How to Reach Everyone and Their Mother

A few nights ago New York Women in Communications helped launch “Social Media Week” with an event titled “Bridging the Generation Gap: Reaching Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials.” Kaplow’s own EIC, the incomparable Nick Charles, was one of the panelists. I say “incomparable” because few men I know would be so at ease speaking in front of over a hundred women, about their online behavior and how brands can successfully reach them. Moderated by Emmy-award-winning WABC-TV reporter Stacey Sager, the panel also included Susan Rinkunas, online editor for Women’s Health and Phyllis Weiss Haserot, president of the Practice Development Counsel.

Key takeaways:

Find out where your target audience lives and what they’re doing.

Not literally, or you’re looking at the business end of a restraining order. But when determining how to reach a particular audience, make sure you know where they go online, and what they’re doing there. For example, Millennials are often looking to socialize, while Baby Boomers look to reconnect. They’ve been there and done that. Now they want to find the people they went there and did that with.

One size does not fit all in social media.

Put down the posting for “Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Everythingelse” and back slowly away from the keyboard. A cookie cutter approach to creating or revamping your brand’s comprehensive online presence is rarely successful. Figure out which destinations make sense for your target demographic, and then implement a strategy that caters to the audience that lives there.

Take advantage of the “Interest Graph.”

It’s not always about age. As evidenced by the skyrocketing phenomenon that is Pinterest, social media users are gravitating to communities that enable them to celebrate various interests, whether it’s home décor, travel, arts & crafts, or in my case, bacon. This means that portions of the population (regardless of age, location, socioeconomic status, and more) are segmenting themselves and broadcasting to the world what they are interested in hearing more about. Brand marketers should take note.

Give them something they can use, not what you think they should hear.

We live in an age where you can throw a virtual dime and hit nine jillion pieces of digital content. Specific age groups are searching for different types of information based on where they are in life, and what they’ve already experienced (or haven’t experienced). Help that person curate the content that is most meaningful to them, that they can use to better their life in some aspect. Be unselfish. They will reward you.

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