Imagine spending hours or even days creating content that you’re proud of, and when you finally hit publish – nobody cares!
That’s what happens when you fail to research your audience properly. The key to successful inbound marketing and attracting leads for your business is getting your content shared online. But that can only happen when you deliver remarkable content.
Your task here is to find out what your audience’s needs are and how you can create content that offers a solution for them.
Luckily, researching your target audience has never been easier. Here 13 ways you can learn more about them using social media.
How To Research Your Audience Using Social Media
With over 1.06 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social network on the planet.
1. Polls and surveys – Asking questions is a great way to get your audience involved. It’s also a neat tool to get to know them better and find out what they like (and dislike).
2. Join network, alumni and industry groups – Simply search for groups using keywords relevant to your industry. Some will be open while others are private.
3. Set up your own group – Setting up your own group allows for a more intimate setting for your users. You can set one up to be open for all or keep it private. One way you can use Groups is testing new ideas and products to see how people react.
Twitter is probably the best tool to use here for 3 reasons:
- You can follow events globally
- It’s real-time
- You can easily reach out to people
4. Twitter search – This is how you can follow real-time conversations globally. Search for keywords related to your industry and save the search to come back to it later.
5. Follow people – One of the simplest ways to find out more about your audience is to just follow prospective buyers. Another way of doing it, is to use Lists to group people into segments such as; buyers, competitors, journalists, etc. WeFollow and Twellow are great resources to help you find people based on their interests, and build a strategic following.
6. Follow hashtags – This is the # symbol used to mark keywords in a Tweet. You can set up searches for hashtags specific to your industry to follow and add your voice to the discussion.
7. Advanced search – If the standard search isn’t working for you, try Twitter’s Advanced Search. It allows you to search for local tweets and a whole lot of other things too. Twitter explains how to use it in this guide: Using advanced search
8. Tweet! – This might seem obvious, but you can tweet links to your polls and surveys on Facebook and any other service you’re using. Likewise, you can Tweet questions and see the response you get.
LinkedIn is the social network for business with more than 200 million members. And based on our findings, it’s where B2B businesses need to be (see Which Social Network Is Right For Your Business).
9. LinkedIn Groups – Search for groups where your target audience will be participating. Groups are a great place to connect with like-minded people and for getting feedback.
10. Connect – Naturally you’ll connect with people you already know. But if you want to broaden your network, you can also connect with Group members you’ve been interacting with.
11. LinkedIn Polls – Similar to Facebook’s feature, LinkedIn Polls allows you to ask questions and lets people respond and leave comments.
Google+ is similar to Twitter in the sense that you can follow whoever you want. But it allows you make your profile as private or as public as you like.
12. Follow people – Again, follow people who fit your target audience. You can use Google+’s suggested users feature, and the search bar. Another handy tool is Find People On G+ which helps you search by age, location and occupation.
13. Join Communities – Google+ Communities are similar to LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups. To get started, check out the Discover Communities section in your profile.
Remember not to hard sell in groups, because that is one way to get booted out. On social media, you need to contribute first before receiving.
Last piece of advice, which I think is the most important is: Participate! You want to be active on each social network you’re on and genuinely help others. That’s the only way to build a following and get found on social media!
How do you use social media for business? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.
Photo by mkhmarketing