How to Find and Target Your Ideal Demographic on Social Media

Social media is not only for businesses that want to reach Millennials. People of all ages and lifestyles are using social media. A very high percentage of Internet users are actively using social media. More specifically, 72% of adult Internet users are on Facebook.

This is why social media is so important. It can work for every business and every customer. No matter the age, gender, interests or any other demographic, social media campaigns can help you reach your target audience if you have the right strategy. Once you engage with your audience, you can attract them as customers. You just have to provide quality content that is relevant to your audience.

First things first, you have to find your target audience and find out their interests and lifestyles. In order to reach them, you have to know where they spend their digital time. According to AdWeek, social networking is the most popular online activity, and the most visited sites are Google and Facebook. Next, you have to either find or curate content that is relevant to your audience. Find out their interests, needs and wants. It’s important that you become skilled at publishing engaging content that either sparks conversation, clicks and/or buys.

Here’s a breakdown of generations. Who are you trying to reach and what can you do to reach and engage them?

Generation Z (20 and younger)

Lifestyle: Generation Z’s need change as they are always changing their expectations and demands. They are always connected. Generation Z is a huge chunk of social media. Almost all of them are on it! Since many schools are teaching with iPads and laptops now, they crave digital learning experiences and they like visuals. Simply guide them to achieve their goals.

 Spending habits: Generation Z prefers saving money to spending it. Don’t worry! They still spend money, and most of the time it’s online. They enjoy live streaming and engaging. This is an opportunity for Snapchat, Periscope and other video streaming apps. Be aware: their attention span is the shortest out of all generations. They tend to pay attention for an average of 8 seconds.

Millennials (20-35)

Lifestyle: Millennials value rewards that offer more freedom and flexibility. They value balance with work and life. Not only do Millennials want to learn from people, they also want to teach others. They are extremely optimistic, believing they can do all things.

Spending habits: Advertising to Millennials can be tricky. They think advertising is all spin and not authentic, which is why they’re on Netflix and Hulu. That’s where social media comes in. Be social rather than an advertiser. Millennials also trust bloggers and reviews before spending their money. Trust is important to them. If you make yourself a reliable source with authentic content, you will have Millennials is the palm of your hand.

Generation X (36-49)

Lifestyle: Generation X loves external rewards, such as gift cards and awards. They are very independent and self-reliant. They look for things of value that they might not be able to do themselves. Generation X’s are always looking for opportunities and alternatives that could lead to skill-building. They excel at multi-tasking.

Spending habits: When buying a product or service, Generation X looks for information. They do research before spending money, which means they look at online reviews, social media and your website. Generation X’s are very brand loyal. They are less interested in trying a new brand unless you can build a relationship with them. Try to consistently offer high-quality products/services as well as customer service.

Boomers (50-65)

Lifestyle: Baby boomers are all about their future security. If it will be valuable to them in the future, you’ve got their attention. Discussion is huge for Baby Boomers. They like to process and collaborate to move toward a solution. They also like to take control of situations and teach others. Future security rewards are important to them.

Spending habits: Lucky for you, Baby Boomers are spending more than they used to. They have a love for coupons and sales. Surprisingly, they are comfortable with browsing and shopping online. Women are far more likely to be active on social media. Boomers are less motivated by price and more motivated by the styles and brands they like. Customer service is definitely a factor!

By acknowledging the interests, values and spending habits of your target audience, you can successfully target them by creating and finding content that is relevant to them. Not only will you reach your target audience, but you will also build trust, authority and relationships, ultimately, growing your brand and business!

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Increase Your Pinterest Marketing Efforts With Rich Pins

If you use Pinterest as a marketing tool for your business, you should also be utilizing Pinterest Rich Pins. They can help your marketing and make it easier for users to navigate and view your Pins.

Like any other social media network, Pinterest is continually expanding their features and functionality for businesses. Pinterest is rapidly growing and has driven one of the highest percentages of traffic and sales for retailers and other businesses. Rich Pins, also known as Enhanced Pins, are a new addition to the social channel. They include extra information that appears on the Pin itself. They allow you to add extra details to your Pins and make them more useful. Therefore, Rich Pins appear as more valuable and useful to pinners who will then click, rePin and like your Pin. Ultimately, this leads to more traffic and reach for you!

There are six types of Pins that allow you to share more information: recipe, product, app, place, article, and movie. The additional information for Rich Pins is usually provided by specific websites.

The six types of Rich Pins:

  • Recipe Pins include the ingredients, cooking times and serving information below the picture to engage pinners and entice them to save the recipe.
  • App Pins include an install button directly on the Pin. This allows pinners to download the app without ever leaving Pinterest. This feature is only compatible on iOS devices.
  • Place Pins include a map, address and phone number below the photo to make it easier for those users who want to visit the particular place. This is helpful for businesses with a physical location.
  • Article Pins include the headline, author and story description. Users can find and save stories that matter to them.
  • Product Pins include the price and where to buy the product. Retailers can really take advantage of this type of Rich Pin.
  • Movie Pins include rating, cast members, and reviews for movie buffs.

It’s essential for a business on Pinterest to take full advantage of Rich Pins, especially since they are only available for business accounts. Not only do they look better than original Pins, but they also enhance your marketing efforts and they are valuable to your brand’s digital presence. This feature provides users with automatic updates, free price alerts, and more relevant information. It provides you with a boost in website traffic and an increase in sales.

Now that you know the value and types of Rich Pins, you might be wondering how to get them. You can easily enhance your business’ website with Rich Pins with Pinterest’s developer’s page. Through that process, you can implement markup codes on your website, validate your work, and apply for your Rich Pins to be accepted and used. Not only will you optimize your website for Pinterest Rich Pins, but you should also add Pin It buttons on images and add Follow buttons.

Take the extra mile to build your brand on Pinterest with Rich Pins and watch your traffic and sales grow!

8 Reasons Why Your Business Should Have a LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

LinkedIn is so useful, that membership has more than doubled in the last year and continues to grow. It has over 300 million users in 200 countries! It is one of the most effective platforms for expanding your reach and improving your business results. LinkedIn is not only a place for job seekers and recruiters; it should no longer be thought of as a resume-based website. It’s actually a multidimensional tool that allows you, as a business and an individual, to tell your stories.

Using LinkedIn as a marketing tool allows you to deliver the right content to the right people and boost your ideal leads. The social media network provides you with all the marketing tools you need to build your brand and generate and accelerate leads. In my professional opinion, every business should have a LinkedIn marketing strategy to leverage their marketing efforts.

If you’re not convinced of the importance of LinkedIn, here are 8 reasons why your business should have a LinkedIn marketing strategy:

  1. Create awareness. Like any other highly used social media channel, LinkedIn allows you to increase your online presence. There are features that make it easier to improve your visibility (groups, geography, personal connections).
  2. Improve reputation. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to build your reputation. You can let people know who you are and how your business can help them. With original articles and your opinions and tips, your business and its profile will build a positive reputation in your related industry. Your brand credibility will improve by sharing your expertise with groups, other business and individuals.
  3. Attract and generate leads. Make the most out of LinkedIn. People will find you and you will find and, hopefully, do business with quality leads. Try joining professional groups, publishing articles and blog posts, and creating conversations. Social Media Examiner has three great lead generation tips I recommend using.
  4. Gain insight. Use analytics, responses and other users’ updates/posts to gain insights. LinkedIn is a perfect opportunity for you to listen and ask questions. Get to know what your potential clients want and need!
  5. Shorter sales cycle. If you use LinkedIn as a sales tool, you are engaging in social selling! Businesses that implement social selling usually have a shorter sales cycle. You no longer have to take the time to qualify leads before passing them through the sales funnel. LinkedIn improves the quality of your leads.
  6. Longer client lifecycles. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Many consumers use the Internet for researching everything. Inform, educate and entertain your audience on LinkedIn and you will build a sense of trust with your current and potential clients, and in return, increasing client lifecycles.
  7. Build traffic. A great method for social media is cross-promotion. For instance, you better believe I am going to publish this blog post on my personal LinkedIn profile. Post your website link on your profile, include a LinkedIn button in your email signature, repost articles, etc. The more you cross-promote, the more traffic you will get. The more traffic you get, the more visibility and leads you gain.
  8. Become an industry thought leader. Position yourself as a leader in the industry. Provide high-quality content, optimize your profile, and participate in LinkedIn community discussions. You will become one of the experts!

Whether or not you are utilizing LinkedIn as an individual or business, it’s platform that greatly improve your success. Tell your story and share your expertise and you will start to see an increase in your following and engagement!

5 Ways to Implement Video Content Marketing into Social Media

Video marketing; video content marketing

Today, almost every major social media platform gives you the opportunity to implement video content marketing in your social media strategy (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine). Videos communicate powerfully with clients and prospects. They capture attention and hold it. Videos actually get shared 1,200% more than links and text posts. Nike said it best. Just Do It! If you have the ability to use a free tool to increase engagement and reach, do it.

No matter what you’re selling or offering, video can help in a huge way. Visual elements have dramatically increased in importance in the last couple of years, and video is the latest trend. Why? We’re living in a busy and crazy world, people! These short videos on social media fit in our busy lives and suit our short attention spans.

In my professional opinion, every business should be using or at least thinking about using video as a marketing tactic. It’s not only for the big brands! Whether you have a large or small budget, you can make video marketing work for you. Short videos are ideal, which is great because they’re easier and cheaper to make. Not only that, but also most people are looking at social media on their mobile devices now, so the shorter, the better.

If you’re new to video marketing, you should know some basic tips before you post your first video. Here are 5 ways to implement video content marketing in social media:

  1. Have objectives. What do you want out of the videos you post? Having objectives is just as important as it is when coming up with any marketing plan. Base the content of your video off of your goals and objectives. You can create in informative video about your brand, a strictly visual video with just music, a how-to video, a funny video, etc. Don’t just put videos out there to put videos out there. Have objectives, test what works, and produce engaging content.
  2. Laughs are contagious. Make your audience laugh. Think about the most viral videos you have seen. Most of them are probably funny videos that make you smile and laugh. Usually, prank videos or candid videos that are funny are inexpensive to produce. If reach and shares are your main objective, making a funny video that may go viral is a good strategy.
  3. Represent your brand’s values. Don’t forget what your brand stands for. One of the most important factors of marketing is to accurately represent your brand. Don’t give room for people to misinterpret who you are. Think long and hard about how you want your brand to be perceived and if the videos you post accurately portray that. Just like any content marketing, your brand should be consistent across the board.
  4. Use your audience’s voice. The best way to reach people is on a personal level. How does your ideal audience talk? What are they interested in and what do they want to know? One of the foundations of social media is sharing content. Create content that they will want to watch and share. To go even a step further, you can also share their content if it’s related to your brand or industry. If you like, share and tag their posts, you’ll not only reach your ideal audience and get relevant content, you will also build a relationship with your audience.
  5. Show people, not just products. What you’re selling is important, but people do not want to be sold! Do not produce an infomercial. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; people want to be informed, educated, and entertained on social media. If you really want to focus on your brand, try interviewing staff members or focus on customers and their success stories.

If you want to establish and enhance your brand’s digital presence, video can help you build authority, credibility, and identity. Video content marketing beats out many other forms of online marketing. It might be helpful to look at examples of successful branded videos on Vine and Instagram. Come up with a budget, see what you can work with, come up with objectives, and start creating a plan!

How Effective Facebook Ad Strategies Can Help Your Reach

Facebook ads; Facebook advertising

Most people turn the other way when someone mentions Facebook advertising. They don’t want to pay for social media marketing because they are most likely spending their money elsewhere. But wait. Hear me out!

Utilizing Facebook advertising can be very beneficial for reaching your target audience and, not to mention, it’s cost effective! You don’t need to break the bank to get the results you want.

On a network where people spend more time than they do on their pets, you’re bound to reach a large number of people with your ads. With the right strategy, ad format and targeting parameters, you can successfully master Facebook ads as well as improve your Facebook page.

Check out these tips on how to have an effective Facebook ad strategy:

  • Optimize. Make your ad stick out. What’s so special about your brand, product or service? Getting the message to the right audience is one thing, but getting people to actually engage with your ad is another! You only get 25 characters to work with, so create a short message that is attention grabbing and to the point. This isn’t a Facebook post, so try to use proper grammar and punctuation. Also, use an attractive image that is related to your business or product and tell people what you want them to do; tell them to click, buy like, etc.
  • Target your audience. Just as you would with radio, TV, and print, you want to reach the right audience. Figure out the demographics of people who are interested in your product or service. Facebook Ads gives you multiple ways of creating a specific audience. You can segment them by age, geography, interests, and more. Your target audience depends on your message and your end goal. The more specified your targeting is, the more ideal and accurate information you will get back. After all, you waste money every time someone who isn’t interested or non-applicable sees your ad.
  • Ads perform well over a period of time. Try to schedule them at least a week at a time. You can also choose a specific time of each day you want your ad to run. The length you want your ad to run determines the price of the Ad Set. Social Media Examiner has a great explanation and how-to on Facebook Ad scheduling.
  • Manage your budget. To start managing your budget, you need to set a budget! What are you willing to spend on a daily basis? You can spend as little as $5 a day. You should know that at any time, you can turn the campaign off and you will not spend another cent! A budget depends completely on your goals, what you have to spend, and your target market. Find out what the right budget is for your advertising goals.
  • Throughout the entire ad campaign, you can track engagement, the dollar spent per impression, and ROI. Facebook Ads allows you to easily determine if your ad strategy is worth your money. It also allows you to make changes and continually improve your Ad Sets.
  • Test. It’s important to test out different strategies to find out what works the best. Use multiple strategies and creatives to test out. Within one month, you should try to run 3-4 different ads for the same campaign and see what works best. Determining what’s most effective pays off.

Ultimately, if you’re asking yourself if Facebook advertising is right for you, I’m just going to come right out and say it; yes, it is right for you. If you have a well-thought out strategy with measurable goals, Facebook ads should effectively improve your entire presence on Facebook.

How to Gain More Organic Followers on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Organic followers; organic reach

You’re a business owner or marketer and you’re on social media. All your pages have a great bio, profile picture, and the correct business info.

Great! You’ve created a digital presence. But are people seeing it? Do people even know it exists? You want a following. That’s the whole point of social media marketing; is it not? Paying for followers is a tactic, but it’s not necessarily a great idea if you’re looking to attract the ideal audience. You want organic reach!

With more organic followers, your content is read more often and the more engaging you are, the more authority your business has. Here’s what you can do to gain more organic followers on the 3 largest social media channels:

Twitter:

  • Reciprocate. If someone starts following you, check out their profile and follow them back. Many people use this tactic to increase their reach. Also, interact with influential people and celebrities on Twitter. Follow them, retweet a post, and mention them. You may just get a follow back or mention.
  • Engage followers to start a conversation. Or join a trending conversation. Ask questions, use the new Twitter poll feature, and have giveaways. Join Twitter Chats to increase your network and get in touch with more people who might be interested in your business; remember to minimize your sales pitch.
  • Hashtag. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know how important I think hashtags are. Make sure your posts get attention by retweeting other users who are using the same hashtag. You can even create a new hashtag if you are throwing an event and starting a new campaign.
  • Promote on other social media networks. Not only that, but also raise awareness to your clients by having a Twitter handle on signs in the office and word of mouth. Publish the link to your Twitter page on your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, email signature, and even your personal Facebook account. Make sure your Twitter handle is relevant and easy to remember and your bio is interesting yet simple.
  • Use images. Twitter has started putting more focus on images. Images drive attention to your Tweet. They will show on other users’ timeline so you should utilize images as much as you can to increase visibility. You can use them for coupons, specials, new products or behind-the-scenes images.

Facebook:

  • Cross-promote. Add social media plug-ins for Facebook to your website and blog. You encouraging your current followers from your other pages to connect with you on another platform. Why would they want to do that? Well, Facebook allows them to connect with your business on a more personal level and receive additional content.
  • Run a social media promotion. Have a contest with a giveaway. Everyone loves winning free stuff. Really, no matter what it is. With a contest, you’re not only engaging your current followers, but you’re also increasing your opportunities for more visibility and Page likes. Make sure to refer to my social media campaign post.
  • Like other companies. Like pages that are in your area and pages that your followers may be following as well. Try to interact with these pages every once in a while to build awareness around other like-minded pages and their followers.
  • Create engaging content. The more interesting content that you post and more regularly you post, you will get more likes. When people are engaged with your posts and they share, like or comment on them, other people are bound to see the posts as well. Need help creating great content? Refer to my content creation post!
  • Use employees as brand advocates. How many people working for your business have Facebook or any other social media account? If they work for your business, they probably have strong feeling about the brand. Outside of work, they might have different friends and interests on Facebook. Using them as advocates to share your content and promote your page, can increase your audience dramatically.

Instagram:

  • Be cool. Reach out, follow some cool people, comment and have conversations. If you leave a comment instead of just liking a photo, the owner will probably check out your account. Don’t use this tactic too often, as you may be perceived as a serial commenter.
  • Stick to it. Be consistent. Use the same filter and stick to one topic or niche. Remember, this is not your personal account, so don’t post random and irrelevant images. Every once in a while you can surprise your followers with an off-topic photo.
  • Don’t sell. Social media is not meant for you to sell people your product or service. Think about how you use social media for your own personal use. You use it to keep up with friends and family, and ultimately, inspiration. Post photos that people will want to see and want to read the caption. Whether it’s a recipe, workout routine, motivational quote, or DIY, be useful to your followers.
  • Re-gram. When you share others’ relevant content on your account, you make friends. Don’t have expectations of receiving anything in return, but it’s a good way to make social media friends that will re-gram or tag you in the future.
  • Once again, cross-promote. Add a link to your images or posts that direct people to your Instagram bio. If your content on your other pages are interesting, people will want more and click on the link.

Organic reach takes strategy. Since these social media platforms are so huge and have an extremely large number of users, it takes a strategy to get results. Experiment with your content and your engagement and go with what works best for you!

October 2015 Social Media Update

Once again, social media continues to grow at an outstanding pace. It never slows down! In case you haven’t been keeping up in the past month, here are your October 2015 updates:

  • Twitter:
    • Curate and Publish – These publishing tools allow you to find, group and embed Twitter content. You can now search Tweets and categorize them into Collection s. This makes it easier to create visual and embeddable content.
    • Twitter Polls – This feature allows you to get the public’s opinion on any topic! Instead of having to track replies to a question, the process is simplified by enabling you to compose two possible responses and letting the results roll in. Each poll is live for 24 hours.
    • Brand Hub – This analytic tool gives you real-time insights. It gives you more depth into your audience, conversation, and impressions.
  • Facebook:
    • Canvas – This new ad experience helps businesses with their advertising objective by creating what seems like a “preview” of the website. When a user clicks on the Facebook ad, it directs them to a full-screen where they can browse products before actually going to the site.
    • Reactions – This feature is like the “Like” button, but it allows users to respond with an emoji. This update is only available in Ireland and Spain as of now, but it’s a feature to watch.
    • Search FYI – Users can now search all public posts. This gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in larger conversations. This search feature’s focus is in real time, highlighting things happening right now.
  • Instagram:
  • Pinterest:
    • Local Search – This is a location-based update, customizing your search results by language and country.
    • Place Pins – Place pins is not exactly new, but it has been improved! Now, Place Pins have automatic location info added, such as phone numbers, addresses and store hours.
  • YouTube:
    • YouTube Red – No more ads! YouTube Red is a paid streaming version of the original YouTube site for only $9.99/month. YouTube even plans on debuting original series and movies. Sounds a little like Netflix…