5 factors to consider before connecting with a social media audience

social media audience
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All businesses that use social media are attempting to engage with a social media audience who may be interested in their products or services. Some will be more prepared than others but there can be similarities between unrelated businesses. For example, a cake making business and a legal firm may have different content to post but their key goals may be similar, i.e. to spark the interest of potential customers.

Here are 5 areas to consider before connecting with your social media audience:

Relevance

social media audienceMany businesses mistakenly thing they know everything about their audience and feel that they know what they’ll be looking for. Every individual customer will be different but you have to decide on why someone will click on your page and follow it?

Research has shown that most people hope to hear about new offers or discounts that you have but many will simply connect if they can see that it is useful to them in some way. This could be in the form of a regular service they are likely to use or just to keep up to date with your latest news about your specialist area.

Traditional marketing principles still apply today in terms of data gathering from a targeted audience but the digital marketplace has changed things dramatically. Now people expect their searches via a mobile device to throw up an instant result that is exactly what they were looking for. Also, a 20 year old doesn’t want to see ads like insurance for the over 50’s. Wherever they go online, they would much prefer to see ads that are relevant to their lives or targeted at them based on their interests, location or age.

Facebook now shows a relevance score against your ad to show how relevant your ad is to the audience you targeted it to.

Interests

When people join social media sites like Facebook, they submit their basic information along with their general interests from their favourite music to their favourite holiday destination. As time goes on, they will like other pages and check in to places through their account, which updates the database with more info about them. This detail can then be used to target relevant ads at them.

Once you start to monitor the people who like your page and people who like similar businesses to yours, you may spot a trend in their interests. For example, you may find that your audience is 70% female between the ages of 30 and 40. Further research may prove that this audience tend to have small children and may be searching for new places to visit as a family. A restaurant can then put together an ad that goes out to audience within a 10 mile radius who are similar to the existing audience. This is more likely to draw people to the page and build community.

Content

Content is king with digital marketing and it is important to keep it as varied as possible. The main areas to consider with your strategy are:

Video – Visual marketing has become the main driver for new business in recent years and a video can help to sum up what you do or explain a particular service. People browsing social media would much rather watch a 30 second video then read a whole page of information in order to understand something more. It is easier on the eye and simpler for them.

Videos can be a showcase of what you do with interviews, demonstrations or customer testimonials but it can also simply be a collection of your best photos on a slideshow with music.

Images – Research has shown that people are a lot more likely to engage with a post if it contains a photo, as their eye is immediately drawn to visual content like this. If the photo explains visually your message then that is great and even better if they will find it funny or something that they would like to share with their friends. Images are important for competitions and advertising but please note that Facebook will only accept images with less than 20% text.

Blogs – Blogging is still as big as ever and you should aim for approximately 300 – 500 words for a blog post and ensure you include a little visual content like a video or photo. Blogging on your site can help drive people to it, especially if the keywords people will search for appear in your article and title. When you share and promote on social media, you can measure how many click-throughs you achieve.

Call to Action

A call to action is important to have wherever you could be found be a potential customer. For example, Facebook now has the call to action button at the top, which enables you to drive people to do something like sign up, book now or download. This is measurable and helps customers get straight to the point. With any campaign, it’s also important to have a button which leads them to do something, such as like the page or click to the website. Once they land on a website, there should be something to draw them in there too, which can capture their email address for remarketing.

Budget

Social media is free and appears to be staying that way but once you exhaust your organic ways of building a community, you will have to turn to advertising in order to give you the reach you require. For example, if you only have 100 likes, only around 10% may see your latest offer but with a promotion, you could reach a few thousand who have been specifically selected because of their interests, age or location etc.

It is important to set a minimum budget and to start small and see how things progress. For example, you may spend £50 over a couple of days and get a big impact but then nothing when nothing is spent. Gradually increasing your budget with your audience growth is essential to ensure good engagement and an increase in sales.

For more information about social media management, digital marketing and advertising, please contact me at jon@socialant.co.uk.

Jon Exton

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