Location Location Location

Here is a guest post from Chuck Tanowitz, one of our team at Creative Business Development. He writes about the demographics of the new location-based Social Media consumer.

For more on our POV on Mobile, check out our participation and coverage of the recent Mobile Marketing Forum at the Waldorf in NYC. Particularly relevant is this presentation on restaurants and Loyalty Programs

(Above is a heat-map of Facebook users, It has doubled in a year)

Take it Chuck....

We often get questions regarding social media along the lines of "What should I do about Facebook" or "I have this Twitter account but we don't have many followers, what do I do? Honestly, each social network has its own advantages and disadvantages, but it's best to learn a bit about their makeup to fully understand how to use them together.

Let's take the idea of a travel-based company that wants to reach people who drive decisions. In that case it would pay for them to focus on growing services like Twitter and Foursquare and then extend relationships from those networks into places like Facebook. A Fall 2009 study by the Pew Internet American Life Project found that the growing Twitter user base tends to be younger, more connected and more likely to be users of multiple mobile devices than other people on the Internet. In all, 19% of Internet users acknowledged using Twitter or a similar service, but that number jumps to 35% when limited to people who use Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn.

Facebook, meanwhile, has moved from a curiosity to "major media." Roy Wells on Social Media Today calculates that 41% of all Americans are on Facebook. That is not just a slice of the Internet-using population, but a slice of the full American population.

Their engagement on this site isn't just cursory, according to a Nielsen report the average active user logs onto Facebook slightly more than 19 times a month and spends nearly 6 hours there.

At the other end of this mass-media spectrum are Location-based Social Networks (LBSN), the most famous of which is Foursquare. This market is quickly changing with the August 18 announcement from Facebook that it has entered the location game.

Recently Forrester Research made noise by suggesting that marketers avoid Foursquare because of its small user base.  While this may be a problem for some brands, for others it offers a great opportunity to test location-based programs while this area is growing, especially for those whose business is about location, such as travel or retail stories. The same research that Forrester used to base its "don't use it" suggestion also revealed that LBSN users are highly influential; they are nearly 40% more likely than other online adults to be asked their opinion about a purchase.

But if you need more evidence of the power of the LBSN, Facebook just announced its own location-based service. It will take time before we can see if this will take hold like the others (Facebook also has a marketplace that hasn't yet made a dent in Craigslist) but it will be interesting to watch. Working with a LBSN early in the process enables companies to gain valuable experience in the effectiveness of such programs before integrating it with a more robust Facebook campaign.

 - - Thanks Chuck!

The value of a customer has always been debated. Now the formula is even more complicated as demographic profiles become richer with data - Likes, posts, comments, Tweets, RT, watching videos, Groupons, locations, etc... We are constantly evaluating the short and long-term value of the Social Media customer...
"The value of a Facebook fan is more than just a number. It is equal to the same value you would place on someone who has agreed to become a part of your brand’s daily on-going activity for the long term and even promote it to his friends and family on occasion. The value of a Facebook fan is the same value you would place on someone who actually cared enough to show you he likes you or your actions. The value of a Facebook fan cannot be measured using the same measurement system as old traditional media. It calls for a new form of measurement which takes into account a whole new set parameters including the “liker’s”  level of engagement with the brand, duration of being a “liker” and more.  The value of a fan in my mind, well, is priceless." (From Ayelett on TNW)