Your Target Audience: Who They Are, and How to Reach Them
I hope that you have gotten a chance to read my kick-off blog article, The Importance of Being a Brand, where I talk about how crucial branding is in the social media space. I also said within that post that I wanted to explore some of the questions that I posed to you. My goal with these articles is to help you navigate getting to the core of WHO you are as a company, professional, business, community presence, etc.
I’m going to start with one of my favorite topics I love to cover, which is your target audience. Sitting down and talking with potential clients, I’ve heard many people say that EVERYONE is their audience, and in my opinion, that is a big miss. If you don’t know who you are targeting your social media message to, it makes it virtually impossible to use social media to effectively market. Until you have a more solid base on which to build your marketing strategy, it will crumble beneath the weight of misguided or unfocused attempts at reaching the right people.
How do you begin to solidify your target audience, as a business person or a professional looking to connect with others? It isn’t necessarily a difficult task, but it’s one that takes time and intention, which not everyone has the patience to do. If you are someone who knows WHO you are talking to, you are setting yourself apart from others who talk… just to talk. There is so much going on in social media these days – the key is being different and appealing to an audience who understands you as much as you understand their needs as a consumer.
In my last blog, I recommended that you write down all of your answers to my questions related to branding. I absolutely recommend that you write down the keys features of your target audience, as well. Keep in mind that your target audience may cover multiple areas of one category, for example, you may want to appeal to both men and women.
What is the age and gender of the people who will relate to you, your service and/or product? (extra hint: answering this question can help you nail down which social media platforms you should be active on. Check back on a later blog on this topic!)
What is their relationship status and sexual preference? A married same-sex couple may care about different things than a single woman.
What type of education do they have? Speaking to a high school level education audience may differ from an audience of doctors or PhD level professionals. You have to know the type of language and voice to use when speaking to your audience.
What is the socioeconomic status of the people you want to appeal to? What type of jobs do they have? What kind of money do they make? What type of people influence them on a daily basis? (extra hint: find THOSE influencers on social media, and follow them too!)
What are their favorite things? What drives them crazy? It’s important to know what turns your target audience on and off. You want to make them comfortable with what you post – trust you enough to read things you share, hit the comment button when you ask for their opinion, and believe in you when you say that your product or service is unlike any other. Appealing to their favorites and staying away from their dislikes ensures that they feel naturally comfortable with what it is that you bring to the table.
What makes them stop their scroll? Social media is good for building our businesses, but it’s equally good for videos of cute kitties and funny babies. Social media can be as serious (political, philanthropic, environmental, etc) or as silly (memes, ecards, vines, trending pranks, etc) as you see best suiting your target audience.
What are YOU like? The truth is that there is a good chance your target audience looks like you – and for good reason! Why wouldn’t you want to attract the type of people to your business that you feel best represent who YOU are, as well? The more people in a similar mindset as you, the easier you will find it to appeal to them. This isn’t always necessarily the case, but it’s certainly something to consider.
Keep in mind that not all of these factors may impact your business or make sense for narrowing down your target audience. Answer the questions that make the most sense to you, and get as specific as you possibly can. You can always aim for an audience a bit broader than your most specific target, but appealing to the types of people who will make up most of your business will help you to stay connected to, relate to, and speak best to an audience who will be happy to follow you for years to come.
Organic reach is the name of the game, and knowing the people you want to reach is the best way to keep it natural and authentic, versus slimy and sales. Once you have identified your audience, you can tailor all of your conversations to this particular group. Stay tuned for the next blog when we discuss your voice and eliciting emotion from your audience – social media is ALL emotion and I can’t wait to tell you my reasons why!