Are Social Media Consumers Better Advertising Targets?

One of the theories around social media marketing is that you need to drop your hook where the fish are. Tech-savvy consumers, particularly younger tech-savvy consumers, eschew traditional marketing vehicles (like TV) and are generally so annoyed by advertising that they have tuned it out. Everyone knows that, right?

Data from Forrester Research’s North American Technographics Benchmark Survey (which they released on January 7, 2008) left me scratching my head because it challenges at least some of those assumptions.

YouTubers versus US Adults

As the chart here indicates, U.S. adults who visit YouTube at least weekly are:

  • More likely to refer products to their friends (60% to 46%);
  • Less likely to say that the volume of advertising annoys them (58% to 60%);
  • More likely to be influenced by what’s hot and what’s not (18% to 10%); and
  • More likely to say that advertisements help them decide what to buy (16% to 13%).

So, while it is also true that YouTube users watch less TV and read fewer newspapers, that does not mean that they are immune to, or averse to, marketing. In fact, from the sounds of things, they are curious about new things and open to hearing about them through marketing.

To me, this doesn’t mean people (SEOs or PR people) can pollute the blogosphere with nonsense and have it still work, but it does mean that you can reach intellectually curious social media consumers if you put out relevant information in the first place. That’s good news.

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