Using Facebook Connect for demographic targeting: HerHotSpot.com marketing case study

Checking through my feeds this afternoon, I came across this press release about HerHotSpot.com and their use of Facebook Connect. HerHotSpot is a social networking site specifically for women – in the words of the site’s founder:

Whilst HerHotSpot.com is an interesting enough concept in itself, there are 2 other equally interesting issues covered in the press release:

1 – Since implementing Facebook Connect, the site has seen signups increase by more than 300 percent and average page views have nearly doubled. I’ve always said that Facebook Connect was a good traffic magnifier, this is proof.

2 – More interesting though is the Facebook Connect-only policy (i.e. using Connect as the sole vehicle to prevent access to males). I see alot of people using Facebook Connect as a way to attract more unique visitors to their site and to encourage repeat visits from existing users, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it used to preclude people of a certain gender from visiting a site. Furthermore, this is also the first time I’ve ever seen a site use Connect as it’s only means of verification – not only does HerHotSpot.com prohibit men from entering, but it prohibits non-Facebookers aswell.

At first glance, this is a curious strategy (erecting barriers and limiting how many people can use their service) but the payoff is that the site will get users of the service that are of a very specific demographic – women (obviously) who are at least internet savvy, are already on Facebook and probably aged in their teens to late twenties / early thirties (although the age demographic is debatable). This makes the site very attractive to advertisers – if my target audience was sociable, connected 16-29 year old women, I’d love to be able to sponsor articles / advertise / participate in the site. As such, HerHotSpot should have no problem making the site a profitable venture.

Mind you, there’s no provision stopping us fellas from simply setting up a facebook account that lists us as a female to gain access, but why would you…. it’s just be a bunch of chatter about boys and lipstick (that’s sarcasm right there, FYI).


4 Responses to “Using Facebook Connect for demographic targeting: HerHotSpot.com marketing case study”

  1. April 16, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Good find. I’ve been waiting for exclusivity to be the next wave in social networking. It will happen faster than we think, as it’s human nature.

  2. 2 Justin
    April 20, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Remember if you will the initial draw for Facebook was its exclusivity. I chose FB over MySpace due to the fact that it was (at the time) only for university students. We will see more splintering in this manner, no doubt.

  3. 3 marketingisadirtyword
    April 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Jeff, Justin,

    Totally agreed! I have to be honest and admit that I’m one of those whiners who bemoan social networks’ (mainly Twitter’s) new popularity – when I first signed up, there were alot of geeks on there, which suited me just fine, given the work I do. Now, the ‘signal-to-noise’ ratio is picking up on Twitter and as mass adoption approaches, the network actually loses alot of what appealed to me in the first place… relevance.

    Ahhh, the tragedy of the common…

  4. 4 mikedmerrill
    April 23, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Nick, Great post on use of Facebook Connect. I’m in the process of trying to implement on my blog as well. Will search for some tips.

    I do think the ease of validation is ideal and a great way to support single-signon.


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