Sahail Ashraf posted on 14 October 2016
All brands know that social media can be a pretty lonely place unless you have an audience. And when it comes to making sure that you get ROI on all of that hard work on social, the audience has to be targeted and focused on you and your offering. And that’s before you even begin to build relationships.
Finding that audience is still a huge stumbling block for many brands. And when you consider that it is easy to literally find yourself in front of thousand’s of people on Twitter, for example, the vast majority of whom do not have the slightest interest in what you are selling, working on getting to the right audience quickly is kind of important.
We thought, in this post, that we would look at some quick wins and some longer term solutions that will help you find and engage with your target audience on social.
Twitter is a great place to find an audience quickly on. It has one of the very best search facilities around, and it ranks pretty highly when compared to other social media platforms. This is because of that simple search option.
Twitter, believe it or not, has millions of tweets per day. But don’t let that stop you. The beauty of it is the sheer depth of the search you can undertake. Location is even a factor, and Twitter has been gracious enough to allow you to look for people pretty much anywhere in the world. This coupled with the ability to search for business types and industries, makes for powerful stuff. So when it comes finding a target audience, it is a good deal.
And don’t forget suggested users. These keep popping up, and it’s worth having a good look now and then, especially for the followers of the people who are suggested to you. They’re all connected, and it is very easy to find a great set of people to follow in the follower list of people who Twitter suggest for you.
They really are.
Whatever platform you’re on, if it uses hashtags, this a great way to find people who are perfect for your brand.
A hashtag generally means that people are interested in talking about the subject, so if you find a hashtag that has relevance to you, and to prospective customers, chances are that those prospective customers have been involved in that hashtag.
The best way to do this is to look for events in your industry. If you find them and they have a hashtag, you can then see who is using that hashtag in their tweets and updates, and then dig a little deeper to see if they are potential customers.
Facebook has what it takes when it comes to search too, and if you’re on this platform, getting to where your audience is at won’t take too long.
Fan pages are the way to go. Look for fan pages that have some relevance to what you do and what you sell and then start to get into that audience. Take the time to find out what they’re talking about and start to get involved. Browsing through fans of your offer type is a great way to pick up on potential audiences.
The news stream is also a great way to start hooking up with the right people. As the stream rolls on, it will offer suggestions of people who would most likely be worth connecting with. Use this info. Like Twitter’s suggestions, the system is based on people who naturally fit into your area of expertise.
A good old-fashioned survey is one of the best ways of finding out where your customers hang out online. If you get the survey right, you’ll find out where your customers are, what they like to do and how they like to spend their time on while on the web.
Take your current set of customers (use email marketing do this) and send them a survey that asks where they like to go and who they like to follow on social media. Then make sure that you are there.
If they listen to certain podcasts or read certain blogs, you can find out this information through a survey. This will allow you to get to the place where your typical audience types spend their time. And you’ll find more customers in these places.
Spend time not approaching them, first of all. Your aim is to make sure that you establish a common ground, and join in on the conversation first. It’s vital that your target customers that you find through such methods see you as a fellow traveller, someone who likes the stuff they like and is happy to offer comments and input.
If you find out which forums, topics and podcasts your target customers are into then you need to make sure that you are able to join in. Follow the blogs and podcasts, and start to comment. This means you establish some common ground and have a base to work on.
Then start to approach them once you have made the effort to get to know their likes and dislikes. Be complimentary and ask for advice. Then offer advice and ideas.
Eventually, the doors will open and you will be able to make connections easily. But the difference here is that you have spent time getting to know people who are important to your brand.
It’s social media networking with real, commercial purpose.
Try the above approach and you should find that, soon enough, you have discovered more places where your audience is, and therefore some real marketing opportunities. Want the very best metrics (and info) on your social media? Try a free trial of Locowise, for fourteen days. It’s magic, real magic.