Where to Find Your Ideal Customers on Social Media

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By Melonie Dodaro

As new statistics show 62 per cent of adults worldwide are using social media, the dust has officially begun to settle on the debate of its relevance as a marketing tool in the business world. However, I hear from many businesses they are having a difficult time finding the time to incorporate it into their already business days.
It doesn’t seem reasonable (or feasible) for most businesses to allocate the resources needed to sustain an effective online presence across all social sites when initially implementing a social media strategy.

Understanding Your Target Market

The obvious task before assessing where your customers are online is determining exactly who they are. A fatal mistake of any failed social media strategy will make the assumption that everyone is your target market. Even if your product or service could be used by anyone at all, it is in no way beneficial to try to target the entire general population.

Your target market is comprised of those who want, need and are willing to pay for what you offer.

Creating the Right Content

If you’ve ever read an article on social media marketing before, you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king” being tossed around as the golden rule for success. Although this might be great news for natural or disciplined writers, it either seems like a lot of work, money or both to the average business owner.
Every customer has a problem and they seek out products or services to help solve those issues for them. It doesn’t matter if you are buying a car, soap or a ticket to the movie theater – you are solving a problem.

“Inbound marketing costs 61 per cent less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing – a stat that has remained consistent for the last couple of years.”
– State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot, March 2012

When you think about solving the problems your customers commonly face, creating content starts to make a lot more sense. If you are a businessperson, you are likely an expert at what you do and should have plenty of experience to draw on for content.

The businesses that aren’t seeing any benefits from their blogging efforts generally lack the crucial component of search engine optimization (SEO). Unfortunately, the fate of your position on Google search results and other search engines is largely dependent on selecting the correct keywords and optimizing your blog posts so your website is found when your prospects seek out the solutions you provide.

News outlets have been talking about the inevitable death of the Yellow Pages for years now as people depend on the Internet for instant access to the information they seek. A book can have errors within days of being printed but a strong online presence should always be an updated and reliable source.

What Social Networks is Your Target Market Using?

Understanding where your target market likes to spend time online is fundamental to a successful social media strategy. You don’t need to be everywhere online but you should definitely be promoting yourself where there is a higher concentration of your ideal target market.

There are new social networks popping up everyday it seems but there are really only six major ones that dominate the scene: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+.

The data represented below is compiled from various recent reports on each of the social networks. This can be used as a guideline to determine which social networks are most likely to have your target market.

LinkedIn

Top 3 Industries Using It: Tech, Finance, Manufacturing
Growth: two new members join every second (over 175 million total)
Demographics: 68 per cent are business decision makers
Most Popular Features: LinkedIn Groups, People Search
Most Compelling Stat: 4X more effective for B2B than Facebook and Twitter
Who Should Use It: B2B organizations and recruiters
Why You Should Care: Executives are present from all of the Fortune 500 companies as members and 85 of the Fortune 100 companies use its corporate hiring solutions

Facebook

Growth: 901 million monthly active users with a trillion monthly page views, average time spent on FB per user each month is 7:45:49
Demographics: 58 per cent of users are female
Most Popular Features: Photo-tagging and photo sharing
Who Should Use It: Any B2C organization
Most Compelling Stat: 60 per cent of consumers are willing to post about products or services on Facebook if they get a deal or discount

Twitter

Growth: Over 1 million new accounts added every day (465 million total)
Demographics: 64 per cent of users are female
Most Popular Features: Tweeting and retweeting
Who Should Use It: B2C and B2B organizations
Most Compelling Stat: 47 per cent of customers said they are “somewhat likely” to purchase from a brand they follow or like
Why You Should Care: 34 per cent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter and 20 per cent have closed deals

Pinterest

Growth: third most visited social site in terms of traffic
Demographics: 80 per cent of users are currently female
Most Compelling Stat: As of January 2012, Pinterest accounted for 3.6 per cent of total referral traffic while it was still an invite only site
Who Should Use It: Any business that sells products, especially products marketed to females (for example: wedding industry or home décor)
Why You Should Care: Pinterest generates more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined

YouTube

Growth: Third most visited site on the Internet (according to Alexa) with over 4 billion views per day
Demographics: 44 per cent of YouTube’s registered users are aged between 12 and 34
Most Compelling Stat: 500 years worth of YouTube video are watched on Facebook every day
Who Should Use It: Every business should be using YouTube
Why You Should Care: An Outbrain study found video to be the most popular form of content online created by marketers

Google+

Growth: 150 million active users (250 million total)
Demographics: 63 per cent of users are male
Most Compelling Stat: Websites using the +1 button (Google’s equivalent of a Facebook “like”) generate 3.5X the Google+ visits than sites without the button
Who Should Use It: Popularity on Google+ improves your SEO (when used properly)
Why You Should Care: Moving from position No. 3 to No. 1 in Google will get you a 300 per cent increase in web traffic
So there you have it, it’s important to do your research and choose the social networks that are best suited for your business and target market. You don’t need to be everywhere, just focus on being where your target market is and creating quality content that provides value and engages your audience.  

Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media helps business owners, sales teams and professionals to use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. Grab her free special report called The New Rules of Marketing at http://TopDogSocialMedia.com

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