Darren Olander | darrenolander
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How to Understand Your Social Media Audience

Apr 2nd 2012 at 8:14 AM

If you think of your webpages as being a type of virtual billboard, social media is like the corner coffee shop. It's not about one person or business sharing a message with followers who simply take the information and absorb it. If you want to truly understand your social media audience, you need to keep in mind that it is about conversations between real people. There are multiple conversations happening all the time, which is why social media gives businesses a unique opportunity to get to know their audience and interact with them to develop a relationship which will generate revenue.

Get to Know Your Social Media Audience

Before you can understand what your audience wants, you need to take the time to get to know them. If you have a twitter account set up, click on the profiles of the people who are following you. All of them made a decision to follow you online, and learning something about them will give you an idea of what your audience is like.

You want to cover the basics such as how old they are, the kind of work they do, what kinds of things they enjoy doing outside of work and more. By following your followers, you can find out other relevant information about them, such as what kinds of things make their day memorable and what types of issues they are facing.

Look at social network sites as a place where you can do some virtual reconnaissance on your audience. If you're going to offer them solutions to the problems that they have, you need to understand exactly what it is that they need and what circumstances would have to occur for them to decide to make a purchase.

Check Out Your Competition's Social Media Efforts

If you want to make the most of your social media efforts, you also want to take some time to check out what your competition is doing. Find out what types of strategies they are using to interact with users and how your audience is responding to their efforts. Ideally, what you want to do in your social media campaign is to position your product in a way that buyers understand and appreciate what makes it different from the available alternatives.

Interact with Your Social Media Audience

If you want to truly understand your audience, you need to spend time interacting with them. Social media is all about conversations, and if you make a point of interacting with your audience, you will get to know them and the things which are most important to them.

Along with being able to develop positive online relationships with your audience, you will also position yourself as an expert in your niche and someone your followers can trust. Taking the time to implement strategies which will help you understand your social media audience will take some time, but the information you can glean will be invaluable to your marketing efforts.

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