Social media offers a wealth of data about our audience — who they are, what they are interested in, what products or services they use, own, recommend or even dislike. This information is available to anyone that has the sense to gather it.
But with the abundance of data that is out there, it’s sometimes hard to even know where to begin. Something that will help you is to create a set of marketing personas for the segments you want to reach. In order to do that you need to do some research; first you need to understand your target demographics, interests and priorities.
In a way, it is similar to going on a blind date. Before going to the date, you would probably want to know some relevant things about the person with whom you’re going on the date. You would most likely want to to look up his/her bio on social networks. After you’ve looked at his/her picture and approved it, would you look at how he describes himself? What is she passionate about? Which groups does he/she follow? Who are his/her friends? What kinds of comments does she/he make? What things does he/she like to share?
The same goes for our audience. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to engage with them on social media, thus the easier it will be to get the results you’re looking for.
Furthermore, gathering information from your audience is quite similar. You want to know who your audience is. What are their demographics; their interests; the things they like to share, their tone of voice? The good thing is that there are social media tools that will organize some of this information about your online audience and ultimately deliver it directly to you. The key thing here is to know how to listen to and understand this information. So this is where your monitoring journey begins.
Next comes the search for trends.Spotting trends is very important for understanding past data, conversations, and peak times. Emotional connections with the audience become a necessity. Social media monitoring can help you understand and spot the trends, so that a successful marketing campaign can be launched.
Perhaps the most fruitful thing you can learn about your audience is which niche social sites they frequent. Not only can this help you learn about their interests, but it can also help you dig deeper into the kind of content they want from the networks they favor.
For example, if your audience frequents sites like Quora and LinkedIn Answers, they are likely to favor hands-on problem solving and expert opinions. In this case, considering writing content with this in mind will allow you to net deeper engagement and more true fans.
When creating content for social media, considering tone of voice is important. Your tone can help you stand out from competitors, communicate efficiently and effectively with your audience, and share your personality.
Social media by its very nature is, well, social. It is inherently more casual than a website or company newsletter. Social media is often called the cocktail party of the online world. Anyone who seems too self-involved or uncaring at a party will be ignored and the same goes for social media.
Essentially what this means is that the social media voice should be unique, and it should fit both the target audience’s and the company’s needs. Social media offers the ability to show the fun side and be more conversational.
So you can monitor your audience to see their conversation tone. Are they teenagers talking in an informal humorous way or are they middle-aged professionals that are talking in a formal way about issues related to their work?
Emotions are a big component of social media marketing, and if your listening strategy isn’t able to connect the dots between what is right for your audience or what isn’t, then social debacles will become inevitable.
All this knowledge and understanding about our audience will allow us to create and share with them finely crafted relevant content. The way we listen and how much sense we make out of it has become a key component of social media strategies and community engagement.
You can subscribe to social monitoring tools and/or invest in paid social media, but all that is worthless if you aren’t focusing your marketing ideas in areas that your customers find interesting and worth engaging with.
To know more about your audience, please download: How to create a successful social media campaign, which answers the 5 key social media questions.