Let’s talk about actually knowing where your audience is spending time on social media.
When we talk through building your marketing strategy, over and over again we say that it doesn’t matter what channels you like using, we need to make sure we’re using the channels our audience is spending time on and already using.
We also need to talk about where they are when they’re thinking about you. We have a lot of clients that think they need to be on one network when really that’s not the network where their audience is thinking about the problem that they solve.
So we have to factor all of those pieces in- where are they already spending time and where are they spending time when looking for a solution that you provide.
It’s really, really easy to fall into, “well, I like Instagram, so I’m going to use Instagram and then all of my clients will just appear from the heavens.” Honestly, if your clients hate Instagram, it doesn’t matter how much you like it, it just doesn’t. We want to make sure we’re using the right networks for our audience.
To do this we’re going to give you some examples and then we’re going to jump into the three things you can work through as you’re figuring out where your audience is on social media.
We often work with the directors of marketing or the head of a marketing department to do consulting or training on new media stuff, such as podcasting and social. When the head of that marketing department is looking for us, they’re not on Instagram. They’re looking around on LinkedIn.
This means we need to make sure that Uncommonly More has a presence in a place that is going to show up for them where they’re open it. They may or may not be open to that discussion at 8:00 PM on their couch scrolling Pinterest, but we’re guessing probably not.
So if we put all our eggs into the Pinterest basket for that audience, we’d have a real uphill battle. We may very well run into one or two options over the course of a long time, but our fastest path to a positive result is going to be LinkedIn. So think about that when you think about your audience.
We also see this a lot with speaking opportunities. So often we have people who want to run right to Facebook and connect with speaking agents. The problem here is that these speaking agents aren’t using Facebook to book speakers. They may be using Facebook to promote their events, but they’re not using Facebook to book speakers. They are, however, potentially using LinkedIn, listening to podcasts, paying attention on Instagram or Pinterest.
So pay attention to where your audience is when they’re looking for a solution to the problem you solve, when they’re looking for your solution.
Now, how do we find out where are audience is spending time on social media? Here are 3 ways:
1. Ask them.
First and foremost, if you have worked with or known a client before, ask them, “how did you find me?”
Ask them if they looked on social medial or checked out content to find someone. Ask them if they were referred or had heard about you from their network. These are the kinds of questions we want to ask.
Oftentimes we can ask these questions without really asking them. If you’re connected with them on social, go check out the pages they like. Go check out the accounts they follow on Instagram. Look at who their connections are on LinkedIn. This will help you see the kinds of people they’re following and connecting with.
We do this here at Uncommonly More. If we are looking at a model of our ideal client avatar, a real life manifestation of our dream client, we lovingly- and in no way creepily- go stalk their stuff. We look to see who else they’re connected with, what they’re doing, who else they’re shouting out, what space they’re occupying that is attractive to our clients. Let’s see what comments that our clients are posting on.
So you can ask your audience without actually asking them, but use them as a resource. Because having worked with clients that you love, or that maybe you didn’t love, is a wealth of data. It is a swimming pool of information. So we want you to go and look at where can you make sure that you are providing content in the spaces where these people already are by looking at where they are spending time and who they’re following.
Because you may find that your dream client is on Instagram, but you are a business strategist and the only accounts they follow on Instagram are puppies. Then you’re probably not who they’re going to want to connect with on Instagram. Do you see that disconnect? But what you may see is on LinkedIn, they’re connecting with all of their network. They’re tapped in. In that case, let’s make sure we’re doubling down on LinkedIn and getting in front of our audience when they’re paying attention to us.
So we’re asking them. When we’re asking, we’re asking more than one person because one person’s opinion does not a trend make. So ask as many people in your audience as you can. Do not run into a Facebook group and mass ask for everyone’s opinion, because you don’t want everyone’s opinion, you want your audience’s opinion.
2. Make a best guess and test it.
Seriously, we know this seems kind of crazy, but this is your best option if you haven’t worked with this audience before or the information you are receiving is mixed. In this case, we’re going to test one road and going to see what kind of traction did we get in 30, 60, or 90 days?
When we’re testing something as big as finding a new audience, we give testing a pretty big window, like 90 days, where we’ll make small tweaks within it over the course of each 30 day increment. So each month for three months we’ll make a little tweak and then do a data review/audit so we can see if something is working or not working. This is such a critical step that so many of us are forgetting.
So we want you to really look at making a guesstimate and testing that guesstimate. Let it take you back to fourth grade science where you learned about the scientific method. You state a hypothesis and then you test for that hypothesis.
So let’s say that your hypothesis is that your audience is on Instagram.Great. Go all in. Test that hypothesis that they’re on Instagram and see what happens. That may mean testing different ways to connect with them, different hashtag configurations, different grid posts, different story posts, frequencies, IGTV, IG Live, all of those pieces.
You also can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you go on Instagram and you do an IG Live every day and you can’t get anyone to watch it, don’t say, “well, none of my audience is on Instagram.” Maybe they just don’t want to IG Live. That’s okay. They don’t have to use all the features.
For example, you will very rarely see Uncommonly More go live on Instagram because our audience doesn’t tend to watch them. We’ve tried, tested, and asked, but that’s not where our audience spends time. In that case, we’d rather put energy into stories and the grid because we do see traction there.
So we want you to do that. We want you to say, “alright, I think they’re on LinkedIn. I’m going to test it with really consistent, high quality, regular LinkedIn content and see what happens from there.”
3. Look around.
Very rarely will you hear from us to look at other business owners as advice, but this is a great example of when it’s a really good idea to look around. Here’s the caveat: we don’t want you to look at the other people in your industry. We want you to look at the other people who talk to your ideal clients.
So let’s say you are a virtual assistant. Look at the marketers, the coaches, the copywriters, the designers that speak to your ideal client and look at where they’re getting the best engagement with the people who you want to be working with and start there. Then we go back to make and test a hypothesis.
Very frequently when we say look around, people jump right to their competition. We don’t want you to just copy your competition. In this case, you’re not looking in your own industry. You’re looking outside of your industry- that’s where the power really is- because it’s really easy to get stuck in the silo of our own industry, but generally speaking, all that comes from that is us speaking to our peers.
So what we need to do instead is look at who are the other people that serve our audience? Start to look at what are their favorite TV shows? What are the non-business podcasts that they listen to? Who are their favorite musicians? What are their hobbies? Who are their celebrity crushes? When you can figure this out, when you can figure out what entertaining them looks like, it gets a whole lot easier to figure out where and how to capture their attention, which is really all we’re trying to do on social.
We highly recommend not skipping this step, take the time and look around at who else your audience is paying attention to and start there. Then we’re going to go back to testing, guessing and testing as in step 2.
So that’s what we want you to do to find your audience on social media. We want you to dig into this because when you figure out this piece, you have such a monumental part of your strategy figured out. We start every strategy with “who are we talking to and what are we selling them.” When you have those two pieces figured out the rest of the questions will answer themselves.