09/02/11 Millionaires Hooked On Facebook—Start Selling To Them Now!

According to the latest official statistics published by Facebook, the social networking website has over 750 million active users around the world. Fifty percent of their active user base is logged into Facebook on any given day. If your company has tried to use Facebook as a marketing channel to reach average consumers, odds are the results haven’t been as expected.

Using Facebook as a marketing channel isn’t yet a proven way to generate sales—I’ve written about this before. New research, however, indicates that there are new incentives for businesses to keep trying.

A recent study by Spectrem Group, a consulting and marketing firm specializing in affluent consumers, indicates that the number of millionaires on Facebook is increasing rapidly.

According to the study, the number of millionaires, defined as people that have at least one million dollars in net worth not including the equity of their principal residence, has nearly doubled in the past 9 months. (Approximately 46 percent of millionaires are now using Facebook.) Even more compelling is the increased usage of Facebook among ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWs)—UHNWs are generally characterized as having a net worth of $5 million to $25 million not including the equity value of their main homes.

Millionaires making a comeback

Despite the general state of the economy, millionaires continue to do well. During 2010, the number of millionaire households in the United States grew by 600,000 to a total of 8.4 million. This is a significant improvement considering that during the housing and financial crises in recent years millionaire households plunged by nearly one-third. If current trends continue, we should see a return to the peak number of millionaires—9.2 million households—within the next two years.

Selling to the rich

This rebound in the net worth of the most affluent segment of our society is important to small business owners. Selling to rich people is a good thing! They have large amounts of disposable income, can provide valuable referrals and connections and they aren’t as price sensitive as other segments of the population. Who wouldn’t want to sell to this type of customer?

Given the latest trends in Facebook usage, this can provide an effective channel to reach potential millionaire customers.

The rich are different

So what are millionaires doing on Facebook and how can you leverage their activities? They aren’t playing Farmville (well at least they usually aren’t). As would be expected, they are looking to be productive with their time. Educational and informative content in “user-friendly, consumable chunks” is popular among high net worth individuals with around 25 percent looking for this type of information on social networks.

As a small business, consider producing this type of information about your product or service. If what you sell doesn’t lend itself to this market, considering developing premium versions of what you sell. At the moment, the use of Facebook as a channel to target high net worth individuals is open. Over time, it will become saturated. You have a window of opportunity to establish a position and capture the attention of this very attractive customer base. Take advantage of it.

Don’t ignore the changing demographics

While Facebook may have a reputation as the place for your kids to “hang out” online, the reality of who uses Facebook is changing. The demographic profile of the newest users is far more attractive than the initial early adopters which consisted of college students with limited disposable income. Start selling now!

OPENForum – Mike Periu

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