SocNet Marketers Should Target ‘Megaphones’

July 14, 2010

Marketers seeking to reach consumers via social networks should focus on five key social networking personas, according to a new study from digital marketing firms ExactTarget and CoTweet.

“Subscribers, Fans and Followers” indicates there are 12 key consumer personas in which most social networking users can be classified. Based on both the amount of content they consume and produce, the five most valuable, in order of their total content usage, are Megaphone, Open Book, Social Butterfly, Business First, and Enthusiast.

Following is a brief overview of each of these five personas, with recommendations from ExactTarget and CoTweet on how to best market to them.

Representing 7% of online consumers, Megaphones want to connect, educate, and share resources and information online with others. Despite the relatively small number of them, Megaphones have a disproportionately large influence on brands and the internet as a whole. These consumers are by far the most active group of consumers in social media of all types. 65% regularly maintain a website, blog, or both.


Twenty percent of Megaphones use Twitter daily and have three times more followers than the average consumer. Their Twitter usage continues to increase, unlike many of the other personas. Megaphones are easily influenced; they’re the most likely consumers to become a subscriber, fan, or follower at the recommendation of others.

Open Book
Accounting for 6% of online consumers, Open Books are uninhibited consumers who freely express their likes, dislikes, experiences, and opinions with the online world. Open Books may appear similar to Megaphones as they’re active in creating content and commenting in social forums. But they’re more likely to blog regularly than Megaphones, and their biggest difference is in their intent. While Megaphones are primarily interested in connecting and educating, Open Books want to divulge their experiences online and find others who can relate to them.


Open books are motivated to fan a brand on Facebook or subscribe to email due to exclusive con?tent and the ability to interact–not bypromotions or sales. Despite a high propensity to use Twitter regularly, Open Books don’t typically follow brands. Open Books want to interact with companies through email and Facebook. Monitoring a working ‘From Address’ and encouraging candid feedback is a good first step in gaining their loyalty.

Social Butterfly
Totaling 13% of online consumers, Social Butterflies focus on making and maintaining numerous online friendships. They use Facebook to manage their social lives, and Facebook friends are personal friends, not work contacts. Social Butterfiles are interested in becoming Facebook fans of brands, as well as promotions and sale notifications across email, Facebook, and Twitter. Social Butterflies are also active bloggers (mostly about their personal lives) and are among the most voracious consumers of online video and podcasts.


Forty-five percent of Social Butterflies become a fan of at least one Facebook brand, higher than any other persona. Twenty-seven percent of these consumers say they’re more likely to buy after becoming an email subscriber, com?pared to 16% who report being more likely to buy after becoming a Facebook fan. Twenty-eight percent of all consumers under the age of 25 are Social Butterflies, and more than half of all Social Butter?flies are Millennials. Keep Facebook interactions lighthearted. Promotions and freebies are better through email.

Business First
Representing 8% of online consumers, Business Firsts use the internet for business purposes, keeping up with the latest trends, communicating with business contacts, and making new connections through sites like LinkedIn. In short, they’re actively engaged in promoting their companies and personal careers online. These consumers use email constantly throughout the day, and although they don’t typically follow brands on Twitter, they’re among the most active Twitter users. Business First Consumers have nearly three times more followers than the average consumer.


They also maintain their own websites, blog frequently, upload videos, post to wikis, and write articles. The only exception is Facebook; they use this channel less frequently, primarily to connect with business contacts or to keep tabs on their children. These consumers are motivated to become a subscrivber, fan, or follower by the promise of product updates, company information, and education. They’re less likely to be motivated by discounts or entertainment.

More than half of Business First consumers are men between the ages of 25 to 54. These consumers receive more email per day and subscribe to more commercial email than any other consumer persona. Business Firsts are the most affluent persona, with a median income of $80,200.

Encompassing 32% of online consumers, when Enthusiasts go online, they’re motivated by offline interests and hobbies. From sports, movies, and music to food, pets, and travel, they connect with people who have similar hobbies, or search for information that will support their lifestyle interests, including entertainment and education.


Enthusiasts tend to be younger, more affluent, are less likely to have children, and are active on email, Facebook, and Twitter. However, they view each channel as serving its own distinct purpose. They rely on email for promotions and in-depth content that doesn’t make as much sense on social networks. They use Facebook to show their support for their favorite brands, and they use Facebook and Twitter to network with other Enthusiasts.

Celeb Twitter Followers Have Low Authority
In another demographic slicing of social networking users, while celebrities have high numbers of Twitter followers, those followers usually have minimal reach and influence, according to social media consulting firm Sysomos.

For example, of five celebrities examined, the average follower of President Barack Obama had the highest authority rating on a scale of 0 to 10, 2.4. The most common authority score among Obama’s roughly 4.2 million followers is 1, held by 20%.

About the Data: This study was conducted in two phases. Phase I occurred in March 2010, with 44 people participating in three different types of focus groups: a moderated 3-day online discussion board, 90-minute real-time chat room discussions, and 90-minute video focus groups using webcams. Phase II was fielded from April 9-13, 2010 through a MarketTools TrueSample online panel and completed by 1,506 US respondents, aged 15 and older, and stratified by age so that each age bracket contained no less than 200 responses.

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