Facebook Losing Its Cool?

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Well, the facts don’t lie.  This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook  at least once per month. New users being added to Facebook are from older age groups.  eMarketer estimates Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year. Where are they going?

The move to Instagram by younger people seems the obvious answer but eMarketer said it expects Instagram to add only 1.6 million users under the age of 25 this year. Snapchat is expected to add 1.9 million users in the same demographic and by year’s end, it’s expected to be the leader in users in the 12 to 24 age group.

And for those older users who never quite got Snapchat, the platform is being redesigned for easier use.  Of course, if older folks find Snapchat, younger users might move on like they did on Facebook.

Another issue that Facebook is facing is the backlash from advertisers threatening to pull ads from both Facebook  if the platform continues to provide a space for hate, creating division or failing to protect children.

Staying cool is hard.  And as always, marketers need to stay on top of these changes and experiment with new media to reach their audience.

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What Marketers Need to Do About Facebook’s New Changes

January 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

(AP Photo/Manu Fernadez)

Facebook announced significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will make it harder for pages to be seen in news feeds. Translation:  Organic reach will drop.

How low is it already? Currently Digiday reports organic reach for Facebook pages with fewer than 10,000 fans has hovered around 10 percent for some time.  That means that for every 700 people who liked a business page, for example, roughly 70 people would see a post in their news feeds organically without the company having to pay for the post to appear. The latest change drags that reach down to virtually zero, bringing it more in line with what larger brands have contended with for years.

So what are marketers to do?  Here are some suggestions from my Women in Digital peers, media experts and even Facebook.

Advertise.  Of course.  Currently only about 4% of businesses on Facebook advertise. That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?  But Facebook is still currently a low cost alternative to other forms of advertising.  Use Facebook advertising for awareness and promotions.

Get users to mark you as ‘see first’.  Okay, this is a bit of a stretch and a type of double opt-in but if you can get users to do it, it will help your content appear in their news feed.  Ask your users to choose See First in their news feed preferences to make sure they will see your posts.
Create better content that invokes engagement.  Facebook’s change effectively means that posts that receive more comments carry more weight than ever, reducing likes and shares to vanity metrics.  So the quality of content and ways to create conversation become important.  When explaining these changes, Social Media Examiner asked for people to comment on their post so more people would see it.  And it seems that long comments are more important than a short comment.
Use Facebook Live more.  Videos usually elicit comments, so creating weekly Facebook Live events will help.  Facebook said Live videos are totaling six times the interactions of non-Live videos. Episodic videos will help as well.  Think storytelling for your brand.
Set up a Group.  Facebook groups usually inspire lots of meaningful content.  Is there a way to create a group around your product?
Start using Instagram more, and/or use influencers.  For the present, Instagram and influencers may offer an assist for brands.  Influencers are not currently penalized as businesses and may be a window of opportunity.  It’s time to experiment with other social sites.
“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his post about the changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

 

 

The World of Modeling and Instagram

January 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

By Lauren Staub, Model

Modeling has always been viewed as a superficial line of work, where the young and beautiful get compensated on their features rather than their intelligence. As a model for the past four years, I disagree with this sentiment. I have gathered a collection of connections and have created a business off of my work ethic and extroversion. Because of this I am currently represented by agencies in Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, and Orlando.

The World of Modeling. The modeling industry has always been brutal, as agencies rarely care about your resume of experience. An agency visit is most often like this: you walk into their office, they take a look at your pictures, a look at you, then they send you off. Within this short period of time they are able to determine if you are too tall, too short, if your hair color is desirable, etc. The list of assessment is long and invasive. But recently a new critique has arrived: how many Instagram followers you have.

IMG_5112The Invasion of Instagram.  Modeling is all about visual stimulation, what better way to exemplify this than through a photo sharing service? In a new effort to glamorize the modeling world, agencies have recently started inspecting social media outlets to see the amount of people who are interested in your life. When applying to agencies, many now ask about your Instagram and if you have over 10,000 followers. The question is, why does this matter? The more followers an agency’s models have, the better they look. If these models keep posting high quality content, it reflects highly on them and creates a sense of elitism. So not only does a model need to have “the look”, they now need the popularity. The issue here is that followers can be bought or created through software. A model can have 10,000 followers, but how many of them are actual interested individuals? How many of them are software robots created specifically to make the follower count go up? Despite the shakiness and stressful nature, a larger following is still something I must strive for to keep up. To fulfill this demand I make sure to post photos 3-4 times a week, but this also means having enough content to post, which I dedicate much of my free time compiling.

Self Purchasing Women is Growing Consumer Segment

September 30, 2017 § Leave a comment

Beyonce’ may have had a hit with Put a Ring on It but there is a growing consumer trend among young adults who are not married, not living with a partner and are without children. These women are “single indies” and they are an emerging consumer segment buying their own rings – and everything else.

There are some 31 million “Indie Women” constituting about a third of all adult women; they tend to have more disposable income than other women, spending $1 trillion each year — $22 billion on vehicles (five times more than independent men), $20 billion on entertainment, and $50 billion on food; they over-index for television by 12%, watching 15% to 64% more late night programs than average women; and they are multi-screen users.

They are also more socially engaged online both as info seekers and as advocates, being 6% more likely to pay attention to online consumer ratings and reviews, and 12% more likely to say their friends ask them for health and nutrition advice. And they are 10% more likely to say they are pretty much first among friends to shop at a new store.

And they are successful, being the first generation of women to reverse the ceiling in school and at work. They are 57% of undergrads, 59% of masters degree holders, and 52% of managerial positions.  The appeal of this market is beginning to grow among brands seeking to reach the younger audience.

2014 was the first year there were more single American adults than married ones in the U.S.

One of the interesting purchase trends is jewelry. A study on jewelry purchases by the market research firm Mintel, conducted in 2012, showed that more than half of the women who bought for themselves did so simply to treat themselves.  Occasions for women buying jewelry for themselves include marking an important life event such as birthday, career success or certain occasion, a bonding experience with someone like a friend or child, or anniversaries like surviving cancer.

And back to Beyonce’ — it seems that women are really buying diamonds for themselves instead of waiting on a groom. The disposable household income of the independent women buying diamonds is more than $90,000.

The idea of “Treat Yo’ Self” was born out of a 2011 Parks and Recreation episode in which Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and Donna Meagle (Retta) spend a day celebrating themselves by buying stuff like “clothes, fragrances, massages, mimosas, and fine leather goods.” When it aired, the “treat yo’ self” catchphrase immediately became part of millennials’ vocabulary.  So now advertisers have used the phrase to connect with this self-purchase trend.

Marketers are developing new approaches and new language for self-purchasing women, trying to appeal to them.

Marketers, Who You Gonna Call? Women “Ghostbusters”

August 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

ghostbusters-2016-cast-proton-packs-images-1200x601The new “Ghostbusters” opened this summer to rave reviews and high attendance.  It deserves a round of applause for its boldness and all-star female cast including (left to right at top) Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristin Wiig and Leslie Jones.

It’s a little overdue for the new trend to put women in the lead roles in movies.  Because – women bought 50% of all movie tickets in the U.S. last year according to the MPAA.   National CineMedia (NCM) reports the Millennial women 18-34 movie audience jumped 61% from 2013 to 2016, while women 18-49 also increased by 42%. Also, NCM’s ratings for women 18-34 jumped from 6.2 to 9.2 against the top 15 television networks. That’s a 48% surge in ratings growth since 2014 — with significant increases year over year.

Much of this growth is due to the success of movies like “Bridesmaids”, “The Help”, “Hunger Games” and “Star Wars”.  The first “Hunger Games” movie blew the doors off the box office, bringing in $408MM+. The following year, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was  breaking records and finding itself atop the heap as the No. 1 film of the year ($424MM+).  Last year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” introduced a new female hero in Rey (Daisy Ridley), while giving homage to General Leia Organa (formerly Princess Leia) as both a leader and a mother. Broadening the movie’s box office appeal by having such a strong draw for multiple generations of women — and providing role models for young girls — was certainly a factor in its huge success.  “Star Wars:  The Force Awakens” is now the high-grossing movie of all time, with over $936MM+ in domestic box office alone.  Even if Disney left female actions figures out of the line-up until social media highlighted the omission.

Once again, women are leading the way in consumer purchases from everything from household items to entertainment.  Hollywood seems to have embraced the power of strong women characters in movies.

So what’s next?  Rebecca Eldridge from NCM gives us a little preview:  “In 2017, look out for a highly-anticipated live action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” the comedy “Mother/Daughter” starring Amy Schumer (possibly joined by Goldie Hawn in her first movie since 2002), “Fast 8” featuring Charlize Theron making waves as the sole villain, and more. And looking even farther ahead, there are all-female versions of “Ocean’s Eleven” and “21 Jump Street” in the works, a remake of the cult favorite “Road House” with Ronda Rousey in the role made iconic by Patrick Swayze, and a girl-power spinoff of “Suicide Squad” featuring many of the female heroes and villains of DC Comics.”

Marketers, now is a great time to look to cinema advertising to meet your consumer where they play – at the movies.

 

Women and their Love-Hate Relationship with Brands

July 6, 2016 § Leave a comment

635948590805299733-1825250646_e451f-love-over-hate1New Research Study Will Be Revealed at Red Letter Day.  Here’s a Preview.

Women have always had an ambiguous relationship with brands. Why? Women expect things that brands don’t deliver.

In at time, where marketers wax poetic about brand love, we are on a mission to find out what separates the famous love couple. Well, as they say, it’s complicated.

Brand Wise and Lipstick Economy just completed a study of 3,390 women representing the three most active buyer generations – Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers. We wanted to find out why 90% of women think brands don’t understand them.

And the results are fascinating. Women actually like to get information from brands. Only 13% of women are really annoyed at brands that are on social media. And more than 90% of women sign up for emails from brands.

Maybe women see shopping as part of their role in life. Women currently make 85% of all consumer purchases and they are the primary shopper for a myriad of expected categories like food and clothing. But women are the primary shopper of most categories, including 79% of healthcare decisions, 76% of travel and vacation decisions, 72% of housing decisions, 70% of restaurant decisions, 67% of financial decisions, and 53% of automotive decisions.

Our research shows that the biggest gap in this brand relationship tends to be over chronic issues: truth and accuracy, customer service, a realistic view of women, respect for women’s intelligence and an understanding of the multi-faceted lives women lead today.

I know this reads like a romance novel. The issues around trust run deep. Women expect deals, promotions, ideas and authenticity. So they seek out advice from their own experiences, friends and families and even online reviews.

To learn more about this research study and more ways that brands are hitting the market with women, sign up here for the Red Letter Day Marketing to Women Event, August 5 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

The End of Shrink It and Pink It

June 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

gendermarketingpinkstuffThere was a time when brands would slap an overly obvious pink color on something they intended for women. Think power tools, football jerseys, ballpoint pins, razors. Oh, wait. It is still happening, although not as often as before.  Washington Post had a great article on the subject.

Bridgette Brennan, author of Why She Buys, says “Pink is not a strategy, unless you’re raising money for breast cancer research.”

It’s not that women don’t want products targeted to them. But in today’s world, women don’t want stereotypes. It’s a much more subtle type of targeting, like recognizing that women drink beer like Amy Schumer in Bud Light spots. They want a more representative view of society today.

And they don’t expect to see women in all the ads targeted to them. Moms like to see a Dad who likes his kids and is involved in their lives. Like those great Cheerios ads or a Dad who gets excited about a Swiffer.

Cultural stereotypes take time to change, but we are beginning to see a little more representation.

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