In the previous article, “Critical Questions You Must Ask Before Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon, ” the Social Capitalist pointed out the some of the first and most critical questions to consider when defining and targeting social media audience.
Identifying and defining your social media audience is critical to your SMO Strategy for two major reasons:
Reason #1 – Your Social Audience Is Your #1 Marketing Asset: Social technologies have allowed for information to grow and travel socially faster than ever before. Indeed, properly identifying your audience is a cornerstone holding up all SMO rules. However, if the audience is identified and the message is leveraged properly, you’re audience will be more than happy to do all the work for you. In fact, they won’t even know they’re doing work, they’ll just think they’re sharing something interesting when in fact they are doing your marketing for you. You would be surprised how easy it becomes to grow online from word of mouth if you do a good job following the rules of WOM online. In order to be sharable and linkable in the social space, your content needs to reach the right people. Who else is going to pass on your message? People that don’t care about your message or find it relevant? Hardly. People that care, people that find it relevant, people that find it compelling will be the ones to share your message. So, taking the time to figure out who you want to reach and how to reach them is critical. Not only are these “social talkers” critical for your ongoing SMO success but they play a big role into the social consumer decision making process and the ones seeking answers about you will either find answers or they will not. This diagram is Copyright 2010 Visual Duration.
Reason #2 Defining Your Social Media Audience is Directly Related to Your Social Risk And Reward. This gets kind of personal because the size of the audience you want to reach should a function of your company or your comfort level. This is a reflection not only or your organizations willingness to take risks for great rewards but also their willingness to take on the challenge of mitigating that risk with extraordinary planning and strategy. Being honest with yourself and your brand regarding this question is critical. What is the comfort level? How fast do you want to grow? Determining who you want to connect with and the size of the audience you want to reach is correlated to how much risk (and reward) your company is willing to take on. If your company culture is very conservative, perhaps targeting specific industry people is best. If you are a risk taking type of company that rewards boldness and ambition, perhaps your social media strategies and company policies should reflect this culture. When it comes to determining the size of your audience, consider the childhood game “Telephone”. As the message moves on to more and more people, the higher the possibility the message gets changed which could hurt end up biting you in the tail On the other hand, the more your message moves on, the more influence you and your brand can have which translates into more sales, revenue, brand awareness, etc. Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimer Group describes a brand’s influence in terms of rings. He calls it the “Rings of Influence” The further you extend your rings, the greater opportunity for reach, trust, and risk.
Owyang goes on to describe these rings in further detail on his blog, Web-Strategist.
I’m sure there are many other reasons defining your targeted social audience is important and so I will leave that open to comments and discussion and I encourage you to drop you own company or blog as I have commentluv enabled comments and I have every intention of rewarding top commentators.
So what is your answer to the following question:“Who Do You Want to Connect With on Social Media?”
Did you answer it lightly or did you seriously consider the implications of reach and audience type in your thought process?
If you lightly considered it, I highly suggest you revisit your considerations as it will save you a lot of time, unnecessary risk and uncertainty overtime. The more planning and thinking that goes into the questions I’m asking on The Social Capitalist, the better the platform for you to move forward with your strategy and with more planning comes reduced risk. This is similar to how SEO strategists approach keyword research. When it comes to SMO, you need both keyword and target audience research on your side. Given this, my advice is as follows: the more risk (reward) you are willing to take with a social media strategy, the more time and resources you need to allocate and the more planning you will need to do.
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So how do you properly define your social media audience?