Every business deals with big questions pertaining to the end customer. Starting with who is the intended audience, where are they looking, what is their pattern of behaviour and how to get their attention? More recently, I see too many small to medium business owners spreading themselves too thin across multiple digital channels in an attempt to be everywhere, just in case they have a potential prospect lurking around.
With constantly maturing digital media channels today we are faced with over- information. Audiences are trying to meander through a labyrinth of content. Reducing attention spans only mean that each content put out there is fighting for the most important asset – ATTENTION!
So, how do you actually get an audience – not any audience, but the ‘right one for you’. The key is quality, not quantity here. Once quality is demonstrated quantity grows – it’s organic. So, which social media platforms are the right ones to attract, engage, convert and retain your customers?
- Identifying your business goals
- Defining your set of audiences
- Building their personas and finally
- Researching where they hang out.
Data check – Check and segment the data you possess. If you don’t already have prospect data, start by creating dummy customer profiles. I am big fan of customer journeys – from start to finish, of prospects and of existing customers. Defining audience profiles will help in understanding how they progress through your funnels on the website before they sign up, register, request more info, buy or exit the website. It will help map out their decision making triggers, their challenges, pain points and most importantly what holds them from initiating the ‘Call to Action’.
Define the demographics – This will answer questions like their geographic location, gender, income category, ethnicity, education and more…
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Check out what your competitors are doing. Every organisation has its own USPs. While you may have a large number of dissimilarities there will be some similarities to help you get started. Once you have observed what your competitors are doing well, use the elimination approach to suit your target audience in line with your business goal.
Now that you truly know your target audience, check where they are hanging out. If it is social media channels, relevant hashtags will bring up people, profiles, companies and more. Their bios along with their engagement on the channel will tell what content interests them.
Twitter: Twitter tends to work best for quick, short, witty updates and rings well with users who are on the channel to network and engage but not for in-depth information. If they are interested in the details at any point in their journey they may come back to the channel and click the CTA on your tweets. For example, they may begin with liking or sharing your tweet and eventually click on to download an eBook, register for a webinar, sign up for a newsletter or more.
Twitter is fast moving, needs consistent commenting, sharing, tagging and liking posts to engage with the relevant audience. It will not work if you put one tweet out there and leave it at that! Check out my favourite Twitter ninja – @MadalynSklar for more tips on how to make the most of this channel!
Facebook: This is far more casual. It is no longer a channel just to find old classmates. It is great to build rapport with the buyer and identify them as a potential fit. Since it is more personal, you can show your personality and build your brand. Works best to host competitions, quick polls and surveys, give-away contests, product reviews – essentially for a potential integration they’d benefit from.
You Tube: You Tube owns the long tail content. Especially in the initial stages of a buyer’s journey, they are keen to find out more about the product/service. This is great for product promos, ‘How to’ guides, customer testimonials, animated videos to simplify complex concepts, snapshot of the product range, staff initiatives, company culture etc. During COVID times videos are a great way to give out updates on how the business is changing and accommodating new rules and regulations while establishing a slightly personal rapport.
Instagram: This is one the fastest growing channels with a tremendous amount of reach and users especially under the 35 year age bracket. This channel is great for visual heavy content. Leveraging the right hashtags can snowball into reaching multiple audiences far and wide. If budgets permit, there is an option to tap into micro/influencer marketing. Instagram Reels is fantastic for even shorter content. Alternatively, there is TikTok (check out my blog on Instagram Reels Vs TikTok).
Pinterest: As a business you can identify and use the top most relevant keywords pinners are pinning. This will help you feature in their feeds. Pinterest is great for generating inspiration. Once pinners are identified, it will be easier to dish out content that will encourage them to pin your content and give you more exposure. This is a great opportunity to launch new products, host product giveaways and build your brand by responding to pinners whose pins are on trend with your brand.
LinkedIn: Most professional channel of the lot. Great to showcase your credibility and engage with prospects via smarter inbuilt tools like the Sales Navigator. This allows you to search companies and prospects using features like Advanced Lead and Company Search, Lead Recommendations and Inmails. Joining relevant industry groups and initiating dialogue with group members is a great way to network and showcase expertise. One can use LinkedIn to post long form content like opinion pieces/thought leadership articles that then link to your profile activity and appear in your followers feed.
While there are many new channels hitting the market everyday and existing ones maturing constantly, it is vital to narrow down on the ones that work best for you and your business. Identifying ‘who you add value to’ and ‘where’ is half the battle won. Being relevant, consistent, on point, kind and helpful will certainly take you on the path to sweet success.