The first thing you need to do in order to stay connected to your audience is know who your audience is. I have already talked about this in First Step – To Create A Social Media Strategy . Once you have broken that magic definition of who your audience is you have to go where they are. The people you are trying to stay connected with are more than likely not on your website. You are trying to get them interested in your product or services but as we have discovered in Build Trust to Sell Stuff it is about the relationship. You have to build the relationship in the communities they are visiting and having a conversation.
I just realized that some of this is redundant but it is worth repeating. So bear with me. So where is your audience? Chances are if you are looking for executives and businesses they are on LinkedIn. If you are not currently on LinkedIn you need to be if you are looking for professional connections, prospects or if your audience is business to business. Within LinkedIn there are many diverse groups. Some of the ones that I belong to are:
- eMarketing Association Network
- Google Universe
- Linked: Golfers
- Social Learning for Professionals
- Social Media Marketing
You get the picture I hope. The groups above and many more are where my audience is. It is your job to find the groups where your audience would hang out and talk, share and ask others for advice and help. Another business one that is still active, but not as popular, is Plaxo
If your audience is the consumer you need to definitely be on Facebook with over 500 million members chances are your consumer audience is there. Ask Coca Cola why they are there. No really go to the link and ask them. They have over 14 million members plus several subpages like Coca Cola Australia. And with FB’s new groups and dynamics there should be many more to choose from.
Another way to stay connected is to listen for key words that your audience is talking about that would define them as your audience. You can do this through a number of services but I have found that HootSuite is a good one. You can monitor mentions and also schedule posts. We’ve already talked about Listening Stations, which are a great way to monitor what is being said and finding your audience that way.
There are many more places your audience is hanging out at. It is your job to find them.
The important thing is to stay connected and to do that You Have To Know Your Audience. Social Media is a tool for you to have meaningful and not so meaningful conversations with your audience. Let them know you are in their world and you care about what they have to say.