Picture the audience that you think is currently reading your tweets, streaming your videos and liking you on Facebook.

According to the 2010 US Census, your picture might need some tweaking.

As the census indicates, Hispanic and African-American audiences are the fastest-growing segments of the online population  In fact, based on these statistics, eMarketer predicts that more than 60% of the US’s Hispanic population will be online by 2012.  And that means the potential audience for every online brand is becoming more diverse by the day.

Since the dawn of the 2000s, social media has been trumpeted as “a conversation.”  And as that conversation becomes more diverse, more multicultural, more nuanced and more open to interpretation, it creates a whole new set of opportunities and challenges.

Take a look at the way you’re currently using your social media channels.  Now, ask yourself…

  • How broad is your existing customer base?
  • How diverse is your messaging?
  • Are your products and services appealing to multiple demographics?
  • Are you focusing (whether consciously or unconsciously) on too narrow of an audience segment?
  • Are you equipped to address concerns and answer questions from potential customers who fall outside your expected demographic?

This isn’t just a question of ethnicity or cultural diversity.  This is a consideration of gender, age, region, income and education.  It’s also a welcome reminder that the Internet allows you to connect with everyone… if you’re prepared to do so.

Yes, the people you expect to be in your audience are probably there… but so are lots of other people you might not expect to be there, and might not be prepared to engage and support.  (Yet.)

So why not find ways to diversify your conversations now, before your competition does?

Image by D Sharon Pruitt