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How to use social media to reach niche markets- Part 1- Military

If you’re trying to reach a niche audience like service members, educators, or college students with news about your company’s protected offers or special messaging, social media is a great option. It is cheap, it’s quick and easy to test, and it’s effective- if you know where to go to reach your intended audience. It’s easy to make assumptions about different social media platforms like ‘Pinterest is mostly for women’ and ‘teenagers don’t like Facebook anymore’. In fact, there are surveys, studies, and articles to back those statements up. But to reach a very targeted audience, you have to go beyond broad generalizations about their gender or age. You have to think about how and why your audience uses social media. In this three-part blog series, let’s take a look at where military families, teachers, and college students tend to hang out when they’re feeling social. First up-


Many military families and service members use social media to stay connected during deployments, keep in touch with each other, and find information and resources. According to the 2014 Military Family Lifestyle Survey by Blue Star Military Families, which surveyed 6200 military family respondents including active duty service members, veterans, and spouses:

  • 94% reported that they use social media, compared to 73% of civilian adults.
  • 72% said that social media is important in helping them stay connected to deployed family members. Many families use Skype to video chat.
  • 25% of military spouses use LinkedIn. Finding employment is challenging for some military spouses because they move frequently and run their households as single parents during deployments.
  • 96% of military families use Facebook, as opposed to 67% of their civilian counterparts

The Department of Defense and branches of the military issue guidelines for all service members and their families to maintain security when they’re posting online or using video chat.

This chart from the 2013 Military Family Lifestyle Survey by Blue Star Military Families illustrates which platforms are most popular with the military community.

Many military spouses also blog about their daily life, recipes, military discounts, giveaways, and what it’s like to be part of the military community. The Military Spouse Blog Network, Military Spouse Bloggers Support Network, and Marine Wife, Mommy Life’s military spouse blogging community list over 1,000 active military spouse blogs. Connecting with bloggers can be a great tool for marketers who want to reach the military market, which includes over 30+M members.

In addition to mainstream social media sites and blogs, the military community also turns to military-specific online resources to look for information and connect with others. The top 3 military resources in 2014 were:
2. Military Times
3. Military OneSource

By creating exclusive, military-specific landing pages, offers, and content, and sharing it through social media with influencers in the military community like bloggers and Facebook group administrators, you can connect with the military market in a genuine way.

Next week we’ll take a look at how to use social media to reach educators.


Photo credit: Flickr user Public Affairs Office Fort Wainwright


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