If you want to get ahead in business, then be social. That’s the message we’re constantly told. But, as good as social networking might be, it will only ever be truly effective if your business is targeting and connecting with the right audience. If it’s not, then your efforts are wasted. So how do you identify your target audience, and once you’ve found it how do you go on to connect effectively? Well, hopefully the following suggestions might prove helpful.
Finding your audience
You have to walk before you can run, so it’s best to start with the basics. Before you can find your audience, you’ll need to know who you are looking for. To get this information you’ll have to start building up specific buyer personas. So ask yourself these questions: who are your ideal buyers, where do they work and what do you see as their key traits?
How do you find this information? Well, if you’re an established business, then use your existing data: look at your customer database and break it down into demographic segments. This should give you a clear idea of what your buyers look like. If you’re a new business, then look at your competitors’ activity to help you build your ideal buyer persona.
Research your keywords thoroughly
If you want to squeeze every last ounce of leverage out of your social media content, you’ll need to find out what keywords your potential customers are searching for and use them yourself. Finding the right keywords will not only help to identify your audience: it will also help to inform what topics to talk about to your audience. Once you’ve found the appropriate keywords have a look at relevant blogs and communities, and style your content so that what you write is what the audience wants to see and read.
Find the influencers and engage with them
Every industry has thought leaders. They are the ones people turn to when they want expert help and advice. So find the thought leaders and actively engage with them. This will draw the attention of potential customers, as by engaging with the influencers you’ll know the audience is likely to be interested in what you’ve got to offer. Comment on blogs they may have shared, and provide your own individual take on what they’ve written. Ultimately you may yourself become an influencer, and have people following you for your content.
Choose your social media platform wisely
All social media platforms have their strengths, but not all platforms will be right for you. You want to maximise your efforts, so it makes sense to put these efforts into the platform where most of your target audience engages. Facebook is the obvious starting point, but although you might get engagement on this platform; that engagement won’t necessarily translate into conversions.
What you’ll need to do is find out which users are on which platforms, and to do that you’ll need to understand the relative functions and demographics of each network. Different platforms have different strengths: LinkedIn, for instance, is better for generating B2B leads than Facebook. Snapchat is ideally situated for businesses and events that target youth. Pinterest is useful for ecommerce companies who target adult purchasers.
However, it’s wise not to put all your eggs in one basket. You may generate most leads through a LinkedIn presence, but it still makes sense to have some sort of presence of other platforms too. Not only will this help to expand your audience; it will also increase your visibility in the search results.
Followers won’t necessarily become customers
Numbers matter, but having a large audience, be that followers or friends, won’t guarantee conversions and sales. At the end of the day it’s all about getting the right followers; namely, the ones who buy products and services. So look at which of your platforms is delivering the majority of conversions and make that platform your priority.