Archive for February, 2010


Men are from mars and women are all over social media

If the differences between men and women are widely acknowledged in best-selling books, is it time to stop thinking about social media as a unisex voice?

It’s already well-known that women make 85% of the buying decisions in this country but did you know:

  • 65% of people using social media are women
  • 60% are boomer women
  • 55+ is the fastest growing segment on Facebook
  • 52% of searches women do are for someone else
  • 85% are looking for an independent review by another woman

The numbers get even higher on the subject of health care where virtually all health care buying decisions are made by women, not just for themselves and their families but as caregivers to parents, relatives and extended family.

A woman named Kelley Connors is doing something about it.  Kelley started an online community called Real Women on Health; a place for Baby Boomer women featuring candid conversations and expert commentary about health and wellness.  Kelley started the community, after she learned from study after study, women who talk with other women about the same health interests or conditions actually have better outcomes.

As proof women want to share their collective wisdom in social media, in just a few months, Kelley has built a multi-channel community with over 10,000 members on her top-rated community web-site, blog-talk radio show, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and received a content sponsorship grant from the National Women’s Health Resource Center, the largest clearing house for women’s health care information.  When linked to affiliates partners, Real Women on Health reaches 5,000,000 women.

Kelley is using Real Women on Health for moderated conversations with advocates about health and wellness products and services this high value group really wants.  She tries to listen with questions to her community like “what are the health topics you’re most passionate about?”

Listening skills are important because women believe they are misunderstood by:

  • 59% of food marketers
  • 66% in health care
  • 77% in automotive
  • 84% in investing

According to the Harvard Business Review, their primary sentiment with marketers is frustration.  If you don’t believe me, ask the woman up top.

Do you believe marketers listen and understand you?

Listen to a live blog talk radio show, How Social Media Gains Trust and Advocacy in Marketing with Women, on March 9th at 6:30.  Here’s your invitation from Kelley to join the conversation:


Knowing when to quit or stick

Six months after starting BarnRaisers, a friend offered some sage advice.  He said,   “you’ve made it to the middle of a rope bridge, too far to look back and you definitely don’t want to look down.”

The next day my business partner gave me The Dip, by Seth Godin, a quick 80 page read that would take most people less than an hour.  I read and reread it many times.  Remembering the rope bridge, I knew we were in the middle of the dip.

The Dip is about your talents, your goals and being the best, especially when your efforts are at their maximum and results are at a minimum (see the graph above).

According to Seth’s law that you decide the life you want to lead, when you’re giving much more than you’re getting, conditions are ideal for producing the best results.  That’s because expectations are highest you’ll quit.  So, since less people continue, those who stick deserve greater rewards.

The alternative to going through the dip is to find yourself circling in a cul-de-sac.  Regardless of the path you choose, you still have to decide whether to quit or stick.

There are great quotes to help with the dip.  Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”  Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

These are great motivations.  So are the writings in The Dip.  And, because The Dip is about a journey and progress, you look toward the periphery, instead of down.


You don’t need a social media strategy

the view outside

We’re taking a pounding today in the Northeast from the snow.  It’s good weather for blog writing, especially on the topic – you don’t need a social media strategy; you need a business strategy.

AJ Bombers is a bar and grill in Milwaukee WI and a good example because:

  1. BACKGROUND –  Everything you need to know is in YouTube video from Chris Brogan 2 blogs down
  2. SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS – 75% of their customers are from Twitter
  3. BUSINESS STRATEGY – Social media comes out of the business strategy
  4. RELEVANCE – The principles apply to all businesses and haven’t we all dreamed of owning a successful restaurant?

BRAND POSITION.  It starts here, a promise a brand makes with its customers distinguishing itself from the competition.  I’ve never been to AJ Bombers but I know enough to write their brand position.

AJ Bombers is a place with great atmosphere where you always feel welcome and never find better beer, burgers and bar fare at a better value, anywhere.

BUSINESS STRATEGY.  How to put that promise into practice and make a profit.  From studying their web site, videos, social networks and PR, AJ Bombers’ business strategy is:

  1. Mi Casa es tu Casa.  Welcome customers encouraging them to write their name or Twitter addresses on the wall.  It adds to the atmosphere, shows we want to get to know you and keeps relationships alive.
  2. Put money into the product, not the marketing. Serve single, double and triple patty burgers at very reasonable prices and sides like Gi-Normous Fries.  Need I say more.  By contrast, keep the web site very simple with 5 pages (a personal “best practice” of mine since 95% of people never read more than 5 pages) and the ability to order food and buy merchandise online.
  3. Show care with exceptional e-manners. Thank, keep informed and fix a problem, if one occurs, through consistent e-outreach and quick responsiveness.  Twitter is a natural.  It’s interactive, fun and extends the great atmosphere in the restaurant online.

And the people at AJ’s don’t miss a beat.  I’ve tested them and they respond to every e-mail, Tweet, Facebook post and blog entry, almost instantly.  This is very important in the caring and social media department.

AJ Bombers’ owner, Joe Sorge, spends a lot of time on Twitter and has learned to play it like a fiddle.  But, first, he had a business strategy.  Now, if I could only figure out where the name came from.


Social media is free

This headline is not news but perhaps got your attention.  I tend to hear it related to our fees with the phrase, “but I thought…” before it.  But more about that in another blog. 

We’re proud to do work for a good cause.  Our latest is for Colgate and the Starlight Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving life for children with chronic or life-threatening medical conditions. 

Every year in February, with Black History Month, Colgate “Shows the Love” for the Starlight Foundation and encourages consumers to vote for their favorite children’s hospital to get a Nintendo Wii Fun Center.  Ads in major magazines promote the effort and one fun center gets given away each day.  This year, social media is letting people know too by sharing through social networks.

Voting and participation are key metrics; here are 7 valuable measurements social media gives Colgate and the Starlight Foundation:

  1. ADVOCATES: The number of high value voters, the key influencers, who vote and then tell others   
  2. ADVOCACY INFLUENCE: The effect their spreading the word has on friends who share with their networks and so on
  3. REACH & IMPRESSIONS: Industry numbers now exist for average number of friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, etc. so, multiplying the advocates and their friends who share by average social networks size gives media reach/impressions.  The numbers get quite sizable
  4. DEPTH OF INVOLVEMENT: The time spent on our social media app and what activities (e.g. reviewing hospitals, sharing, checking winners) trigger the most interest and response
  5. DEMOGRAPHICS:  User demographics by social network
  6. TEXT ANALYSIS: Verbatims and feedback to assess this year’s effort with learning for next year
  7. COST COMPARISON:  Social media versus traditional media promotion

More measurements are in the blog, “100 ways to measure social media,” in archives for November on the right.  If you want to “Show the Love,” click on:

If you have a business with a sweepstakes, event, offer, promotion or worthwhile affiliation, think about the value of social media.  Even though the planning, development, widgets, apps, and analytics do need some investment, the media is free, at least for now.

February 2010
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