It’s football season, where is “Sam”?

It’s that time again….

Get out the football shaped chip bowls, the tailgating equipment and the face paint, football season is upon us!

Millions of marketing dollars are budgeted for and spent around the football season. Are you using those dollars most effectively? Do you know who your target audience is, what they want, where and when to reach them or even why they are online?

Last year User Insight conducted research to understand the convergence of social media and TV.  As you might expect, we found users that span from those who are very enthusiastic about TV and have a high level of social media usage to those who have a low interest in TV viewing and an almost non-existent level of social media usage.

The most interesting finding from our research is a persona we call “Singular Sam” who at first glance (during non-football season) appears to be part of the group that has a low level of social media usage and is indifferent towards TV.  If asked about either one in the off season, they tell you TV viewing is a “waste of time” and social media is “silly”.

During football season, this group comes out of its shell so to speak, sparked by a shared interest (football). They exhibit the behaviors of the user groups that are more fanatical about TV and they can’t get enough of their “social media”.  One key difference is that their social media channels are private – allowing them to talk smack about the games and their teams but only with others they know and trust.

My husband is a “Singular Sam.”  He generally feels that social media is for the “hey look at me” types.  But during football season he goes online often, participates in and reads forums and blogs around the sport and talks trash online with his friends.

When I asked him why the sudden change in interest, he replies “during football season I have a shared interest with those online.  I’m not just talking about something I did for everyone to see.  The audience with which I interact is limited and specific to a common interest.”

Without this knowledge you may overlook or fail to reach a large portion of your target audience.  You may start an online campaign too early, think that Twitter or Facebook alone would be sufficient to reach everyone, or even worse, completely ignore these channels because you didn’t understand the drivers and context of some of your best prospects.

To have successful online campaigns and message effectively you must really understand your target audience: Who are they? What are they looking for? Why are they participating?

For Singular Sam, timing is everything.  You must know when he is open to your messages and what he expects in the way of communication.

More information on the Social TV project: