Understanding the demographics of your target audience is key when developing your internet marketing strategy. One of the most valuable resources of information for understanding the market is to acquire information about people, but potential customers aren’t always willing to offer up this valuable data. Getting possible clients to share this data isn’t always easy, but with the popularity of today’s social and multi-channel networking there are ways to encourage and analyze data sharing, as well as study what is available for public view. The trick is understanding why people may, or may not, be willing to share content.
In fact, in some cases, social media users actually hope to have information they have shared broadcast beyond the scope of even their immediate friends and being ‘retweeted’ or ‘going viral’. Email is still the highest ranking method for sharing information but Facebook, the pinnacle of social networking, is rapidly gaining momentum and beginning to close the gap on email. One of the main reasons email is still the leader for swapping information, is the ability to save, organize and compile information.
So what kind of information are people willing to share? The greatest amount of commonly shared data is news about friends or family including pictures and videos. With the popularity of sites like YouTube, it isn’t surprising that the exchange of humorous video clips is next in line as what users share. Practically tied for other content most commonly shared are coupons and news or blog posts.
Exactly why people share what they do is still something to be examined further, but there are some theories. The most common view about why people share certain things is that entertainment or emotion plays a large role in the motivation. This would be the case for things like funny videos or inspiring ‘tweets’. Also, people tend to share items that hold value such as coupons or news. In fact, people still tend to respond more to email marketing that can combine two or all of these. So the trick for companies is to reach the masses by an email that triggers emotions, provides entertainment and offers value or discounts.