So you think you know your audience. You are spending massive amounts of time each week creating content, posting social network updates, engaging with your community, updating and enhancing your web properties. Only problem is that your business results are dismal at best.
Does this sound familiar?
- You spend hours each week working on blog content, posts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, tweets and more.
- The number of fans on your Facebook business page is increasing yet nobody talks to you.
- Your blog readership is not increasing.
- Your revenue is not increasing.
- You feel stuck and don't know what to do next.
What could possibly be the problem? You have taken the classes. You did your research on the social networks. You believe you are posting interesting content. You know a conversation is of most importance in social media. However, nobody seems to want to talk to you.
If this is you, do not fear. This is a common problem we see with the majority of our clients and students of our social business courses and workshops. Usually this happens because they have started with the tools and technology, versus a solid understanding of their audience.
Communities Create Markets:
I recently wrote this post about how communities create markets. In the graphic below you will see that the only way you can move the human beings within your social communities from the left side to the right side of the diagram (becoming a brand evangelist, advocate and /or customer) is to start by knowing who they are.
You must invest time in getting to know them. You must know what keeps them up at night. You must know where they hang out both online and offline. You must figure out how to have a relevant conversation with them that helps them feel good, and helps them meet business and / or life goals.
The truth is you can not do any of these things if you do not know who they are to begin with.
Don't Start With Tactics!
Download this Audience Analysis Worksheet to help you prioritize and analyze your audience. It is based upon the Forrester POST methodology and will guide you through a series of questions that will help you segment and know your audience better.
The biggest mistake business leaders make when developing and executing their social media strategy is to start with the tactics and technology first before they know who their audience is.
You must know who your audience is, who you are and how you can help them solve problems. It's only after you have this foundational knowledge that you can determine your social strategy and approach for building your social media plan.
The tactics and technology come last. Setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account is the easy part. It's free and only takes a few minutes.
The heartbeat of social media is people. You can never go wrong by investing in human beings. Don't waste another day on Twitter spamming, blasting noise. Make a commitment to be part of the beating heartbeat that helps the social ecosystem thrive with value, empowerment, relationships and more.
Note: For the purpose of this post we're going to assume you have a plan, you have goals and objectives. We are going to discuss how you can now get deeper in the head of your audience. In a perfect world you would have already done this before writing your plan, setting goals and objectives. However, I know the majority of business leaders we are helping aren't doing such when it comes to social media planning & execution. Thus the reason for this post, we're starting with the audience.
10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience
1. Who is your audience?
- How old are they?
- What is their education?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- What do they do for fun?
- What is their lifestyle?
- Where do they hangout when not at work?
- Where do they hangout when online?
- What types of conversation are they having?
- Are they talking with your partners? With your competition?
- How much money do they make?
- What is their lingo? Tone? Casual? Professional?
*The list goes on and on here. You get my point by now, hopefully!
2. What are their pain points?
- Why do they need your product?
- Why do they experience the pain that requires them to need your product?
- What is the financial, emotional and life impact of the pain? How bad is it?
- What happens if they don't have your product or service? What alternative products and services are there?
- Will they mitigate or reduce the pain themselves if you don't help them?
3. What does your product or service do to minimize or mitigate their pain?
- How does it solve the business pain?
- What relief does it give them? For how long?
- Does it improve efficiencies?
- Does it help them better sustain their business?
- Does it help them increase return on investment?
- Does it help simplify their business?
- Does it help them better serve their customers and increase customer satisfaction?
- Does it help them better inspire and connect with their audiences and customers?
4. How can your product or service inspire and help them personally and professionally?
- Does it give them hope?
- Does it help them have a better day?
- Does it make their family more at peace?
- Does it help them keep their job?
- Does it help them live a longer life?
- Does it improve their career opportunities?
5. How is your product or service positioned?
- What are the replacement product or services to yours? This includes competition, alternative products and do-it-yourself.
- Why would they choose a do-it-yourself product? Is it time, money, lack of trust or all of the above?
- Do they choose an alternative or do-it-yourself option because the pain isn't bad enough to justify the investment or time spent?
- Where does your product or service sit in comparison to competition? Is it better? Worse? Why?
- What value does your audience place on your product?
- Why do they place value on your offering?
- What are the complimentary products to yours? Who do they buy them and why? Who do they buy them from?
6. How are you different?
- How is your product or service differentiated?
- Do they believe your story of differentiation?
- Do they understand why you are different?
- Why should they buy from you versus other options?
- What market lead do you have regarding competition? How long until your competition catches up to you?
7. What is your competition up to?
- How is your audience engaging with your competition?
- What is your competition doing that you aren't?
- Why are they doing such things different? Do they have a competitive differentiator because of this or do you have the leg up. Remember, different isn't always better. You may be on the right track.
- What type of response are they receiving online and offline from your target audiences? Is it different than how your audience is engaging with you?
- Does your competition have a consistent tone, message and brand? If not, how can you enhance yours to zoom faster?
- Is your competition engaging in a way their audience expects them to? Casual when they're expecting professional or opposite?
- What are the weaknesses to how your competition is engaging and leveraging social media that you can use to your advantage?
8. What are the replacement products or services to what you offer?
- If they don't buy your product or service, what will they buy?
- What are the top industry competing products and services to yours?
- What are the top industry free products that could be used as a replacement?
- Is not buying your product or service really going to impact their business or life?
9. What's your audience up to both online and offline?
- Where do they hang out online? Offline?
- What conversations are they having?
- Who are they talking to?
- What is the tone of conversation?
- Does the tone differ based upon who they talk to? Does it differ based upon social platform (i.e., different on LinkedIn vs. Facebook and Twitter?)
- How are they engaging and responding to your business partners, local businesses and competition?
10. What are the emotional reasons for them to buy from you?
- Do they have a need for belonging?
- Do they want to be part of something bigger than themselves, maybe even bigger than me and you?
- Do they need to become more educated?
- Are they seeking higher status?
- Are they looking to increase their position in the market, industry, niche?
- Are they looking to be simply inspired?
- Do they need you to inspire them?
Content that connects with an audience is the key to inspiring an audience to listen, to engage and to take action. Content is the foundation of conversation. Conversation is the fuel that will ignite your success in social media.
Use your knowledge of your audience to create compelling content that grabs their attention and inspires them to connect, converse and engage with you and your brand.
Watch this video to learn more:
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- Worksheet: Download our Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template
- Worksheet: Download our POST audience analysis worksheet to help you identify and prioritize your top audiences.
- Blog Post: Generation S – Bridging the Social Divide IBM Connect Presentation
- Blog Post: You Don't Own Your Audience
- Blog Post: Building, Growing & Sustaining Communities
- Blog Post: You Are the Media
- Blog Post: 9 Tips to Stomp Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs)
- Blog Post: Social Media Strategy – No You Don't Need the Kitchen Sink
- Blog Post: 13 Characteristics of Human Brands