Archives for posts with tag: Social Media

460405677Deciding to “go social” with your company can seem like a daunting task. Here a few ideas to consider when you are ready to jump into social media.

Share relevant and useful information with your target markets.

Be active. The more activity a company has on the social media sites, the more participation they will receive. Also, the more relevant your information is to your target markets, the more participation you will receive.

Dedicate a person or department to manage your company’s social media efforts. Social media management is sometimes not a full-time job; however, a person or group should be responsible for its maintenance and growth.

Rather than opening a variety of accounts, start small. Choose one account, master it and then decide on the next social media account to open and how it may incorporate into your existing one. This pattern should continue.

Collect details through your social media platforms. The information can be used in your direct mail campaigns. This concept can be taken a step further via online contact collection forms where programmers can link the information about your company and products.

Publish links and QR codes on all packaging and marketing collateral. This simple act will show consumers where to find more information about your company and products.

Motivate consumers to visit your social media platforms by offering a coupon or printable discount that they can only receive by visiting your social media sites.

Track the progress of your social media pages through special URL’s printed on your packaging and direct mail campaigns. This will allow you to determine which offers and messages best attract potential clients.

For B to B companies follow your customers and prospects on social media sites to start a dialog. You don’t want to be a “stalker”, but companies like to be followed and you will learn a great deal about what is new and important to them. The more you know the easier it is to engage.

Good luck!

Weatherall LogoLike all things, social media platforms age. As sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram grow and develop, so do their users. Some users who were once frequent and active participants become inactive or leave social media sites. New users enter social media communities and implement their own ethos upon them, forcing initial users out. It is important for marketers to understand the demographic shifts that occur as these social media sites grow over time to ensure that the proper channels are being used to reach target audiences.

A February 2013 Pew Research Center study entitled The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012 surveyed 1,802 respondents in North America over the age of 18 to uncover the patterns and demographic migrations in social media. Social media sites profiled in this study included Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. The study found that age had a direct impact on involvement in social media. About 83% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 are active with social media, compared to 77% of 30 to 49 year olds, 52% of 50 to 64 year olds and only 32% of those aged 65+.

A 2013 Pew Research study entitled Coming and Going on Facebook discusses how 61% of current users have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for several weeks or more. These voluntary breaks have been coined in popular media as “Facebook Fatigue”. During 2013, 38% of 18 to 29 year olds – Facebook’s former core demographic – expect to spend less time on the site or stop using it altogether. Although the reasons for taking a break from Facebook varied, most respondents stated that they were no longer interested, no longer had the time or considered it a waste of time. A smaller number admitted that drama from friends was making the site less appealing. This shift in Facebook use makes it clear that marketers must be ready to accommodate different demographics when using social media as a marketing tool.

Rather than assuming that a particular audience is using a social media site, marketers must research their core demographics before spending large amounts of capital. It is also important to take advantage of the tools that social networks provide to help marketers. For example, Facebook has a feature that enables ads to be pushed to specific age groups. Additionally, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all taken steps to better cater to their younger users by increasing their video  capabilities. These sites have also developed new tools that marketers can use to reach video-centric audiences. Staying up to date on the demographics of each social networking site, recognizing that these demographics can change over time and leveraging the tools provided by social networks to reach target demographics can prevent marketers from falling victim to demographic shifts or fatigue.

Arianna Valentini is a research analyst with InfoTrends, a worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry.

Weatherall LogoAlthough it is estimated that 57% of all businesses are using social media, with approximately 79% having plans to continue to or start using these platforms, many companies are still unsure why or how to use these sites.

Social media tools help a company brand, market and share information. They also allow  your company channels to engage with your target markets in more frequent and less formal ways. Social media sites enable companies to deliver updates on new products, technology and company information without bombarding customers with “too much” or irrelevant data. Your customers (and the world) will have access to this information.

The more engaged a company is on social media sites, the more customers can interact with your brand and identify with your products. For example, customers may comment on blog or Facebook postings. This type of engagement can lead to positive word-of-mouth marketing as prospective customers may see testimonials from happy customers.

Big Myths and Big Benefits
The biggest misconception most business owners have about social media is that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to do it. There is no exact science to social media’s success or which channels work best. Companies have different objectives and different audiences, so the social media strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all. Determine who you want to speak to and how, and what you ultimately want to achieve before establishing your company’s social media presence.

The biggest benefit for companies using social media is that you will engage with companies via the sharing of information rather than trying to “sell” the customer. Target markets will read your content via social media sites or refer to you for free information. As a result, you may have more prospective customers giving you a call.

Stacy Falconer is the Business Development Director for Westfield, Mass based Dion Label Printing.