#2 Know Your Audience
Social media starts with people. To be successful on social media you have to know who it is you want to have a conversation with so you can nurture the relationship! How will you know what content you should write, tweet, and post if you don’t know who you are sharing with? Your audience is the lifeblood of your social media initiatives and knowing who they are and what they want is the key to success.
Here are three things you need to know about your audience:
Demographics are the statistical analysis of populations - age, income, marital status, type of employment, geographic location etc.
Psychographics identify the attributes, qualities & characteristics of a person - trustworthy, connector, strong family values, generosity of spirit, open minded etc.
Looking at profiles on social networks can be a good way for you to know who make up your community; which industries they work in? What are their interests? What do they read? What motivates them? And how often are they using social media? The answers to these questions give you an overview of your community interest so that you can use to tailor your content to them.
Knowing when your community is online and active is a key component of effective content delivery. Social media moves so quickly that updates can get lost in the flood of information in your audience’ social streams.
The most active time on social media may vary from network to network, but ideally you want to post content around noon or early evening. With this in mind, focus your activities during the times where you have the best chance to be seen. Experiment and record the results over the course of a week or a month to track how many views and clicks you gain and how many engagement opportunities you created. For example, at The Covenant Group, we have found that engagement within our industry and target audience is quite high between 4 – 6 pm, so we make most social media posts the last activity of the day.
Knowing your audience means that you focus not only on sharing great content but also on sharing the right content. It makes it easier to share content that establishes you as an authority in your industry.
Perhaps the most telling thing you can learn about your audience comes from a look at which niche social sites they frequent. Not only can this help you learn about their interests, it can also help you dig deeper into the kind of content they want based on the networks they favor.
The best way to find out what kind of content your community wants is to collect the information directly from the source – your clients. For an easy solution, run a survey on your site or newsletter with survey monkey and ask your audience which sites they frequenting visiting and what they are looking to learn. Try to identify the aspects of these sites and topics that resonate with your readers and share content around that so you can generate more engagement.
In our next post, we will discuss best practice #3 - how people make decisions on social media.