One of the key foundations of your social media strategy is a detailed customer profile that describes your target audience as an individual. To create this, you’ll research your audience members and use objective data and feedback, not just assumptions. Here is what you’ll learn about your followers on social media and how this information will help you succeed.
Demographics - Who Your Audience Is
The first thing you learn is your audience’s demographics. This data answers the question, “Who are they.” It includes information like:
- Geographical location
- Marital status
- Education level
- Income level
Include whatever other information you feel might be relevant as well. Most of this data can be obtained by looking at social media profiles.
Psychographics – Your Audience’s Beliefs and Lifestyle
Psychographic data is not about who your audience are, but how they think and behave. This field seeks to discover the cognitive processes that influence behavior. This is essential for any business as it determines the person’s buying behavior.
- Core values
- Attitudes toward brands and products
- Likes and preferences
- Behavior, especially in regard to businesses they interact with
- Hobbies and leisure time activities
You need to dig a bit deeper to reveal this information. You might follow your audience on social media or carry out focus groups. It’s a little tougher to gain this kind of data so pay close attention to your customers’ conversations.
Pain Points – The Challenges Your Audience Faces
An important part of your psychographic data is your customer’s pain points. These are the challenges they face, the issues they need to overcome, or the questions burning inside them. If you can offer a solution these problems through your content, you’ll build a strong relationship with them.
The best way to discover this information is to follow your audience members online. See what they post about or ask about on social media. Look at the conversations they have in online groups or comments.
Your Audience’s Social Media Preferences
By following your audience on social media, you can also learn about their preferences. You need to know what type of content they like so you can use that to engage with them. Preferences include not just topics they’re interested in, but formats they like (video or text), social media channels they use, and other social media behavior.
Best Practices for Social Media Engagement
You’ll really learn a great deal once you implement your social media strategy and get results. As you implement, you’ll monitor analytics to discover what works and what doesn’t. Every industry, every niche, every audience, and every business has its own best practices. The only way to master yours is to launch your social media strategy and put your plan into action.
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Pat Simes is a Business Strategist, blogger and Founder of Innovative Business Solutions and Innovate Academy. She currently resides in the Midwest and is committed to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs to transform their vision to reality.
A hashtag is a label for content in the form of a short, clickable link starting with the pound (#) sign and written as a single word. These labels for topics help social media users find content that interests them. Users can search using these terms or use them in their content so that others can find it easily.
If you want to grow and maintain a large following on social media, hashtags must be an integral part of your strategy. It’s important to learn how to use them effectively. The concept is simple enough, but it’s easy to fall into committing these 5 common mistakes.
Don’t choose a term that’s too generic like #marketing, #freelancewriter, or #eyeclinic. While the term might be relevant to your niche, there will be too much competition and no one will find your post by searching for it.
Choose something that’s specific to your post and long enough that it won’t be overused. For social media posts, you can use a few hashtags, so choose a few specific keywords you’d like to target.
Don’t use hashtags that are outdated. These terms come and go as trends change. One that was popular just last week might be completely out of use today.
You can find out what’s trending by searching on Twitter or Instagram. Before you use one, search for it to see if others are using it. It will show you as well as suggest other hashtags that are popular right now.
For a hashtag to be effective, it needs to be memorable, otherwise it won’t catch on. If you’ve created one that’s too long and complicated, it won’t stick in people’s heads and get shared.
An easy hashtag is one that’s relatively short and says directly what it wants to. It shouldn’t have any punctuation and make sure it doesn’t sound too much like any other one.
You might feel the urge to bombard your followers with hashtags everywhere you possibly can, or find one you like so much that you use it for every single post, whether relevant or not. However, it’s possible to be spammy with your hashtagging so you need to be careful not to do this.
Always think about each hashtag you use and make sure it’s relevant and will attract the right people. If someone sees that every one of your posts has the same hashtag, this will be off-putting.
Not Promoting Your Hashtag
Hashtags don’t usually take off by themselves. You have to get out there and actively promote your hashtags to get others using them. You can do this via social media but also use it for offline promotions. You can print your hashtag on offline promotional materials and tell people to use it.
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Every business needs an engaged audience on social media. It doesn’t matter what your niche or target market is, platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer invaluable direct access to your customers. Social media doesn’t generally drive sales directly, but engaging your followers there offers even more important benefits.
Building Your Brand
Social media can help you build your brand. By being active there every day broadcasting your message to the world, you can help to convey what your business is all about. Branding is about more than just a logo. Through your presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can produce content, interact directly, and show people what your company is about. New people will encounter you there and instantly grasp your brand values.
Getting to Know Your Audience
There’s simply no better way to get to know your audience than by engaging with them on social media. In addition to offering robust profiles where you can gain insights about your followers’ demographics and tastes, you can also learn a great deal about them through personal interactions on the site. Through consuming and commenting on each other’s content, participating in groups, and personal messaging, you can get to know each member of your audience on a personal level.
Creating Real Relationships
Today more than ever, people expect to have genuine human relationships with the companies they buy from. Social media gives you the opportunity to create and nurture these genuine relationships through interacting personally with your audience. By engaging with your audience on a daily basis, you give your followers the chance to see you as a trustworthy and helpful friend, rather than a company that’s only interested in selling to them.
Finding New Partnerships
Social media can help you create highly profitable partnerships with other businesses. You can connect with similar companies, influencers, journalists, potential joint venture partners, and others through these platforms. It’s easy to connect and pitch your idea for a win-win relationship to help both of you grow and earn more. These sites give you access to everyone in your industry and beyond.
Achieving Your Business Goals
No matter what your business goals are, growing an engaged audience on social media can help you achieve them. It’s a great way to gain exposure and cast your net wide. With a pool of potential leads such as this, you can easily call your followers to action and lead them to read your blog, sign up for your email list, join your membership site, try out your app, or buy your product. Social media is an essential tool that no business today can survive without.
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Social media gives you a direct marketing channel straight to your target audience. You can use it to spread awareness of your brand, interact personally with your followers, and learn more about the tastes and attitudes of your potential buyers. Are you ready to start growing your social media audience? Here are the five essentials you need to know first.
The Appropriate Social Media Mindset
There’s a certain mindset you need to have if you want to grow your audience on social media. Most of the platforms are fun, relaxed, and friendly. You have to be ready to interact in a positive way, not promoting or expecting anything in return.
If you can be a positive, helpful presence, you’ll see much better results from your efforts. So, get in the right state of mind before you log on and start building your audience.
Identify Your Goals
What are your goals for growing your audience on social media? “Because everybody’s doing it” isn’t good enough. Decide what you want to do with this audience and how it fits into your overall business plan.
For example, you may want to build a large, engaged community so that you can drive them to your blog. Or you may want to build your expertise so you can pitch information products. Maybe you just want to increase awareness for your brand.
Your specific goal will direct every decision you make, so define this goal clearly and keep it in mind when you get on the platform.
Know Your Audience
You should have a good idea of what type of audience you want to grow. Define your target market in terms of demographics as well as behaviors and attitudes. Learn as much as you can about this target group so that you can offer solutions to their problems and value that will help them.
This is what will help you gain more followers on social media. You also need to understand your followers’ tastes so you can create and share content that will engage them.
Take Consistent Action
Social media is a long game. You won’t see immediate results. What gets results is regular, consistent action. You have to log in each day and post content, answer comments, reply to messages, consume content, and perform various other tasks.
Decide how much time you’re going to spend each day and what tasks you’re going to perform during that time. As your audience grows, they’ll expect you to be there every day interacting with them.
Engage Your Audience
The key to success on social media is to engage your audience. That’s what it’s designed to do. This means sharing content that your followers not only want to consume but also interact with. It should be content that gets them commenting, liking, and sharing. It can be delivered by text, infographics, video, podcast, livestream, or a mix.
There are ways you can increase engagement such as asking questions, presenting challenges, conducting surveys, and so on. As people interact with you, this gives other users more chances to see you.
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Are you trying hard to grow your social media audience but getting frustrated that nothing ever seems to give you the numbers you’re hoping for? Sometimes posting good content, commenting on others’ posts, and interacting in groups just isn’t enough to bring on the exponential growth you’d like to see.
Here are 4 proven tactics that can show dramatic results.
1. Take Full Advantage of Your Profile
Is your profile complete and up-to-date? What does it say about you? This is an extremely valuable piece of internet real estate and few businesses fully realize its potential.
Your profile should be completely filled out and should include links to other your online presence such as websites, blogs, YouTube channels, and so on. It should also include well-written copy that explains the unique value you offer and introduces new people to your brand.
Take some time to write a killer profile and set aside time regularly to make sure it’s up to date. Whenever you have something new to add, brush up your profile so that it presents you in the best possible light. Keep in mind that this is the first contact many people on social media have with you.
2. Connect with Influencers
You can multiply your social media efforts by connecting with influencers and enlisting them to tell others about you. An influencer is anyone with a large following that listens to what they have to say. These are the most active people you see posting constantly on social media.
Reach out to influencers in your niche or amongst your followers and offer them a deal. Give them some sort of incentive for talking about you. A good authentic way to do this is to give them a free preview of a new product, service, or piece of content. Let them try it for free so you can get their feedback and have them review it.
3. Take Advantage of Livestream
Livestream is a feature offered by most social media sites that’s great for connecting with your audience. It’s a feature that allows you to broadcast live video. Any of your audience members that are tuned in can watch it in real-time and interact with you by sending in questions or comments.
You can not only engage your audience but also reach out to new people by advertising your livestream on YouTube or in social media groups.
4. Add Links and Cross Promote
Are you doing enough to share your social media profiles elsewhere? Your website and blog should have links to your social media profiles, along with a teaser of the value people can expect from connecting with you. Drop your link in email signatures, group forum signatures, and anywhere else people will see it. Encourage people offline to connect with you here as well.
You can also cross-promote on different social media sites. This works best when you offer different exclusive content on each site. For example, you can tell people on Facebook that they can follow you on Twitter and get daily tips, or they can subscribe to your channel on YouTube and see more video content there.
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