In a recent Nielsen news release the research company described the "digital divide" amongst Facebook users and non-Facebook users. At first you might think, so what? But consider this, as of September 2010 there are 7,930,380 Australian's registered on Facebook. We know this because Facebook allows anyone to advertise using an automated system that provides the estimated reach nationally. This is the total number of Aussie's between the ages of 18-65 currently registered as living in Australia.
Returning to Nielsen's news release, the most interesting observation uncovered is that those who participate on Facebook spend 2.5x more time online then those who aren't on Facebook. (This does not include the time Facebooker's spend on Facebook. )This difference in behaviour illustrates the "emergence of a fractured Internet population" which has "distinctly different online habits". Essentially, the Nielsen report reckons "those who aren't using Facebook aren't really engaged in using the Internet". (Check out our article on Generation Y to learn more about the net generation.)
This is very interesting for online marketing because it means that there are two distinctly different types of online consumers- those who use Facebook, and those who don't. For those who do use Facebook -and there are nearly 8 million people in Australia to consider, relying on search marketing is not going to draw these types of people to your website. Nielsen believes there are roughly 14 million Australian's using the Internet, and 63% of them are on Facebook; while only 37% aren't registered.
Getting involved with consumers on Facebook does require some planning and research. We always start everysocial media marketing strategy with a month of listening. This means that we research some key phrases, competitors, influential bloggers, known personalities or industry leaders and observe what is going on in that particular category. We do this for several reasons, a few include:
In order for your strategy to make an impact it needs to follow trends, know where your target audience spends their time online, and how to communicate about your products and services without spamming people or getting blocked from networking platforms.
Understand that assumptions are not facts. Most businesses end up speaking to their existing partners and co-workers online. This is great if your goal is peer-building, but it's not going to increase your online presence.We do not use offline data to market your brand online. We do not assume that everyone is like us. We always begin our research understanding that we know nothing- that way any current opinions can't cloud our judgement and lead us down the wrong path.