Social media is a great platform to capture and connect with your audience. It is a powerful outlet that allows individuals and brands to share their message and their values.
There isn’t an exact science to social media as it is constantly evolving, but there are key elements to remember if you want to work to get your social media channels to achieve maximum reach.
Define your target audience.
Before you can reach your audience on social media, the first couple of questions you should ask yourself are: Who is my existing audience and who else am I trying to reach?
If you are a clothing boutique, who is your ideal audience? Are you looking to reach 18-25 year-old women or are you looking to reach women with a slightly higher income than those of college students?
It is important to understand your existing audience and who you are trying to reach because it affects the way you tailor your content – the focus, the voice, even how you present it. While you work to reach another audience, you still need to remember the audience that has stayed loyal to your brand.
Share your message.
The most effective content has purpose and will impact your audience. You have a message to share, but how do you also provide value to your audience? Think about why people should follow you and how they can connect with your brand.
Let’s say you are trying to sell a brand that focuses on sustainability and will sell only the best eco-friendly products to stop plastic waste. Make sure you share this with your audience. By honing in on what you can provide will resonate with the audience you are trying to reach.
Have a strategy.
A social media strategy is what you put in place to reach your target audience. This can range from when to post, what hashtags you use, how to encourage engagement or even your Instagram aesthetic.
Your social media strategy is unique to your brand. What works for you won’t necessarily work for another. Think of it as a relationship…building a relationship doesn’t happen overnight. Building takes consistent effort over time.
Identify what you want to achieve. Are you developing your overarching long-term strategy or are you also working on specific, short-term strategies for campaigns? Remember, you can always tweak your strategy as time goes by. Social media is not concrete and so isn’t strategy.
As you work to determine your social media strategy, it is important to remember to post with intention. You want to listen and be responsive to what your audience is saying. Don’t post just to get content out there.
Tailor your content.
Curate social media content that is meant for your target audience. Put your audience’s needs above your own needs. Your content is for them, not you.
Use strong visuals, but don’t forget…quality over quantity. Sure, you may take hundreds of photos and videos from an event, but you wouldn’t post every single one of them if some of them are blurry or not that great.
Create content your audience can relate or connect to. Use your own experience and think about what makes you follow and engage with a brand on social media – is it their choice of photos? Is it what they write about? Is it how they present their company culture?
Get personal with your audience. Showing your audience that there is a real person behind the brand, and not just a business or automated computer makes people want to connect with a brand even more.
How do you know if it’s working?
Analytics, analytics, analytics! Studying the data is key to determining if what you are implementing is working. The numbers DO NOT LIE.
There are free analytic insights you can use directly on social media platforms. If you are using a social media scheduling management system, dive deep into the features and see what they offer you.
If follower count is important to you or your boss, look to your follower growth per day and per month to see if you are reaching your goals. If social media engagement is important, check out your total organic reach and total likes/comments/shares, and calculate your engagement rate. Determine what is important to you and look at the analytics.
As you work to reach your audience on social media, remember that social media should be fun!