Marketing to Women: A Twitter Photo is Worth a Thousand Retweets

March 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

resizeFor those of us watching the Oscars this year, we know that this little selfie set a new retweet record.  In just a matter of minutes, the Ellen tweet had 1.9 millions retweets and even crashed Twitter for a moment.  The previous record was 778, 801 for President Obama’s “Four more years.”

But what about that Tweet made it so special?  I mean,  other than Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Ellen and that cutie Jennifer Lawrence.  Seems it was because it was a star-studded photo.

Why do some tweets have higher engagement?  Twitter did a study of its own to find out what makes some tweets so popular.  Looking at more than 2 million Tweets sent by thousands of verified users across different fields over the course of a month, Twitter determined that the addition of hashtag, a number or stat, a quote, a video or a photo increased the effectiveness of the tweet.  So it seems that a Twitter Photo is worth a Thousand or maybe a Million Retweets!

Overall, the most effective tweet components across all verified accounts were:

Photos, which averaged a 35 percent boost in retweets.
Videos, which got a 28 percent boost.
Quotes, which received a 19 percent boost in retweets.
A number or stat, which received a 17 percent bump in retweets.
Hashtags, which garnered a 16 percent boost.

The overall effectiveness of different elements vary across various categories.  The chart below shows the effectiveness of photos for news, but in television it might be a quote or a video url.  However, the premise is that tweets need an enhancement to make them shareable.

Marketing to Working Moms: New Scarborough Study!

January 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

Working Moms may have had a “pink collar” image in former generations, but today’s working mom is quite a different person.  They are more educated,  more affluent and more wired than ever before.  Working Moms represent 40% of moms.

Scarborough has surveyed this group and come up with some interesting statistics that marketers need to market to women, particularly working moms.  Here are just a few to whet your appetite.   For more, see the infographic below.

95% of working moms agree that spending time with their family is their top priority

27% of working moms are much more involved in their finances.  

72% of their households contributed to a charity in the past 12 months.

Working moms are spending less for name brands.  They use coupons and shop at Nordstrom Rack, Kohl’s Macy’s and TJ Maxx Home Goods.  

Working moms shop online and own smartphones, laptops, iPads and more.

Working moms are 22% more likely to attend professional sporting events and 24% more likely to have watched ESPN in the past 7 days.


Marketing to Women: Top Ten 2013 Lipstick Economy Posts

December 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

A little retrospective on what you thought was most interesting in The Lipstick Economy this year. These are the top posts on marketing to women from this year.  A confusing year for women – Sheryl Sandberg told us to “lean in”,  Miley showed us how to twerk and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer extended paid leave for parents and banned telecommuting.  

iStock_000012573383XSmallMarketing Travel to Women: Eight New Trends You Need to Know.  According to the Travel Industry Association, there is an estimated 32 million single American women who have traveled at least once in the past year, and some three in ten travel five or more times a year.  The average adventure traveler is not a male but a 47-year-old female and they have different expectations from travel than men.

Marketing to Women: Growth of Women in Marketing.  Almost a third of all Americans are employed in marketing-related positions.  That’s a staggering number if you think about it.  And it is a path for women to grow up the corporate ladder.   A recent study by a recruiting firm found that more top executives have come out of marketing than of any other area.

Marketing to Women: Why Marketers Don’t Understand Women.  For the first time in history, women now outnumber men in the workforce. Women are more educated, accounting for approximately 58% of students in two- and four-year colleges.   We account for 85% of all consumer purchases.   Purchases include homes, healthcare, cars, travel and computers.  And 96% list “being independent” as their single most important life goal.  But research says 91% of women don’t think marketers understand them.

M_BeyonceSuperBowl_101612Marketing to Women: Women Watching Super Bowl Too!  More women are watching the Super Bowl than the Academy Awards! In 2012, 54 percent of the roughly 111 million viewers who tuned in to watch the Superbowl on Fox were men, compared to 46 percent women.

Marketing to Women: Your Elevator Speech in 15 Seconds.  Sometimes the most important things are not addressed in business.  This handy guide to creating your elevator speech in 15 seconds is vital.  At New Year’s when you are at that party and someone asked you what you do, what will you say?

Marketing to Women: Six Things to Know About #Hashtags.  Hashtags are everywhere.  Some 24% of tweets contain hashtags. And 71% of people on social media use hashtags.  Even Facebook instituted the lowly pound mark that has become a strong marketing tool.  Do you know when to hashtag and not to hashtag?

Marketing to Women: One-third of All Women Are Single “Indies”.  It’s a new day for women and there is even a new term for the group that are over 27, not married, not living with a partner, and without children.  They are called the Indies.  This group has been growing and currently include some 31 million women, about a third of all adult women.  They now surpass the number of married moms!

Marketing to Women: Emotional Connection Important for Healthcare.  A recent study shows that 85% of consumers say it is important or very important to them to do business with a company for which they have strong emotions, per survey results from rbb Public Relations.  And the industry for which it is most important is healthcare.

Marketing to Women: Power to the PANKs.  PANKs, Professional Aunts No Kids.  They are actively involved in the lives of children around them.  In fact, one in five women is a PANK, or approximately 23 million Americans.  PANKs are roughly half of all the women who are not a mother or grandmother.  This group is actually growing as women are choosing to stay single or marry later.  PANKs spend $9 billion on toys and gifts for children annually.

Marketing to Women: Top 10 Culinary Trends for Restaurants.  The top 2013 trends included healthy kid’s food, iced tea, gluten-free, Greek yogurt and more.

Marketing to Teenagers: Facebook Fail

October 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Teenagers introduced us to Facebook and now they are moving on.  Just 23 percent of teens think Facebook is the most important social site, down from 42 percent from a year ago, according a Piper Jaffray report on teens. Facebook is tied with Instagram as the second most popular social media among teens. Instagram is a social network a third of Facebook’s age and with a tenth as many users.  Twitter came out as number one.

2013_10_23_Facebook_TeensFacebook has been on a steady decline.  Even though the numbers on Facebook are still huge, teens say that size, privacy and drama are reasons for the growing lack of popularity.  What’s growing in popularity?  Instagram, Snapchat and more niche social media are growing in importance among teens.

Marketing to Women: Endorser Ads Starring “You”

October 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

65a15f5839fa11e393b222000aa8011b_6Are you an unwitting testimonial in a social ad?  You might be.  Google is just the latest to roll out “shared endorsements”, which post users of Google+ and Gmail as endorsers of products they have shared using Google+.

These online testimonials will be shared beginning November 11 on Google products such as Google Maps, Gmail or Google search.

sharedendorsementexamplesAccording to a recent LA Times post by Jessica Guynn, “any time someone “likes” or links to a product on Facebook, there’s a chance Facebook will put that person’s name and face in an ad endorsing the product.  More of these ads are flooding the Web as companies look to exploit what has long been so effective in the offline world: a personal recommendation from a friend.”

Facebook is already doing it, so what’s the big deal?  Sounds like great marketing?  It seems that advertisers and social media are the only ones profiting from this relationship.  It may be the price we pay to have free use of social media.

But here is the rub.  The endorsements are trusted by consumers, yet may not be a true expression of the endorser.

Some 68% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations or “earned advertising” from other consumers, according to a 2013 global survey by market research firm Nielsen, up from 61% in 2007. Consumers also put less trust in ads appearing in newspapers (61%), magazines (60%), television (62%) and radio (57%).

After seeing a friend “like” a product on social media, 29% of U.S. Internet users check out the product, 14% visit the product’s website, 11% visit the product’s social media page and 5% “like” the product, according to research from Adobe Systems.

Many of us have “liked” a page, only to enter a contest, or get a discount, or to create a wish list on Amazon or eBay.  That encounter does not always mean we have a relationship with the company.  As I expressed in the recent LA Times article, the ads are not an authentic representation of the consumer.  The “free love” period of social media is over.  Doesn’t seem too free anymore, does it?

As marketers, I think it is important for us to be aware of the full story for endorser ads, and to advise our clients appropriately.

Marketing to Women: THINK Social!

September 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

For the few dinosaurs out there who think that social media is a passing fad, listen up!  Five years ago, only 29% of online Americans used social media.  That was when your kids didn’t want you on Facebook, remember?  Today, if you are marketing to women, you need to think social.

Now, there are 72% of us online using social media.  And women are significantly more likely to use social media, according to the new Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project Tracking Survey.    Women have lead men during all five years of their tracking.   Way back in 2005, we were still talking about how men were pursuing use of the internet for intensely than women.  Well, that’s old news.


And not only do women lead men in social media, but they are the dominant audience of most of the social sites, particularly Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

Women do the most Facebook sharing (62 percent), while more men are on LinkedIn than women (54 percent). Men also spend more time on YouTube each week than women; men are spending up to an hour each week compared to 35 minutes for women.  Google+ is also dominated by males.

Twitter has a larger percentage of women (62 percent) and, of course, Pinterest (70 percent) is dominated by women.  Nielsen actually says 84% of Pinterest users are women and it is dominated by tablet users.


Marketing Football to Women: Touchdown Time!

September 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

thumb.aspxFor marketers, football is almost as important as the holiday season.  The all round appeal to both men and women has made football one of the most efficient delivery vehicles for marketing messages.  Instead of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Football Holidays are the start of the season, the big game match-ups like the Manning Brothers Bowl, Alabama v. Anybody, the BCS and of course, the Super Bowl.

Part of the allure is the real time benefit of live sports.  According to Tor Myren, president and chief creative officer at the Grey New York division, “It’s one of the few things America watches in real time, together and, as a result, the airtime is very valuable.”

Super Bowl cocktail party fact:  Fox has already sold  85 to 90 percent of the commercial inventory for the 2014 Super Bowl, at a price of $4 million for every 30-second spot.  Because of the major investment in television, the brands are extending their reach with social media, ala the famous Oreo blackout tweet.

More women (50.4 million) tuned into last year’s Super Bowl than watched the Oscars (24.5 million), Grammys (23.8 million) and Emmys (8 million), according to Nielsen. The Super Bowl’s female audience has more than doubled from only five years ago, and the last three Super Bowl broadcasts have set records for being the most-watched shows by female viewers.

Female football fan fact:  If you are marketing to women, listen up.  The NFL counts 185 million Americans as fans (60% of the US population) and 45% of those are women.  About half of all fans are either avid or casual.  Among avid fans, women compose one-third of fans, and are a slight majority of casual fans.  (And this doesn’t include college football!)

For women, Marie Claire had an extra 16 page NFL insert in their September issue titled “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Football.”  There were five full-page ads for women’s apparel from the NFL’s Women’s collection, fashion tips, recipes and some football terminology.  The insert was just one part of the NFL campaign that included print advertising, television and pop-up clothing boutiques at stadiums.  The new apparel is not based on the traditional “pink it and shrink it”  approach, but rather on jerseys cut for women and accessories made for women.  Is it working?  The sales of women’s apparel has tripled in the past four years.

Click here for this year’s NFL fashion show.

Tailgating is also a female sport with approximately $20 billion estimated to be spent at sports and non-sports events this season.

There is also another new term – “homegating” – which refers to all the entertaining merchandise needed for the Saturdays and Sundays at home watching games with friends and family.  And of course, that customer is also female.

So if you think football, remember it’s not just a men’s event anymore.

Marketing to Women: Six Things to Know About #Hashtags

July 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

twitter-hashtag-cartoonHashtags are everywhere.  Some 24% of tweets contain hashtags.  Some 71% of people on social media use hashtags.  Even Facebook recently instituted the lowly pound mark that has become a strong marketing tool.  But here’s the thing?  Do you know when to hashtag and not to hashtag?

Hashtags were created in 2007 by Chris Messina, as a way to monitor interests on Twitter. Internationally, the hashtag went mainstream on Twitter during the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests, as both English and Persian-language hashtags became useful for Twitter users following the events.

Here are our top six things to know about hashtags.

1.  What is a hashtag?  Hashtags are like keywords- preceded by the hash or pound symbol – that allow content to be organized on a social network.  Twitter created hashtags and now they are found on many social channels like Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and now Facebook.  Hashtags facilitate searching for topics by grouping all like hashtag content together.  Simply put, if you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet.

2.  Who creates hashtags?  Here’s the beauty of it – you do!  Events sponsors, groups and organizations will often suggest hashtags for their meetings to encourage communication among attendees and followers.  To create a hashtag, simply include a # in front of a word or phrase.  Celebrities use them to create more attention for their songs like Lady Gaga using #IWasBornThisWay.  Disasters alert us with hashtags like #OKTornado.  If you want to incorporate your hashtag across multiple channels, you need to consider the character restrictions of those social networks. If you’re creating a hashtag for an event with a long title like National Small Business Week 2013, consider using an abbreviation or acronym, #SBW13.  It might be a good idea to do a search on a hashtag you are considering.  A quick search might save you some time or embarrassment if there is a negative use of a hashtag.

3.  What are typical uses of hashtags?  Hashtags allow you to be part of larger conversation.  Some of the most frequent uses are:

To identify an event or place – #Oscars, #American Idol,  #CapitolGrille, #Nashville, #NBAFinals

To make an event social – #M2Moms, #SXSW, #NAMA

To express emotion or opinion – #Cher rocks it on The Voice, #surprised at Downtown Abbey finale

To make a recommendation – #MustRead, #MustWatch, #NowPlaying

To connect with others – #DachshundLovers, #CatLovers, #KidsBikeSafety

4.  How many hashtags should you use?  Well, research says that has shown that engagement drops when a tweet has two or more hashtags.  On the flip side, tweets that have hashtags received two times more engagement than those without hashtags.

5.  Is there hashtag etiquette or rules?  No, but there are some best practices like don’t use more than two hashtags per post.  When you are selecting your hashtag, make sure the phrase is used without spaces – like #MustRead.  Your Mama would say don’t use profanity in your hashtags. You can put a hashtag anywhere in your post.  On Facebook, your privacy will remain intact.  Only your followers will see your hashtag.

6.  What are implications for marketing and branding?  It is becoming common to see hashtags as part of a marketing campaign.  A good example is GE.  GE’s recent TV commercials have included the hashtag #brilliantmachines. The hashtag represents the whole General Electric line of products whether they are talking about healthcare or engines.  Using #brilliantmachines  in their TV spots also reflects the symbiotic relationship between television and mobile – with between 75% and 85% of TV viewers use other devices while watching. If they see a hashtag on TV, it’s easy to look it up.  Television shows are using it to advantage.  But, again, it is important to monitor campaigns to see that they don’t take on a different life than intended.  McDonald’s #McDStories turned into horror stories about fast food nightmares.

Hello Instagram Video! Goodbye Vine?

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Will there be a shoot-out between Vine and Instagram?  After it’s debut in January 2013, Vine detonated the boundries of social media with its six second streaming videos.  This week, however, Instagram has announced a similar upgrade allowing videos to be posted and edited on their site.  This severely damages the distinctive quality found in Vine, and people are starting to wonder if Vine will fade altogether.


Is this goodbye for Vine?

Vine, created by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov, was intended to allow users to quickly launch a video from smartphones to share with family and friends.  Within a matter of months after launch, it became the most used video-sharing application on the market, and by April 2013 was the most downloaded app within the entire iOS App Store.  Vine was a huge success.  Similarly, Instagram took the app world by storm, changing the look and feel of pictures across the iOS and Android world.  Instagram, however, was designed for picture filtering and editing, only allowing a square-shaped picture similar to old fashioned polaroids.  But Instagram’s merge with Facebook, the popular photo app took on new features such as additional filters, zooming, and focusing.  The new feature this month is video streaming.

Differences between Instagram and Vine:

1      Time:  Instagram now allows a whopping 15 seconds compared to the six Vine allows for their sharing.

2      Loop:  Vine will constantly play the on-screen video, while Instagram is “one and done” when it comes to playing time.

3      Shoot:  Vine allows the entire screen to be touched for recording, while Instagram has a centralized button.

4      Focus:  Why does Instagram use a specific button for shooting?  Because the screen can be used to focus. This means foreground and background transitioning for those video savvy users.

5      Stabilize:  Instagram wins the stabalizing award, allowing users to opt-in for better quality shoots for shakey hands.

6      Delete:  Instagram implemented a feature allowing users to delete.  (Much needed!)

7      Filter:  And what Instagram would be complete without one of the signature filters?  These are available to use for Instagram videos as well.

8      Convenience:  Instagram allows you to video within its app, essentially making it an app within an app.  Vine, on the other hand, is standalone letting you be that much closer to capturing that golden moment.

Similarities between Instagram and Vine:

One of the biggest and most noticeable features that both apps incorporate is the shoot-pause-reshoot option.  This allows a video to show progression, not just an instant period of time.

The Winner?

There are clearly more differences than similarities between these two medias, but which one wins out?  It’s all a matter of preference.  Depending on what people are looking for in an app, both media will be successful in the smartphone world.  In the future we can expect more groundbreaking features to be implemented in both applications, giving the public more reasons to shoot and share!

And what will marketers use?  Maybe both.  Lululemon was among the first brands to use the new Instagram video.  But other brands like Kate Spade, Lowe’s, Urban Outfitters, Lucky Magazine and Nordstrom are using Vine to provide sneek peeks, DIY ideas, new fashions and more in 6-second samplings.

Guest Post by Claire Whorton.  An App-Savvy Digital Native living in Nashville, Tennessee.

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