What Kinds of Listeners Value Social Media the Most?
March 18, 2013
In the last two weeks we have been showing you data documenting how huge Social Media is now in the daily life of radio listeners.Â Â This week, we continue, by breaking the audience out on dimensions other than age and sex, and seeing how each group feels about Social in their lives.Â Â Clearly, the rise of Social is happening across all lifestyles, but let’s find out which groups are the most passionate.
The bottom line through all our discussion of Social Media is simple.Â Â Social Media today is incredibly powerful.Â Far more powerful than your competition probably thinks it is.Â Â That, plus our industry’s inherent tendency to stick with the known, combine to create a situation where the audience is all over Social, but Radio has yet to embrace Social as a major advertising medium.Â Â That means the opportunity to seize the moment is now.Â Moments of imbalance in a marketplace, before everything settles into a new equilibrium, will always present opportunities for the smart competitor.Â Â Now eventually, probably sooner rather than later, everyone will catch on.Â Â And then the window of competitive advantage will close.Â Â
We are learning a lot about Social and the Radio listener from NuVoodoo’s just-completed national study of Radio listeners 18-54.Â Â Two weeks ago, we showed that longer radio TSL correlates with greater attachment to Social.Â Â And that Social is particularly effective at reaching the only pool of listeners who determine our success or failure.Â Â Those who are willing to become radio research subjects in return for payment.Â Â Last week, we zoomed in for a close-up, and looked at the importance of Social Media, side by side with the importance of music radio station and radio morning show, one demo cell at a time.Â Â Now let’s break the audience out on other dimensions, and see which groups are most into Social Media.
Parents vs. Non-Parents: No Clear Difference
Given the way many parents post on Facebook, we might expect that parents tend to value Social media more than people without kids at home.Â Â So let’s look at that.
Well, as it turns out, non-parents and parents do not look significantly different in the importance they attach to social media.Â Â Some parents, particularly new ones, are certainly passionate posters.Â Â Nonetheless, those who don’t have kids can find plenty other things to be passionate about and share with their friends.
“Attached” Singles Value Social The Most
Now let’s break the sample out by marital/relationship status.Â Â And here there are some very clear differences.
Singles, in general, value Social Media more than married folks.Â Â This by itself is not surprising because these days, Social peaks 18-24, when fewer consumers are married.Â Â But what is more interesting is breaking the singles out by whether they are attached and/or living together, or not.Â Â We might expect singles who are committed and living together, the closest to married folks in terms of lifestyle, might also be the closest to married folks in terms of valuing Social Media.Â Â But in fact this is not the case.Â Â Singles who are attached are actually the most into Social.Â Â Whether they are living with their significant other or not.Â Â The singles who are truly single and unattached are actually less into Social than their attached friends.
Social Cuts Across The Income Brackets
Now let’s look at household income.Â Â Is Social a downscale-skewing phenomenon, or are the affluent just as into it?
As this chart shows, all income groups are going Social.Â Â Yes, there is a skew toward greater passion as income drops, but far less than we would see if this were indeed a class-linked behavior.Â Â In fact, the income skew we see here is pretty much a non-event.Â Â Younger folks, in general, are more into Social.Â Â Younger folks, in general, earn less income.Â Â Were it not for that fact, we would see no income skew at all, or perhaps even one in the opposite direction.
Social Skews Politically Liberal
What about political ideology?Â Does Social tilt Left or Right?
Social skews left, but only slightly, until we get to the Right Wing.Â Â Half of the self-defined “Very Conservatives” are completely apathetic toward Social.Â Â This general political lean is not surprising, because, again, younger people value Social more, and in general, younger people skew more Left.Â Â Even the big drop-off at the extreme right has a strong demographic component:Â Very Conservatives skew much older and much more male, two groups who are less into Social, than other groups.Â Â They may also have ideologically-linked resistance to Social, but their demography is the big factor.
What this means to you
Act now, and act big! Social Media has grown to the point where every kind of listener, even those who might be late to jump on a cultural phenomenon, is logging on frequently.Â Â There is nothing in these data to suggest that Social is a limited tactical tool for reaching certain particular groups, or a guerrilla tool for staging an isolated campaign.Â Â These data are screaming that Social is rapidly becoming THE medium, valued across the board, used across the board, and rapidly surpassing traditional media.Â Â The station that gets ahead of the curve right now will reap big benefits.Â Â TV spots are being tuned out at alarming numbers, and are very expensive.Â Â What if you started, today, a new media strategy, based around frequent contacts via direct marketing?Â What if you made Social a big part of that strategy?Â What if your competition hasn’t caught on yet?Â And what will you do when they do?