Category Archives: Social Media

Social Media Continues to Grow

Social networking has rapidly become a staple activity in consumers daily live.
While the growth rate of social networks maybe flatting out, it’s because people are abandoning the platforms, it’s because social networking might be reaching the point of diminishing returns.

social-media● Currently, there are over 180 million social networkers in the U.S – that’s nearly 70% of consumers
● Over the past 2 years, the number of social media users grew by 9%
● By 2019, its estimated there will be over 200 million social networks
● While there are more Caucasian social networkers (113 million / 72.5%).
Those of Hispanic origins make up a higher percentage of users (32 million / 76.6%).

What Does This Mean To You?

If social media is not part of your marketing strategy, you are not only leaving potential sales – you are likely helping your competitors create a loyal customer base. Think of social media as a holistic media – not a one shot sales message. Your social presences should be an engagement point, a conduit for you to connect with potential customers.
The first step in creating a loyal audience is developing content your targets would be interested in.
The next thing you need to do is interact with those who comment on your content. Social media is a conversation. By communicating back with commenters, you build engagement.
If the comments are negative, don’t ignore them. But don’t get into a war. You won’t win it, you won’t be teaching people a lesson. Take criticism constructively and you might actually win customers out of it. Positive feedback is should be nurtured. They are a tool to grow business. . For more information on how to use social media to create more opportunities, please contact:

amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: eMarketer;

Dining is a Mobile and Social Activity

In yesterday’s post, we delved into new reports on how mobile is a driving force in how people research, discover and plan entertainment activities. In today’s post, we’ll look into how restaurants can leverage mobile devices and social media to gain more floor traffic and create new loyal patrons.

shutterstock_93328699● In the past 6 months 80% of smart phone users have searched for a restaurant via app
● 75% have chosen where to dine passed on search results
● Nearly 85% will look at more than one establishment before choosing where to eat
● 70% think it’s important to be able to see a menu on a mobile device
● 63% of consumers said they are less likely to dine at a restaurant that does not show their menu
● One in five diners will use social media while dining at a restaurant,
● 40% of consumers say they learn about food from web sites, food blogs or apps
● 21% of consumers look for discounts, coupons or deals on food while dining

What This Means To You

As a restaurant, your social reputation and search tactics are extremely important to your success. No one needs to tell a restaurateur how tough
the business is. Every day you’re in a competition to gain new diners and
keep loyal ones.
When was the last time you did a social reputation audit?
Go through your own social media sites and local directories to see what people are saying about you. Word of mouth reputation has spread to the digital space. Consumers trust the opinions of online friends and peers more than experts. So any unresolved issues and negative comments can cost you business. When people are comparing several restaurants, how many are going to choose the one with negative comments – especially ones that have been there for a long time. It’s important for you to try to mitigate these problems as soon as possible. Contact the offended party, be epithetic, let them know that you addressing their concerns and invite them back. Responding to them in a negative way is the second worst thing you can do – doing nothing at all is the worst.
When a diner gives you a positive review, utilize it. Thank them and ask for permission to use it. Put the virtual testimonial on your site, into your social presences and any other campaigns you may be using. Also, Facebook and twitter are not the only forms of social media available to you. Food is visual – Instagram and Pinterest are great places to deliver you message. Both of these sites index high for female users. This is important because women are the main influencer in most purchase decisions. Don’t forget about video, You Tube and Vimeo have large site visitation. Vine will put your video into the mobile decision-makers hands. If you are looking to drive lunch business, targeted ads on LinkedIn can be very beneficial (not site-wide ads, but geo-targeted banners). Be sure to include your menu across all digital platforms and make sure it’s prominently displays. Consumers on mobile devices have not patience to for hunting around on your site for things.
Do not forget about search.
Recently,  I heard a great line “the best place to hide a dead body is in on the second page of a Google search”.
It’s true; the vast majority of people do not look past the first page.
In fact, most don’t go past the first three or four organic listings. It may
be worth your while to investigate an SEO strategy. Talk to your web developer or hosting company for options.
Other things to think about.
What local events can you monetize with either take out or after-event specials?
How are you rewarding loyal customers?
When was the last time you visited your biggest competitor’s virtual and physical location?
Have you thought about in-store events such as wine tastings or cooking classes?
With so many choices, you have to give diners every opportunity to find you and give them a reason to try you. For more information on growing your business and increasing your loyal customer count, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Brandon Gaile; MarketingCharts.com; Chadwick Martin Bailey; ConstantContact

Social Networks And Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers remain to be a large and lucrative target market. They may have been one of the later segments to come to the social media party; they have become firmly implanted in it.

seniors_online● There are an estimated 77.3 million Baby Boomers in the US
● 60% of adults 50-64 actively use social media as do over 40% of those 65+
● In the past 4 years, the number of Baby Boomers on social media has tripled
● Seven in 10 Baby Boomers say they have a Facebook account, 40% are actively on FaceBook
● 34% have used YouTube and 13% actively watch online video on the network
● 39% have a Google+ account with 14% actively using it
● 31% of Baby Boomers have a Twitter handle and 12% actively tweet. Twitters biggest growth area has been among Baby Boomers
● One in four Baby Boomers say they are on LinkedIn with just under 10% actively using the network
● While Pinterest has a lower usage rate with11% having an account and 4% actively using it – Pinterest has a rapid growth rate among Baby Boomers

What This Means To You

The Baby Boomer audience is one that cannot be ignored. Social media gives you the opportunity to build loyal relationships with them. Because they aren’t as digitally jaded as other consumer segments, you probably have a great occasion of impacting their decision making through social media.
While many other segments use social networks to keep in touch with friends or to build support networks, Baby Boomers are mainly on social networks to stay in touch with family. Also, many Baby Boomers are also in a transition phase of their lives. Moving from work to retirement, possibly downsizing their residences, dealing with medical issues and insurance. Social networks can serve as an information source and a connection tool. For more information on strengthening your relationship with Baby Boomer consumers, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Global Web Index; Pew Center

Healthcare Going Digital

Not many people particularly like going to the Doctor. It’s estimated that only about 20% of Doctor’s visits are preventative or checkups. The reason most people go to the Doctor is for a cough. Consumers have come to expect the on-demand everything that has come with digital technology, new research shows those expectations have now moved into the medical realm.

Stehoscope● More than 90% of consumers surveyed said they would rather see a physician who offers email communication to his patients – even if there is an extra charge for that service
● Nearly 85% baby boomers go online to look for medical or drug information
● Over 60% of adults age 21 to 33 searched for online for information about a physician
● More than 40% of adults 21 to 33 also looked up the cost of medical procedures online
● Over 45% of adults 34 to 48 wanted to see lab results online
● Scheduling of doctors’ visits was something that was still something consumers preferred to do over the phone. More than 3 thirds preferred making appointments over the phone vs. 23% who wished to do it digitally

What This Means To You
While I’m not a doctor (nor, do I play one on T), medical information should be obtained for reputable sources. Consumers are searching for those sources online. If you are a medical professional, the digital space gives you a full range of customer service options. This can give your practice an incredible branding opportunity. That opportunity extends beyond just your web site. So many consumers are using social media for medical information. (I’m not sure that I would ask the same person who posts the cat playing piano video about the difference between having a cold or the flu). Becoming an information source for your patients can lead them to sharing your social posts and an increased patient base. Other digital tools that can help your practice stand out:
• Daily Health Tweets or texts
• After Hour Video Web Chats
• Mobile capabilities
Consumers are always looking for convenience. Beyond being a draw for younger consumers, integrating digital tools into your practice can help save you and your office space time and money.
For more information expanding your practice digitally, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: iHealthBeat; CDC

Engaging Consumers With Twitter

Earlier this week, we posted information on how small businesses are using Twitter. Today we’ll look at how these businesses engage customers and followers using the social network.

twitter-bird-blue-on-white● Over half of businesses consider Twitter very important as a customer service tool
● Nearly nine in 10 small businesses using Twitter tweet directly to customers
● Four in 10 businesses reply to customer’s message within an hour
● 90% of organizations using Twitter as the consumers who interact with are valuable to their business
● Over two-thirds say that it is extremely valuable when their followers recommend them to other Twitter users

What This Means To You

When it comes to any social media marketing, engagement and interaction are key. More and more consumers are using social media as a customer service tool. They are either using it to ask question or more importantly deliver feedback. Often that feedback is not directly given to the company. They are telling their friends and online peers. If this information is positive – great, social evangelism is an extremely influential tool in developing new and loyal customers. If that feedback is negative – you have a problem that needs to be addressed. Consumers rely on the internet to do pre-purchase research. They look at social presences, and if you have negative comments, posts or reviews – it is a red flag to perspective buyers. The more communication you have with customers, the more likely they are to develop an affinity with your brand and come to you with customer service problem first before going to friends and followers. For more information on developing customers through social media, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Twitter

Small Businesses and Twitter

Recently, we featured information on how small businesses are using social media as a promotional tool. One of the takeaways was just many small businesses are using Facebook as a promotional platform. A new study has come out that shows how many SMB’s are using Twitter and their opinion of the social platform.

twitter-logo-break● Over 70% of the small businesses surveyed said it was important to have a Twitter presence, but only four in 10 were using the social platform
● Among the businesses using Twitter, nearly 70% posted at least once a day and almost three quarters said they received a positive return on the time they invested
● Over 90% of businesses using Twitter considered it their most valuable social resource
● The majority of businesses were using Twitter to connect followers with content – 74% connected with their website, 40% connected to blog and 17% connected followers to a newsletter

What This Means To You

Social media should be viewed as a connection point and a way to drive business. But it starts with a strategy. Just having a Twitter handle (or any social media existence) does not mean you are socially marketing your business. Setup up guidelines about what you are going to post, this help you extend the persona of your brand to your social presences. Determine how often you are going to post and set goals for mentions and retweets. Think of your social functions like someone who works in your establishment. They welcome people who talk through the door, they don’t ignore customers questions and are on the lookout for possibly unhappy customers. So to transfer this socially – Send a welcome message or thank you tweet for following. Check for and return direct messages and monitor your hashtags for negative information. Tomorrow, we’ll dig into the bottom line value of social marketing – engagement and interaction with your friends and followers. For more information on generating more business through social means, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Twitter

Tweets Deliver for Brands

Businesses continue to rely on social media for more and more things. Everything from direct sales messages to customer service functions are becoming more social – even while many companies are trying decipher the value derived from their social marketing efforts.
A new study was recently released showing that Twitter can be an effective messaging tool.

twitter-3d-icon● 32% of Twitter users reported seeing a Tweet from a brand
● One third of users recalled seeing
a brand mentioned in a tweet that did
not originate from the brand
(Shared by other users)
● 45% of users who saw a brand’s tweet took action. Over 60% of users took action after seeing a brand mentioned in a tweet that did not come from the brand
● Overall 79% of those who saw a brand mentioned took action either online or offline
● Eight in 10 Twitter users have mentioned a brand in their Tweets – half had mentioned brand 15+ times over the 7 month study period
● Overall 23% of those who took action visited the brand’s website, 20% visited the brand’s Twitter page
● 20% of those who received a tweet from a brand, subsequently did an online search for that brand and 19% say they would consider buying the brand after getting the tweet

What This Means To You

Over all half of the Twitter users studied recalled seeing a message. While tweets that were sent by the brand were effective at causing action, ones that were shared by other users were even more effective. Remember that social media is not a one-way street – the goal is not to just deliver your message to consumers. You want to create a conversation – this is what spurs affinity and loyalty. You also want consumers to share the message. One in six Twitter users studied retweeted a message that mentioned a brand. Just like a “like”, that retweet or brand mention from someone they follow is a virtual endorsement.
Successfully marketing via Twitter is not a once a week function. Building your base of followers requires you to not only sending out frequent messages,
it means sending out unique offers and content. If all you do is sent out the
same 10% off offer, how likely are consumers to continue following and sharing your messages?
Some basic things to do:
Develop a consistent HashTag strategy – This can be a place where consumers are first exposed to your brand on Twitter
When someone decides to follow you , send them a welcome message.
When someone retweets a message of yours, thank them
When someone makes a positive mention of your brand in a tweet – Retweet it and mention them
Research shows that Twitter can not only create consumer engagement with your brand, it also can lead to increased sales. For more information on socially growing your brand, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Guy Wright, Tech Guru Daily; The Advertising Research Foundation; FOX; DB5