It’s common knowledge that using social media for personal use versus business marketing is quite different. For one thing, you likely don’t care as much about your personal analytics as you do your company’s, and targeting your friends and family is much easier than defining a target audience for your product or service offering.
While defining an audience for companies and organizations is often a task many marketers dread, it may actually be as easy as knowing yourself (your company actually). You need to know what your company stands for and its goals before you can truly begin to understand your audience and their motivations for connecting with you.
What are your company or organization’s goals? What do you value? How would your audience coincide with these goals and values? What goals do you want your social media campaign to meet? How do you expect your audience to help with these?
Getting to know your target audience takes time, so ask yourself these six questions while figuring out who your audience is and how you should talk to them.
Who are they?
- This begins with who your company or organization is and what it’s trying to sell. You won’t get far trying to sell dish detergent to teenagers. Who would be most interested in you and coincide with your goals and values? Middle-class men in their 40s in Colorado? Highly educated women in their 30s? Whoever it may be, targeting them will get you much further. Use demographic and psychographic information to create a customer profile.
What’s their most pressing problem or desire?
- Knowing this can be your invitation into the lives of your target audience members. You should try to recognize the patterns of existing customers who were already motivated to find your company or organization. Creating content based on these patterns can help you more effectively target and bring in new customers.
Where do they get their information?
- Targeting an Instagram campaign at a market consisting of members 50 years old and over may not be effective since recent trends have found that Instagram is populated predominantly by Millenials.
What does your company or organization offer that can solve their problem?
- People want to know what you can specifically do for them. Conduct research to understand which benefits of your product or service are most important and speak directly to your audience.
What sets off their lie detector?
- With so many different advertisements from various companies and organizations, it’s no wonder that people are becoming jaded. There are so many bold claims made everyday that people don’t know who to listen to. In order to avoid being put under the lie detector test, always act with integrity, know the bad claims that are being blasted out into your market, and always back up your own claims with proof.
Who do they trust?
- This could be any number of people. Some examples include; subject matter experts, celebrities and brands. Use this information to your advantage by connecting with these influencers and companies to create trust in you. If your audience loves the Wall Street Journal, try to pitch a blog or work on becoming one of their sources.
When you find your target audience, remember that it consists of people. These real people can build your company or organization up with their positive opinions or tear it down with negative ones. Having an audience means you need to take care of this relationship.
Spitting facts and advertising at your audience over social media will not get you far. You’ll bore them and drive them away. You need to engage them, which requires more than just reading your posts. Create call-to-action posts. Make fill-in-the-blank posts, polls, fan pictures or any other ideas you come up with.
You’ll know you’re engaging the right audience when your conversation, applause and amplification rates increase. In other words, you’ll know you’ve found the right audience if your followers and fans are liking, commenting or sharing your posts. Just remember to continue the conversation!