How to Use Social Media Effectively in Reaching Out to a Target Audience

 

Social media is a free way to strengthen your brand, build relationships with your customers, and increase your leads and sales.

It’s a shame that so many brands, including some large ones, use it ineffectively and never see the benefits.

In this article, I’ll unpack what you need to know about using social media effectively to reach your target audience.

Define Your Target Audience

You need to know who you are trying to reach before you start your marketing efforts.

Who are your customers? If you haven’t already constructed a buyer persona to describe the ideal customer you’re trying to reach, now is a great time to do it. Buyer personas are a surprisingly effective way of targeting your marketing.

Look through the data you have now about the people who buy from you. Consider running a customer-service survey to get more information if you’re not sure.Once you know who you’re selling to – your target audience – you can start to ask yourself important questions that will inform everything else you do:

? What social media platforms are my target audience most active on?

? What popular accounts in my niche do they follow?

? What kinds of posts do they like and share?

Look At Your Competitors

Unless you are an inventor with a totally original product or offering, chances are there is already someone who is killing it on social media in your niche.

Instead of being threatened – learn from them.

What do they post? When do they post? How much do they engage? How do they sell?

Pro-tip: You can steal their customers by following or commenting on the posts of all the people who follow your competitors.

Use the Platform

A major mistake that brands make on social media is to treat it like a free advertising service rather than a social media account.If you just post occasionally and respond to comments, you’re not being very “social” on social media, and the platform will punish you for it by limiting your exposure. Not only that – you’ll be missing out on a big opportunity for organic marketing.

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Gary Vaynerchuk popularized the $1.80 strategy: every day, post nine insightful and helpful comments (your 2 cents) to posts in each of the top 10 hashtags in your niche or market. If you reach out on social media to strangers without selling, to be helpful and offer insight, you will see your reach and engagement on social media skyrocket. Discover more about it here.

Create Relevant, Engaging Content

Your target audience is looking for content that offers value. Whether it is a helpful tip, useful information, inspiration, a laugh, or even just a relatable feeling: you need to provide something of value in each post, and it needs to be specifically made for your target audience.If you can make your own memes with Canva, this is a great way to add humor and relatability to your content.

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If comedy and photo editing are not your things, reposting memes and crediting the people who made them still counts. What is “valuable” will depend on your audience, but remember to give 10x before you take it by asking for something, like a purchase or an action online.

Use the Right Hashtags

Social media platforms want to show your content to the right people. Using popular hashtags in your niche can help the platform identify what your content is about so it can show it to the right people.

Using hashtags effectively can make a big difference to not only your exposure but your engagement since showing your content to lots of people who are not actually in your target audience will not drive much engagement.

Encourage Engagement

A post with lots of comments and likes will get shown to more people. The more engagement it gets, the more it will be shown. This is how social media posts go viral. Stop chasing generic likes, and start creating the kind of content that gets shared as a resource or sparks discussion and reflection.

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Social media is about relationship building at scale. If your followers just like your posts and keep scrolling, the relationship is pretty shallow. If they regularly comment and share your posts, you have created deeper connections that will eventually lead to free marketing and increased sales.

Succeeding with Social Media

In industries from publishing to online meal delivery, social media has driven huge success.

But results aren’t guaranteed, especially at first.It’s important to trust the process and create the best content and improve as much as possible without setting arbitrary benchmarks like “reach 5000 followers by March 1st”.

Increases in followers and engagement are great, but success can come slowly over time – or quickly with viral content and boosts from influencers. There is no telling in advance what the path to success will look like.

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