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Digital Audience Analysis: Lincoln Motor Company


Introduction

When identifying a digital audience, marketers can reach intended audiences more

effectively by researching demographics and online behaviors (Smith, 2020). One can study various aspects of digital audiences—like gender and age and location—and create digital campaigns that connect consumers with the brand (Sprout Social, n.d.). This project continues to focus on social media, websites, and search engines as the main digital focus of the Lincoln Motor Company (LMC) digital brand management.

Native Audience Information: Sample


The first step in the digital identification process is demographics. On the social media side, we can examine insights for followers, gender, and age. On the demographics side, we can look at the corresponding data set assigned to the 53717 ZIP code. Through a theoretical example (from a student Facebook page), the data below represents a traditional native audience analysis based on insights and demographics.


In a “practice example,” one can see how some age brackets (Facebook versus the 53717 ZIP code) remain similar in the 18-24 (4.32% difference for women, .68% difference for men), 25-35 (5.90% difference for women, 10.90% for men), and 45-54 (4.24% for women, 8.24% for men) age brackets. The differences grow between the 55-64 bracket (10.93% for women, 12.93% for men) and over-65 bracket (14.53% for women, 15.53% for men).


Native Audience Information: Lincoln Motor Company


Without access to such behind-the-scenes LMC insights, one can turn to social listening for native audience analysis. LMC’s Twitter account (@LincolnMotorCO), has 98.6K followers as of November 10, 2020. By contrast, big competitors have much larger followings (2.1M for BMW, 699.6K for @Cadillac, 450.4K for @AudiOfficial). Other LMC Twitter stats include: 1.56 tweets per day; 2,716 user mentions, 809 links, 1,588 (49.7%) tweets retweeted, 2,321 (72.6%) tweets favorited, and best success tweeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday (Twitonomy, 2020). Marketing research firm Hedges and Company (2019) estimates that in 2020, the average age of new suburban utility vehicles (SUVs) was between 25 and 54, and new SUV owners were 43% female and 57% male. Thus, an ideal digital audience would include followers among the 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54 segments with a higher male following. Content would succeed promoting SUVs on Wednesdays around 3 p.m. With access to LMC’s social media platforms, one could compare actual gender and age demographics with the same data for the 53717 ZIP code and determine areas for improvement and targeting.


Key Performance Indicators


Before assessing online behaviors for the LMC digital audience, one must define the key performance indicators (KPIs) to study. Based on the age and gender differences previously noted, KPIs for this study will include metrics that are measurable without having to administrative access—measurement that enables us to compare and contrast with LMC and a competitor (BMW). These include sentiment, reach, and influence.


In the period between October 4, 2020 and November 2, 2020, LMC earned a 53.85% positive sentiment rating—a metric that illuminates online thoughts of a brand and creates aligned opportunities (Mention, 2020a; Whatman, 2020). LMC’s reach was 8,417,832. This figure is a measure of the total number of unique people who saw the brand’s content (York, 2020). LMC’s influence, or overall brand’s impact, peaked at 78.02% in early October (Mention, 2020a; Patel, n.d.).



The most favorited tweet, below left, (seventy-seven times on October 27, 2020), featured a four-image frame of the Lincoln Aviator with a #TravelTuesday hashtag (Twitonomy, 2020). The most retweeted content, below right, (thirteen times on October 23) also featured the Lincoln Aviator and #TravelTuesday hashtag (Twitonomy, 2020).


Influence plays into the general idea of social influence: undirected interactions constantly change thresholds, and the modification of individual behaviors depends on active individuals (Tokita & Tarnita, 2020). Thus, adding more direction, pre-planning, and strategy to LMC’s Twitter account may raise influence levels through positively biased interactions because of a frequency of non-random interactions (Tokita & Tarnita, 2020). With an influence score in the fiftieth percentile, LMC is only reaching half of their audience in this category. That is a car half-empty, not half-full.


Based on the most favorited and most retweeted posts of the last month, the #TravelTuesday hashtag is a runaway success. LMC should make this hashtag a standing, weekly feature and run all of their models through a #TravelTueday focus. This hashtag speaks to a restless nature and a yearning for adventure—perhaps in part due to the pandemic lockdown—so this sentiment should feature in all social media storytelling.

By contrast, one might predict that a big luxury competitor, BMW, would crush LMC in sentiment, reach, and influence.


In the same time period (October 2020 to November 2020), BMW’s reach was 19,096,159 (compared to LMC’s 8,417,832) but their influence was 52.68% (compared to LMC’s 53.85%). BMW’s influence peaked at 48.95 in mid-October (compared to LMC’s 78.02% in the same time frame) (Mention, 2020b). With followers, more is not always better. These differences and similarities prove the point that engaged followers are far more important than high follower counts because reach measures each time content is scene, not merely displayed, with no interaction (which is the difference between reach and impression) (Whatman, 2020; York, 2020). Measuring sentiment, reach, and influence, LMC can topple a titan like BMW with intuitive campaigns that capitalize on strengths and audience insights.


Influencer Candidate and Campaign


Influencer marketing is designed to enhance social influence in three areas: compliance; conformity; and obedience (Alhabash, 2020). Krista Todd, former global communications vice president for Logitech, stated that influencer marketing resonates more effectively with a “meaningful story” than with sponsored or organic content (as cited in Alkon, 2018, p. 5). Seventy-one percent of consumers base consumer decisions on social media referrals, and 81% of consumers trust information they obtain from blogs (Alhabash, 2020). Often more authentic than an ad, social influencer content is more cost-effective than most marketing channels (Alhabash, 2020).


Utilizing a search on BuzzSumo, one can find myriad candidates for LMC influencer marketing. One individual, @JeroenBartelse, is a business innovation manager and technology enthusiast who is involved in drone technology, self-driving cars, and “insurtech” (which refers to the blend of technology and innovation favored by venture capitalists) (Hargrave & Estevez, 2020, p. 1; LinkedIn, n.d.). Bartelse, who recently retweeted an article about Ford and LMC, boasts the following metrics:


Bartelse would make an ideal candidate to appeal to the technology-centric segment of LMC. His domain authority—a metric directly connected to the amount of traffic received, thus a predictor of reach and search engine page results (SERPs)—is extremely strong (Outreach Plus, n.d.; Rubb, n.d.). His page authority score speaks to the propensity to score from 1 to 100 on SERPs (Rubb, n.d.). Based on his retweet ratio, his content is about half of his content, and his own retweets are solid but could be improved. If he could retweet LMC content, while demonstrating thought leadership and content expertise, then he would make an effective influencer for LMC in the Millennial, Gen X, and Boomer segments. Although not a celebrity, Bartelse would make a great “micro-influencer,” or an “everyday person” who wields content expertise in a specialized niche (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020, p. 11).


Launching a Social Media Campaign


As a recap, this project has defined a target audience (25- to 54-years-old, income more than $60K annually, and located in the 53717 ZIP code) and distilled psychographics (new car buyers, not lessors, who agree a SUV matches their lifestyle, who are technologically savvy, and who attribute social status with cars). The stated social media objectives—to increase brand awareness and to boost brand loyalty—include segmented Facebook targeted ads designed to introduced and reinforce the LMC brand to the 25-35, 36-44, and 45-54-year-old segments. The same overall strategy applies to Instagram, but the difference between the two channels is a focus on product education and features (Facebook) and on prestige and lifestyle (Instagram).


A combination of these two strategies would play in a Twitter social media strategy. Each would feature customized hashtags and a post frequency and timing that is appropriate for the luxury car market while considering the age demographics of the 53717 ZIP code. Regardless of the channel, a focus on freedom, technology, high quality, and luxury would serve as the subtext. Time goals would be timely by quarter or by campaign, and a leadership would create a benchmark of currents metrics and insights before launching. Finally, with any social listening goal, leadership should create a Google alert for LMC and each of the makes and models.


This report section has focused on Twitter, but a social media campaign example (to create awareness), will focus on a Facebook campaign. Facebook ad strategies are as follows:


Campaign #1 57311 Composite


• Gender: Men/Women • Geography: 53717

Household income: Top 10-25%, 25-50%

Interest: Lincoln Motor Company;

luxury vehicle, cars; road trips; technology;

travel technology; college grad; Bachelor’s degree or higher; car buyer

Behaviors: frequent travelers

Demographics: management; master’s

Grade; graduate school; Some grad school;

Edgewood College;

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Potential audience size: 240,000








Campaign #2 57311 Millennials


• Gender: Men and Women

Age: 21-35

Geography: 53717

Household income: Top 25-50%

Interest: Lincoln Motor Company;

luxury vehicle, cars; road trips; technology;

travel technology; college grad; Bachelor’s

degree of higher; car buyer

Behaviors: frequent travelers

Demographics: management; master’s

Grade; graduate school; Some grad school;

Edgewood College;

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Potential audience size: 140,000








Campaign #3 57311 Gen-X



• Gender: Men and Women

Age: 36-55

Geography: 53717

Household income: Top 10-25%, 25-50%

Interest: Lincoln Motor Company;

luxury vehicle, cars; road trips; technology;

travel technology; college grad; Bachelor’s

degree or higher; car buyer

Behaviors: frequent travelers

Demographics: management; master’s

Grade; graduate school; Some grad school;

Edgewood College;

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Potential audience size: 140,000




References


Alhabash, S. (2020). Lecture 11.1: Influencer Marketing. [D2L Video]. Retrieved from the Michigan State University D2L site.


Alkon, J. (2018, June 26). How Logitech uses micro-influencers to promote its products. The Social Shake-Up. https://www.socialshakeupshow.com/logitech-micro-influencers/


BuzzSumo. (2020). Jeroen Bartelse. [Data set]. Retrieved November 8, 2020. https://app.buzzsumo.com/influencers/twitter?

active_only=false&ignore_broadcasters=false&result_type=estimated_num_followers&q=Lincoln%20motor%20company&search=true


Bartelse, J. (n.d.). Jeroen Barelse. [LinkedIn profile]. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeroenbartelse/


Hargrave, M., & Estevez, E. (2020, August 17). Insurtech. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/insurtech.asp


Hedges and Company. (2019, January). Automotive trends: New car buyer demographics 2020. https://hedgescompany.com/blog/2019/01/new-car-buyer-demographics-2019/


Influencer Marketing Hub. (2020, October 15). What is an influencer? https://influencermarketinghub.com/what-is-an-influencer/


Mention. (2020a). Lincoln Motor Company. [Data]. https://web.mention.com/en#insights/d/tone/v/pie_chart_donuts/alert/2211178/p/2020-10-04--2020-11-02


Mention. (2020b). Lincoln Motor Company. [Data]. https://web.mention.com/en#insights/d/tone/v/pie_chart_donuts/alert/2211178/p/


Outreach Plus, (n.d.). How to measure the influence of an influencer [A simple framework for you]. https://www.outreachplus.com/how-to-measure-the-influencer-of-an-influencer-a-simple-framework-for-you/#da


Patel, N. (n.d.). 5 essential & easy social media metrics you should be measuring right now. Neil Patel. https://neilpatel.com/blog/essential-social-media-metrics/


Rubb, E. (n.d.). BuzzSumo glossary of terms. https://help.buzzsumo.com/en/articles/1633271-buzzsumo-glossary-of-terms


Simply Analytics. (2020a). [53717 Quick Report]. [Data set]. MRI Consumer Survey US. http://app.simplyanalytics.com


Simply Analytics. (2020b). [% population aged 25 to 34 years; % population aged 35-44 years; % population aged 45-54]. [Data set]. MRI Consumer Survey US. http://app.simplyanalytics.com


Smith, L. (2020, July 22). 8 audience targeting strategies from digital marketing experts. WordStream. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/04/15/audience-targeting


Sprout Social. (n.d.). Target audience. https://sproutsocial.com/glossary/target-audience/


Tokita, C.K., & Tarnita, C.E. (2020, January 8). Social influence and interaction bias can drive emergent behavioural specialization and modular social networks across systems. The Royal Society. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2019.0564


Twitonomy. (2020, November 2). @LincolnMotorCo. https://www.twitonomy.com/profile.php?sn=@LincolnMotorCo


Whatman, P. (2020, June 25). The 10 most important social media metrics to monitor. Mention. https://mention.com/en/blog/social-media-metrics-to-monitor/


York, A. (2020, August 7). Reach vs impressions: What’s the difference in terms? Sprout Social. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/reach-vs-impressions/


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