First rule of social media, know thy audience

In my column last month (Social media strategy increases odds for success, April 1, 2013), I wrote about how imperative it is to have a plan for your social endeavors. Many business owners and marketers approach me to ask, “Should I be on Facebook? Should I be using LinkedIn?” It’s never a simple answer because there are many factors that go into the decision to use a particular social tool. Choosing to use a platform for the wrong reasons can doom your plan so I’d like to expand on how one makes that decision.


First, I ask if they have their goals established and then I inquire about their audience. In order to know which tools are appropriate for your objectives, you must know whom you are trying to reach with your marketing message. An accounting company that serves the wine industry will need to take a different communication approach than one that works exclusively with retail.


Each organization I’ve worked with has approximately three targets or types people they are trying to reach. It’s important for you to not only identify those targets, but to create a mockup of who they are and their needs so that you can speak directly to them. Here are some questions to ask to help you get to know your potential and current customers better.


WHO is your audience?

Consider their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, education level, career path, family status, language, religious observance, stage in life, as well as generational placement. Remember, your audience is multi-layered incorporating several factors at once.


WHAT do they want to hear from you?

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