $53,000 on brand awareness, and $30,000 on customer acquisition (comparatively). Interestingly enough, these customer loyalty programs do not include listening tools to track online conversations. (And, of those who do use those tools, most don't listen beyond searching for brand names.)

Marketers Who Don't Listen Waste Consumer Loyalty Investments.

If companies did listen, they might learn that something relatively amazing is happening within social networks. Also on Friday, Pew Internet Research summed it up nicely.

Social networking use among Internet users ages 50+ has nearly doubled, from 22 percent to 42 percent in the past year. Anyone following social media trends may expect it to double again. Social networking is well suited for any age.

What is especially interesting about this uptick is that half of all online adults, ages 50-64, and one quarter of all seniors, ages 65+, are members of Facebook and LinkedIn. On Twitter, their presence is changing the space too. Last year, 50+ accounted for one percent of all active Twitter members at any given time. This year, they represent six percent of the total active population.

Even more important than the shifts in demographics, marketers might be missing out on something else too. While some attempt to host a space without any interaction, there is a bigger picture to consider. Why are these people joining Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks?

The Top Three Reasons People Join Social Networks.

• Join to reconnect with people from their past.
• Join to seek out support from others with an ailment.
• Bridge the generational divide between family and friends.

Sure, a certain segment of this population will eventually find more ways to use their social networks. However, I can't help but wonder. How many organizations never consider doing something that fits with one of the three reasons people join?
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