Social media is a no-brainer for companies looking to connect with their audiences. You should be appearing on platforms that your customers actively use and consume content on. How do you find out which social media platforms your customers are on? Research. Not taking the time to research which social platforms best fit your strategy can be a catastrophic error. By understanding your target audience and their social media habits, you’ll be in a far stronger position to build your brand’s presence across specific social media platforms.
Your Target Audience
Before you start tweeting or filling up your Facebook feed, you need to have a clear-cut vision of who you want to target with your content. For this, Buyer Persona analysis is essential; and building a cohesive Buyer Persona should be the first step in any social media strategy.
As part of your Buyer Persona analysis, you will spend time considering the types of content your Buyer Persona is most likely to consume regularly. These content types will inform your decision on which social media platforms you should be targeting this person. If they are a blog reader, you could post on Medium. If they prefer more visual forms of communication then Instagram may be a better option. For the best of both worlds, maybe check out Tumblr (providing, as previously stated, that they are likely to be found on Tumblr).
You should also consider the users of each social media platform. Each platform caters to different demographics – sometimes wildly so. You need to be sure that your target audience are going to see the content you’re posting. Millennials are likely to reach your Snapchat content, but with 61% of UK Snapchat users being 18-29, it might not be suitable for targeting older audiences.
It’s also important to understand how users use the platforms.
It might be unwise, then, to post on LinkedIn daily, while daily tweets may be sensible. This sort of invaluable information will help you find your customers on social media and identify their social media habits that you can harness for strategy opportunities.
Your Actual Audience
If you already exist on social channels, you should also research your current social audiences. You need to know who you’re currently attracting, and if that audience differs from your intended target audiences on social platforms. If your actual audience does differ from the customers you’re trying to find on social media, you should be asking yourselves how do they differ? Why are you attracting them and not your target audience? Answering these questions will help further guide your social media strategy to ensure you’re sharing content that is resonating with the right people in the right places.
In order to attract your customers to your social media profiles, you will need to tailor your content to the specific platform you are posting on.
User-generated content can be reposted (using tools like the Repost app) on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to increase social shares – but not Snapchat. Long-form content works well on blogs. You should keep your tweets short, but also use them to share URLs – this can’t be done on Instagram. Videos are devoured on Facebook, but 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound; so if audio is crucial, YouTube may be the better option.
Understanding which types of content are successfully consumed on each platform is vital. From your Buyer Persona analysis, you will be able to better understand the content they are interested in and therefore their social media “watering holes” will become more apparent. This research will also be crucial for informing your social media content strategy.
Completing a thorough Buyer Persona analysis and having a solid understanding of the users – and uses – of the social media platforms out there is key to developing a successful social media strategy. Understanding the users and the uses of a platform will provide you with the starting points to find your customers on social media. Only then will you be able to get your social strategy underway, creating compelling content that will engage your target audience and result in audience engagement that couldn’t be harnessed otherwise.
For more tips on making sure your content marketing is getting off to a good start, download our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing.