Part 1: Building an audience on social media 20 Feb 2014 Social media since its inception has grown prolifically. More platforms have arisen and will continue to emerge. What began as a personal and online means of socialisation has quickly become a commercial means of developing brand loyalty and attaining potential new sales. The challenge for most businesses that employ social media to grow remains the task of growing an audience that is engaged, active and participatory. This blog post of ours will spell out a few simple ways that a business owner can start with to do this well. Know where your audience is hanging out The first step to beginning a social media campaign is to understand your marketing strategy. A business with a poorly defined marketing strategy is unable to effectively use social media to align with and achieve marketing objectives. Businesses must start with identifying their target audience before they eagerly venture into the world of social media. Asking who it is that your business is targeting and researching that target demographic is the most fundamental step to doing social media effectively. Once a target market has been clearly defined, it’s important to know where they are hanging out online, and most importantly, where they are hanging out on social media. For those targeting other professional businesses, for example a law firm, they may find that their audience is most prevalently on LinkedIn and therefore choose that platform as the place to be active on. Being smart when selecting your platforms Being active on platforms where your audience is hanging out is important. This requires some research and understanding of your target market and also the social media platforms and the types of people they appeal to. There is a mass of social media platforms out there, but it’s important to generally stick to the big 7 – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are the most commonly used social media platforms with the widest appeal. Some businesses over-ambitiously look to be present and active on all or a majority of these big 7 social media platforms, however, at Alyka we believe it is far better to know your resources and concentrate efforts on just a few platforms rather than over-extending and diluting efforts. A business can achieve tremendous success with just concentrating on one or two social media platforms and engaging their audience with thoughtful effort and great information and content. Develop a community The best social media campaigns are the ones that create a community and meet the needs of that community. This involves looking after your community and making them feel special or a part of something. Special offers and information can be effective to achieve this. Developing a community also involves knowing your community well. It means understanding what they are wanting and occasionally even asking what they may want more of. It subsequently involves providing them with that content which meets their needs and interests. And finally the key to any community is interaction. This is the case in the offline world and is no different from social media. Effective interaction means responding to comments that people may put up, encouraging dialogue and being respectful of the comments of your audience. We hope that this assists your social media efforts, stay tuned for more tips to come on building a social media audience. If you prefer to have an agency take care of your social media campaign, check out our social media page, or don’t hesitate to give us a call on 08 9200 4429.