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Men, When Marketing to Women, Social Media Rules…Literally

In past blogs, I have talked about the importance of using social media when marketing to women. And while it is important to use social media when marketing to women, it is just as important to use it correctly. This can be difficult because of the unfamiliarity that many brands feel with social media.

So, if you’re jumping into the fray with no prior experience in creating a social campaign, who do you trust? Whose advice is applicable when creating a substantial and worthy social media driven campaign? In his recent AdAge article, “10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media,” Taddy Hall (COO of Meteor Solutions) gives 10 rules on which to build a worthwhile campaign. In his attempt to build a list of fitting rules, Hall relied on data from hundreds of brand clients to see what certain truths came to light. And here they are…

1. The 1% Rule

Only a small percent of people who visit a site are responsible for a healthy portion of site traffic. Hall found that, on average, the percent of influential users (defined by Hall and his associates as “a visitor who’s subsequent sharing actions result in at least one additional site visitor”) on a given site is somewhere between 0.6% and 4%. Though their numbers are small, these visitors generate 20%-50% of total site traffic and an even higher share of conversion (defined by a site owner). Marketers must seek out these influentials, ahem… women, and connect with them.

2. The 2-4X Rule

Visitors who are driven to your site by influencers are up to 4 times as likely to convert than if they were driven to a site by more traditional methods (display ads or paid searches). To encourage visitors who are coming from shared links and social sites to convert and share your deals with others, marketers should make the landing page reflect their interests.

3. The New Media/New Pipes Rule

What consumers say about a brand is far more important to other consumers than what a brand says about it itself. Word-of-mouth is more powerful than brand-approved content. This is another chance to utilize your brand’s influentials. If they post something on their FaceBook page, it is far more likely to go viral than if you post the same content on your brand’s FaceBook page.

4. The Martha Stewart Rule

As Hall puts it “Throw your own party; don’t just cater someone elses!” If your are looking to use social media beyond building brand awareness, you have host your own “party.” Don’t solely rely on sites such as FaceBook and YouTube. While you may get a lot of visitors to these sites, you may not be able to retain and convert them. It could be more beneficial to create somewhere for your consumers to congregate and communicate with one another and with you – blogs and forums for example.

5. The Power of “Weak Links” Rule

Not only does the number of influentials’s friends matter, so does the number of their friends-of-friends. Though these links may seem weak, they matter, especially on line. Marketers can use these links to track how far their content is extended so that they can understand and use the dynamics of influence.

6. The Feed The Fire Rule

People want to share fun, entertaining, useful, and relevant subject matter with each other. If you want them sharing your stuff, make it easy on them! Make your content accessible and easy to share. According to Hall, “Ninety percent of internet pages have fewer than 10 links pointing to them.” Basically these pages are unfindable. Don’t allow your site to get lost in the seemingly bottomless pit of useless information. To do so will take more effort than sticking a “share” button on your page. Instead, get active! Follow, befriend, etc. your influencers AND their friends. Also, send out relevant information, even if it isn’t yours.

7. The More Things Change Rule

…the more they stay the same. Don’t get rid of your old e-mail marketing methods because consumers still share information via e-mail and IM. Instead, give it a social twist by including incentives for people to share your content. This will allow you to capitalize on an investment that you already have.

8. Horse Before the Cart Rule

Don’t allow your social marketing strategy to rely solely on “advertising” in social media.  Marketers must tie in their content with social venues. Simply placing ads in social forums will not be effective. As Hall states, “…to succeed in social media, your brands and content need to have social attributes — content worth sharing, brands worth talking about, sites that encourage consumer participation and dialog.”

9. The PR Pitfalls Rule

Though blogger outreach and content seeding seem to be popular ways to spread your message socially, they may not be as effective as you think. According to data from Hall’s and his associates’ research, more than 90% of seeding material has no impact, up to 5% gets some response but less than 2% of seeding drives valuable traffic. What does this mean? If you aren’t getting the desired impact, check your content. The old rule of getting your message out there is better than no message at all, does NOT apply to social media. It can actually cause more harm than good.

10. The Customer-Service Rule

A social media strategy is successful when your customers get something out of it. The traditional media-planning processes that entail producing reach and frequency targets are not as helpful in social media as they are in conventional advertising. However, reach and frequency are by-products of a successful campaign where consumers spread your useful and relative content across their social networks.

While these rules can provide a framework for your social media strategy, remember, this is not an exact science and there are exceptions to every rule.

So get started because social media is not an option when it comes to marketing to women. Don’t let perceived failures of others efforts in the social space make you think it’s not worth the time and effort. Because when it’s implemented correctly,  social engagement equals higher revenue!

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email
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7 Responses

  1. very true, if you are in the business of providing products and services for women then you have to be participating in social media otherwise you are missing out big time!

  2. Very interesting article. We launched in Dec of 2009 and although we are getting good results, this article sheds light on some key areas to focus on. Thanks!

  3. I couldn’t agree more. If you are going to add me for marketing only reasons, you better have more to say than BY MY BOOK.

  4. We linked to this post on our Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/BizFilings.

  5. Great read! Thanks you.. I have been looking for some “numbers” to back up some instincts!

  6. […] resources when it comes to effectively marketing to the female consumer. We’re reminded in this post that using social media as a tool to reach women is only as good as knowing how to use it […]

  7. Made me think about the demographics of the various social media and which ones are most popular with women.

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