Reaching Moms Through Facebook
You may not want to connect with your mother on Facebook, but if moms are your business’s target demographic, it is absolutely essential that Facebook serves as a focal point in your marketing efforts. Why is that, you ask? Take a look at the following statistics from the recent “21st Century Mobile Mom Report,” by BabyCenter covered in this blog post:
- Moms are 18% more likely than average to have a smartphone & 51% of moms say they are “addicted” to their smartphone.
- Moms are also 40% more likely than average to use their smartphone for social networking.
- Mom spends 37% of her daily media time with her smartphone, which is double that spent on TV, and more time than with other media, including radio, magazines, and newspapers.
- 96% have Facebook downloaded, and more than two-thirds are tapping onto social networking sites at least once a day to many times a day.
Still questioning the need for a business marketing to moms to have a solid Facebook presence? I highly doubt it. Word of mouth marketing can increase awareness and drive traffic or sales. Facebook serves as a broadcast extension of word of mouth. By “Liking” a company or brand on Facebook, a person is sharing his/her affinity for or interest in that business with all of their Facebook friends. This will often lead to some of their friends visiting the page out of curiosity or even asking them about it directly. Checking in on Facebook Places is going one step further and establishing that the person has a participatory relationship with the business. I’ll offer the caveat that check-ins only make sense for certain types of businesses but, that being said, it’s important to foster and encourage them where appropriate.
Likes and check-ins are two forms of Facebook interactions with existing customers that can be invaluable (not to mention free) ways of reaching potential new customers, especially if they’re moms (based on the statistics mentioned above).
Social Made Simple
The subject of social media can be incredibly polarizing, with many believing it to be the answer to all of the world’s troubles while others are considerably more skeptical and think social media is merely a passing fad. As is usually the case, the truth most likely lies somewhere in the middle. Social media cannot be overlooked by businesses and can provide new (and cheaper) ways to interact with consumers and prospects, but it shouldn’t serve as a wholesale replacement for all existing manners of conducting business nor is it the solution to every problem.
There’s a common misconception that social media marketing can only be implemented through carefully crafted large-scale campaigns, orchestrated by exorbitantly expensive self-proclaimed “gurus.” Truth be told, although it can often be prudent to hire a consultant or agency to manage a company’s social media efforts, there are countless ways in which businesses can use social media to their benefit without requiring any outsourcing or advanced training. Sometimes the simplest uses of social media tools and channels can greatly assist a business in improving its marketing efforts and differentiating itself from the competition. A willingness to think outside the box regarding possible applications for these new resources can go a long way.
With that in mind, the following tweet caught my eye:
Seven No BS Ways for Small Biz To Generate Revenue With Social Media RIGHT NOW http://bit.ly/hBN5sg (preach it!)
— Peter Shankman (@petershankman) April 26, 2011
Peter Shankman, amongst other noted accomplishments, is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Social Media, Marketing and PR Strategy firm. Naturally, I was curious to read his thoughts on the matter. The blog post did not disappoint. I particularly enjoyed the following three ideas he proposed:
IF YOU’RE A RESTAURANT: Get to know tools like Foursquare and Facebook Places. Teach each server who works for you to recognize the signs of someone who uses Foursquare, Places, or the like: They keep their device on the table, they talk about “checking in.” Have those servers ask their customers if they use those location based games. If they do, have the servers offer a free drink or appetizer. Explain what it means to be a “mayor,” and why that’s beneficial to your establishment. Explain to them why they should help your customers use these technologies. Most importantly, explain to your servers that THEY represent your establishment, and without them, your restaurant is history, as is their job. The goal is to get customers to come back, bring friends, and spend more money. IT’S NOT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, IT’S ABOUT GROWING YOUR RESTAURANT.
IF YOU’RE A MOVING COMPANY: If you’re a moving company, then welcome to social media. Last time I moved, I went online to ask for recommendations for good moving companies. You know what I got? Companies who didn’t screw my friends, and that was it. Forget about GOOD moving companies, I got moving companies similar to cell-phone companies – recommendations to the companies who sucked the LEAST. Really? Is that how you want to help grow your industry? By being thought of as the company that sucks the least? Please. How about this: You offer your next client 15% off the cost of their move if they allow you to film the entire move. How do you do that? You go to Amazon and buy three GoPro helmet cams, the same kind I use when I fall from perfectly good airplanes. Then you ask a few of your best movers to wear them the next move they do. They put them on their heads, and everything they do, the gopro films. Because you’re an awesome moving company, the gopro films your best movers being oh-so-careful with the client’s property. When the move is done, you’ve got what, two hours of video of stuff being moved. OK. Great. That’s boring as hell. BUT – What if you take that film, speed it up so that the entire video is sixty seconds in length, then you add a fun soundtrack to it (Think the Benny Hill TV Show theme) and that becomes the first thing people see when they hit your website? They get funny yet real video of a real person’s belongings being taken care of, and you get… wait for it…. Wait for it…. A new client. How about that? You’ve just used social media to land countless new clients. Cost: About $150 for the GoPro. (And you thought GoPros were just for skydivers and mountain bikers.) IT’S NOT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, IT’S ABOUT PROVING THAT WHEN A POTENTIAL CLIENT NEEDS YOU, YOU CAN BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS WITH REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES THAT WIL TURN POTENTIAL CLIENTS INTO REAL CLIENTS.
IF YOU’RE A REALTOR: As someone who’s currently in contract for an apartment in New York City, this really hits close to home. If you’re a realtor, social media is SCREAMING for you to pay attention. What are you selling? Location, image, and the like. Come on! You should have a digital camera with video inserted under your skin! Your industry was BORN for social media! A new property comes on the market? Get video of the best parts of it – But not from the traditional boring “front of property,” “back of property,” kitchen view” way. Figure out cool ways to do it! Current family got a swingset in the back? Shoot video of the house from the swingset – It’s different, and anyone with kids will appreciate it. Selling mostly to families with school-age kids? Take the flipcam, duct-tape it to the grill of your car, and SHOW, IN REAL TIME, how close the best school in the district is to the house! Why? Because no one else is doing it, and that’s something different! And let’s face it, realtor – if you’re using social media, you’re doing it to make a good commission. So take these ideas and build on them. Why? Because they’ll sell properties. And in the end, those properties will make you a commission. And I gonna go old school here – What are you gonna do with your commission? “I was going to take my commission, and buy Ferris a car.” Use social media, do it in a new and exciting way, make a commission from it, and buy Ferris a car! IT’S NOT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA, IT’S ABOUT SHOWING THROUGH THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HELP SELL OR BUY A HOME FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS IT.
A few days later, the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine featured an article entitled, “The 21st-century broker: How savvy real estate agents are using virtual sales techniques.” The piece further illustrated how real estate agents can take advantage of social media tools to reach and inform potential buyers in new ways, with perhaps the most obvious example being the use of QR codes on For Sale signs. This article provides an excellent example of how embracing social media and new technology can give you a leg up on your competition.
Still intimidated about dipping your toes into what you perceive to be the murky waters of social media? I have some good news for you. There are innumerable free and helpful resources available to you in the form of websites, blogs, and webinars (to name a few). Most importantly, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. You may have a few hiccups along the way, but it’s better to position yourself for success in the social media space now (before your competitors), than have to play catch-up later on.
Coming from a traditional marketing background, I can understand and relate to your hesitation and possible confusion. I’d be glad to talk to you about your business and discuss ways to integrate social media into your marketing and communications strategies. I encourage you to embrace the social aspect of social media by contacting me via a tweet, a comment on this post, the “Contact Me” tab above or any one of the various other mediums through which we may be connected.