- Created on 13 May 2013
According to Nielsen, 70 percent of active adult social networkers shop online, which is 12 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user. With millions of users online, brands continually flock to social media networks to garner consumers yet have been discouraged by the lack of results and questioning the validity of social media marketing. Rather than become disillusioned with social media, because there’s no denying the millions of people buying and conversing online, the question remains: What is the best way to reach them?
BlackEnterprise.com has outlined five reasons your brand’s social media strategy isn’t working, and what you can do to improve it:
Social media is not a cure-all, end-all solution for marketing to one’s target market. If you think that by setting up a profile on a network and constantly spewing marketing messages that you’ll attract thousands, if not millions, of customers immediately, you’re sadly mistaken. It’s, however, an enduring solution in combination with advertising and public relations to increase exposure, promote and eventually garner sales.
Lack of company buy-in
In order for social media to be effective for your organization, everyone has to buy-in, from executives to support staff, or it will not reach its full potential. Your chances of having a successful social media campaign is increased if senior management actively uses it and allows the brand to have multiple voices. The executives of your company are not the only champions; in fact it is feasible to come up with a list of influencers in all departments that can provide content and insight in the form of a social media council.
With any marketing effort, you must clearly define what your intentions are for using social media. Do you want to get exposure for new product or service? Improve brand recognition? Increase website traffic? Once those intentions have been identified you must question what success looks like.
To avoid social media crises and potential disasters every company should invest in social media training and guidelines. Do not pawn off social media activities on the “young” professionals. Just because they know how to use the technology does not make them equipped to become the global communications arm of your brand.
When creating your social media team, you should seek someone who has a strong capacity for communications and marketing; the tools can be taught to via training programs in- person or online. Showing employees the best practices and way in which your brand should be showcased online can be an exceptionally valuable business tool.
Not enough engagement
If you’re not responding to your fans questions or comments, they’ll seek a brand that will. Social media has shifted marketing as we know it. It’s no longer a one way street, but a two way street which requires communication and collaboration. You will achieve greater results when you respond in a timely manner, highlight your customers using your product or service and share valuable information with them.
Keep in mind if you are not fully committed to social media then you will not achieve the results you desire online. Once you have a social media strategy with realistic goals and targeted content, the rest is relatively simple.
S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead .
- Created on 10 May 2013
Honored by the White House as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30, author, social entrepreneur and "chief popsicle" of Feverish Ice Cream & Gourmet Pops Felecia Hatcher will keynote the Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia's Dare to Dream event on May 10.
Dare to Dream is an event for Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia students that marks the successful completion of the year-long classroom portion of the program. Dare to Dream aims to inspire students to utilize creativity, follow their passions, and learn about the importance of making good choices in their lives.
Dare to Dream will offer workshops to approximately 160 students in the Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia program including: Business Etiquette, Managing Electronic Communications, Dining Etiquette, Dressing for Success, and a Business Expo.
Participating companies and organizations such as The Coca-Cola Company, Oglethorpe Power, Fifth Third Bank, and University of Georgia's Terry College of Business will offer information and guidance.
The event will be held Friday, May 10, from 10:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Coca-Cola World Headquarters, located at One
Coca-Cola Plaza, 310 North Avenue Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30313.
Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia (YEG), formerly Youth Entrepreneurs of Atlanta, is a business program hosted in metro Atlanta high schools that teaches students free-enterprise fundamentals through hands-on learning activities, culminating in the writing and presentation of a workable business plan.
The goal of the program is to provide students with practical business knowledge and experience, encourage an entrepreneurial way of thinking and promote higher
education, all of which culminate into productive citizenry. To learn more visit the organization's website, http://www.gp.com/yeatl/ .
- Created on 08 May 2013
Lauryn Hill may not face jail time after all.
It’s being reported that Lauryn Hill has satisfied the judgement against her. She was scheduled for sentencing today in U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey on three charges of failing to file tax returns on more than $1.8 million between 2005 and 2007. Based on that amount, she reportedly owed at least $504,000 in federal and state back taxes and penalties that brought the total to more than $900,000.
“Ms Hill has not only now fully paid prior to sentencing her taxes, which are part of her criminal restitution, but she has additionally fully paid her federal and state personal taxes for the entire period under examination through 2009,” her attorney, Nathan Hochman, said in an email.
The singer has just released a new single, “Neurotic Society,” last week and is posted on iTunes.
- Created on 10 May 2013
Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for Black and Hispanic families than for White families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between White Americans and most minorities, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.
"It was already dismal," Darrick Hamilton, a professor at the New School in New York, said of the wealth gap between Black and White households. "It got even worse."
Given the dynamics of the housing recovery and the rebound in the stock market, the wealth gap might still be growing, experts said,
further dimming the prospects for economic advancement for current and future generations of Americans from minority groups.
The Urban Institute study found that the racial wealth gap expanded during the recession, even as the income gap between White Americans and non-White Americans remained stable. As of 2010, White families, on average, earned about $2 for every $1 that Black and Hispanic families earned, a ratio that has remained roughly constant for the last 30 years. But when it comes to wealth — as measured by assets, like cash savings, homes and retirement accounts, minus debts, like mortgages and credit card balances — White families have far outpaced Black and Hispanic ones.
Before the recession, White families, on average, were about four times as wealthy as non-White families, according to the Urban Institute's analysis of Federal Reserve data. By 2010, Whites were about six times as wealthy.
The dollar value of that gap has grown, as well. By the most recent data, the average White family had about $632,000 in wealth, versus $98,000 for Black families and $110,000 for Hispanic families.
"The racial wealth gap is deeply rooted in our society," said Caroline Ratcliffe, one of the authors of the Urban Institute study. "It's here, it's not going away, and we need to care about it."
Many experts consider the wealth gap to be more pernicious than the income gap, as it perpetuates from generation to generation and has a powerful effect on economic security and mobility.
Young Black people are much less likely than young White people to receive a large sum from their parents or other relatives to pay for college, start a business or make a down payment on a home, for instance. That, in turn, makes their wealth-building prospects shakier as they move into adulthood.
- Created on 07 May 2013
According to a new research report, America’s racial wealth gaps will persist until public policy reforms provide every family the opportunity to build wealth.
Less than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation, from the Urban Institute’s Opportunity and Ownership project, analyzed data and trends from 1983-2010. Over these years, the average household income of Whites remained double that of either Black or Latino families.
But when wealth was considered, the amount of available assets remaining after all indebtedness was deducted, White families’ wealth grew six times that of either that for either Black or Latino families.
“When it comes to economic gaps between whites and communities of color in the United States, income inequality tells part of the story. But let’s not forget about wealth. Wealth isn’t just money in the bank; its insurance against tough times, tuition to get a better education and a better job, savings to retire on and a springboard into the middle class. In short, wealth translates into opportunity.”
The report also found that although the Great Recession of (2007-2009) hit communities of color particularly hard, the type of financial losses varied. With Black unemployment double that of the rest of the nation, Black retirement assets fell by 35 percent during these years. This data suggests that lower-income Black families withdrew money from retirement savings following a job loss or other adverse events. For Latinos, the average retirement asset decline was 18 percent.
By contrast, the Great Recession years took half of Latino family home equity, compared to an average 25 percent for Black and White families. To better understand this lost wealth, it is relevant to note that in 2010 only half of Black and Latino families owned their homes, while 75 percent of Whites were homeowners.
With more assets and diversified income streams, white wealth declined 11 percent during the Great Recession. But Black wealth dropped 31 percent during these same years and Latino families dropped the greatest at 44 percent.
Yet despite these findings, it is equally true that many families of color still desire to own a home and their own piece of America. Their dreams may be deferred, but still remains strong. As the nation’s economy continues to struggle towards prosperity, tightened mortgage lending, higher FHA fees, and continued discussions of federally-mandated down payments do not bode well for more families of color reaching the American Dream.
For the Urban Institute, the answer to these growing and disturbing disparities is reconsidering public policies.
“Families of color were disproportionately affected by the recession. However, the fact that they were not on good wealth-building paths before this financial crisis calls into question whether a whole range of polices (from tax to safety net) have actually been helping minorities get ahead in the modern economy,” according to the study.
Contrasting programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (SNAP) as two social safety programs designed to provide basic essentials; the report noted how tax subsidies for homeownership and retirement policies actually help to build wealth.
“The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year to support long-term asset development. But these asset-building subsidies primarily benefit high-income families, while low-income families receive next to nothing.”
The Urban Institute’s conclusions are strikingly similar to those reached earlier this year by the Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Policies.
“The evidence points to policy and the configuration of both opportunities and barriers in workplaces, schools and communities that reinforce deeply entrenched racial dynamics in how wealth is accumulated and that continue to permeate the most important spheres of everyday life,” the Brandeis report stated.
Here’s hoping that those entrusted with policy decisions are listening.