Living Online with Your Target Audience

Are you a business owner wanting to target a specific audience? Whether your business is local or global, social media tools can help build strong connections to your target demographic once you know where they live – online, that is.

Based on the number of registered users, the Nielson Company reports the top 10 social media sites (in millions) are:

Top Online Member Communities, 6/09, from The Nielson Company

The MySpace audience consists primarily of youth in the 12-24 age group, while on Facebook, the 25-34 and 35-49 year-olds are the highest indexing age groups.

LinkedIn's audience is made up of business professionals across industries and Twitter represents the fastest growing social media site with a 1,928 percent increase in unique visitors over last year.

The beauty of these and other social media tools is that they can also be used together to engage or listen to your audience. (For an example of a blended outreach across the great divide in media fragmentation, see Shaking Hands with Media Fragmentation, Handshake 2.0.)

If advertising is the preferred method of outreach, then you'll be happy to know that according to a report by Comscore, social networking sites account for more than 20 percent of all online display ads. Here again, MySpace and Facebook, combined, top the charts delivering more than 80 percent of ads in the social media category.

 If you're thinking, "Yes, but I still need to reach a local audience," not to worry. Facebook uses IP (Internet Protocol) addresses as well as registered user profile addresses to determine geographic location to target ads by location.

Once you know where your audience lives, you can live there, too, and open the door to new opportunities for your business.

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Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow her on Twitter at @zkellyq.

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