How to Find Your Audience on Social Media

Welcome to episode 451. I am your host, The Stacey Harris. This is, of course, Hit The Mic. I want to talk about actually knowing where your audience is today because when we talk through building your strategy at Backstage Live or when we do a VIP day with clients or when we’re building strategies for clients at Uncommonly More or we’re working on my strategy or when I am teaching strategy inside of Hit The Mic Backstage, over and over and over and over again I say I don’t care what channels you like using. We need to make sure we’re using the channels our audience is spending time on, our customers are using, our listeners are sharing on, whatever it is that you’re offering. Maybe it’s content like a podcast or a product or a service or whatever, we need to talk about where they are.

We also need to talk about where they are when they’re thinking about you, because I have a lot of clients in conversations where they think they need to be on one network when really that’s not the network where they’re thinking about the problem that this service provider solves, and so we have to factor all of those pieces in. It’s really, 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. I mean really, if your clients hate Instagram, it doesn’t matter how much you like it, it just doesn’t. So we want to make sure we’re using the right networks for our audience. I’m going to give you some examples and then we’re going to jump into the three things I want you to work through as you’re figuring that out.

So as an example of a time where maybe your clients are on a network but not when they’re thinking about you, we have in the past consulted with some corporate companies who are very much so B2B. They are looking to get in and talk to decision makers. For example, we often work with sort of the directors of marketing or the head of a marketing department to come in and do consulting or training on new media stuff like podcasting and social and those things.

When the head of that marketing department is looking for us, they’re not on Instagram. They’re looking around on LinkedIn. And so I need to make sure that I have a presence in a place that is going to show up for them where they’re open it because they may or may not be, but probably not going to be open, to that discussion at 8:00 PM on their couch scrolling Pinterest. That’s probably not what they’re going to be searching for. So if I put all my eggs into the Pinterest basket for that audience, I’d have a real uphill battle. I may very well run into one or two options over the course of a long time, but my fastest path to a positive result is going to be LinkedIn. So think about that.

We see this a lot also with speaking opportunities. So often I have people who want to run right to Facebook and connect with all of these speaker agents, except they’re not using Facebook to book speakers. There 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 in some cases that’s going to be Instagram and Facebook. Absolutely. And so you want to factor that in as well. So how do we figure that out? We’re all bought in on the sense that we need to show up where they are and not just where we think would be a really good time. Where do we find them?

Market Research – ask them!

So the first and foremost sort of thing that I start with is if you have ever worked with or known them before, ask them how’d you find me? And maybe they know you through their network. Cool. Did you look on social at all or did you check out content to find other people who maybe did this as well? Where did you tap your network to get the referral? These are the kinds of questions we want to be asking. And 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.

If I go and I am looking at a favorite client of mine, a model of my ideal client avatar, real life manifestation of my dream client, I lovingly and in no way creepily go stalk their stuff. I go look and see who else they’re connected with on Instagram. We’re actually working on this for a couple of our clients right now who are launching programs and ahead of that launch we’re going in and we’re looking at who their existing customers are and where are lots of them following. Well, cool, let’s follow that person too so that we can see kind of what they’re doing, who else they’re connecting with, 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 them 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 just swimming pool of information. So I want you to go and I want you to look at where can I make sure that I am providing content in the spaces where these people already are by looking at where are they spending time and who they’re following. Because you may find that your dream client is totally 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. Cool. So let’s make sure we’re doubling down there 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. It’s simply one person’s opinion. So ask as many people as you can get your hands on who are your ideal clients? Do not go run into a Facebook group and like mass ask like hey, I want to know everyone’s opinion, because you don’t want everyone’s opinion. You want your audience’s opinion.

This is actually one of the reasons I love the lovingly stalking option because there’s no filter for it. You can’t lie to me and tell me that you never ever watch Real Housewives of New York, but you follow all the Real Housewives pages on Instagram and Facebook and all of the Real Housewives on Twitter. So maybe you do watch the Real Housewives. I’m just saying, I mean I don’t, but you can verify that with the fact that I don’t like any of these pages. But don’t discount that research time. That loving stalking phase is important.

Scientific Method… seriously!

Our number two way that we can get this information, are you ready? Make the best guess and test it. Seriously. I know this seems kind of crazy, but this is sort of your best option if you haven’t worked with these clients before, but also even maybe the information you got was a bit mixed and so you’re like, well, we’re going to try this road and we’re going to see what happens on it. We’re going to test that road, right? We’re going to go down and we’re going to see okay, what kind of traction did we get in 30, 60 or 90 days?

Now when I’m testing something that big, I do give it a pretty big window, like 90 days where I’ll make small tweaks within it over the course of each 30 day increments. So each month for three months I’ll go on and I’ll make a little tweak and I’ll do a big sort of data review, audit, whatever you want to call it, so that I can see if something is working or not working. This is such a critical step that so many of us are forgetting.

So I want you to really look at making a guesstimate and testing that guesstimate. Let it take you back to, what is it, fourth grade science where you learn about, or maybe third 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 they’re on Instagram. Cool. 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 posts, frequencies, different stories, IGTV, IG Live, all of those pieces. Because you also can’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

If you go on Instagram and you do an IG Live every day and you get out for the life of, you 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 me go live on Instagram because my audience doesn’t tend to watch them. I’ve tried, tested, I’ve also asked and not really. And if they do not for long. I’d rather put my energy into stories and my grid because I do see traction there. We’re going to get ready to in the second half of this year IGTV again. It’s been awhile and now you can turn it horizontally and that’s exciting. We’ll see how it goes, but my audience tends to be more into coming here and listening to this than in holding their phone and watching IGTV. It just seems to be the case, but I know that because I had a hypothesis and I tested it.

So I want you to do that. I want you to say, all right, 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. Okay, I feel like I’ve hammered that into you enough.

Look around, but not at your competition

As we wrap up, the third thing I want you to do is I want you to look around. Very rarely will you get from me go look at other business owners as advice on anything, but this is a great example of when it’s a really good idea to look around. Here’s the caveat. I don’t want you to look at the other people in your industry. I want you to look at the other people who talk to your ideal clients.

So let’s say you are a virtual assistant. I want you to 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 a hypothesis, test the hypothesis. Really, really frequently when I say look around, people jump right to their competition. Well, I don’t want to copy my competition. I don’t want to just do it, we’re not looking in our industry. We’re looking outside of our industry. And that’s where the power really is in this one is option because it’s really easy to get stuck in the silo of our industry and generally speaking, all that comes out of that is us speaking to our peers.

I think people who have my job, and I’m certainly guilty of this, are super, super, super guilty of this, where we want to appear to be the smartest person in the room. And to do that, we’re going to speak in our jargon that only other people who do what we do will understand. We’re going to have all of our little marketer group internal hashtags, and we ended up showing our content just to each other. Which isn’t super profitable.

So what we need to do instead is look at who are the other people that serve our audience? I even like to go outside of the service space. What are their favorite, and we do this during Backstage Live and people always get a really weird look on their face when I suggest this, but what are their favorite TV shows? What are the non business podcasts that they listen to? What are their favorite musicians? What are their hobbies? What are their celebrity crushes? I don’t know. Who and what are they following on Instagram? 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.

So I highly, highly recommend not skipping this step, looking around at who else they’re paying attention to and start there, again. Then we’re going to go back to testing, guessing and testing, setting that hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, basic third grade science stuff here. It’s really all this, third grade science.

So I want you to do that. I 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, and I’ve said this before and I will say it endlessly, with who are we talking to and what are we selling them. When you have those two pieces figured out, literally the rest of the questions will answer themselves. So do this work. Even if you’ve done this work before, this is something that we go in and we do once a year.

So right now as I am looking ahead to my 2020 plans, because I start planning my next year about mid year, and I’ll talk more about that in an upcoming episode. When I’m doing that, I’m doing this work. So I’ve been going through and looking at who are my favorite clients following, who are my favorite clients engaging with, who are my favorite clients listening to, watching, consuming? Because I want to see what the common denominators are there so that I can entertain, inform and build trust because that’s what converts. That’s the match people.

That’s our show today. If you have any questions for me on this, let me know. Head on over to Instagram and connect with me. I would love to hear from you. We do have another Backstage Live coming up. It’s in person this time, so I’m telling you a little early. It’s happening in September. It’s going to be happening right here in Southern California. You’re going to be in my offices. Well, my office building, my office won’t hold us all. But in my building we’ve got a conference room that we’ll be using. So you will be right here at the UM headquarters, the the Stacey Harris headquarters, to come together and build your 90 day strategy. I’m super, super excited for this group. I cannot wait to get you in a room together. There is some serious magic to stepping out of your office, out of your day to day, coming to sunny southern California and joining me.

We are going to be September 12th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Lunch is included. The day with me is included. A workbook and a journal are included. This will actually be the first reveal of our brand new workbooks and our brand new journals. I’m really, really, really excited to share those with you guys. Pictures coming soon on Instagram, so go check those out. Make sure your spot’s reserved, is the place to go to reserve your spot. I will see you in Southern California and of course, I’ll see you again next week for another episode of Hit The Mic. Talk soon.

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