How To Target Your Customers With Social Media

By on June 8, 2011

There is a lot of theory floating around about using social media to target your ideal customer base – but how do you actually do this? Unfortunately there is no simple answer. This is because your social media campaign has to attract the right people first, before you can convert these fans or followers into actual customers.

There are however, a few ways you can ensure that your communities are primed for your sales pitches. Let’s take a look at what you should be doing here.

Segmenting Your Market

Some of your community will be ready to buy, some will be great at sharing and commenting – and some will follow you, and never give you a darn thing in return. But that’s okay. You need to find out which people in your community are interested in buying. To do this you need a delicate combination of efficient research, data collection and segmenting.

What? Basically, you need to learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog to collect certain groups of potential customers together. With Twitter, it’s easy – you just use the list tool. With Facebook and LinkedIn, you have to be a little more involved. Use analytics tools to review what your community has been doing. Segment them into different groups.

Think about location, interaction, intention, age, likes and dislikes. All of this information is a window into the mind of your potential customer. Then check to see if your marketing messages are appealing to these people.

During this process you might find a group of people that are very interested in your business and advice. These are your ideal customers. Shooting them a private email with a personal marketing message, might be all they need to buy your new product.

Sales increase when you approach people as people, and not ‘a bulk community.’ Many small businesses build relationships using social media, and then personally invite certain people to buy their products.

If their research is spot on, this renders a far higher sales conversion rate than blanket marketing. We’ve even seen serious marketers build social profiles of each individual in their community.

It sounds a bit invasive, but really it’s not. Remember that your community is already interested in your business. They want to learn, to grow. By targeting your messages at individuals you are removing spam from the equation, and offering them a legitimate opportunity. At the same time, you’re also sending out the message that you care about who they are. It’s a win-win.

The Logistics of Targeting Your Customers

As we mentioned before, you need to have certain things in place, in order to attract the right people. Keywords for example, are instrumental in doing this. If you aren’t already using Google’s Keyword Tool, or WordTracker, then you need to start using them. The right keywords syndicated in blogs, articles, video – as many different forms as you can, will attract viable customers.

Customer engagement is the all-important factor here. You need to genuinely get to know your community, so that you can determine who is ready, or interested in buying. It’s a long process, with a lot of hard work involved, but it’s worth it in the end. Just ask Starbucks, McDonalds and Apple – they do it all the time!

How do you use social media to target your customer base? We want to know, so leave your comment for us below!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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