PUBLIC SEGMENTATION WITH
Demography, Psychography and innovations in understanding
the public via Social Media
Segmentation and target-group: understanding and targeting networking 3
Demographic Segmentation: attributes and characteristics 4
Psychographic Segmentation: interests and behaviour 5
Demographic, Psychographic and other types of social media segmentation 7
Applying segmentation in social media 9
SEGMENTATION AND TARGET AUDIENCE:
LEARNING AND TARGETING WITH THE NETWORKS
Segmentation is one of the most powerful concepts of marketing in order to help reach your business reach
its objectives: from the creation of adverts to client relationships, segmentation means using the best tactics
and tools for each specific group of the population that you wish to target. In an ideal world, one-to-one
relationships signify a super segmentation: a person is seen in all their individuality and their past, profile,
likes and preferences can be obtained.
Today, several brands have literally millions of fans, followers or readers on social networks. Periodically,
rankings and lists are published highlighting the fan pages with the greatest number of followers and other
simple quantitative indicators. Practically all big brands in Brazil create a substantial presence on social
networks, but many companies still do not adequately harness the potential of these enormous networks as
real laboratories of understanding the behavior of public consumers. Listed below are some of the public
data that is explicitly available.
The age group of fans on social networks
Fan locations and transmitters of messages
Profiles and pages cited by the engaged public
A range of other data sets relating to characteristics, attributes and behavior.
To connect all this information to concepts of public segmentation could hold significant strategic benefit
for companies and agencies. The idea of segmentation involves dividing the market into different parts to
be specifically targeted with offers of products and communication. Declan Bannon1
lists a few of the
benefits of market segmentation:
It encourages the development of products and services by combining the criteria for success of a
It allows consumers to be targeted by communication and distribution channels
It helps analysts identify opportunities and threats
It allows the allocation of resources to areas where there will be the best result
It encourages the analysis of other competitors.
Even in the specific context of communication, the techniques in market segmentation maximize the
efficiency of strategies and tactics. To know the public better means knowing how to speak to them better,
offering communication and adverts that have a relationship with their audience and understand the
language in which they communicate. When we talk about corporate communication, there are a few more
common segmentations: demographic, psychographic and consumer segmentation, all of which have a role
to play within social media.
ATTRIBUTES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Demographic characteristics are the most obvious form of segmentation but often do not constitute much
meaningful information. Gender, country, district, ethnicity and socio-economic background are the main
general categories that can be used as a parameter in the understanding of common characteristics in
large numbers of people Historically, demography has been used by governments and large organizations
to ensure their efforts and measures are carried out in a more targeted and specific manner to help them
achieve their objectives in a precise way.
Changing social structures and social trends call into the question the meaningfulness of demographic
data as a means of targeting services. Western societies establish roles, expectations, opportunities and
problems specifically to men and women. In a cultural specific context, some types of products are almost
exclusively used by one gender. Communication is clearly directed to a gender using articles (amigo or
amiga for example). But times are changing, and gender equality is far more prominent on the political and
social agenda than ever before. This has important repercussions for marketing and communication, and
agencies need to become more aware of campaigns or advertisements that could be seen as
discriminative or fail to understand changing social trends that directly affect their target audience.
Divisions between country, state and city are acutely
related to questions of culture, economics and behavior.
To speak of a Brazilian, Italian or a Japanese highlights a
mentally abstract persona. In Brazil the differences in
states are quite relevant. The location of a consumer tells
us things, with varying degrees of precision about the
economic situation, patterns of cultural
activity, dress, eating patterns and products consumed.
In some cases, location is an exclusive factor in
marketing: a product or service can be known nationally,
but only be distributed in particular market squares or
Dealing with monitoring based on textual searches
requires a knowledge and understanding of language, idiomatic expression, slang and linguistic customs.
The amount of slang and specific names for products, food and different actions is enormous. Even
interjections are used in a particular way: what might seem like an insult in one Brazilian state is in fact a
compliment in another.
Associated with age, we have general activities relating to specific age-groups. Toys and games, eating
habits, general consumption and relationship status are defined in a way that is often very different to
Western societies. One of the products most obviously linked to age-groups are chocolate mixes, alcoholic
drinks and anti-wrinkle creams, with the big fast trading brands possessing a number of sub-brands for
different age groups.
The diverse methodology to accurately define socio-economic classes have been created, evolved and
discussed throughout the years. In Brazil the criteria are defined by the Brazilian Association of Research
, classifying the socio-economic classes from 1 to 7, with 1 being the class experiencing the
best living conditions and 7 referring to people in a situation of poverty or extreme poverty.
The crossing of these demographic categories already offers exhaustive amplitude of ways of defining
segments. As an exercise, if you multiplied 27 Brazilian states by 2 genders, 5 generations and 7 socio-
economic categories there are already 1890 possible permutations.
BrandCare, social media monitoring tool of Social
Figures, it possesses advanced resource of
geolocalisation on Twitter.
INTERESTS AND BEHAVIOURS
With the strengthening of global capitalism, the increasing diversification of consumption and the
emergence of niche cultures in the second half of the 20th
Century, demographic segmentation has become
less reliant on certain necessities. Religion, region, nationality and gender have stopped being such staunch
categories: individuals no longer retain these categories throughout their whole life as individual and
community identities shift more and are often in a permanent state of change.
Adding to the demographic and geographic segmentations is a more individualized and behavior- based
ways of life which gathers data about Activities, Interests and Opinions (AIO). For the large part, this type of
classification is due to the transformation of consumer behavior in the second half of the 20th
Traditional institutions such as the State, the Church, the Family (and Generation) are no longer responsible
for such definite behavior in an individual. Other types of affiliation to groups in popular culture (musical
and stylistic niches), social causes (feminism, LBGT, ethnic minorities) or even consumer based groups (the
fans of the rival Android or iOS) are as important in regards to how organizations understand the customer.
In this way, the analyzing of AIO constitutes a psychographic approach. This is an approach that observes
behavior based on what a person thinks about a particular subject or social matter, their consumer patterns
or what their general interests are. This involves such as attitudes towards health, eating, other social
groups, musical interests, literature, sport and political affiliation.
, written 40 years ago, remains relevant to AIO work in the present day:
Activities Interests Opinions
Work Family Self
Hobbies Home Social Questions
Social Events Employment Politics
Holidays Community Business
Entertainment Recreations Economy
Club Membership Fashion Education
Community Food Products
Shopping Media Future
Sport Achievements Culture
activities and frequently purchases products relating to sport, gymnastics and physical fitness, it suggests
that this person is physically active and places a high personal value on physical activity and keeping fit.
Achieving goals is part of their life and notions of self-fulfillment can be valued. Similarly, and individual
who has recently become a parent will pay more attention to selective messages relating to newborn
children. One of the most relevant public categories for years in the United States are the so called Blogger
Moms who use blogs and social media to share and exchange messages, photos and ideas about children,
pediatrics, infant feeding or the joys and challenges of being a Mother.
Another recurring example is the way that certain groups access news and media organizations. To
discover what type of media (journals, newspapers, portals, and social media) is most used for one cross-
section of the public creates the possibility of developing media plans and product placement strategies.
Consumer opinions generally reflect predispositions for behavior and are ways of identifying various layers
album have the potential to have an enormous influence on the creative market. Opinions held by
consumers in regards to their attitude towards the future can also be indicative of a more wary or
confident profile. If a group feels that the future holds good opportunities and financial prosperity, it is
also probable that this is a group willing to make large purchases or use credit cards for example.
Understanding the different profiles of activities, interests and opinions of the public means developing
products, communication and marketing aspects that attend to their explicit and implicit needs and
avoiding attitudes that they find displeasing.
AND OTHER TYPES OF SEGMENTATION IN SOCIAL MEDIA
The possibility of segmenting groups of people and consumers is directly proportional to the amount of
data that can be obtained from them. Developments with the web 2.0, social media and a range of
evolutions in technology, behavior, social standards and economics have created a boom in social
Segmentations is the basis for better internet businesses today. Google turns over billions of dollars
principally by managing to offer public segmentation information using interests in real time: advertisers
can show an advert to somebody who is looking for information in real time. Facebook also uses
demographic segmentations using gender, age, locality, associations and interests in types of pages
which in turn represent other interests - in order to offer targeted publicity. It is very important for this type
of organization to know what your existing specific audience is, if this corresponds with your target group
and what characteristics the people speaking about your brands and products have.
The demographic segmentation in social media varies a lot in accordance with each type of media
platform. In general principal demographic information such as location, gender and age are available. The
ople seek to express themselves and identify themselves
using their profiles, showing information such as their name, location, age, profession and area of work.
In some cases, there is metadata. This is data that accompanies references monitoring social media,
allowing monitoring analysts to filter their analyses in accordance to location.
Social media allows people to connect with others all over the world. But the general use of it showed an
interesting phenomenon: users tend to connect and converse with people they know are online already.
This means that when conversing or interacting with somebody with a specific profile demographic, users
also tend to affect people with the same profile demographic within the wider user network.
Psychographic segmentation in social media can be developed by perceptions, collected directly or
indirectly, about what users are interested in and how they behave as a result. In relation to their interests,
a short list of pages in reference to Facebook, or on corporate profiles followed on Twitter, is an important
source. If a person is quite interested in extreme sports pages, and presents themselves as a sportsperson,
it is likely that they will have behavioral characteristics associated with this area.
Psychographic information based on interests, in general, is much simpler and easily collected from social
media. The act of following profiles, pages or blogs, and especially sharing and suggesting posts, news and
terests. These interests are particularly relevant as they
reveal how the user wants to be portrayed to the imagined public, their friends, colleagues and others.
Social media focused on mobile devices, such as Twitter and Instagram, bring opportunities for
instantaneous analysis of segments. One of the first mottos of Twitter was simply to state what you were
doing, allowing the user to share their activities with others. Applications like Instagram still allow users to
identify with views and cameras, uniting activities and interests. Social media continues to offer a lot of
relevant information about us in a digital atmosphere.
The level of activity on the internet is one of the ways of segmenting a profile relating to the behavior of
the user on social networks. From the least active users to the most active users, Peter Brandtzaeg and Jan
propose the following categorization:
Sporadics: those users who use media sporadically, generally avoiding frequent access or
newcomers to the market.
Lurkers: the most frequent user of social networks. Those users that read, consume and watch
Socialisers: Those users who focus on social aspects. Not necessarily producing a lot of original
content, but share and converse with their contacts.
Debators: Is the category closest to bloggers, activists and for those who are interested in
discussing and presenting their own ideas and points of view.
Active Users: these are the most active users contributing a lot of content and heavy users of social
To understand the characteristics of audiences in accordance with their level of activity is essential. The
profile of a consumer of determined types of products can vary a lot. For example, faithful devotees of
some smart phone brands tend to be Active Users, whereas consumers of life insurance, beyond being a
more advanced age-group (still an indicator of less frequent activity on social media) have fewer reasons
to act spontaneously with pages or profiles to do with security.
in relation to brands and the way in which they interact with adverts. This can also be divided into public
segments and classification as highlighted below:
Brandlovers: consumers who love the brand and are not afraid to express it. They are always
indicating this to their friends and network.
Brand Advocate: consumers who defend a brand whenever they can or in situations of
Interactors: Part of the public that, even though they may not necessarily be a consumer, interact
message, but are not
interesting in making a point or interacting.
Unsatisfied: consumers who interact when a problem occurs and use social media, in a public way,
to resolve it.
Brand destroyers: due to the unresolved dissatisfaction or prolonged problem with a brand or
product, the brand destroyers are the consumers that feel offended and join to retaliate.
Trolls: people who, even without a specific motive, want to damage a brand, most often for no
Social media also shows the links between people. A whole market of relations and influences was created
this way. Blogging networks or advertising platforms return to social media to explore this aspect.
So, the idea of influence is one of the core values in social
media and also can be seen as a way of segmenting the
public into different layers.
Indexes of influences based on algorithms, despite not
being as precise as in-depth human study, are quick and
useful. Brand Care, for example, allows user classification in
accordance with Klo
bigger the power to broadcast a message a user has. It also
allows agencies to first listen to what influential consumers
are saying, creating the possibility for both positive
repercussions as well as the avoidance of spreading crises.
The Top Profiles resource allows to discover which
twitter users are most influential in each country, State
or City through the Klout metrics.
APPLYING SEGMENTATION IN SOCIAL
Report of Public Profiles in Social Media
A first application of the public segmentation in social media is to discover or design segments of the
public in accordance with its business. It is recommended to develop these reports with a large quantity
of data coming from monitoring, relationship and marketing tools of the company. The report can be
updated bi-annually to identify how consumers have changed. For example:
o Its hotel network possesses different traveller profiles. The autonomous business
traveller, the business traveller, the married traveller, the family traveller. What are
their worries? How do they search for and publish information in social media?
o Is it a company with physical and electronic shops? Are the clients of one type different from
the other? Use social media, crossing data from your CRM with the monitoring of social media to
o What do the 40 thousands followers of your brand of sparkling wines look like? Are they just
consumers? What is the gender distribution? How many are cosmetic bloggers? How many are
drinks distributors alert to the market's novelties? How are you able to communicate with each
and every one of them?
Voter against Non-Voter in Political Campaigns
In Brazilian political campaigns, we are talking principally of personal brands. Confidence of the
Brazilian voter in a specific politician is the most decisive factor when it comes to casting the
vote. In a country such as Brazil with a vibrant political discourse, citizens, militants and communicators
share opinions about politicians and candidates across the whole country, especially if they are involved
in questions of popular interest. However when elections for Governments of States, Towns, Legislative
Assemblies and Chamber of Councillors are running, the geographic segment is decisive.
o What do users say when they comment on the political blogs of the city and its candidate?
Which are the implicit interests that point to the concerns of the electorate?
o Of the spontaneous militants, how much are in the electoral sphere of its candidate? What are
its characteristics compared to militants of other states?
o What is the online journalistic coverage difference between local papers and national papers
about the candidate?
o Who are the detractors of the brand? Are they from other cities or states?
Public in the Social Media x Target Audience of the
Not everyone is on social media and not everyone that is
on social media is the target audience of the brand.
However, are the people that are connecting and
conversing with the brand those in the target audience or
BrandCare allows you to check out which were the users
that most mentioned the searched terms and/or most
interacted in the properties of the brand.
are they different? It is possible to make this comparison to generate various types of insight:
o Prove that your media campaign produced results by bringing people from the target audience
of the brand to converse with the company;
o Carry out a public profile analysis focused just on the public of the social media that
plays a part in the target audience of the products. Develop an engagement action plan that
favours this slice of the public.
Lawyers versus Detractors of the Brand
Remember those customers that complain ten times more when the product of your company is delayed.
Can a demographic or psychographic characteristic explain this? Looking more closely at the similarities
and differences in each one of these categories can shed light on the conversational tactics in order to
promote positive mentions and reduce negative mentions.
o What is the profile of activities and interests of your client? Do they recognize and are they used to
new technologies? A technological solution such as an app for a Smartphone could improve the
o What do users that complain more emphatically about a hotel network have in common?
Measuring opinions and attitudes in comments
Very frequently posts on pages on Facebook or user blogs become a space for debate amongst users
about their preferences for a particular product, methods of use, political positions and other behaviours.
Observing these interactions is an important starting point for further questions.
o The public of the different brands of drinks of the conglomerate interacts in a playful way with
messages about the relationships between men and women. What are the different cultural
positions of this public consumer in relation to relationships and sex?
o What are the opinions of different segments of the public in relation to male waxing? To survey
online communities such as Facebook groups and forums concerning beauty can help in the
launching of a campaign linked to this behaviour, although it is a controversial topic in some
The global market for public segmentation is huge and the market will constantly offer more opportunities
for seeing the way in which consumers participate in social media. The monitoring of data and
conversations on such a global scale presents the greatest challenge to use from an intelligence and
GET TO KNOW
BrandCare is an online social media monitoring software which uses keywords in order to collect relevant
messages from networks and analyze them. We attend to agencies, companies, politicians and consultancy
firms that wish to explore the force of social media for: communications with consumers and voters, to
avoid and manage crises, to deeply understand the public through studies, benchmarks and surveys.
Monitoring of Social Media and sources of data: Blogs,
Facebook (Mentions), Facebook Pages, Forums, Google+,
Instagram, News, Orkut, Twitter, Videos and Yahoo
Tools for analysis of feeling and categorisation of collected
Communication and interactions with users on Facebook and
Keyword alerts for the prevention of crises and using of
Advance and interactive geo-localisation resources in
countries, states and cities
Intelligent organisation of searches and results in searches,
keywords and topic matters
Differential in the cost-benefit in order to monitor feeds, Twitter profiles, fan pages and blogs for
surveys, advanced studies
Top Profiles resource which allows, with a growing database of millions of profiles, to research the
most influential Twitter users of each Country,State or City
Automatic generation of reports in diverse formats (PDF, Word, Excel) with the data and analysis
BANNON, Declan P. Marketing Segmentation and Political Marketing. Political Studies Association, 2004.
Novo Critério de Classificação Econômica Brasil http://www.abep.org/novo/Content.aspx?ContentID=882
The Concept and Application of Life Style Segmentation Joseph T. Plummer
A Typology of Social Networking Sites Users http://www.academia.edu/906922/A_Typology_of_Social_Networking_Sites_Users
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