Today’s post is another goodie from our friend Laurel Teuscher. Enjoy!
A business knows who their audience is. They’ve done the researched, had surveys sent out, and can confidently tell anyone about their key demographic. Whether they are the quintessential Wall Street guru, the hippie fruit loving stay-at-home parent, or the hipster—we picture and write to that person, knowing that by writing in their language and addressing their concerns, we can engage them.
But what if our vision of our audience, isn’t the right one?
The beauty of social media is that it brings us back into a small-town atmosphere. Everything is by word of mouth. Had a great experience at a restaurant? Hit up Yelp and write a quick review. People will search, find the review, and then head to that restaurant based on your recommendation.
Your business is trying to get people to talk about you. And the beauty of the Internet and social media is that you can see who is talking about your business.
But maybe while you’re working so hard to appeal to the 20-something music lover crowd, your actual audience is a 35-44 year old accountant Dad. Without a survey, without field research, your analytics program tells you that. Or maybe you think your business is for 50+ year old professional men, but the people who are talking about you are actually young women in their 20s. You can either disregard these fans and continue to write to the audience you want, or you can alter your plans and write to the audience that you have.
Alter. As in change.
Businesses don’t like to hear that because change means that the cost will go up. Budgets and schedules will need to be revised.
It’s true that your strategy must adapt to focus on this new audience. But once you start writing to the audience you have, you’ll find that you have better advocates. You appeal to the people who are already talking about your business and they are more than willing to start sharing and engaging.
And the more they share, the more reach you have and the better engagement. A business would rather have one customer saying great things about their business to their friends, than 20 people who never interact with them.
Listen to your audience and then start creating content that they will want to engage with and share to their friends.
Laurel Teuscher hates to be called a social media guru, but she’s glad that the hours she’s spent online (and her roundabout degrees) enabled her to find a job in the social media realm.
Image source: SaraHealy.com