Survey results enforce need to know audience

This week comScore released data showing that there are significantly fewer teenager Twitterers than there are of those closer to the kids' parents' age range (over 45).

This week comScore released data showing that there are significantly fewer teenager Twitterers than there are of those closer to the kids' parents' age range (over 45). In fact, only 11% of those on Twitter fall in the 11 to 17 age range, the data showed. At the same time, though, comScore data was showing that the fastest growing user base on Twitter was the 12- to 24-year-old age group.

With all this data being thrown around, marketers can be left confused and skeptical. But it's a good reason to take a step back and reassess how your organization is using this and other channels, why you went there in the first place, and what your strategy should be going forward in order to achieve the company's goals. Social networks' audiences change rapidly, as do their applications. It requires constant monitoring and rapid adjustments.

There are a number of reasons to activate your brand or organization on Twitter – from customer relations to corporate reputation to sales promotions. But knowing who's accessing your brand via this channel, and who's not, will help communicators succeed in their goals. Just because teens weren't making use of Twitter six months ago, doesn't mean it will always be that way.

Another media consumption survey this week found that while a majority of respondents 18 and older use at least one social networking site, they are spending much more time on content sites, including local news, entertainment and gaming sites, depending on age segment.

It's a good reminder that effective communications requires knowing your audience, where they are, and how they want to receive information, as well as understanding what was true today might not be the case by Thanksgiving.

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