Kyosei Creative | Social Media Best Practices: Focus on your social audience

Social Media Best Practices: Focus on your social audience

Social media has a bad reputation for being a channel for self-absorbed people to talk about themselves and share pictures of their lunch. Whatever those people get out of it, they’re not going to be very successful at building a social brand. Unless you’re Kardashian-level famous, nobody wants to hear you talk about yourself. This is true both on a macro-level (picking content your audience will be interested in) and on a micro-level. Want an example of the micro level? In The Science of Marketing, Dan Zarella found that posts that contain words like “I” and “we”  get significantly less engagement than posts that contain “you.” The takeaway? Talk to your audience, not at them—and, whatever you do, don’t just scream into the void, praying for likes.

Here’s one way to think of it: someone’s first encounter with your social media presence is like a first date (I’ve had a few of those). You meet up at a coffee shop (errr… on Twitter) and sit down together.

So, do you talk about yourself the whole time?

Not if you want a second date.

Rather, focus on your social audience — the other person (or people), and how you relate to them. If they feel that you care (but not too much), they’ll be more interested in you. I’ve had a few first dates with people who do nothing but spout out fun facts about their life and work. Dull! Get me out of there.

The other crucial element is killer content—cool videos, useful tools, interesting blogs, informative resources—which can sometimes break through even the worst “me-me-me” noise. But if that’s your strategy, you shouldn’t forsake audience focus either. To consistently produce great content that gets a response, you’ll want to have a good understanding of who your ideal audience is, then create and package your content accordingly.

When audience-focus in messaging and great content come together you’re on the right track. Look, for instance, at Dove’s 2013 “Real Beauty: Sketches” campaign, in which they compared artist-created sketches based on self-descriptions from women vs. descriptions of the same women by friends. How did Dove do this? By adopting a totally human tone and speaking directly to the women who were likely to appreciate the message. That particular campaign went huge. It became such a viral phenomenon that Dove received coverage over traditional news networks—a content marketer’s dream. The crucial component: Dove understood what would interest its audience.

Audience focus is at the core of almost every successful marketing campaign, and it’s often the difference between social communications that “get it,” and those that simply don’t.

Photo: Flickr / Roger Reuver


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