Tag Archives: socialmedia

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:


Sources: eMarketer;


Top Mobile Activities

Consumers are living in a mobile first world. More than one adults sleep with their smart phone. Nearly 75% of adults said the first thing they do in the morning is check their phones. Your customer’s dependence on mobile devices gives you many opportunities to engage them. Knowing what mobile activities they use most can help you device the most effective messaging tactics to your organization.
shutterstock_86181751● Text messaging is the top smart phone activity, 86% of smart phone owners send and receive text/SMS messages
● Just over 80% use their smartphone to check email
● Nearly two-thirds use their smart phones for social networking
● Roughly 60% use GPS functions, pre-installed apps and games
● More than half use their smart phones for search functions, google maps and to listen to music
● Just under check their calendar on their phone or use it to get news and information
● 27% use chat or instant message services and 25% access Internet/VOIP services and check finances
● Approximately one in five users access paid apps, use voice recognition services (ex. Siri) or cloud services
● Other mobile tasks consumers use are organizer functions, reading books, watching movies and listening to podcasts

What This Means To You

Just 1% of consumers use their smart phone for only making calls. Mobile devices really are true personal connection devices.
What are you doing to have these consumer’s connect with you?
Text / SMS messaging and email can be an important piece of any loyalty program. But the message you send must have value and be relevant. The more targeted your message, the more relevant consumers will find them.
Weather apps aren’t just for people selling umbrellas. Unless your customer base lives in San Diego or Honolulu (ie: a place where the weather generally never changes), weather can have a big impact on prospective customers lives. Weather apps can give you a great audience for almost any product you are trying to market.
Like email, social media has become a mobile first function. Consumers aren’t just checking to see what their friends are up to, they are looking at the social presences of businesses they might shop at, what their friends and online peers may say about those businesses and expert reviews of companies.
This is one of the reasons a sound reputation management plan is important.
Mobile search is also very important. Mobile search leads to results for local businesses.
If you don’t have a robust search strategy, you could be giving business to a competitor.
These are just a few ways that mobile functionality can improve your businesses bottom line.   But as quickly as mobile has consolidated functions from many devices into just one (or two), changes are coming. The “internet of things” and connected devices are going to create even more uses for mobile devices. For more information on how you can better prepare your business for the next wave in mobile innovation, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Citrix; Motorola; B2X Care Solutions

Who Influences Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers remain an incredibly powerful segment of consumers. This group is in a period of transition and the disruptions they are facing means that what they spend their money on and the sources that influence them are likely to see great change. New research report is out that looks into what sources Baby Boomers trust for product research before making a purchase.

baby-boomer-magnet● Seven in 10 Baby Boomers put their trust in the opinions of friends and family
● 56% rely on consumer web sites and publications
● 16% are influenced by social media content
● 14% trust blog postings

What This Means To You

Most consumers do not rely on one source of information before making a purchase. In fact, there are multiple factors that go into the opinions of those who we trust for information. It’s important to look at influence as a holistic sense. This is especially true when looking at friends and family as a source of information. Who influenced them in a way that they either have a positive or negative opinion about a product or service? This is just one of the reasons you need to have a strategy when it comes to your marketing efforts and they have to work together. Conflicting messages can lead to confused influencers. It’s also important to have a diffused method of marketing. Using just one platform or media type will not give you the audience you need to compete in a very fractured marketplace. It will also not give you the buzz to stay top of mind
with influencers. For more information on keeping your brand top of mind, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: eMarketer; Marketing Strategies International

What Sources Are Driving Purchase Decisions

The end goal of nearly all brands and profit-based organizations is to increase revenue. One of the keys is to effectively and efficiently deliver your message. It’s not just what your say or how you say it, it also where your say it that can make a huge impact. Knowing the online sources that consumers are looking towards can help you be more effective and efficient.

Make the right decision_11955127● 54% of consumers think they will be using social media more in the future when it comes to deciding what they are going to buy
● 52% think that user reviews will be more important going forward, and just over half think they will be relying more on online advertising
● 46% think that expert reviews will play a larger role in how they make purchase decisions
● 44% believe that brand web sites are going to be more important in the buying process

What This Means To You

With such a large percentage of consumers believing that social media will play a role in how they decide what to buy, your social reputation is paramount.
It’s time to do a social audit of your brand.
People will check social media before making a purchase. Would you buy from a company that has negative information posted about it?
When was the last time you looked at your businesses Facebook page?
Are their negative comments on it?
Whether the comments are true or not, ignoring them will only exacerbate the negative connotation. All the consumer will see is that not only does your business have problems; you don’t care enough to fix them. Your need to create tactics for how to deal with negative information – ignoring them is not a tactic. By having tactics in place, you eliminate much of the risk of taking those comments personally and flaming back at those leaving not so positive posts. One of the last things you ever want to do is get into a public war of words with a customer. These tactics should also include what to do with positive online praise. When people say good things about your business, it’s golden. If your don’t use it, there is a good chance you are ignoring an opportunity to generate more sales and new customers. For more information on social media strategies that will help grow your business, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Center for Media Research; Nielsen; InPowered Media Lab

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

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

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

Sources: iHealthBeat; CDC