12 Hurdles Male Marketers Must Clear To Successfully Market To Women With Social Media

As I review the explosive stats on the MBAonline INFOGRAPHIC shown below, I am amazed at the number of male marketers who still question the validity of using social media to connect with women.

But they do, and I hear from them daily.

After many discussions, I have noticed several common mistakes marketers continue to make when attempting to reach the female audience which keeps them from realizing success with social media.

12 Mistakes Male Marketers Continue to Make When Marketing to Women With Social Media

  • They are still trying to tell women what they want
  • They are not listening to what women are saying
  • If they do listen, they are still interpreting from the male perspective
  • They are trying to sell before connecting
  • They expect immediate results
  • They have not defined valid expectations
  • They try to find ways around the time required to build relationships
  • They assume social media means “Facebook”
  • They don’t know how to engage the female
  • They open channels with little or no strategy
  • They are working from a linear mindset as opposed to a multi-layered process
  • Finally, and my favorite – they are looking forward to the recession ending so things can return to normal.
Guys, it’s not only the number of users, but also the amount of time and levels of engagement that are increasing. For example:
  • 172 million people visit Facebook daily
  • 864,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube daily
  • 4.7. billion minutes are spent on Facebook daily
Bottom line, you are not going to stop the control that social media has provided people and you are not going to quieten the female voice. Quite the contrary. They are simply getting louder.

Not “getting it” is no longer an option. If social media is not working for you, try breaking through some of the barriers to reach your market on the other side.

A Day in the Internet


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

Men, Hard Proof That Social Engagement Equals Higher Revenue.

We have talked many times here about how the way to connect with women is by understanding them, engaging them and developing authentic relationships. We also talk a good bit about how social media virtually converges with those pressure points through its multitude of channels categorized by social networking (Facebook), publishing (blogs), microblogging (Twitter), image and video sharing (FlickR, and YouTube), bookmarking (RSS) and collaborative tools (Forums).

So it only makes sense that as women flood to the Internet we strategically find ways to meet them there and not only make sure they are aware of our brands, but bond with them through conversations made possible with Web 2.0 technology. Right?

Well, for some… yes. But most male marketers still want to see the proof. That is, as with anything new, there are leaders and there are followers. And now a report, “Measuring the Social Engagement of The World’s Most Valuable Brands—Who’s Most Engaged?” provides great news for both: affirmation and reward for the leaders as well as evidence and direction for the followers.

According to this collaborative study conducted by Charlene Li of The Altimeter Group and Wet Paint, engagement can not only be measured, there is evidence that financial performance correlates with level of engagement. Meaning, it’s *not* just about starting a Facebook page. In fact, it’s all about the multi-channel, deep-and-wide engagement initiatives companies use to connect with women.

Research conducted on the world’s top 100 most valuable brands revealed a surprising conclusion: While much has been written questioning the value of social media, this landmark study conducted by the Altimeter Group and Wet Paint has found that the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social engagement. The relationship is apparent and significant: socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful.

Key Findings of the Study:

1) Depth of engagement can be measured.
As the number of channels increase, overall engagement increases at a faster rate. Engagement differs by industry.

2) Brands participating in the social space fall into one of four engagement profiles.

MAVENS – These brands are engaged in seven or more channels and have an above-average engagement score. Mavens not only have a robust strategy and dedicated teams focused on social media, but also make it a core part of their go-to-market strategy.

BUTTERFLIES – These brands are engaged in seven or more channels but have lower than average engagement scores. Butterflies have initiatives in many different channels, but tend to spread themselves too thin, investing in a few channels while letting others languish.

SELECTIVES – These brands are engaged in six or fewer channels and have higher than average engagement scores. Selectives have a very strong presence in just a few channels where they focus on engaging customers deeply when and where it matters most.

WALLFLOWERS – These brands are engaged in six or fewer channels and have below-average engagement scores. They are still trying to figure out social media by testing just a few channels. They are also cautious about the risks, uncertain about the benefits, and therefore engage only lightly in the channels where they are present.

EngagementChart

3) Financial performance correlates with engagement

  • The findings revealed that there is a financial correlation showing companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media, or MAVENS, surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and profit performance by a significant difference.

”The most socially engaged companies typically enjoyed revenue growth of 18% on average over the last 12 months, while the least socially engaged brands saw revenues fall 6%.”

  • The study also showed that social media reach alone may have a positive impact: BUTTERFLIES enjoyed significantly stronger revenue returns than SELECTIVES or WALLFLOWERS.

Why? Because more touch points can present a ripple effect, inducing viral marketing, boosting brand recognition and driving sales volume.

  • SELECTIVES delivered higher gross and net margins, suggesting that deep engagement in a few channels can be a rewarding and effective social media strategy. Focusing on depth over breadth present an opportunity to better understand the customer, react quickly to customer demand, and improve satisfaction – which in turn generates pricing power and drives business success.

Key Take-aways:

  • Engagement via social media IS important — and we CAN quantify it.
  • It pays in both revenue and profits to engage meaningfully in social media. Emphasize quality, not just quantity.
  • To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job.
  • Doing it all may not be for you — but you must do something.
  • Find your sweet spot – it is better to be consistent and participate in fewer channels than to spread yourself too thin.

For more information check out ENGAGEMENTdb.

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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

Men, Social Media and Marketing to Women Explode. Are You Ready?

18oprah_span1

As Social Media and Twitter, specifically, become mainstream, one thing is certain— people are on the Internet, and Social Networking tools like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or the next big thing are how they connect. Twitter started three years ago, and it has taken @aplsuk (AshtonKutcher) about a year to accumulate 1,000,000 followers. Oprah started tweeting last Friday and had over 130,000 the first day.

But it is not only the volume of people who are now participating at exponential rates that makes Social Media relevant; it is also the diversity in how it is used. We are seeing interactive sites used as:

  • a platform for people to have their say and give their opinions
  • a place to create like-minded communities
  • a vehicle for real-time updates on virtually any event
  • a place to learn details from baking cookies to performing surgery
  • a voice for philanthropies
  • a place to share recipes
  • a place to build relationships

“Women have the tools at their disposal now to build an inherent connectivity with brands and to launch new businesses. We must partner with women and invite their co-brand management for brands to continue to succeed in the future — let’s start by listening.”  Kelley Skoloda, AdWeek

The question is, are you ready? Are you preparing your company to reach women on the Internet? Are you preparing to speak to them effectively? Are you prepared to give more timely reactions to potentially unsolicited PR nightmares such as the Domino’s YouTube scandal? Are you thinking about how to optimize the Internet, for instance, allowing students to tweet questions during surgeries? These are no longer optional questions.

Social Media is not going away. It will most certainly change faces over time. That is to say, people might not be using YouTube and Facebook or they might not be tweeting. Newer tools will likely develop and become more popular, but the two-way conversation has begun and will only continue to grow.

We will not be going back to one-way dialog where you tell your customers what they are supposed to think about your product or service. They are telling you what they think, and you need to be listening and reacting – fast.

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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

Skittles Is Fully Committed to Social Media Marketing

skittles1I have read and heard many comments and opinions over the past week about Skittles’ edgy move with its new Web site that launched last Monday, but I have been most drawn to the debates from traditional marketers. Some still assume that Skittles plans to unveil its “real” site later. They think that this is merely a teaser campaign.

But the reality is, these marketers simply don’t get it. This is not using Social Media as a precursor to unveil a traditional marketing campaign. This IS the campaign. And while time will tell exactly how effective Skittles’ site will prove to be, one thing is for certain. They not only understand the power of Social Media Networking, they know that it is the way of the future.

Skittles is using Social Media to give complete control to consumers to tell the story of their brand. This possibly gives a whole new meaning to consumer-oriented advertising. The only thing the company is saying (or implying) is, “We are so confident with our product, we want everyone to tell how they really feel and if there is a problem, we want to know about it.” Skittles is not only embracing Social Media Networking, they are optimizing it to its fullest extent.

Stan Schroeder, IT journalist and Features Editor for Mashable, noted, “We won’t see all corporations do a complete social media makeover as Skittles did anytime soon, but we will see them give more and more importance to the various social channels out there.”

The longer you choose to rest in the comfortable world of traditional marketing, the further and further behind you will fall and the more difficult it will be to catch up with your competition.

If you are still unclear to the different outlets and tools available, Skittles’ site is a great learning ground. It provides insight to Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. According to Mars, the Skittles.com landing page will regularly change “depending upon what is currently in market.” Check it out.

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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

Make It Easy For Women To Find You On The Internet

election_20082Marketers and business owners have struggled with understanding the value of Social Marketing as well as how to incorporate it into their traditional marketing efforts. Several feel their website has them covered. But the presidential election has forced us all to investigate Web Marketing 2.0 further. I have heard more people now asking what is Twitter? And what does Facebook, MySpace or YouTube have to do with an election? So, let’s face it, the marketing implications of the Internet continue to grow daily. If you want to reach women effectively and where they can be found all hours of the day, you need to strategically allow them find you.

So let’s learn from the election. Not only was the McCain camp late in getting on board with Social Media, there was severe internet cluelessness on the part of the John McCain Campaign. For instance, Barack Obama had posted 10 times more tweets than John McCain and had 240 times the number of followers. John McCain’s last tweet was October 24th and he didn’t even send a “vote today” tweet on election day.

Jeremiah Owyang, a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research posted the stats shown below on his blog, the day before the election.

Internet Usage in United States
United States Population: 303,824,646
Internet Usage: 220,141,969
Penetration rate: 72.5%
Growth from 2000-2008: 130.9%
Stats from Internet WorldStats (Census, Nielson)

YouTube
Obama: 1792 videos uploaded since Nov 2006
Subscribers: 114,559 (uploads about 4 a day)
Channel Views: 18,413,110

McCain: 329 videos uploaded since Feb 2007 (uploads about 2 a day)
Subscribers: 28,419
Channel Views: 2,032,993

Obama has 403% more subscribers than McCain
Obama has 905% more viewers than McCain

Twitter
Obama: @barackobama has 112,474 followers
McCain: @JohnMcCain 4,603 followers

Obama has 240 times more followers in Twitter than McCain

Facebook
Obama: 2,379,102 supporters
McCain: 620,359 supporters

Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain

MySpace
Obama: Friends: 833,161
McCain: Friends: 217,811

Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain

For more from Jeremiah Owyang on Social Networking: click here

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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