Getting to know your social media followers is an important component of any successful social media marketing campaign. Market research allows us to get to know everything we can about customers so we can use that intel to go find new customers. In a similar fashion, we want to get to know everything we can about our social media audiences, so we can grow them.
Audience Insights Drive Strategic Messaging
Successful marketing communicates the right messaging to the right audience at the right time. For your social media communications, you have an audience. They have made the decision to follow your company because they like your products/services, company, people, brand or content, or some or all of these things. So getting to know who these people are will give you insights you can use to put together a successful strategy to build interaction and growth.
Here’s a few things that are readily available through your social media management platforms that you should know about your social audiences:
- Demographics – age, gender, geographic location
- What times your followers are online
- What posts you’ve made that have performed the best and generated the most interaction with your audience
This audience information can help guide your content development and posting schedule, allowing you to provide content your followers want to see, when they want to see it, leading to more interaction, shares and ultimately growth.
Social Audience Demographics
Information about your audience demographics can be used to help guide your social content development and ensure you reach the majority of your followers with a strategic mix of content. Based on your current audience, what your ideal customer looks like, and how similar or dissimilar those two are, you can develop a content schedule to reach the majority of your audience while encouraging the growth of followers that fall into your ideal customer mold. This will allow you to build brand awareness with a targeted audience and maximize your investment in social media.
Follower Online Time
Information about when your followers are online can help you schedule posts at the most optimum times to maximize your reach. Many social media users over the age of 18 will be multi-screeners, which usually peaks during prime time television hours as people turn to their phones during commercials. In many cases, people will even split their phone and TV screen time during a program. Viewing social media is the leading phone activity during this time, so it’s often a good time to post for many companies. However, each audience is different, so let your data tell you the optimum times to post.
Post Performance and Interaction
Monitoring your best performing posts, views and followers, along with your competitors’, on a regular basis will help you evaluate if the content you, and your competitors, are sharing is working, and can provide insights into future content development. If you or a competitor has a post that has way more likes and shares than others, take note and see what you can learn from it. Then try to create similar posts to get similar results.
Next Level Insights
If you are interested in getting to know your audience even better, past what is available through your social media management platforms, talk to your sales teams or your employees that work directly with your customers. They may be able to uncover valuable insights into your customers’ interests and preferences that you can apply directly to developing content.
Market research can also be a very effective method to get to know your audience at a much deeper level and provide insights for strategic social media content development. There’s several kinds of market research that can be conducted. Based on your objectives, budget and timeline some forms may make more sense than others.
One method of market research that we’ve found to be very effective in providing valuable and applicable insights is behavioral audience segmentation research. It goes way beyond uncovering demographic information to segment your customers or followers into groups based on what motivates them to take a desired action or make a purchase. More information about behavioral audience segmentation is included in our article Online Market Research.
Maximizing Social Audience Amplification
Once you have a good grasp on who your social media audience consists of and a content plan to communicate strategic messaging to that audience, you can take your social media game to the next level by creating a focus on audience amplification.
Audience amplification is how your followers can amplify your messaging and content, further than your company may be able to do itself through your channels, through social shares and interactions. This allows new potential followers and even customers that may not necessarily be able to be reached with your initial posts to be reached with your message.
Here’s some tips to boost audience amplification:
- Create shareable content
- Leverage user-generated content
- Use strategic tagging and hashtags
Developing Shareable Content
Create shareable content that is likely to resonate with your target audience in a way that will motivate them to take the action of sharing your post. Use high-quality imagery or video in your posts and creative captions. People are much less likely to share a mediocre post so an emphasis on quality is important. High-quality posts will grab your follower’s attention and stop them from scrolling right past. Social users scroll fast, so get to the point fast.
Leverage User-Generated Content
Most social users love it when companies share their posts. The continual improvement of phone camera quality allows everyday users to take great photos of your brands and products or services. When you share a good post from one of your followers, they’re probably going to share another. So you can build an army of influencers and brand advocates by taking advantage of content that is already developed. Followers typically like user-generated content as well because it’s real and genuine. User-generated content can be a win-win-win.
Use Strategic Tagging and Hashtags
Strategically tagging appropriate influencers and complementary companies that make sense for a post can help improve your audience amplification by making sure those that are likely to share your content see your content. There’s A LOT of content out there, so it’s important to try to make your content easy to find and easy to share. Most social media platforms are also powerful search engines. Using strategic hashtags can help you reach new potential followers searching for trending topics or topics of interest to them through social channels.
Getting to know your social audience and creating content they can amplify can be an efficient and cost-effective way to increase awareness for your brand and to reach new customers through social media, to help you grow your brand and business.