Jan 12, 2018

The Essential Guide to Social Media Targeting

by Digital Marketing Institute

Social media is fun, easy, and a great way to be creative while offering a glimpse of your personal life and business activities but to do it really well, you actually need to develop a strategy.

Here are some actionable tips and tricks that you can use to develop your social media strategy to increase conversions and sales

Know What’s Trending

You may be surprised at which platforms are expected to stick around as the most popular in the next few years. Instagram video (ephemeral content) is expected to be big, as are LinkedIn and Facebook.

SlideShare, owned by LinkedIn, is frequently used on the site and is a hugely advantageous tool in that it offers a professional, user-friendly and visual method for users of all ages to easily be synced over to LinkedIn and also found on Google.

Here you have an excellent opportunity to have a professional “presentation” at the ready to anyone who is using LinkedIn.

Use Specialty Software and Apps

There are a ton of new apps out there that are specifically designed to help social media managers schedule, organize, plan and target their content. These are tools that you can use yourself, but also recommend to clients if you’re acting as a consultant on one-off projects.

A few examples of innovative new apps include:

  • Sprinkles: A fun app that takes your photos and actually creates captions for you.
  • Planoly: This app helps you to ensure a consistent aesthetic and brand voice on Instagram by showing you in advance how each post will look as an aggregate grid.
  • Adobe Premiere Clip: Use this to quickly edit video and even soundtracks on your mobile device.
  • Canva: This is one of the more popular tools for creating amazing graphics. Use it to make Infographics, photo illustrations, memes, and more.

Use Quizzes and Polls

Questions, questions, questions. This is an excellent way to get audiences to reveal their preferences and behavior, which essentially is the basis of your market research strategy. And there are plenty of tools to help you figure out your audience. Here are a couple of the more popular ones.

Facebook and Twitter: These platforms have easy-to-use poll options meant to engage in market research in your current Facebook groups. They’re not only excellent engagement tools, but they’re also essentially free market research opportunities that can easily lead you to build buyer personas for digital ad campaigns. The quirkier your product or target persona is, the more creative you can get with this.

Typeform: This is a versatile quiz-building platform that is very user-friendly. If you use it as a digital marketer, you’ll find that people are excited to answer questions about themselves. You can use it across various platforms, and what’s more, it’s a free tool.

Survey Monkey: It has been around forever and for a pretty good reason: it’s versatile, user-friendly, and inexpensive. If you’re new to social media marketing and want to practice, you can use such tools for “just-for-fun” polls in your favorite Facebook group or as a part of your personal branding strategy.

Understand How Your Product Ties in with Different Platforms

You’ll want to use a platform that really meets the needs of the particular types of products you offer. It’s a good idea to choose the top two or three and focus on those. One example of how to figure this out is by reviewing the actual demographics of each platform, too.

Part of understanding how to develop a good social strategy is being able to assess, recommend and implement a given business’ ideal social media profile based on their product, industry, target market, and other factors incorporated from their overall business strategy. And there are more and more social media platforms to choose from.

Is the product super visual? Pinterest and Instagram might be your go-to. Do you have a lot of content that is effectively converted and presented to audio? Consider an app like Anchor, which is a social media platform specifically designed for audio and allows users to create audio and video content to be shared across various platforms.

Facebook Ads for the Win

Facebook ads are, of course, one of the best and least expensive ways to target advertising as they have a huge range of built-in targeting mechanisms, which can help you, understand and even create buyer personas based on real-life data that is easily accessible. Most campaigns are going to involve a little bit of trial and error. This is okay, though, as this type of experimentation and problem-solving is part of a content or social media manager’s job.

So, as you are learning how to create a killer Facebook ad, there are many specific things to consider and explore. You’ll want to learn how to effectively incorporate purchasing behavior parameters on your ads. You’ll also want to consider targeting based on life events which Facebook also has a lot of data for.

You can target your ads for existing and new customers in various ways, as well as use them to build subscription lists. Facebook ads also have a feature called “Create Lookalike Audience” which allows you to find new audiences with similar interests or preferences as your current one.

Build a Tribe

Hands down, interactive groups are still a key way to dig into market research, engage your audience, build a following and target your strategy. When you have a community of people in one place, your audience is already segmented and, when members are engaged, they’re giving you information every day via conversations on the topic of interest.

Using easy tools (think Facebook or Slack) you can build groups that are open, closed, or even paid, if the groups are, for instance, a part of an elite course offering. If you’re starting to target, keeping the group more open can be a good idea, but this can also be a little bit tricky as you will need to keep conversations on track with what you want to know, as well as keep trolls, spammers, and scammers out of the group.

Use Analytics Tools

By now most of us know how amazing Google Analytics is, but there are other neat tools out there that can help you figure out where you stand. Social Crawlytics and BuzzSumo are genius tools that help you to find your audience just by entering a URL or search term. They allow you to find out where your audience is and also how active it is. With BuzzSumo you can actually enter in a search term, and you’ll immediately find the sharing and engagement details on the most popular articles on that particular topic.

There’s always going to be a need for continuous testing, so dig on in and try some new analytics tools out to help with your current or upcoming digital marketing campaign. Some of them even offer the ability to track the activity of competitors.

Engage Authentically

When you’re working with social media and trying to maintain and build an audience, it’s important that you’re careful about how you’re working with your audience by their preferences. And in a lot of cases, less is more.

You don’t need to post that often, necessarily--perhaps once a day on Facebook, twice on twitter, and alternate between different types of content. This will depend on your industry and platform, of course. But the point is that you need to pay attention to what they’re really seeing as useful. How likely are they to stop in the middle of a busy day to like or comment on your posts? Why are they not seeing your posts? Do they respond well to humour or inspirational memes? How about controversy?

These are just a few of many ideas of where to start targeting your audience for your social media digital marketing campaign. Relationships are everything, and with any social or marketing strategy, this will be the thing that makes customers remember a business, stick around, and talk about it.

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