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understanding which platforms your customers use

First off, I would love to start by saying I hope everyone is safe and sound with their families. I know with the weather changing and it beginning to become nicer outside, we would all love to be out eating, drinking, and enjoying ourselves with friends. At this point, I can’t even count how many days it’s been since this quarantine has begun let alone what life was like before it even began. Can anyone remember at this point? Let’s jump back into this article. For all those still unsure of how to find your audience on social media. If you remember in our previous articles, we have talked about creating and maintaining your social media strategy. But you still may be wondering how do I even find my audience once I’m ready to begin posting and engaging on each platform? Well, that is what this article is going to answer. By the end of reading this article, you’ll have an idea of how to figure out what platform your audience is on and how to engage with them once you do.

Finding Out What Platforms Your Audience Is Using

So, before we go any further, you have to know that each social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) is tailored towards different people and have different purposes. For instance, Facebook is geared towards friends/families which makes it more of a “closed environment” meaning your post will only be seen by people who you are friends with. Also, Facebook has the largest base in terms of users with over 1 billion, but one thing to understand is who is using Facebook, and depending on what your goals and where your audience is at you may want to be on Facebook. Typically, Facebook is a great platform to use because it has such a large audience and everyone uses it. Next, let’s look at Instagram. Instagram is currently owned by Facebook and is one of the most popular social media networks in the world next to Tiktok, which we won’t talk about at this time. Instagram is a little more sophisticated to use because of it being more visual, meaning you need to post either with an image or video can make it daunting for people who are not very tech-savvy to use. Typical users of Instagram are younger and have been using technology for most of their lives. Some statistics for Instagram include that 87% of users are between 13-44 years old. So if your business is geared towards people who are above this age range, then Instagram is not the ideal platform to find them.

Next, let’s talk about Twitter. Twitter is a very interesting platform, it started with the very famous 140 characters (meaning you can only write small statuses reaching 140 characters), and created the hashtag, which is used across various platforms today. Twitter, as I see it, is kind of a news media outlet always flowing within the moment content and current/trending events throughout the world. It is a great platform for businesses because of it’s fast pace and up-to-date information. Most accounts will tweet numerous times throughout the day, whether through their tweets or retweets (tweets from other accounts that you have shared). Similar to Instagram Twitter typically is for younger demographics with ages ranging from 18-49 years old. Finally, we’ll discuss LinkedIn, LinkedIn is the world of professionals or people who want to be more professional. A platform dedicated to connecting like-minded people to discuss business opportunities, job opportunities, or new career opportunities this is the place for you. Typically LinkedIn is good for businesses who are in the B2B (Selling Business to Business) side of things. So, if you are looking to partner with other businesses or provide a product or service to businesses then LinkedIn is the ideal place because you can find companies small, medium, or large corporations. People from all over the world use LinkedIn, in particular, college students use it the most with over 46 million college grads using this platform. As we have mentioned a little earlier, if you are looking to approach other business owners LinkedIn is the ideal place to generate content and build a community for your business.

Build A Consumer Persona

Now that we have an idea as to what platform is best for our business and our audience, now you want to build out a user persona. A consumer persona allows you to determine who your user or customer is and understand what it is that they are looking for and need. Typically speaking you would want to build out a few personas depending on how many segments of customers you have. If you can group each customer into a particular segment this will allow you to tailor your marketing to each customer group thus giving you the best opportunity for success. With anything else in your business, your personas will evolve and change as you begin to grow and have a better understanding of your customers. The key here is to gather as much information as you can about your groups of customers so that when you are ready to grow your social media presence you know your audience’s pain points.

Align Your Social Media Goals With The Goals Of Your Consumers

So, what have you learned so far, first how to determine what platform your audience is using, second how to build a persona of your audience to better pinpoint what they are looking for. The next thing is to align your goals with the goals of your customers. Half the story is already done, you know what your audience wants now you need to ask how you can puzzle in what you want and make it mash. You need to ask yourself, how are people using social media (posting videos, images, text, etc ), what are they trying to find (entertainment, valuable information, etc). Also, how are people communicating, what words, hashtags, and other keywords that we need to use to relate to them? You need to have S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals in place that will allow you to place metrics to determine whether your goals are happening. Part of it is having a social media strategy in place. Once you put everything into motion, it’ll all become easier.

Begin Developing Ideas And Content That Provides Value And Fulfills These Goals

If you have the time to look at our previous article, I’m sure this section won’t be too foreign to you. After you have determined your goals and audience, now is coming up with CREATIVE and ENGAGING ways to provide value. Each piece of content your produce should leave your audience craving more and getting you closer to your goals. Don’t think that sell, sell, sell will get you to where you want to be. One important aspect of social media is the first word being SOCIAL. You want to make sure that not only the content you’re promoting is engaging and provides some valuable information, but also that you’re mixing the type of content you are producing. For instance, content that is targeted towards selling, building your brand, etc. A good mix ensures that your audience doesn’t always feel as though they are being sold to every time. But if you did the previous step properly and really understood who they are, and their needs, then you will have built a game plan that gets you to your destination and theirs. Which is why it is important to develop content for your target audience.

Promote Your Content And Look At The Data

In our data-driven world, how could we not mention data? Data is what drives marketing, businesses, and all professionals now and days. Everywhere you go, you’ll hear things like “Just look at the data” or “What does the data say”. Social media is no different and guests, what you have access to this data right in the palm of your hands. If you go on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you have control over these insights. You just need to have a business account on Instagram, and a business page on Facebook, and LinkedIn. Twitter as long as you have an account you can access this information. Use this data to your advantage for things such as determining when to post (Look at the time most of your followers are on the platforms), what content is getting the most love (Look at which posts are getting more comments, shares, likes, etc) and the type of post (image, text, video, etc), hashtag usage (using the right hashtags will increase your reach more so for IG, LinkedIn, and Twitter), etc. As you start to post more and gain more followers and engagements you’ll see more insights that you can use to help you grow and adapt.

The purpose of this article is to give you all the tools that you need to properly engage with your audience. If you aren’t listening and observing what they want, then you are wasting your time using these platforms. Some other simple tactics to better understand how your brand and goals align with their values is simply to ask them what they would like to see your post. Then you can determine how you can use their responses and fit that into your strategy. So, that’s all there is to it. Go out, engage and get started, that’s the only way you will learn!