It’s best not to leave your social media success to chance! Instead of randomly picking social networks to market your business, channel your inner Magnum, P.I., dig out your best sleuthing skills, and learn how to find your customers on social media and choose the best social media marketing sites for your business.
In this webinar you’ll learn:
- How to define who your target customers are.
- How to investigate which social networks they are actively using.
- How to determine which social media marketing sites your business should be actively using.
Speaker: Kathy Gray, Brand Engagement Strategist
Watch Time: 00:09:10
Download How to Find Your Customers on Social Media slides on SlideShare.
Today, we’re going to be talking about how to find your customers on social media, and how to choose social networks for your business. Let’s channel our inner Magnum, P.I. and get started.
Here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it. First, we want to identify our suspects, or our target customers. Second, we’re going to begin surveillance. Then, we will determine the networks we’re going to use to connect and engage with our suspects. I mean, target customers.
Let’s get started on the first part of our investigation. We need to identify our target customers. First, we’re going to gather intelligence. We want to know what their gender is, what age groups they fall into, their geographic locations. If it’s B2B, their job title and company. We want to know their interests, their goals and challenges, words and phrases that they use, and how they describe themselves. All of these pieces of information are going to help us locate them online.
So we’ll set up a profile of each of our target customer groups. Here’s an example from a client of ours. They sell women’s ski apparel. One of their target customers is the Midwestern Mom, who just happens to be like me. The demographics of the Midwestern Mom are that they live in the Midwest states, obviously. Their age is mid-30s to 40s. They’re typically a college graduate and work outside the home. Some of their goals and challenges are finding more time to spend with their family, finding more time to enjoy the outdoors, and get out from behind the computer and out of the office. Their interests are light outdoor activities, gardening, family, and do-it-yourself home decorating projects.
Now, we need to fill in the last piece of the puzzle and determine which social networks they use. Download our buyer persona worksheet, which will help you profile your customers.
All right. Let’s go ahead and call T.C., and get him to bring around the chopper. It’s time for a little social media surveillance. Where you think your customers hang out on social media or the internet might not always be the case. We’re going to take a look at the demographics of the major networks and how to locate your customers on them.
Our first location of interest is Facebook. Facebook is the largest and most popular social network. It’s the Google of social media. It’s primarily B2C, but B2B is finding it increasingly more useful. Sixty-five plus is the fastest growing age group. Eighteen to 29-year-olds have profiles, but they may not be as active. They’re spread across more networks than older generations.
So how are we going to find our customers on Facebook? Facebook is one of the quickest networks to find your current customers. Through Facebook Ads Manager, you can create custom audiences. Create a tracking pixel and install it on your website. The pixel will track all visitors to your website, and match them to their Facebook user account.
You can also upload email lists and phone lists of current customers. A high match rate is a good indication that this is a network you should not ignore. If you get a low match rate, then you may want to skip Facebook. B2B businesses won’t have as high of match rates with email and phone lists, because people tend to sign up for social media with their personal information. But there’s still a good chance Facebook will be able to match a considerable amount of your website’s traffic to their Facebook user accounts.
LinkedIn is the largest and most popular B2B social network. Users tend to be college graduates and have a higher household income than other social networks. It is the only network more popular with college grads than 18 to 29-year-olds. You’re not going to be able to match your website visitors or upload an email list, but there are still ways to determine if your customers are on LinkedIn.
If you use Gmail, Rapportive is a great tool for matching email addresses to LinkedIn user accounts. It can be a time-consuming process. So it’s best to take a random sample of contacts from your database, copy their email addresses, and place them in a new email in Gmail. Hover over the email addresses with your mouse, and in the right sidebar a profile will pop up showing a link to their LinkedIn profile and Twitter account if the service can match them.
You can also search LinkedIn by job title, company, and location. Look for LinkedIn industry groups that your target customers may belong to, and see how many members and how active the group is. For example, associations, industry publications, and other local organizations like Chambers of Commerce, or local societies of PRSA and other associations like that are a great place to start.
Twitter is useful for both B2C and B2B. It’s great for online PR and for building relationships with industry influencers and bloggers. It’s also a great customer service platform. It is most popular with the 18 to 29 age range. As mentioned with LinkedIn, you can use Rapportive in Gmail to see if your customers have Twitter accounts. You can also search keywords, hashtags, and locations to find your customers.
Much like Facebook, in Twitter Ads you can create an email audience by uploading your customer list. It will match the email addresses to Twitter user accounts. This can be an especially effective way to see if your customers are on Twitter.
Pinterest is primarily a B2C network and female-dominated. It continues to increase in popularity with all age groups. Pinterest users tend to be more educated and have a higher income than the typical social media user. It is more difficult to research your customers on Pinterest than other networks. You can take a slice of your customers and spot check names, but that can be time-consuming. Look at your competitors’ followers, or find bloggers in your industry that use Pinterest and are active on the platform, and take a look at their followers and see if their followers match your ideal target customer. Above all, if possible, ask your customers if they use Pinterest.
Instagram is also heavily B2C with slightly more female users. It’s extremely popular with younger users, but the 30 to 49 age group is steadily increasing. Interestingly, Instagram has a higher adoption among minorities than other networks. Instagram is somewhat like Pinterest, in that it’s a little tougher to find your audience through spot checking names, so you’ll want to look at competitors’ and bloggers’ followers, and ask your customers.
What Instagram has that Pinterest doesn’t is a healthy use of hashtags. Hashtags are heavily used on Instagram posts and can be easily searched through Iconosquare.com. Search your brand name, product name, and keywords people use to describe your products and services. Iconosquare will give you the volume of posts tagged with those keywords, which is a good indication if your product and service is being talked about and shared on Instagram.
Now, we’re in the final stage of our investigation and it’s time to make some decisions. Yes, Magnum P.I., I’ll connect with you.
We need to complete our customer profiles, and based on our surveillance, outline which social networks each target customer is active on. You will have more than one target customer, and some target customers will trend to one social platform versus another. Take a look at the networks and rank them in order of importance. You’ll want to start with the top network. Master that, and then move down your list. It’s better to be awesome on one network, than terrible on five.