Target your audience: 5 free web tools!

Image courtesy of: Sean Rasmussen, Aussie Internet Marketing

Want to zero in on who’s doing what on the web? There are some amazing analytic, infographic and statistic tools that help social media consultants and marketers to determine the most effective social media methods for reaching a specific audience (or conversely, the least effective methods). Here’s a list of the tools I played around with yesterday:

  1. Global Web Index: Here you can view social profiles by filtering your audience’s country and age. This info is provided in waves of data (three per year). Their team promises more exciting updates to the platform, so continue to check back and see what they come up with.

2. Flowtown: Check out social media demographics, filtered by age, gender, education and income. I found it especially interesting to see that the wealthiest and most educated individuals are using social media the least. Considering that social media has become its own profession, perhaps we can expect a shift in this stat in the coming years.

3. Social Media Planner: An amazing tool from Germany! Simply specify the age group, gender, type of social media activity and voilà – a recommendation of which tools would be most effective. Sorry to my fellow English speakers, but this tool is only available in German (for the time being). INPROMO (creators) are looking into introducing this tool in a more internationally-friendly manner soon, so check back!

4. Sysomos: A very detailed look at the intricate world of Twitter, with a lot of information on Twitter activity and how people are publishing their posts.

5. Wave.4 Social Media Tracker: Examines web behaviour filtered by country.

These tools should help you to target your social media efforts – but remember to always look at the bigger picture. The team at Global Web Index gives this example:

“Twitterers are NOT mainstream consumers. Digging more into the job fields we find a big delusion because a very big slice of daily twitterers work in IT or in marketing. So once again, the medium is the message. People working in IT are likely to use IT based communication tool and marketers are probably talking to themselves more than they are talking to customers. At this point we have a fairly good set of information to draw some conclusions. Regular Twitter users are educated, tend to be in their 30s and holding a position of responsibility all of which means that Twitter is good for engaging decision makers and liasing with people in business to business space. Marketing professionals may use Twitter to communicate with their colleagues, to be updated on the hot topics while the use of Twitter to engage mainstream, FMCG customers appears to be less useful.”

Though these kinds of tools give us a clearer picture of who’s doing what on the web, there is still much to be learned about who these people are beyond age, gender and location. As indicated in a study by Global Web Index, one of the largest barriers (43%) to using social media (in Europe) is people’s concern for their privacy. Until personal information, such as occupation, interests, etc, is shared, it will be difficult to create a tool that works in the same way as the demographic tools listed above. However, in the meantime, you can try using tools like Twellow – think Yellow Pages for Twitter. You can also try TweepSearch, which basically allows you to search for keywords inside the bio of other Twitter users. This is particularly helpful l if you want to find Twitter users with a specific characteristic.

When targeting your online communications, also consider how fast things can change. Although for most sites, people aged 18-24 are the most savvy when it comes to social media, trends indicate that mature users (aged 55+) are on the rise. Stay abreast of these kinds of changes – for your clients’ sake and your own. Subscribe to influencer blogs to get the skinny.

Image: public domain


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