Beginner’s Guide to Social Media (Part 2): Reaching Your Target Audience
By now, after reading through Part 1, you should know who your target audience is
and have chosen social media channels geared towards that audience.
Once you have your social media profiles ready to go, it’s time to start posting content. Just setting up profiles is not enough. The content you post is ultimately what will attract and engage your target audience. To make your content perfect for your audience, here are three important rules to follow.
1. Be Consistent
It doesn’t matter if you’re on one social media platform or twelve; you must post content regularly. Depending on your budget, this “regular” posting might mean seven posts a week or just one. If you can only afford to create five pieces of content per month, make sure they are well-targeted and thoughtful, so that your target audience will be engaged. A useful tip: fill in the gaps with curated content from other social profiles and post your thoughts on those topics. Use tools such as BuzzSumo or Sharemetric to find content that users already engage with.
2. Be Creative
This point begins to get into content marketing. Essentially, you need to create content that resonates with your target audience. This connection will ultimately entice them to engage with your brand.
If you’re not sure how to create content that is meaningful to your audience, you can find out what online content your audience is already engaging with and use those sources as inspiration for your own unique content. Again, BuzzSumo or Sharemetric can help you discover that information. Then, you can start filling your social media with posts inspired by content already online – curated especially for your audience.
A useful tip: use pictures! Long blocks of text can be tiring to read, especially online. Give your readers a break by including plenty of images. These images make your content more memorable, too. According to Buffersocial, tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets.
Make sure you have permission to use those images, though. If you don’t want to pay for images, you can upload pictures you’ve taken or search for free pictures on websites like pixabay.com. Look for pictures with the “Creative Commons” and “Commercial Use Only” labels.
3. Be Social
Just like in everyday social situations, winning attention on social media is sometimes just about using the right words and talking with the right people. In the same way, reaching your target audience can be as simple as using popular hashtags (a word or phrase with no spaces starting with #) and connecting with popular people.
Hashtags are a great way to discover and organize content. They give you an idea of what people are talking about each day – information you can use for your unique content. If you use hashtags appropriately, you can get the attention of users you may not reach otherwise. To discover popular hashtags, view trending hashtags on platforms like Twitter or Facebook or use free tools like Hashtagify.me
Another great way to reach your target audience is by networking with people known as “influencers.” Influencers have the largest amount of followers and highest engagement rates, so finding and engaging with them could mean reaching a larger audience.
A useful tip: tools like BuzzSumo, klout.com, and follwerwonk.com can help you find these popular people. Simply search for a topic or key phrase, and you’ll find the influencers. After that, follow and interact with them. You can even contact them privately and discuss ways to work together. Are they in need of some content that only your business can provide? Leverage your vertical business expertise whenever possible.
These three strategies will help you create content that both reaches and engages your target audience. When that happens, you’ll start to see your popularity pick up. To increase your popularity even more, see Part 3, “Increasing Your Popularity”.