You may not be listening to the vast majority of your social media audience, but they’re listening to you.
That’s one of the key insights in our latest report, What Social Media Can’t Tell You About Your Customers. That report reveals that the social media audience comprises three distinct kinds of social media users: enthusiasts (those who post 5x/week or more), dabblers (post 2 to 4 times per week) and lurkers (who post once a week or less).
Social media analytics does a good job of tuning into enthusiasts, but it can’t tell you anything about the vast majority of your customers—those who are lurkers or dabblers. That’s because almost 90% of what you hear on social comes from the enthusiasts who make up just 29% of the social media audience.
The gap between who is on social media, and who shows up on social media analytics, creates three major problems for brands that would use social media to understand who their customers really are.
- Analytics don’t reflect what happens in social media
While most social media users are quiet, it doesn’t mean they’re not listening: 68% of lurkers visit Facebook at least once a day, and 89% of dabblers are daily Facebook users. But you wouldn’t know this simply by looking at social media analytics. Because analytics tools only capture what is being said, they can’t tell you about the social media habits of the vast majority of users, who are reading and viewing but not actually posting. That means you’ve got a large audience of customers who can hear from you—but you’re not hearing from them.
- Social media users don’t reflect your customers
Facebook may make the daily headlines, but it’s still not a universal part of daily life. While 80% of the population is now on Facebook, only 25% of the population is on Twitter. And even the demographics of Facebook users don’t reflect the population—or your customers—as a whole.
- Enthusiasts are different from quieter social media users
If enthusiasts shopped, watched or engaged like the social media audience as a whole, you could get by with analytics tools that only tell you about your most active social media customers. But enthusiasts are different from other social media users in a range of often surprising ways, which means you can’t treat them as a representative sample of your social media audience — let alone as a representative sample of your customers as a whole.
To learn more about the differences between the different social media users and why those differences matter to your business, download our free report, What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Customers.