Debunking Social Media Myths: My Customers Aren’t On Social Media

Good morning, internet fans! It’s Ryan Perry, with Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, the 21st, therefore, it is Social Media Wednesday. As usual, I have the beautiful and talented Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing on the other end. Good morning, Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning Ryan, how are you?

RP: I’m doing fabulous today, yourself?

SG: I’m doing great, except trying to stay warm, my house is a little frigid today.

RP: Yeah, I’ve got the heater on, it really dropped in temperature overnight. But I think the temperature is coming up a little bit in the next couple of days, but it’s pretty foggy down here in Rohnert Park.

SG: It’s yeah, it’s pretty foggy out there on the Vineyards.

RP: Yeah. Alright, today we’re going to talk about the fact that some people really don’t believe that their customer base would ever use social media, they’re just simply not on social media. So, the big question would be, “Well geez, why would I want to spend time, money and energy on social media if my customer base isn’t there?” Today we’re going to debunk that myth. And so you’re the debunker of social media, so I’m going to let you take over.

SG: The reason you want to be on social media is because your customers are on social media. If you believe they aren’t, you are unfortunately mistaken. The Pew Research recently just did another study on it and Facebook alone, 71% of adults are on Facebook. That’s a pretty giant chunk of them. And even if you’re saying, “Oh, my age demographic isn’t there.” That’s not true anymore either. One of the fastest growing age demographics for Facebook alone is the over 65 crowd. They are rapidly growing. And these numbers, Pew, for some reason, doesn’t say whether it’s US or international, but even still, you can still cross over, it might be a little bit high… If it’s not a national number, it’s probably higher for the US then, if this is an international number.

SG: But you’ve got… Let’s see, adult internet users, 58% of the entire adult population. So, it is a US number now that I read the numbers better. But the 65 and older, the reason they’re getting on there, we’ve talked about this before is that their children and grandchildren are on social media, and so this is their way of keeping up with everybody. And so, but once they’re on there, they’re starting to explore, they’re following companies that they like, they’re following pages of interests that they have. And so they’re getting more and more active to it. And like I said, I’ve mentioned before, my mom sees stuff on Facebook and she picks up the phone and calls me.

SG: So they may not be actually interacting but you can still reach them and they will interact kind of in a sleepy way. There are ways on posts to see… They might not have commented or liked it, but they’ll click on it to view the picture or go re-read the article that you linked to, things like that. And there are ways to see what those stats look like that are not quite as obvious, but they are there, that older group. So if your demographic is anywhere from 18 to 70, they’re using social media. Facebook is the biggest one, but they’re also on Twitter. All the other social media platforms are showing rapid growth of users year over year. The Twitter, it’s about 23% of adult users and they’re starting to see more and more of the little bit more affluent on there, college educated, about 54% of Twitter users make over 50,000 a year. So it was split, 27% make 50,000 to 75,000 and 27% make 75,000 plus. So these are people who have money, they’re spending money, they’ve got disposable income. They’re not living paycheck to paycheck.

SG: So Twitter might be one, if that income bracket is your demographic and the 25 to 45 age range, that’s something that you may want to play in. And each… You are silent.

RP: Am I? I must of hit the button twice. I was going to say that… Well there’s two things that pop up in my mind, one is the fact that you talked about Facebook, when you start talking about the senior crowd and how they’re engaging because of family and that they may not be necessarily engaging in the same way that the younger crowd is by clicking, interacting, sharing, commenting and those type of things, which is a huge metric. But, you gotta think also about the brand opportunity of just being able to gain visibility when it takes, it’s typically seven to 10, I think it’s a little bit more now, but seven to 10 touches before people go, “Oh okay, I recognize that company, I recognize that brand.” A couple of dollars spent on Facebook on a regular basis can generate brand awareness that you’re not going to be able to get through other types of marketing. And I think that’s really important to say.

SG: Yeah, absolutely. There’s multiple reasons to be on social media but you’re right, the brand awareness alone is worthwhile. If you’re in front of your target audience and you are posting content that is relevant to them, that they like, and they’re interacting even in the kind of sleepy way where they’re viewing it, they’re reading it, they’re clicking through to the link, but they’re not doing the obvious clicking, like, sharing, commenting on it. But you’re getting in front of them and you’re feeding them relevant content so that when they’re ready to buy your services, you’re at the front of their mind because you’ve been touching them.

SG: And then to the point you had said earlier, before had gone live was the… You’re going straight to the person. So you’ve got no gatekeeper to deal with, you don’t have to… With direct mail, you don’t have to get through the entire pile of junk mail they get every day to hope that somebody looks at what you’re sending them. Or the owner of the company, you don’t have the gatekeeper, the office manager, the personal assistant to get through to get to them on Facebook. You’re getting directly to the person that you want to. And that is really, really valuable, ’cause it saves you a lot of time, effort and energy. And you can get the information you want to get to them, the non-selling information, to them as quickly as possible and on a regular basis.

RP: Right. And if you’re really targeting, if you’re in a business-to-business situation, LinkedIn is a great marketing opportunity where you can connect directly with business owners, CEOs, COOs, depending on whatever level it is that you’re looking for. And what’s really neat about LinkedIn is… I’m starting to understand it more, is that you can target those people pretty easily. You just have to understand how the system works, and once you understand how the system works, being able to target those people is great because you can actually email people on LinkedIn, and it’s going directly, again, to the president, or directly to the CEO, or directly to the owner of a business.

RP: And the open rate on LinkedIn is somewhere around 99%, I heard, versus conventional emailing, where we know there is a lot of spam. However LinkedIn is more of a trusted community and therefore if you market on there correctly, understanding that it’s a trusted community, you can get right in. And I can’t tell you how many people are frustrated, who are still doing conventional door-to-door sales or co-calling… How difficult it is getting past the gate keeper. And so there is some great opportunities, not only on LinkedIn but Facebook and Twitter. And then, of course, if you get into… Depending on what your product is, if you’re selling an actual product, then maybe Pinterest and some of the other social media accounts are… Social media platforms might be a better way of actually marketing your goods.

RP: And sometimes… I also… I’ll talk to salespeople, just simply because I have a lot of friends who are salespeople, and it’s really about branding yourself these days. You should no longer just say, “I’m a salesperson with XYZ.” No. I’m the expert in whatever the industry, let’s say it’s office supplies. “I’m an expert on office supplies. Even though I work for ABC Office Supply, the fact that I’m an expert, because I’m a salesperson. I want to promote myself as being the expert in that industry. And educating people about new office supplies that are coming out, that are going to make your life easier, make it more efficient, going to reduce costs, and those type of things, because now I become valuable, instead of just being a commodity, another salesperson who’s like, ‘Hey, this is Ryan, I’ll take your order.'”

RP: But by adding value, people are going to go, “Oh, you know what? I’ll bet you Ryan has the answer,” and they’re going to call you versus somebody else, because they have learned to trust it through your social media efforts that you really enjoy what you’re doing, and you’re the go-to person. And I think there is a lot of value in that.

SG: Totally agree, that… And especially for, as business owners, we want to represent both the business and ourselves. And it means you’ll do that across all the platforms. You want to incorporate your company culture, your own culture, your beliefs. However, I would caution against doing the really argumentative ones. Stay away from politics and religion. That would be my recommendation, but outside of that, you can still do a lot of your beliefs, your morals that don’t specifically, possibly alienate people with strict religious and political beliefs. We are all allowed to have whatever we want. However, if you are trying to run a business, I do recommend that you stay away from the argumentative stuff.

SG: I follow that all the time… I have very strong beliefs in some things, and I post very little about it on Facebook. Even on my personal site… On my personal site, I’m very cautious about who I have on there, but I do have business associates on there. And, so you want to be careful about what you put out there. My husband doesn’t follow those rules all the time…

RP: That was very obvious by the number of kitty pictures that you post.

SG: Hey, he likes the cat, which is great. But each platform does have a purpose, and each platform has their own majority of the age group or gender, and so you want to look at who your target market is. And you want to know gender, age, income, what they do for a living. And then look at the different platforms. Pretty much everybody is on Facebook, with 71%, that’s a pretty high number. But you’ve got LinkedIn, you’ve got 28% of the adult population is, or 20% of the adult internet users are on there. 50% of college graduates are using LinkedIn. They are dominant force on LinkedIn. And college graduates, it is a stereotype, they tend to have higher paying jobs and tend to be more of the entrepreneurs, not always. There are a plenty bunch of entrepreneurs where college just wasn’t their thing. But you’ve gotta go with what the trends tend to be. And so you can look at that. Pinterest is primarily women, but they’re seeing a huge growth in men using Pinterest. I think 13% of Pinterest users are men, which is… For a platform, that’s all about pictures and tend to be home plus…

RP: Yeah. The pictures… They’re not pictures of trucks, motorcycles, Corvettes and bikini babes. It’s…

SG: Not true.

RP: Flower arrangements, it’s recipes, it’s, “Oh look, how to get skinny,” it’s all that girly stuff.

SG: That’s not true. It appears that way, because it’s been primarily women. But you can pin whatever you want to it. So as the men are using it, you can pin things like trucks and camping gear, and guns if you’re into that. So, you can create your own boards with the pictures you want to do, so you’ve got kind of a captive audience there and the men are growing every year. I think it was 8% last year, and it’s 13-14% now. So that’s a pretty significant growth on a platform that is predominantly women and known to be predominantly women.

RP: Right.

SG: So, if your target market are men, you might be able to wipe the floor with your competition, because there aren’t very many people on Pinterest advertising or marketing to men.

RP: Right. Okay. Well, I think we’ve pretty much debunked that myth, and I think the big question now is for people that are going, “Hmm, okay, maybe I need to invest some time in Facebook” is “I just don’t have time to invest in Facebook,” so I think this is maybe something we should… Or, not Facebook, but social media, in general. Maybe this is something we can cover next week is going to be that, “How do you actually carve out a couple of minutes? Five minutes, 10 minutes, a half hour?” I would imagine that if you felt that you had to be on 10 platforms every single day, 12 hours a day, I could see where it would be a little overwhelming, but what do you think about covering something like that next week?

SG: I think that’s the perfect next thing to cover is, since we’ve just debunked that your audience is there, now you need to know how to find the time to do it, and it really isn’t as much time as you think it is.

RP: Right. And since we’re on a debunking train, why don’t we debunk the fact that you don’t have time to do social media?

SG: Sounds perfect for next week.

RP: I am so smart sometimes, I tell you.

SG: That’s why I share an office with you.

RP: Alright, Sarah, our time is up today. As always, I appreciate your time and input, and insight on all things social media.

SG: Thanks, Ryan. It’s been a pleasure.

RP: Alright. Take care. Bye.

SG: Bye.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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