Marketing works with segmentation – it’s not a new concept. Marketers often segment their audiences when sending emails, creating pricing models and when it comes to understanding buying behaviours – but often they ignore the practice when it comes to social media, even though it can be extremely useful for link building.
So how do you segment your social media audience? That depends entirely on the networks that you use and the goals you have set for your business.
If you think that you are ready to segment your audience on social media, there are a range of options available.
A really simple way to segment your audience is through the paid search or advertising features that the larger platforms have available. These networks allow you to target messages to users based on a wide range of data; age, gender, location, interests, hobbies and a wide range of other options. If you have an idea of your target audience, these platforms will be able to find your audience online.
Paid searches are so effective because they are a budget way of ensuring that a defined number of your specific target audience will see your message – which is why they are taking off. For most companies, a successful advert on the right platform can really kickstart your business, because they are reaching social media users who are active and engaging.
For marketers who are working with smaller budgets, or clients or CEO’s that don’t support spending money on social media, there are also some ways to organically target your desired audience.
Organic targeting is more difficult, and it definitely takes an art and experience, but it is possible. The larger platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ allow you to select specific audiences for your posts and pages only within their settings.
Organic targeting allows users to tailor their content to specific audiences without paying to promote a post. The large social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ make it easy for companies to do organic targeting just within the post settings – but they are not guaranteed to reach a specific level of your audience as the paid alternatives are.
Create a group
Often, marketers forget that social media is about the community that it will build around your business or your brand. Building a community of people who share a common interest related to your brand is an easy way to segment your audience and to gain valuable insights into their thoughts and feelings about your brand and other things. An easy way to build this community is to create a group page and encourage interaction on there, including asking them questions about your new ideas or advertising campaigns. As the group grows, you will have a constant series of enthusiastic people to speak to and interact with as your business builds.
Make a list
Lists are the marketer’s lifeblood. Most marketers will deal with lists every single day – sending new email campaigns, distributing a press release or an event invitation to a specified list. You can now extend the ability to create lists through to the social media marketing element of your programme.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow users to create specific lists of users – be they friends, followers, people who have attended an event, and more. These lists will allow you to conduct more concise and specific conversations with the right people at the right times.
Segmenting your social media audience may take time, and it will definitely require a great deal of knowledge about your target audience, but it is possible. Once that the steps are completed, and the right avenue is travelled down, you will have a segmented social media audience to push your messages to and interact to.
If you need some help segmenting your social media audience, or an expert to help you maximise your social media opportunity, give Social Heroes a call.