It is common knowledge that not everyone active in the realm of social media participates in the same way. Some access their accounts daily and interact with brand campaign initiatives on a consistent basis while others only browse for brief periods of time before disengaging. Whichever the case, Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, has published a recent study (pdf download) that analyzed and categorized the different types of social media users on the web. In their research brief, Staring at the Sun: Identifying, Understanding and Influencing Social Media Users, Aimia has developed a segmentation model describing six distinct social media personas which may be useful for healthcare marketers interested in engaging specific types of social media users.
The following 6 personas comprising the entire U.S. adult population ages 18 or older:
No Shows (41% of US population) – least involved with social media, if at all; infrequently engage in online commerce.
Newcomers (15%) – passive users of a single social media network, primarily to enhance offline relationships
Onlookers (16%) – observe others via social channels on a regular basis, but share almost no personal information
Cliquers (6%) – active users of one network; influential among their small group of friends and family
Mix-n-Minglers (19%) – those who regularly share and interact with a diverse group of connections via social media
Sparks (3%) – most active and deeply engaged users of social media; will serve as enthusiastic online ambassadors for their favorite brands
Doug Rozen, lead author of the report and Senior Vice President at Aimia, was quoted in The Sacramento Bee describing the benefit that this data brings to marketers:
“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.” (Source: The Sacramento Bee)
Aimia’s segmentation is based on two primary emotional drivers behind social media participation. One is trust. The other is control. According to Rozen,
“The more trust a consumer places in social media networks and their connections, the more likely they are to actively participate whereas the more control a consumer perceives over their social media activity, the more likely they are to engage with a wider variety of social media networks.” (Source: The Sacramento Bee)
Aimia has touched on a subject that should be very useful to hospital marketers hoping to better understand specific segments of their overall audience. As I am fond of saying, the day of the one-size-fits-all marketing solution is gone. (Did it ever really exist, or was that just bad marketing?) We are not communicating with a homogeneous audience. Even within specific demographic groups, there are psychographic variances that are important to understand. So understanding how people vary in their use of social media seems fundamental to developing any strategy for consumer engagement (or physician engagement).
What do you think? Has Aimia hit the mark by distinguishing and analyzing distinct social media personas? Is this information helpful to you? To read the original article from The Sacramento Bee, click here.
To access the complete report and infographic of Aimia’s study, “Staring at the Sun,” click, here. Below is the infographic from Aimia.
(Post written by Dan Dunlop with Charles Ramsey, Jennings Healthcare Marketing Intern and Wake Forest University student)