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More than money separates use of Social Networks by affluent consumers

Branding is a key motivation in reaching wealthy internet users via Social Media networking channels.

But, according to a recent Affluence Collaborative for significantly different reasons than other market segments. 0502_Loy-SM-200x300

And the social networks they use in the process are different, too.

Most of us pursue brands on social networks to grab deals and discounts. But Affluence Collaborative finds this a much lower priority for the wealthy. Their top reasons for following brands were due to a preexisting affinity for and a desire to be kept informed about the brand.

They weren’t much interested in being entertained.

These findings coincide with an earlier ExactTarget study that found liking a brand on Facebook related more to self-expression than any particular affinity. The “love of the brands” that affluents connect with effectively turns them into brand ambassadors.

Popular blogger Company, has a slightly different take – that the rich really aren’t much different – but his list of rationales for affluent consumers’ use of SM is illuminating:

  • Hear what friends and 0502_ScottMonty family are doing – 55%
  • Reconnect with old friends and classmates – 53%
  • Share news with friends & family, fun, sharing photos – all between 39% and 47%
  • Less than one in five use SM for social networking or to keep on top of news and trends. Fewer than 10% use SM for product research, coupons and offers.

Now whether than profile looks like typical internet users across the board may be a question for more in-depth research, but clearly, standard social-networking tactics probably are going to be relatively ineffective with rich folk.

Quite simply, businesses need to 0502_Loy-SM2-300x275take those insights into account, and conduct sampling and research to evaluate potential tactics early on. The one key factor, however, is to reach these affluent, typically older prospects based on their existing knowledge of – and predisposition for – a fairly well-established brand.

Data from the Affluence Collaborative study also reveals that the affluent aren’t using the same social networks as the general population. Facebook was the No. 1 social network used by all groups surveyed, but LinkedIn and Twitter attracted affluent internet users at nearly double the rate of the general population.


Sallie Burnett
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