How To Leverage Social Media Lists And Reach Target Audiences

With more and more businesses using social media to reach people, Sam Mauzy looks at what you need to consider first before you start marketing.

There is an ever-increasing number of ways to reach your audience and deliver your message, but different clients and markets will use different channels to reach you. Instead of treating all of your social media outlets the same, you need to leverage those contact lists to make sure that the right message reaches the right audience. You need to recognise what makes each social media outlet different. Those people who are fans of your Facebook page are not necessarily the same as your LinkedIn connections. They want, and expect, different things from you.

The most obvious example is LinkedIn, which is all about business and opportunity. Business-to-business messages are an ideal way to capitalise on your LinkedIn contact list. Use this outlet when you are offering unique services to other companies, or trying to cultivate your personal branding as an expert in the field. It is critical to remember this sort of outlet is for marketing, not advertising.

Networks like Facebook and other similarly designed social networks are great vehicles for promotions, viral marketing and casual content. However, your audience may be very passive as they’re signing on to catch up, share and relax. A press release about your organisation’s latest professional accomplishment or a link to your newest white paper can be overshadowed by a stream of family photos and vacation stories.

But because of this, Facebook is also an easy way to launch tailored campaigns for almost any purpose. More and more companies are creating secondary pages as a means of targeting individual client segments. Potential customers will gladly “Like” a page to enter a contest, access exclusive content or receive news related to a certain product or service, even if those products or services represent a very small part of your total offerings.

Because “liking” a page tends to be a sticky interaction, you can return to this audience later – even after a promotion has ended – to deliver similar content. Few Facebook users will go back to “unlike” something after a contest is over, a coupon has expired, or you have started actively promoting another aspect of your business, but if you revisit a theme months or years later, you already know how to reach interested prospective clients.

Additionally, Facebook allows you to create custom lists to group your fans, so that you can send different content to different groups. This is handy for targeting different customer demographics within your business.

Multiple Twitter Handles

To capitalise on your Twitter followers, you need rapid-fire content that is eminently sharable. Your Twitter contacts may be following 50 or 500 different feeds, and if your tweet ends up buried by these other sources then it’s a lost opportunity.

One way to leverage Twitter for delivering targeted information regarding multiple product lines is to harness multiple Twitter handles. One master account can educate potential clients about your organisation, while smaller accounts may be used to capture and distinct audiences or provide particular services. For example, a customer service Twitter account allows you to directly assist your current client base, without affecting marketing efforts directed at new clients.

Once you understand the different audience each outlet provides, and how you can effectively target these audiences, the next step is in generating content and campaigns that will reach and resonate with your target.

As social networks grow and become more diverse, companies and organisations have increasing opportunities to target and service market segments in new and inventive ways. By treating each contact list as a unique entity, and recognising the way each channel is different, you can make the most of your networks and efficiently target your prospective markets.

Sam is a blogger and social media enthusiast who specialises in ecommerce optimisation services.

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