Your audience should be number one, not only in your overall marketing plan but within your social media strategy as well. Knowing who you’re trying to target will help you create valuable content that they are more likely to engage with. It’s also important to keep in mind that social media is a tool to distribute content to reach your audience and should be used in combination with other platforms and tools like your website, blog, e-newsletter and more.
How to Identify Your Audience on Social Media:
Before you try to connect with people on your social media platforms, you should know who they are. If you’ve not done so already, identify your ideal customer by listing out some distinguishers such as: age, average income, common values or interests, occupation, etc. If you need help determining who your audience is, check out our blog post: It All Hinges On Your Audience!
Secondly, you should be familiar with what social media platforms exist, how they work, who uses them, and which platforms your target audience prefers to use Get some insight here on our top picks: Top Social Media Platforms You Should Be Familiar With. Once you are familiar with the social media platforms, familiarize yourself with their insights and analytics tools. For example, Facebook has insights pages that provide valuable statistics and even offer initial glimpses into who your audience is, especially if your page has been around for a while. This allows you to see the demographics of your existing audience – the ones who have already been interacting with your page and posts. If you’re brand new to a certain social media platform, you can still start using insights to analyze your page as it grows.
You can also encourage your existing audiences, who you’ve built relationships with elsewhere, to connect with you on your social media platforms. This can be done by placing your social media links on your website, e-newsletters, and other platforms. Encourage people to follow you when you meet with them, give a presentation, hand out a business card, etc.
Remember, you want to share content that is relevant to your identified audience and consider utilizing some paid ads where you can select targets based on the demographics you wish to reach. Within the targeted ads, you can identify geographic locations, age, interests, occupations and more. Using these qualifiers allow you to build your audience by targeting specific people you wish to reach and engage with.
Lastly, we often have multiple audiences we’re trying to reach. You need to be aware that each audience’s interests are different, and you must strategically engage each using your same social media persona – consistency is key. Don’t have separate profiles for separate audiences, rather, adjust your messaging and content for each.
How to Engage Your Audience on Social Media:
Once you’ve identified your audience and have your social media platforms established, it’s time to engage. First, make sure you’re investing your time and money in the right channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and even LinkedIn all have different audiences. If you choose to create paid ads to get your content in front of the most amount of people, ensure your placing it on the right platform and targeting appropriately.
Secondly, create content through the eyes of your audience and actively listen. If your audience doesn’t seem to be connecting with your content, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the platform you’re using to ensure you’re targeting the right people or adjust the content you’re creating and sharing.
Thirdly, consider using hashtags. If you’re not familiar with them, we’ve outlined 5 Reasons Why Hashtags Are So Important. Routinely use these when sharing your content on social media and, when appropriate, encourage your audience to do the same.
Lastly, make sure you’re engaging and interacting on your social platforms. Ask questions, answer questions, and be responsive. You don’t ignore people when they call or walk into your business, treat social media the same. In addition, consider using a social media listening website or app such as Awario or Agorapulse to see who and where people are mentioning you and capitalize on those. You’ve done wonderful if you’ve engaged your audience. Don’t lose them by not fostering conversation, it helps build trust.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to know and understand your audience; Without them, your business simply wouldn’t exist. When engaged correctly, they’ll stay loyal and help you sell your brand. Knowing your audience will help you identify what is of most value to them. The opposite is also true, your brand can be negatively affected by mistargeting and connecting with the wrong audience. If you feel like you have a good grasp on who your audience is, but are still unsure of social media, download our Get on the Social Media Train book or contact us today!