April 2, 2019 / Communicating across generations
If you’re a Gen Xer or Baby Boomer, you might feel like you’re 100 years apart from a millennial.
With smartphones, the Internet, and texting as their go-to, this generation grew up with an entirely different set of standards for communication.
You may have learned the correct etiquette for answering the phone in your early days in the workforce. Meanwhile, nowadays, you might receive text messages from others with incorrect grammar!
In addition, there are now so many different expectations and desires around flexibility in the workforce.
When staff members decide to take a “mental health day” in the middle of your busiest season, it’s enough to make you go crazy as the manager or director of the organization!
Here are a few tips for communicating with colleagues across all generations in the workplace.
- Be very clear and specific of your expectations up front. With all of your employees and subcontractors, be very clear about what you need from them, how you prefer to be communicated with, and at what frequency. You aren’t a mind reader and neither are they. Be upfront about your expectations, and you give them a greater chance at success.
- If an issue comes up, have a conversation quickly and professionally before it escalates. The sooner you address the problem and provide guidance on what to do instead, the sooner it can resolve peacefully.
- Don’t be afraid to communicate expectations again and again. Just like with your marketing messages, you may need to reinforce expectations multiple times.
- Notice what you take for granted about what you know to do. You might be accustomed to communicating in a certain way, and get confused about why the millennial doesn’t naturally pick up on it. If you have preferences, it’s on you to assume the responsibility and explain it to your team members.
Remember… none of us are born knowing the preferred etiquette of others. We all have to learn somewhere, and the learning curve takes patience from both parties.
And while it can feel challenging trying to communicate with those who grew up in a totally different world than you, different generations also provide perspectives and ideas you wouldn’t come up with on your own.
Appreciate the value that different generations bring to the table and communicate with clarity, and you can more easily work as a team to make your organization great.
October 3, 2018 / Uncategorized
I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about the challenge of identifying your target customer.
People say to me, “My target audience is EVERYONE!”
And maybe you DO have a broad audience of people you want to reach…
But you still need to get specific with each different initiative you employ. You can’t communicate with everyone ALL the time. And when you try to, often marketing falls flat.
For example, if you’re trying to reach millennials using Facebook ads tailored to Gen X, you’re likely to not be noticed or heard… because you aren’t speaking their language OR targeting them where they hang out! (Millennials are more likely to be found on Instagram or Snapchat.)
Different generations have different goals, needs, challenges, and desires. Even if you serve multiple generations, you must communicate with each group specifically to be effective.
Here’s how you can do that:
Get specific and create a “persona” for your ideal customer in each audience. This will help you to connect emotionally with them.
Step 1: First, identify ALL of your different audiences.
Step 2: Then, identify a specific marketing initiative to focus on, and create your “ideal customer avatar” in that audience. Brainstorm answers to the following:
What is their…
- What are their particular needs and challenges?
- What are their goals or desires?
Step 3: Then, identify what kind of media they are spending their time on. Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Specific news outlets?
Once you know WHO you want to speak to, then you can create campaigns for those audiences on the platforms they are spending time on.
‘Til next time,
September 26, 2018 / Uncategorized
If you’re looking to reach adults and teenagers 34 years and younger, Snapchat is a great place to go.
On Snapchat, users can post or privately send photos and videos that are only available for 24 hours. (Instagram later adopted this in their Instagram Stories feature.)
71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old. 45% of Snapchat users are aged between 18-24. If you want to reach this age group, Snapchat is a great way to become relevant and heighten your organization’s visibility within this audience.
Here are five tips for reaching millennials on Snapchat:
#1: Show Personality And Engage the Demographic on Snapchat – Share interesting photos and videos of your product that younger entrepreneurs might be interested in.
Keep in mind who you are targeting and create your content specifically for them.
#2: Create General Filters – Businesses can create filters that will show up on a user’s home page within a particular area and during a specific time. This can be a great way to promote your brand during live events. People at the events will see the filters; the friends they send the “snap” to will see the filter, and often, people will take a screenshot of the filter and share on Facebook or Instagram.
#3: Create Event-Specific Filters – If you’re hosting an event which many of your attendees are in the Snapchat demographic, you could create some special filters for the event. They are only available (to be used) by people in the building or specific geolocation you’ve selected, but when they share the pics with all of their friends, your event filter will appear.
#4: Cross Promote Your Snapchat on Facebook, Twitter, and email to let people know you are on Snapchat to follow you. This will help you to increase your following.
#5: Utilize an Intern to Create a Fun and Engaging Snapchat Strategy. See how the platforms evolve and don’t be afraid to have fun with it. A younger person’s unique perspective can help shape an authentic presence that resonates with your target audience.
You can also partner with your local community college to see what students are doing on Snapchat. Look to the demographics that are successfully using Snapchat for inspiration of fun, quirky ways to stand out on this platform.
But remember! Don’t hop on a social media platform for the summer if you won’t keep it up after that. Social media is all about consistently showing up over the long-term!
August 12, 2018 / Communicating across generations
Different words and ways of speaking will resonate with different target audiences.
If you’re trying to speak to a seasoned CEO, emojis and abbreviations won’t work!
But if you’re trying to reach a millennial, you need to speak in their language… and emojis might be required. ✌😎
Now, some people worry about alienating other people in their audience by focusing on just one audience. But when you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one.
So the first place to start is getting to be specific about who you are trying to reach — and getting to know your audience in detail.
Often it can be difficult to understand our target market if they are in a different generation than us. With millennials, you could bring in a college intern, and ask them some interview questions.
- Are they male or female?
- What is your occupation?
- Are you on social media? Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook?
- Which do you spend the most time on (personal / work)?
- What do you most enjoy seeing, reading, watching, or listening to on social media or other networks (like youtube, online blogs, podcasts)?
- What are your current challenges (related to our product/service)?
- What are your goals and desires (related to our product/service)?
- How could we get your attention with our product? What is it about our product that could help you reach your goals/desires or solve your problems?
You can record your interview with them and use the exact same language in your marketing.
And then, your campaign should be targeting that audience on the platform where they spend their time… and this might be different from where you spend your time!
Millennials won’t just magically end up on your website or in your email database. So instead, go to where they are.
For them, you could create a social media campaign on Snapchat or Instagram.
The more you can speak the language of the people you want to reach on the platforms they want to be on… the better your organization can be seen and heard!
March 14, 2018 / Uncategorized
Today, I have a personal update for you. 🙂
Last month, I officially graduated from the 2-year Universal Health Principles™ program.
In this program, we became certified in giving UHP sessions, which help the body to heal physical and emotional imbalances. I received these sessions for years and now I’m able to support others with this powerful healing tool.
Not only did I want to learn how to give these sessions to others — I really signed on to the program as a way to advance my own personal development and growth.
Taking part in this program has given me more physical & emotional self-awareness, more energy, and more peace. I feel better in my body and daily life. And as the mother of a teenage daughter, taking better care of myself has allowed me to better support my daughter — which is priceless.
This 2-year journey culminated with our recent graduation, which felt like a great accomplishment. And now… my educational journey in mind-body medicine has just begun. I’m excited to continue learning in things like herbs and Chinese medicine.
In addition to graduating UHP… I just had another exciting milestone: my story has been featured in a best-selling author’s new book!
For years I worked with a health coach named Robyn Youkilis. Now she is a best-selling author and has even been featured on The View.
In my work with Robyn, I had huge transformations in my health — and even my family’s. (How exciting that my teenage daughter now actually WANTS to eat kale!)
When Robyn first approached me about sharing my story, I was scared. I felt like I was exposing myself by sharing my health journey in a very public way.
But ultimately, I decided to share — because you never know who your story can help.
Now, Robyn’s new book, Thin From Within, has been released. It was scary and hard to read my story in print. But if my story could encourage someone else that’s pretty remarkable.
I’d encourage anyone else struggling with health problems or food challenges to check out Robyn’s book. It can be an amazing resource for you. She’s been a health guide for me over the years.
From these experiences, I can say — by taking time to invest in your personal or professional growth, it can pay off in your life tenfold. Whether you want support with your health, career goals, or productivity — investing in support can be one of the best decisions you make!
Til next time,
January 11, 2018 / Uncategorized
Okay, here’s the truth…
After I created this site, SandySponaugle.com, it took me 8 months to publicly announce the site and my new services to friends and family.
I had even created a Facebook post that sat on a google doc for all those months!
But I resisted posting it. (My “due date” in Asana kept moving from May to June to September and on and on!)
So what held me back? Why was I resisting it so much?
The truth is I was afraid of judgment from others.
It felt safe to hide behind the work I do in Platinum PR, my business that has evolved over the past 15+ years.
People know me for the work I do, and we’ve helped many happy clients over the years.
However, I’ve been wanting to shake things up, and have an outlet to express and promote skills that are outside of the normal scope of services of my business Platinum PR.
So finally, after agreeing with my coach to post it by the end of the year, with just one week to go, I hit “post” and shared my announcement on Facebook.
And here’s a glimpse into the feedback…
I got so much support from family, friends and colleagues, with several people sharing the post with their friends.
I even had a college friend reach out and let me know that he’s also starting his own business. He probably wouldn’t have ever said anything if I hadn’t shared this particular Facebook post. That’s amazing!
It’s got me thinking… Why do we let fear and judgement hold us back?
Whether it’s making a career change, expressing ourselves, or even taking a class outside of our comfort zone — often we hold back out of fear of what others will think.
It’s toxic on so many levels, and ultimately — it’s quite limiting!
Well, I’ve decided that I’m done letting it hold me back. I’m ready to stand up more confidently in my own skin.
How about you?
Are you holding back from pursuing a career change, a new passion, or another way to “reinvent” yourself?
What might happen if you decided to go for it?
Through stepping out beyond our fears, we can live more fulfilled lives and inspire others to do the same.
If you’re ready to step back and decide what you REALLY want, and get the support to go for it, contact me here to explore working together.