Social Media Marketing BY PAM MCBRIDE Social media marketing is a fast-paced industry. With new tools, techniques and best practices constantly bombarding your inbox and feeds, it can be tough to decide where to put your efforts. In order to stay afloat, however, you don’t need the latest bells and whistles – you just need to stick to the basics. And the most basic of all marketing tenants? Know your audience. By understanding your audience, you will set yourself up to benefit in a number of ways. And on the other side of the coin, if you don’t know your audience, you’ll miss out on many opportunities that no amount of “tips and tricks” can help you achieve. Here are seven opportunities in social media marketing that you’ll miss out on if you don’t know your audience: Generating more followers If you know the audience you’d like to reach, growing your followers becomes almost effortless. You will begin to post content your audience wants to engage with, which will increase your reach and exposure, and in turn increase the number of followers and fans across your social profiles. Personalized offers Being able to personalize deals and offers to a specific audience segment is a huge benefit of social media marketing. By understanding what your audience likes and dislikes, you can create offers that appeal to their lifestyle. Word of mouth Your audience wants to share their experiences with your brand – and you want those experiences to be positive. To get Sally to recommend you to her friends, you’ve got to understand who Sally is in order to delight and inspire her to share. Better customer service Do you think your customers find it useful that your Twitteraccount’s version of customer service is to tell them to call a toll-free number? Probably not. When someone reaches out to your brand for help, they’re looking for engagement and personalized care – something that you can only give them if you take the time to get to know them and their issues. Networking with influencers Deep audience insights don’t just give you knowledge in the aggregate – they can help you pinpoint the VIPs, potential brand advocates, and individual influencers that can help Life is a balance between work and play… 8 Irresistible Principles of Fun improve your reach and reputation. More opportunities to convert By building a large audience on social media, you increase your chance to convert a portion of them into customers. If you are connected to an audience that has a need for your product or service, then every tweet you send, photo you post and update you share has the chance to be clicked on, engaged with, and used to move your audience down the funnel. Real-time feedback Launching a new product? Adding new features? Why not ask your audience what they think? Twitter is a great network for real-time feedback – but feedback is only valuable if you are actually connected to your target audience. Social media marketing unlocks a host of potential opportunities for brands, but those that will find the most success are the ones that take the time to get to know their audience.