Scores of your potential customers are joining social media every day, but where are they going, how can you find them, and how do you engage your followers?
A question I am asked often!
Building a targeted social media audience is crucial for getting the word out about your business and maximising your online presence.
In 2018, having a website for your company isn’t enough; customers want to connect and communicate with your brand online, and social media is the best way for them to see what you have to offer.
Whether you’re starting from zero or building off of an existing social media following it can be intimidating to know where to start with your social media efforts.
There are so many different platforms and methods for connecting with your audience, it’s important to start with the basics so that you begin on the right foot.
Why do I need a targeted audience?
Are you impressed when you see a social media profile with thousands of followers? It’s true that followers can be an indicator of popularity and social media success, but it isn’t all about the numbers.
Engagement is crucial for generating success on social media.
Engagement metrics capture who is interacting with content, when they are interacting with it and how they are interacting with it. This key data helps you get a better understanding of your potential customers.
The people who engage with your content could become your customers in the future, or may have done business with you already.
When you build a targeted social media audience you are actively searching out and engaging with the people, your followers, who are likely to buy from you. These are the people who could benefit from what you’re selling. They are also the people who will be your brand champions in the future.
HOT TIP: Having a targeted audience makes a world of difference on social media. There’s no point in having tens of thousands of followers if no one is consuming your content or following through on your calls to action!
1. Building a targeted audience: The early stages
Starting with the basics will help you on your journey to building a strategic following.
First off, you should take stock of who is already following you on social media: what do they like? Where do they live? How old are they? What are their life circumstances like? How do they benefit from your product?
If you don’t have a social media following yet, consider your current customer base and ask yourself the same question.
This exercise can even work for businesses that aren’t established yet; if you don’t have your own data you can do research to learn about your potential followers.
NOTE: If you are an established business reading this … when was the last time you did this exercise?
Once you have some key data points about your followers, try to determine where they are spending time online.
For example, a business that is eager to break into the US market might want to focus on Facebook since the majority of Facebook’s users are US-based. Companies with products that appeal to artistic and creative types may want to target highly visual platforms like Pinterest or Instagram.
Although many people have profiles across multiple platforms it’s likely that your potential customers are spending most of their time on one or two of them.
2. Focus on one platform
Although it’s tempting to tackle multiple social media sites at once, you’ll find more success by honing in on one of the platforms that your audience is using. Mastering one platform is simpler than trying to figure out all of them at once.
After you’ve identified the platform you want to build on, create an appealing profile that helps people understand what your business does and how it’s different from the competition.
Add appealing photos, a professional summary and information that easily helps customers find answers to their questions. Put some content up so that people can see you’re active and ready to engage with them.
3. Crack the code
After you’ve identified the platform you want to build on, learn everything you can about how that platform works. Read how-to guides from experts, observe how similar businesses are finding success on your chosen platform and experiment with different type of content to see what resonates with your followers.
Social media sites often have complicated and sophisticated algorithms that affect what people are exposed to; even figuring out little tricks that help your content reach your target audience can make a big difference.
4. Create, share and engage
Creating content of your own is a great way to engage with your followers. Your content doesn’t have to be fancy anything or groundbreaking, but be sure to prioritise clarity and professionality as you’re creating it.
Remember that the best content for social media is shareable.
Shareable content can come in many shapes and sizes, but normally it’s entertaining, informative and unique.
It’s content that people can’t resist spreading around to friends and family. Having shareable posts or videos opens your business up to an entirely new realm of potential customers and brand champions.
Remember that nobody wants to listen to someone else drone on about themselves for hours on end. The social media equivalent of this is relentless self-promotion.
If you aren’t comfortable creating content on your own, consider hiring some outside help. This step is important enough that the investment is worth it!
Another way to gain visibility is by sharing relevant content that others have created. If an excellent guide already exists that solves your customer’s problems, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel–share the content on your profile and give a shout out to the creator!
Sharing content is also a good way to keep your profile busy and active without constantly having to churn out content of your own.
Lastly, engage with your audience.
If someone comments on your post, comment back, and be quick to answer people’s questions. Don’t be surprised if people are reaching out to you with customer service questions via your social media profile, this is common, and it’s important to treat your social media page as a space that provides value and help for your customers.
5. Create a growth plan
Once you are producing content, sharing content from others and engaging with your audience, it’s time to scale.
There are many ways that you can approach this, but the core goal at this stage is to get in front of the people who should be following you but don’t know about your business yet.
Giveaways are one of the main ways that you can find new, qualified followers.
You can host giveaways on your own, but the power of giveaways is exponentially greater if you’re able to partner with other businesses or with influencers – people who already have large, well-established online followings – in your industry.
Your giveaways should always have a call to action and should include an option for people to share the giveaway with their friends. A successful giveaway should result in more qualified leads and a larger and more engaged social media following.
Remember influencers, those people in your industry who are already making waves on social media?
Connecting with them is another great way to build your following. Your contact with them might be basic at first – it can be as easy as commenting on or sharing their posts a couple of times.
Ideally, they’ll engage with you as well. From there you can start to build a relationship, which may pave the way for collaborating in the future!
6. Consider paid advertising
Paid advertising is another route that some businesses take to target specific audiences.
Major social media platforms have extremely sophisticated and detailed ways to set up ads that reach your intended audience. Although it takes a bit of cash to use this method, you can start small and set ad spending limits so that you can experiment without breaking the bank.
If ads work for you it may be worth it to invest more heavily in this method.
7. Keep at it: the final stage
You will gain and lose followers everyday – that’s the reality of social media. In order to keep growing, you need to be consistently posting, sharing, engaging and collaborating to build your brand and presence online.
It’s a long-term game that may take substantial effort at times, but if you can master it you’ll end up with more qualified and satisfied customers in the long run.
If social media is an area you need help with, here are 4 ways we can help you accelerate your lead generation results:
- Grab our free 4-Week LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Course
It’s the road map to positioning your profile in the top 5% of the 550 million LinkedIn users currently active – Click Here
- Join our LinkedIn Group and connect with entrepreneurs who are scaling too
It’s our Facebook community where smart entrepreneurs learn to get more leads and smart ways to scale using LinkedIn — Click Here
- Join our LinkedIn Influencer Program so you can “Show out” instead of just showing up
Every 8 weeks we have a new intake into our 12 – week Influencer program… Click Here for more details
- Work with our team privately
If you’d like to work directly with us to create new marketing opportunities send us a quick message Click here… tell us a little about your business and we’ll organise a time for a deeper chat