In an earlier post, I shared a study that described six distinct social shopping archetypes as a means to help marketers determine the most effective ways to reach different target markets via social media platforms.
Besides looking at how frequently various personality types use social media, researchers for this study also examined the underlying character traits that drive shoppers’ online behaviors and how likely each type might be to engage in various brand-related activities.
Interestingly enough, as with the prior study, the Aimia-sponsored research also came up with six different categories for its market segments. In addition, when focusing solely on US internet users age 18 and above, the researchers determined what percentage fell into each category. The distinctions they came up with were as follows:
- No Shows: Four out of 10 American adults make up this classification, characterized by a lack of interest or familiarity with social media and little or no experience with shopping online.
- Newcomers: Representing 15 percent of US online users, these people use social media to complement or boost existing offline friendships and relationships.
- Onlookers: Those in this category, which make up around 16 percent of all active internet users, follow other people via social media but rarely give away anything about themselves.
- Cliquers: Comprising just over five percent of US adults on the web, this group actively engages with others primarily via one social media platform and is considered influential among members of their immediate families and social circles.
- Mix-n-Minglers: The people who fall in this category have developed a diverse and widespread group of connections across multiple social media platforms, and they interact regularly with these networks. It’s worth noting that this socially active segment makes up nearly 20 percent of all adult internet users.
- Sparks: The smallest (three percent) of the categories identified in this study, Sparks are devoted zealots, both when it comes to using social media and touting or interacting with their favorite brands.
After establishing these categories, the researchers then looked at how each personality type participated in brand-related activities online, such as viewing videos, playing games, cashing in on instant deals or coupons and writing online product or service reviews. Their findings contained some interesting observations, including the fact that “Onlookers” were just as likely to pounce on an online deal as people in more virtually active categories, and that both “Cliquers” and “Sparks” enjoyed playing brand-sponsored games.
As with the archetype study, this one aims to help marketers select the best social media mix in order to zero in on their target audiences –and as always, the optimal strategy centers on enhancing customer engagement and improving the customer experience.
“Today’s approach to social media measurement – racing to rack up the most ‘likes,’ retweets, followers and recommendations – is the wrong approach. Marketers must define success not by social media activity, but rather by customer value and engagement,” explained Doug Rozen, Aimia Senior Vice President, Communications, Design & Emerging Technologies and lead author of this report. “Marketers often struggle to understand the true motivations and purchase intent behind customers’ social media activity. Proper segmentation allows marketers to appropriately identify, understand and influence customers through social channels.”