It can be tough to figure out your target audience, but as a business owner it should be one of the first ports of call when building your marketing strategy.
Once you have come up with the perfect client/s then you will want to start engaging with them and building relationships with them, but how on Earth (or social media) will you be able to connect with them? There are a few ways and I have a few personal favourites for the different social media sites that I use most regularly – let’s just cover just 3 sites: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Let’s start with Twitter, shall we? It is possibly one of the easiest of the social media profiles, to get in contact and connect with your target audience.
1. Use the search bar. Now you may think me simple-minded but usually the simplest of ideas works the best. Using the tool Twitter gave us to find and connect with people on their site, is pretty good, bar the occasional hiccup with the location when using the advanced search feature (let’s not get into that!). I tend to put the industry or “job description” then the location, usually UK, within the main search bar. I highly recommend checking the profiles before you follow them as you do not want to follow inactive accounts!
2. If this is too simple for you and you’d like to go a little more in-depth then Tweepz.com allows you to enter location, topic or skill and they will crawl all of Twitter for the appropriate people.
3. Join in on Tweetchats that are relevant to you – and don’t just chat about your business! This is a cardinal sin in my books. Actually communicate with the chat, unless it is all about selling your services like in #bizitalk. You want to build a community not annoy a whole set of potential connections.
Now on to Facebook if you are using Facebook as a page, then I highly recommend that you start following relevant pages to your industry or expertise. Not only will this enable you to start engaging with more people through your page but it can also help to give you content.
1. Search for relevant pages, including online blogs that you tend to read, and like their page. I do recommend that you click the “pages” section to ensure you are only liking pages not locations or groups, as you cannot engage with groups as a page. Engage with the posts these pages submit and share your opinion, then make sure to follow the post, so you are notified of any replies.
2. Bring people to you using ads. These are not quite as expensive as you would think and my goodness does it work, when you know how to use it well. Set a budget, learn about it or get someone to do it for you (I know, mad sales-pitch but someone’s got to do it!).
Finally, LinkedIn. This is a site all business owners, freelancers, employees and job-seekers should be on. Why? Because it connects you so easily with other people, plus if you do any sort of networking, this is the first place most entrepreneurs will add their new contacts into.
1. Join relevant groups and engage in them! This doesn’t just mean post your own updates, I mean truly engage. Interact and like within the discussions, share your opinion and build a good reputation within the group. Also, join groups that are about your hobbies or location, not just about your industry, profession or skills.
2. Accept connections – I find the best way to connect with new people is to accept an invitation and thank them. Unless you want to use LinkedIn only for your closest contacts.
There are many ways to build your network within social media, but ensuring you are connecting with the right people – whether your target market or people who share the same interests as you – will make your profile a much better and more useful place. How do you engage and find new people to connect with?