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Social Networks : Where and Who are the users?

July 24, 2013

The popularity of social networks keeps growing. Older ones have already reached a plateau, like Facebook and Twitter. More recent ones are still growing significantly, such as Pinterest and Youtube.  No doubt they will be around for years and attract people’s eyeballs.

If you’re a brand, how do you decide which one you should focus on? All of them have hundred millions of users. The default answer will be to focus on all of them, which isn’t something every brand can do as it requires a very robust content and resource strategy to succeed.

A look at eCairn’s database of 350K influencers and 800 tribes can provide some guidance.

Large tribes

Looking at the social networks adoption rates within eCairn’s largest tribes (>2000 influencers), we notice major differences in the adoption of social networks such as:

  1. The top 10 tribes by social networks are different.
  2. Some tribes are doing really well on one social network but not on all (e.g.: Gaming ranks #3 on YouTube but ranks #403 on Pinterest).
  3. Geographical factors influence adoption (e.g.: Food Canada is much high on Twitter than Food US).

Click on the picture below to see the tribe x social networks adoption matrix.

Social Network Penetration

Other tribes

We would overwhelm you with data from eCairn’s 800 tribes. Instead, here are 3 examples we spotted to illustrate big differences in how smaller tribes adopt social networks:

  1. Guitar is #3 on YouTube with 28% of the influencers maintaining a channel, but only #405 on Pinterest (only 6% have an account).
  2. Craft for Kids is #3 on Pinterest with 66% of the influencers having an account, but only #602 on YouTube.
  3. Fashion Portugal is #14 on Facebook but down to #603 on Twitter.

Ensuring success: who and where to engage?

Success when managing a social media presence is a function of a variety of parameters. Understanding the affinity of a brand’s target audience to the various social networks is key.

Larger brands that span several verticals and multiple geographies may end up having to manage a whopping 100s of social properties which often turns out to be a nightmare.

At eCairn, we advocate to choose one or more social networks where relevant tribes are likely to respond well to it. Once done, use those properties to mingle with the influencers from relevant tribes. A retweet, a comment, a like goes a long way in building and maintaining a healthy social relationship with who matters.

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