Social Network User Predictions 2016

One of the keys to success in social media marketing, is to know where your audience hangs out.

This handy InfoGraphic, published by Adweek, based on predictions by eMarketer, gives you insight as to where to invest your social time and dollars in 2016 based on social network and age groups. Some key insights:

Facebook continues to be the largest social network

As has been the trend for the past couple of years, those 35+  are the largest Facebook demographic and 65+ is expected to increase

Those 18 – 24 year old love Instagram

Where do your peeps hang out?

5 Steps to Social Media Success

While doing some research on social media, I came across this factoid:

Social media’s influence on driving business via the web is expected to surpass search engine optimization (SEO) in 2013, according to eMarketer

If you’re not engaging with social networks yet, or if you have let your networks gather dust, now is the time to move forward or be left behind in the world of search! In an effort to assist you, here are some steps you can take to be social.

Step 1 – Who are your customers?

  • Create a persona of your ideal customer – are they household consumers? Business principals?
  • What is their average age?
  • What social networks do they use?
  • What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests?
  • How can you reach them –search engines, social media, blogs
  • What kinds of content do they prefer?

These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas and determine which social networks will be of most value to you

Step 2 – Determine which social networks to join

  • New social networks pop up each week. It’s a waste of time to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them.
  • Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes.
  • Some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: Google Alerts, Technorati, Google Blog Search, Bloglines,
  • The most popular social networks now are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest
  • Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest are great for reaching household consumers, Linkedin, YouTube, and Twitter for the business community
  • Once you’ve determined which social networks you want to join, setup your account(s)

Step 3 – Join the conversation

  • Engage prospective customers by answering questions, providing insights etc
  • Add value to the community – answer questions and help others where you can
  • Your posts should not always be about “selling” your business
  • When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company you won’t like – but that’s OK!
  • Find a way to help and be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen – you’ll be seen as a hero
  • Recognize happy customers and reward them if possible with something like an added-value offer only available to those who follow you on Twitter
  • If you find something interesting posted elsewhere, share it

Step 4 – Create and post content

  • Whether you publish videos on YouTube, start a Linkedin Group or post to Facebook, the more content you produce and publish, the more traffic you can attract back to your website.
  • If your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads, these activities will help you increase sales
  • Make sure to provide links from your website to your social media networks

Step 5 – Monitor & Revise

  • Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube offer analytics for you to see how many people have viewed your videos, how many people you’ve reached with your Facebook page etc
  • Use free Google Analytics on your website to see where your traffic is coming from
  • If possible, keep track of how your customers learned about you, and which social network, if that is how they found you
  • If you see that you’re spending a lot of effort on a social media network with no return, then eliminate it and focus on the network that brings you the most traffic and/or where your customers want to engage with you

 

Go Local With Places – Location-Based Marketing

I recently looked into  media for a chain of franchised restaurants to help with their local store marketing efforts. Along with traditional tactics, such as advertising in local community newspapers, I suggested that they use location-based media as an inbound marketing tactic.

People search locally on-the-go

People now search “on-the-go” with mobile devices, such as smartphones and iPads, when they want to find a restaurant nearby, or their closest hardware shop. Nielsen predicts that, “We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to  friends, the internet and the world at large.”

As a consumer, depending on where you’re located,  location-based media will deliver content to your mobile device. For marketers interested in driving traffic to their locations, it is a way to deliver a targeted marketing message to customers in a specific geographic location, and therefore, ideal for local store marketing.

Leaders, at this point, in location-based media include:

Using location-based media may help to increase:

  • Website ranking
  • Customer acquisition
  • Loyalty
  • Community building

For this post, I’ll focus on Google Places. Subscribe to my blog so that you’ll know when I’ve posted about Foursquare and other services!

Google Places

Google Places gives you the opportunity to rank higher in search results on Google. Claiming  your space may even get you on the first  page of your customers’ search results – for free!

This will give you:

  • More visibility
  • More traffic
  • Level the playing field with the big guys

To get the best results you’ll want to:

  • Include as much information as possible, including videos and photos
  • Optimize for keywords/phrases
  • Encourage customer reviews – the more you have the higher your rank will be

To enhance your free listing give Adwords Express a try. Adwords Express lets you create an online ad campaign attracting more hits to your website and Places page.

With Adwords Express you:

  • Set up a monthly budget for your ad
  • Google will decide what  keywords trigger your ad, based on the categories that you select
  • You pay for the clicks that your ad actually receives.
  • Advertise different categories of your business
  • Promote multiple locations

Learn more by watching this Google video:

Do you, or will you use Google Places, to enhance your online marketing efforts? Share your intentions or experience by leaving a comment!

Social Media Marketing: Restaurants

The first in a series of posts about Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

By day, I work for a marketing communications company. The clients are primarily franchises, and they are mainly restaurants.

Though using Social Media is catching on in restaurant marketing, I notice that many clients are hesitant to use Social Media Marketing in their marketing mix. Their reasons:

  • Their customers don’t use Social Media
  • They don’t understand it or how it can help their business
  • It’s overwhelming and don’t have the  time to plan and implement campaigns

Social Media is  Just for Kids

In conversations I’ve had with various clients, one misconception is that the “social web” is just for  kids.  This is not true. Take a look at the stats:

  • The September/October 2010 edition of Canadian Restaurant News, reported that 50% of restaurant patrons are between the ages of  25 – 54, and that 52% of patrons are female.
  • The average age of a Twitter user is 39.  The average age of those on  Facebook is 38 (Source: Royal Pingdom).
  • 42 million women in the USA engaged in social media networking at least once a week (Small Business Trends).

Clearly the average restaurant customer does use  Social Media in one form or another, whether that form is Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube or a combination of these and other Web 2.0 applications.

Whether you serve kids or middle aged adults, integrating Social Media into your marketing mix is something that you shouldn’t ignore.

Need help with  your Social Media Marketing? Want a custom Facebook Business Page Designed? Contact me at ginaprestonmarketing@gmail.com

Facebook or Linkedin: Which one is right for your business?

Linkedin

Linkedin is a professional networking social site. It allows job searchers, independent contractors and other vendors to post information about themselves and/or their companies.

Linkedin Benefits

Connect with other professionals: Exposure to 60 million professionals, including all Fortune 500 companies

Build your brand: By including recommendations in your profile and answering questions, you are able to build credibility and promote your expertise

Research potential employers, prospects and competition: You can find and conduct research into potential clients, partners and service providers

Facebook

As of  March 17, 2010, Facebook is the most visited website, by North Americans, eclipsing  even Google, now in second place. With more than 400 million active users of various demographics, from all walks of life, Facebook provides an effective social networking medium to add to your marketing mix. From a marketing perspective, Facebook is most effective at reaching consumers and households, versus businesses.

Facebook Benefits

Creates opportunities for branding – you have the ability to build relationships with existing and potential customers. You can place your logo, photos, videos and other visual branding elements within your Fan Page site, or even create a custom fan page to further enhance your branding efforts. The “voice” that you’ve created for your brand can be carried through in the style of writing for status updates, notes, blogs and other resources.

Customer Engagement: using contests, promotions, Facebook apps, posting helpful information and encouraging feedback, you will build relationships with your customer fans

Lead generation: by encouraging people to contact you, you have great potential to generate many qualified leads.

You can visit a couple of  Pages I’ve setup and maintain here:

If you’re looking to enhance your personal or company brand with professionals, then Linkedin is the place to be. If you wish to connect with individual consumers, then Facebook would be your best option.