Not Dead Yet!

The headlines catch our eye. Millennials are moving away from social media, says the NY Post. Twitter is dying. While there is a kernel of truth to be had, the latest data from Pew makes it clear that social media will continue to be important for marketing and communication for years to come.

The latest annual social media survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and emerging narratives. Pew began surveying about the use of different social media in 2012

Facebook and YouTube continue to dominate. Younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) embrace a variety of platforms and use them frequently.

2018Pew

Facebook is the primary platform for 68 percent of Americans. About three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. A majority of Americans across  all demographic groups except 65+ now use Facebook.

YouTube is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

The share of social media users who say these platforms would be hard to give up has increased by 12 percentage points compared with a survey conducted in early 2014. But, 59% say it would not be hard to stop using these sites, including 29% who say it would not be hard at all to give up social media.

More Insights

  • 68% of U.S. adults are Facebook users
  • Other than YouTube, no other social media sites or apps are used by more than 40% of American
  • There continues to be substantial differences in social media use by age group and even within age groups

The report offers rich insight by platform and by user demographics. This is my go to resource as I research effective platforms for clients all year.

Facebook Ad Tips

Brands are scrambling to adjust their strategies on Facebook, following the announcement earlier this year of further reduction in organic (free) reach from company pages. Since then, many brands have wondered if it makes sense to be on Facebook at all.

It is too soon to pull the plug on Facebook, but it is time to revise your strategy to make more use of Facebook ads.

Facebook Is the Primary Social Channel for Most Americans

According to the latest data on social media use published by Pew, Facebook remains the primary social media platform for most Americans.

Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

 

Businesses Must Partner Free and Paid Activities to Reach their Target

It is not enough to be on Facebook. Businesses must establish a presence that attracts their target demographic. In many respects, businesses that are not on Facebook just don’t exist.

The free company page needs content. Regular posts should help people to understand the company and what it represents. It should reinforce a reason to have affinity. It should enable fans to share information.

These organic reach efforts need to be paired with Facebook ads so that your efforts reach beyond a handful of users. Since many brands are new to the Facebook ad space, here are some tips for success.

Constantly Revise Your Target Audience

Facebook knows everything about its users. That makes it easy for advertisers to create highly targeted audience sets for ads.

Don’t get complacent. Be sure to regularly visit your selected audience for changes. There may be groups to add or remove. If you keep hitting the same audience over and over they’ll eventually tune you out.

Budget Enough Days for Impact

The Facebook pricing structure can tempt you to run your ads for a brief period. With that approach you can stretch your advertising dollars across more ads. Let your metrics tell you how long it takes for your audience to stop responding to your ad.

You can see a drop in reach over time. Find the sweet spot between too long and too short. This will differ for each advertiser.

Also avoid the temptation to tweak your ad frequently. It takes 24 to 48 hours for Facebook optimize an ad after it’s been edited. If you’re constantly adjusting, you won’t see the true impact of the ad.

 

Pay Attention to Ad Metrics

The value of Facebook’s robust user targeting options is only rivaled by its metrics in terms of value to advertisers.

Launch an ad and you get extremely insightful metrics about who you are reaching. Take those insights and use them to make your next ad even better.

Facebook has automation tools, but don’t be tempted to let them take over your ad efforts. Monitor and tweak to ensure you are making incremental improvements with each new ad.

 

Your Online Reputation May Be Harming Your Business

As business people, we all pay attention to what we present to our customers. Is our store tidy and are the right products features? Does our appearance strike the right impression at meetings? Do we listen to customers and potential customers to really understand their needs. All good, but what about your business online?

Today’s businesses need to pay particular attention to their online reputation. Your customers are online and they are forming an impression of you based on what they find. They go there to both get and share information.

You need a strategy to make sure that the impression you create online is a positive and accurate reflection of your business.

The right digital strategy enables you to be in the right places with the right message. it also allows you to monitor and analyze where you are online. It can help you to decide where to spend your limited time to get the best result with your target audience.

Here are five steps to consider when developing a digital strategy.

Step 1: Assess your current presence

What is the online reputation of your business? Don’t just look at your website and your social media channels. Do a Google search and look at all of the results in the first page of search results.

  • Is your information correct?
  • Is your branding consistent?
  • What are people saying about you?

Now do the same for a few key competitors. Assess how you measure up against their results.

Step 2: List needed fixes

Develop a punch list of items you need to change. Some may be easy, like correcting an address or business hours. Others may take more time, like cultivating more online reviews or getting more followers. Write out a list so you can systematically address issues and opportunities.

Step 3: Decide where to invest

Nothing you do online is free. Your time is valuable. You need to determine which places are a worthy investment of your time and, perhaps, your marketing dollars. Which platforms work best for an improved online reputation for your business?

Completing the first two steps should start to give you a sense of where your target audience wants to engage online. You also get a sense of gaps – more content? more images? – and opportunities for you to connect online.

Step 4: Document your digital strategy

This information leads to your digital strategy. Your plan should define where you will be and what you will do.  It should define the content, the platforms, and opportunities for expanded reach. It outlines all the steps you will take to build your reputation and engage with your target audience.

Your strategy should address:

  • Core places where you are online
  • Content you will create and share
  • Management of directory listings
  • Audience involvement – testimonials, comments, etc.

Step 5: Make it happen!

Plan in hand, it is time to start implementing. The plan will help you keep on track and focused on what is important to your online reputation. It will help you to break down larger goals into the smaller tasks that move you in the right direction.

There should be constant activity in the management of your online reputation. This will also keep you aware of what is happening regarding your brand, your customers, and your industry.

Overwhelmed? Consider the Kurtz Digital Strategy Online Presence Boot Camp! In just two months, we’ll define the right digital strategy for your online presence.