The Best Social Media Target Audience You Never Noticed

  • mannette
  • April 27th, 2017
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Social media marketers are constantly trying to find the best way to reach potential customers. If you listen to the plethora of online ‘experts’, you’d think millennials were the target market of the century. They’re the tech savvy generation born and raised in the digital world. Surely they understand and navigate online activity more easily than everyone else, right? But, are they really the group that’ll whip out their wallet…or Apple/Android Pay and spend money with you?

NEWS FLASH! That honor belongs to Generation X.

Generation who?

I belong to Generation X. We are the smallest generation, born between the mid 60’s and early 80’s, and only number about 65 million to millennials’ 83 million. I was born in an age when TVs didn’t have remotes, cell phones didn’t exist, and wearing a seatbelt was only a suggestion. As far as technology is concerned, my college years were spent walking to the campus computer lab to sign up for a time to use the word processor. Rarely did anyone have personal computers in the early 90’s. Well, that one girl down the hall did, but she got tired of everybody knocking on her door during finals’ week.

Fast forward 25 years. Gen Xers have adapted to and embraced the world of technology! On any given day, our eyes are glued to laptops and tablets and smartphones – just like everyone else. And boy do we love our technology! According to a Nielson Social Media Report published this year, Gen Xers spend more time on social media than any other generation! They spend almost 7 hours on social media per week, as compared to Millennials’ 6 hours and Boomers’ four.

Hello! Can anybody hear us?!

Why, then, do marketers ignore Gen Xers and leapfrog their marketing efforts from Baby Boomers to Millennials? Some marketers claim its simple math. According to a 2016 Adweek piece, boomers and millennials get the most attention because they have the largest demographic. Again, while Gen X is 65 million strong, that’s small change compared to boomers’ and millennials’ 74.9 and 75.4 million, respectively. Others think it’s the middle child syndrome. Gen X’ers are bookended by two significant ‘revolutions’. Most Xers don’t remember the Civil Rights Movement or Vietnam from their boomer parents’ generation, and they aren’t the poster children for the digital age, either. For many marketers, these factors make it more difficult to define who they are, since there’s the accepted perception that there is nothing to make them unique. Instead of trying to figure out how to market to this multi-dimensional generation, they’ve been largely ignored by most.

Generation X spends money!

While they aren’t the largest generation, 65 million wallets are nothing to sneeze at. But, outside of just their demographic number, there are a few things that should make marketers sit up and take notice.

According to the same Nielson report, medium social media users are defined as anyone who spends 1-2 hours on social media per day. Remember, Generation X spends almost 7 hours on social media per week. Here are a few stats to get you thinking:

  1. 80% of online purchases are completed by medium social media users. Looking at the data, these users are a pretty even combination of millennials…and GENERATION X.
  2. In the past 12 months, 48% of medium social media users who made online purchases spent money for clothing, 33% purchased books, and 27% purchased airline tickets.
  3. With Generation X spending more time on social media than any others, marketers have more of an opportunity to reach  and sell to them.

Do your homework to understand!

Even with all of this data, you’ve got to understand more than just the numbers. Gen Xers have more disposable income to spread around. Millennials are generally focused on growing income and trying to determine their next career move. Boomers are in or contemplating retirement, so they may pull back the reigns a bit on spending. Gen Xers, in general, are in a stage of life where work is stable, salaries are stable, retirement accounts are stable, and they can afford to spend and splurge a little.

While Xers adapted to the digital world, they are more than comfortable with online shopping. They’ll still pack up the family and head to the mall or outlet to shop, but they are just as likely to put their feet up and search online for that leather jacket they can finally afford.

BONUS: Gen Xers tend to be more loyal than other generations. Translation:If they like your product, they’ll come back again and make additional purchases. Sales 101: current customers typically spend more money than new ones. Make sense?

So, don’t overlook the generation with money to spend by following the crowd or trends! Gen Xers may not be the ‘it’ generation, but have the dollars you’re trying to get.

Yayyyy! My social media accounts are live… now what?

  • mannette
  • February 7th, 2017
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Congratulations! You took the huge step of building your small business’ social media accounts. You’ve crossed a Girl thinking what to do nextmajor milestone! But now what?

Once you’ve put all the energy and effort into creating new accounts, the real work begins. If you thought to choose a profile or cover image and writing your bio was the difficult part, think again. Now you’ve got to be   S-O-C-I-A-L. You’ve got to say something. And not just anything! You’ve got to post high quality, interesting, and engaging content on a consistent basis… yep, all the time.

What’s your plan?

It can seem overwhelming, but don’t lose heart! Take a look at a few pointers to help you begin an engaging and beneficial relationship with your audience.

Write for Your Audience, Not Yourself

Remember when you researched your audience to determine who they were and the best way to market to them? The same applies here. Consider your audience. What do they want to see, hear, or talk about? What online ‘voice’ resonates best with your? Will they engage with you more if you’re serious, casual, funny, or a combination?

We have a tendency to write from our own perspective, considering only what WE think is relevant. This is not the best tactic. Your content is your product to potential customers until they trust you enough to actually spend money.  So, find out what’s relevant to your audience and then give them your insight on those topics.

Be Relevant

How do you know what your audience thinks is important? How do you know what they’ll find interesting? How can you find out what they’re discussing amongst themselves? It’s called social listening. Go where your audience is and see where their issues lie. By hanging out online where they hang out, you can discover the problems are they struggling to solve. A simple Google Alert will give you more insight than you could imagine. Set up an alert for your industry or niche and find out who’s communicating what. Join online social media industry groups and communities. What topic is constantly discussed? Whatever it is, that’s your content…that’s what you talk/write about!

Ask Questions

Asking questions allows you to converse with your audience, which is what ‘engaging’ means. Remember, people like to talk about themselves and share their opinions. This is a great way to not only engage your audience, but also find topics for your next posts.

Stay On-Topic

While it’s a good idea to show your personal side (it simply makes you more human…more personable), remember that your followers follow you for a reason. They’re interested in your mutual niche/industry and your opinions and expertise on that subject. So, make sure your content remains focused. Most definitely use your personality, but don’t drift into too many off-topic discussions. Stay focused on the issue at hand.

Check out my Social Media Post Launch Checklist for more tips on making the most of your step into the social mediasphere!

MonicaAnnette is an Atlanta-based social media strategist focused on helping established small businesses cross the sands of the mediasphere.

3 Steps to Gain Twitter Followers That Matter

  • mannette
  • November 17th, 2016
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Twitter BirdsRemember the last time you googled “Increase Twitter Followers”? Now, think of how overwhelmed you were trying to wade through all the blog posts, articles, and videos promising astronomical growth results for your Twitter profile.

As of today, that google search yields 5.9 million results, including:
• Super-Secret Strategies for 5,000 New Followers!
• How to get Free Twitter Followers!
• Gain Twitter Followers Quickly!

It all sounds great and hey, many of them actually work to add more followers. But, before you begin researching how to add 10,000 followers in a day, ask yourself WHY you want to increase your following. What’s your purpose for creating a Twitter profile? What are your Twitter goals? What will an increased following do for your small business? If yours is a personal Twitter account and the goal is simply lots of “Twitter love”, then by all means, have at it! On the other hand, if this is your small business account and you need to make an industry impact or grow your business, I’d caution you to try a different approach.

Your social media and/or Twitter goals should be directly related to your overall business objectives. A large Twitter following, just for the sake of having a large following, will not benefit your business. You should have a clear understanding of how the followers you seek can benefit the growth of your business. Will they help increase your brand recognition in the right circles? Will these followers be at all interested in your business or your expertise? Will they have any interest in clicking through to your website to get more information or signing up to be on your email list? If the 1000 new followers aren’t doing any of these things for your business, you’ve attracted the wrong crowd.

Gaining the right follower for your business may require more energy and effort, but the benefits will show themselves in the long run.

Try one or two of these tips to get the right people following your brand.

Find your direct competitors, large or small, and follow their followers.

The people and/or companies in your industry have the audience you want, as they will typically share similar interest. The people engaging your competitors concerning their products or services will also engage your company. Follow them, engage them, and watch them follow or follow you back!

Use tools that can make that process easier, efficient, and more productive.

Tweepi is a free tool that helps you find relevant Twitter followers specific to your industry or interests. You can search for possible followers using your competitors’ handle, company name, interests, etc. Twitter will, in turn, notify them that you’re following them. More than likely, they’ll check you out follow back! From Tweepi, you can also create follow lists of influencers and can also tweet from the dashboard! Filters also help you choose accounts to follow based on location, number of followers, tweet count, and many more.

Crowdfire is a tool that also recommends accounts to follow based on interest and other followers you’ve selected in your industry. It also helps to manage your Twitter and Instagram accounts by communicating who’s following you, who’s not following back, who’s inactive, etc. One thing I love about Crowdfire is its curating feature. Based on your chosen interest, it will suggest articles to tweet and Instagram images to like. Both are great ways to garner more interest and gain followers.

Twitter Analytics is part of your Twitter account and provides lots of statistics that may be of interest in the quest to grow your following. You can see what tweets had the highest impressions, how many people visited your profile, engagement percentage for each of your tweets, etc., etc., etc. If you’re not sure how to use it, please take the time to do so. It’s a great way to get a better understanding of the kind of tweets that work well and garner more followers.

Add links to your tweets – they get better exposure

Remember that link you used to get to this blog? Yep, that one. Well, according to Salesforce research, tweets with links included receive 85% more clicks, or engagement. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT! That means more people will click the link to your information and are more likely to follow you. So, every tweet you send out should have a link! You know what… don’t even consider this a tip. Consider it a tweet requirement!

Increasing Twitter followers is easy, but growing the RIGHT followers takes a bit more strategy. Remember, the end goal should always be to grow your business, In order to do this, you’ve got to engage people who are interested in what you have to say, which brings me to another topic – TWITTER ENGAGEMENT. You can multiply your following, but to move your business goal needle, they must engage with your content. We’ll talk about that in the next blog!

In the meantime, what tips do you have to gain better Twitter followers?