You know that social media marketing is a key component of any successful business initiative. You’ve probably read it in articles, seen it on the news and heard it from customers. When it comes to running a lasting business that experiences regular growth, a social media presence is critical.
However, having knowledge of the importance of social media and running a successful social media marketing campaign are two very different ideas. In fact, when it comes to establishing a social media presence that makes an impact, understanding how to target your specific audience is an important, if not the most important, factor.
Below are a few ways to target your audience on social media that could lead to measurable, lasting results.
Define Who They Are
Like any other marketing campaign, the most important aspect of targeting your audience on any network is knowing who you audience is. Are you looking for mothers of multiples? Individuals who are looking for a reliable rehab center? Retirees wishing to relocate or downsize?
By taking the time to narrow down the basic demographic information for your audience – their ages, genders, interests and more – you’ll be able to do more solid research to set up a successful campaign.
Look at Your Competition
Before getting started, devote time to researching the trends that relate to your industry’s social media usage.
- Look at your competitors.
- What are they doing on social media networks?
- To which activities are they receiving the greatest level of responses and engagement?
- What efforts seem to be falling flat?
Additionally, take the time to look outside of your immediate industry. Take a look at some companies making waves on social media sites – Whole Foods, Under Armour Women and Equinox are a few to start with. Think of ways to relate these actions to your company’s social media efforts.
Know Your Audience’s Priorities
By taking the time to understand what matters to your audience, and learning where they spend their time, you’re more likely to reach the demographic you’re targeting.
The most recent research demonstrates that the average American spends around 25% of their online time on social networks. Why? Because it matters to them, they want to engage with their social circle and with brands that matter to them online; they’re looking for connections.
Because social media is a priority for your target audience, it should be a priority for your business. Like any other marketing campaign, you should go where your customers are, right now, they are on social media networks.
Create and Curate the Right Content
Just as important as finding the right network is putting out the right content.
Think about what motivates your customers, chances are, the same factor motivates your potential customers and clients. Are they drawn to videos? To informative pieces of content? To answers to specific, frequently asked questions?
Putting out the right content sets you up as an information source for your potential clients. It gives a sense of reliability that can be hard to build online, without a personal connection. It also sets up an opportunity: while a customer may not need your product or service right now, if they come to depend on the information you provide, when they – or a connection of theirs – needs that product or service in the future, you’ll likely be their first choice.
Companies should make an effort to put out the right content on a regular basis. Because customers are spending a large amount of time online, your content should be available at any time. Create a content archive that can be easily searched and be sure to add to it on a regular basis.
Don’t have time to write articles on a regular basis? No problem. Post links to articles that are relevant to your business and customer testimonials. Share daily tips and answer questions. Post quick videos. Content doesn’t have to be lengthy, just make it applicable.
Try Different Networks, but Start With One
While different networks reach different audiences – Twitter is a great way to connect quickly through one-way communication, YouTube reaches the audience most likely to respond to and share video – the best place to start for any business is Facebook.
- With 845 million users, chances are high that your audience is actively using the network.
- According to comScore Media Metrix, Facebook captures 14.6% of Internet users’ time compared to a combined 2% for all other social networking sites and 16% of all online page views.
- Many businesses have seen marked growth from Facebook.
- In fact, according to HubSpot, 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired a customer through Facebook.
- The site is easy to use and establishing a presence for a company takes a relatively small amount of time.
- Facebook makes sharing content easier than the other sites as photos, videos, links and articles are easily created and/or shared on the site.
- It’s an excellent site to establish and grow an online community where your followers are in a single location (and easy to find).
- The site also allows for easy advertising that’s paid on a per-click or per-impression basis.
If you’re looking to establish a social media presence, Facebook should be your starting point.
When you’re ready to start a social media campaign, targeting your customers is an essential component of success. Patience matters, start small, get to know a single network, establish connections and then focus on growth. By making social media marketing a part of your daily operations, positive results are more likely than ever.
Images: ”Spread of ideas concept illustration. Could be related to social media or viral marketing or viral ideas /Shutterstock.com“
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