Social media is one of the best marketing tools out there for businesses, but it’s only effective if you’re targeting and connecting with the right audience.
Finding your audience doesn’t have to be complicated, but it will require planning and research on your part to make sure you spend time and resources optimally.
With a little preparation and legwork, these easy tips will help you build your brand's social audience and visibility seemingly overnight.
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Understand Your Target Audience
Before you can find your audience, you need to know who you are looking for.
Who is your ideal buyer, where do they work, and what are some of their key traits?
Start building buyer personas of your ideal customers, the more specific, the better.
If you’re an established business that means you have data to start with, so break your current customer base down into demographic segments so that you have a clear idea of what your buyers look like.
New businesses can start building personas by looking at competitors’ activity.
Perform Keyword Research
To maximize your social media content creation, you’ll have to find out what keywords your potential customers are looking for and using themselves.
Not only will this help you determine the topics your audience wants to talk about, but you’ll be able to use your keyword research to help find your audience.
Use your keyword knowledge to discover blogs and communities related to your audience, so you’ll know how to craft content they want to see.
Using a keyword tool can help you cut down on your research time, and will make sure you are always optimizing the keywords you use.
An ideal tool will be able to help you track the relevance and performance of keywords, and will help you narrow down the industry insiders and their followers who are relevant to your company.
Find Industry Influencers
Engaging with thought leaders and industry influencers is a great way to draw the attention of potential customers.
You already know that if your target audience is looking at specific influencers from your industry, then they will likely be interested in what you have to offer.
If you can comment on and provide new viewpoints in your engagement, you can position yourself to become an influencer and people will follow you for your content.
Know Who’s on What Platform
Not all social media platforms are created equal, and you want to be sure that you are putting your efforts into the platform where your target audience is present.
Facebook is often one of the starting points for social media campaigns, and can be an excellent way to boost your visibility, but you may not get the engagement on Facebook that leads to conversions that you will on other platforms.
For B2B companies, for example, a Facebook presence likely won’t pay off in generating leads the same way that LinkedIn will, so it’s important that you don’t waste time and energy fishing in an empty pond.
To find out which users are on which platform, you’ll need to understand each network’s functions.
Pinterest is a visual aggregator of images and has proven extremely useful for ecommerce companies who target adult purchasers.
Snapchat, on the other hand, predominantly has a young audience, and the time-based nature of the platform lends it to businesses and events that target youth.
Doing your research early on to understand each platform’s user demographics can pay off in the long run.
But Don’t Limit Yourself to One
Let’s say you are a B2B marketer, and you’ve identified LinkedIn as the most successful social network for generating leads.
This doesn’t mean you simply want to set up a LinkedIn presence and call it a day.
While your research will help you know which platforms you should put most of your efforts into, be sure to have a presence elsewhere.
First of all, you’ll increase visibility in search results, but you’ll also make sure that you are leveraging all of your resources to expand your audience.
In the case of the B2B marketer, a Twitter presence may not generate immediate leads, but it may help boost the company’s image as an industry expert, which will only increase follower count and user engagement.
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Don't Be Fooled By Numbers
Watching your follower count grow can be invigorating, but you'll want to keep monitoring your list to make sure you are getting the right followers, i.e. the people who will convert to customers.
If you have thousands of Twitter followers but your analytics show none of your conversions come from that network, then you may need to reevaluate your strategy.
Don't base your efforts on your follower count but rather on the sales potential of those users; you may have fewer followers on LinkedIn but get 90 percent of your conversions from there, which should make that network your primary area of focus.