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How to Create a Social Media Strategy - Part Three

How to Create a Social Media Strategy - Part Three

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How to Create a Social Media Strategy - Part Three

Welcome to the third edition of the iASP Central series How to Create a Social Media Strategy.

Effective Social Media Marketing often starts with a detailed plan.

Creating a strategy can help drive goals, marketing activities and measure success.

If you've just joined in, here is a quick recap of iASP Central's six steps to creating a Social Media Marketing (SMM) Strategy:

  1. Auditing
  2. Goals
  3. Target Audiences
  4. Planning
  5. Execution
  6. Reviewing


In Part One - How to Perform a Social Media Audit, we reviewed social media profiles to determine which are generating the best return on investment (ROI).

Part Two - How to Set Goals and Objectives addressed the importance of creating detailed, specific goals using the S.M.A.R.T formula.

Next we focus how to identify target audiences, in order to develop effective marketing communication tactics.



Part Three - How to Identify Key Target Audiences

Engaging the right target audience is vital to SMM success.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter use the term Audience to refer to fans, followers or a broader social community.

Companies target specific audiences via marketing messages, through traditional media channels like television or radio, or online media channels like Facebook or e-Mail.

A target audience is a group of people who are likely to be interested in your product, service or offer, and who will be the target or focus of your campaign.

For example, you might target single men for a Valentine's Day promotion, or you might target working mums for a new product you are launching.

A target audience is often also referred to as a Target Market, a Target Group, or Focus Group.

Getting your marketing messages to the right people can be a tricky task! It can be the difference between marketing failure or success.

Marketing messages aim to influence, engage, educate or persuade consumers to react in a specific way. For example - to buy a product or to provide an email address.

But even the most creative SMM campaigns can fail if messages are not communicated to the right target audience.

To get the most out of a SMM initiative, it's important to understand an audience's demographics and underlying motivations.

Identifying key target audiences can help develop effective marketing messages and maximise ROI.

So what method can you use to help identify target audience?

We've put together a 8 step process to guide you:



Step 1. Define a Target Audience

The more you know about customers, the easier it will be to engage with them.

Ask yourself who are you targeting?

Brainstorm the following:

  • Who is your ideal customer? Who would benefit or enjoy your new product / service / offer the most? How would you describe them?
  • List their demographics including: Age Group, Gender, Occupation, Interests, Geographic Location, Income, Education, Values.
  • What products or services are they interested in? Why?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • Are they desktop or mobile users?
  • What patterns or similarities can you conclude?


Brainstorming practices can help create and identify different market groups. And you may end up targeting different groups with different SMM campaigns.

The practice of grouping customers who exhibit similar traits or interests is called Customer Segmentation.

By segmenting customers into groups, unique buying personas can be developed to engage them.

If you're having trouble identifying a market group, try these iASP Central Tips:

  • Review your Social Media Analytics

    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all feature analytics tools with detailed audience information.

    The Facebook Insights People tab features information on Fans, Followers and People Reached including age, gender and location.

    Twitter Analytics - Audience Insights provides key metrics in age, interests, language, lifestyle and gender.

    Twitter Analytics' Add a Comparison Audience tool compares audience demographics and interests to a broad Twitter audience.

  • Conduct a Survey or Pole

    Surveys are a great way to learn more about an audience on social media.

    Create a survey or poll to gain information about your audience, their likes, dislikes and thoughts on products and services.

    Twitter Pole is a tool to create voting poll posts. Poll answers can be viewed publicly or privately.

    Facebook apps My Polls and Simple Surveys are great tools to create unique surveys on Facebook.

    Survey Monkey is an online survey platform that can be integrated with social media and email marketing.


Step 2 - Understand Audience Motivations

Understanding an audience's motivations is an integral part of developing and identifying target groups.

Customer motivations are desires or needs that can drive a customer to purchase.

By identifying the motivations of an audience, it can be easier to establish how you can help them.

Creating a Buying Persona is a great way to predict the needs of your customer.

A Buying Persona is creative description or characterisation of your ideal customer, their behaviours and emotions.

To create a Buying Persona, it's helpful to think from the customer's perspective.

Ask yourself:

  • What help does the customer need? What problem do they need solved?
  • How do they feel? What behaviours do they exhibit?
  • What drives or motivates them to use social media?
  • What motivates them to buy?


Creating a buying persona can help develop a deeper understanding of a customer, their buying behaviour and how you can address their needs.

iASP Central Tip:Product Knowledge is key!

Product knowledge is very important.

Once audience motivations are established, you can best match a product or service to suit their needs.

Make sure you know the features and benefits of the products your marketing or selling.

iASP Central Example:

Fictional Scenario: An online e-store Beauty4Us sells all organic beauty products in Australia. They want to promote a new skin product via a SMM campaign.

Target Audience: After brainstorming they have identified their key target market as young women, aged between 15-35years old, with interests in beauty care and health.

Buying Persona: Young women who are looking to buy quality organic skin products, who value eco-friendly products at an affordable price. This audience is interested in understanding ingredients used in the product and how it can benefit their skin.

Motivation: This target audience is driven to find an affordable, organic skin solution online.

By pre-determining customer motivations and behaviours, effective marketing messages can be developed to appeal to their needs.



Step 3 - Create a Value Proposition

This step relates closely to your overall goals and objectives that were set out in Part Two.

Once the motivations and buying behaviours of a target market have been established, focus on why you want to reach this group.

What is your main motivation?

  • To sell a product
  • To build brand recognition / reputation
  • To promote a service or product
  • To create a lead or establish a relationship with a customer
  • Build social media engagement


Always keep goals in mind when developing target groups. It's important that objectives align with your customer's needs.

A Value Proposition is a statement that explains why a customer would want to buy a product or service. It's a unique statement that sets you aside from competitors, and explains the value a customer receives from your services.

Creating a unique Value Proposition is a great way to help your team better understand a target audience.



Step 4 - Research Competitor's Audiences

Conduct research to establish who competitors are targeting on social media.

In Part One - How to Perform a Social Media Audit we identify the social media platforms your competitors are utilising.

Using the audit results, review your competitor's profiles and report on the following:

  • Who is engaging with your competitiors content?

    e.g. Are people in certain demographics appearing more than others, such as a specific gender group, or age group, or people within or around a particular location?

  • How is their audience engaging with content?

    e.g. Are they liking, commenting, disliking or sharing the content?

  • What type of content are your competitors using?

    e.g. Is your competitor using image posts or video posts? What content is gaining the most attention? What language and tone are they using for their social media posts? What content is least effective?

  • What conclusions can you draw from reviewing competitors profiles?

    e.g. What content is most effective? What key demographics and interests do their audiences share? What motivates their audience to respond to content?

  • Who are your competitors tagging and engaging with?

    e.g. Are your competitors using cross posting or tagging social influencers? Do they post in social Groups or on specific Pages? Do they tag partnerships, sponsors or charities in posts?


By reviewing your competitor's social media activity, you can gain valuable audience information. Formulate different target groups based on your competitors audiences.

This will help you to find if you will be targeting the same audience groups as your competitor, or identify new audience groups that your competitor isn't targetting.

iASP Central Tip:

SemRush is a great social media tool for analysing competitor's Audience Insights . It provides detailed metrics on competitor's audience growth and key demographics.



Step 5 - Determine Audience's SM Platform(s)

Establish where your audience is 'hanging out' on social media.

Research the following:

  • Review social media analytics and locate where your chosen target audience spends the most time E.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat. It may not always be the Big 4 social media platforms.

  • Do your social media followers visit the company website?

  • Do they read the company blog or email marketing?

  • What other websites do they spend time on?


By understanding where an audience is spending time online, strategic marketing activities can be developed to reach them.

iASP Central Tip:Review Google Analytics!

Google Analytics is a free tool that can track and measure website and social network performance analytics. It allows you to track traffic to specific website pages and social media.

iASP Central Example:

Fictional Scenario: e-Store Beauty4Us research shows that their target audience of women aged 15-35yrs old are spending the a lot of their time on Instagram.

After reviewing Google Analytics they can tell this target group are also spending time on a beauty blog website, and are often viewing their video content.

Therefore creating video content and sharing it via Instagram could be an effective method to attract and engage this target audience.



Step 6 - Establish the Best Time to Target

What is the best time to reach your audience?

When are they on social media? Day, night, lunch or a specific time?

Publish your content and posts on social media at optimal times when most of your target audience is active on a social media platform.

iASP Central Tip:

Review social media analytics and find out when your audience is most active online.

Facebook Insights: The Local tab allows you to view the peak times a local audience is using and engaging on Facebook.

Buffer: Buffer is a social media scheduling tool which has a paid analytics option, to track audience insights from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. Buffer can provide metrics on the peak times to post content.



Step 7 - How to Reach an Audience

Determine the methods you will use to reach an audience.

How will you reach your audience? What methods will you use to contact them?

There are many ways to reach audiences via social media including:

  • Facebook Lead Ads - create a Lead Ads form that directs customers to a sign-up Form or direct webpage contact form.

  • Facebook Advertising and Instagram Advertising - create content targeted adverts that can be delivered to specific target audiences. Import customer's email addresses and create Custom Target Audiences and Look-a-like Audiences to directly target your market group.

  • Facebook Preferred Audience Tool - Create targeted posts to reach an organic audience using this tool.

  • Twitter Advertising - Create geo-targeted posts using details such as location, language, interests and country.

  • LinkedIn Advertising - create persona groups on LinkedIn and advertise directly to them.

  • Facebook Pixel - Installing Facebook Pixel allows you to re-market and track conversions. Display an ad who have recently visited your website or Facebook page. This is a great way to remind customers to take action after engaging with your brand.


Step 8 - Build a Relationship with Audience

The final step focuses on building a relationship with your audience and establishing trust.

Creating good content and reaching your audience via advertising is a great way to gain an audience's attention. However it's important to consider how you will get your audience to take the next step and convert them into a lead.

Establishing a personal connection with your audience is key. To do this, try to provide an offer or something of benefit to your audience. This is often referred to in marketing as a 'hook'. Showcase your customer service skills by offering value and assistance.

Think about the following:

  • How can you build trust with your audience?

    Respond to your audiences comments and queries in a timely, professional and personable manner. This can help establish trust and build rapport with individuals. Remember to respond as a 'real person,' be genuine in your approach and use language that is casual yet professional.

  • What can you offer your audience? What could you offer of benefit?

    Think about what you could offer your audience to establish a personal connection. Here are some examples:
    • Free one-on-one consultation to expand further on your services
    • Downloadable ebook with tips on your industry and how you can best help your customer
    • Tip sheet or downloadable PDF document
    • Discount or limited offer on services
    • Giveaway or competition


  • How will you turn a lead into a prospect? How will you follow up?

    Once you have established an offer, consider how you will follow up with your audience once you provide the offer.

    How do you plan to contact your audience?
    • Phone Call
    • Email
    • Newsletter
    • Printed letter or pamphlet
    • Text


    Organise your follow up method before you create the offer.

    In order to follow up, it's important to collect customer contact details. Incorporate this in your offer.

    e.g. If you are creating an offer on Facebook, we suggest linking the offer to a website Contact Form. A contact form will collect important contact details such as name, address, contact number and email. Once a form has been completed, the offer can be claimed. This provides you an opportunity to follow up in a more personal way and grow your relationship.


To conclude...

A well defined Target Audience can help ensure SMM messages are being sent to the right people.

By identifying the key demographics, behaviours and motivations of an audience, marking messages can be tailored to reach them.

This 8 Step process will help provide the main framework for a SMM strategy.

Join us next time as we focus on 'How to Plan and Execute Marketing Activities.'



Have you created target groups or audiences for SMM before?

What methods did you use?

Let us know on the iASP Central Facebook Page or Get in Touch.



Resources:

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