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Discover Your Customer’s Online Usage Habits

One of the first steps in planning an online strategy is learning more about your target audience. Knowing their online usage habits can help pinpoint how they will want to interact with your company. To help with this undertaking, Forrester Research recently updated its Consumer Profile Tool with new data.

Forrester divides consumers into several categories, which include:

  • Creators: Creators includes people who create their own content online such as photos, videos, blogs and articles. They are an important group, as they are most likely to create original content about your company and they usually have their own readers or subscribers waiting to read their content.
  • Critics: Critics are most likely to comment on blogs and post reviews on products and services. User reviews are becoming more common on e-commerce Web sites and are often used when researching technology purchases, travel and restaurants.
  • Joiners: Joiners are those with profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

By selecting the age group, country and gender of your audience, Forrester’s Profile Tool updates the index of each of the six categories. The white marks indicate the average index. As you change the criteria, you can see just how much age, location and gender play a role in online marketing.

We recommend using the tool to get a broad idea of what your customers are doing online. The strong categories will indicate what areas of social media to focus on, and the weak areas will tell you what to avoid. If your audience is full of Joiners, you may want to consider creating a Facebook page for your business or a group on LinkedIn. A high index of Spectators means that your customers are willing to read online content, but not willing to create, share or participate.

While Forrester’s tool gives you a very broad sense of what to expect from your customers, keep in mind these are national averages and may not reflect your specific customers. Also, your industry and your content will warrant a different reaction to your overall social media strategy. Consumers may be more inclined to follow a clothing store on Twitter than their local gas station.

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