Understanding Audience Needs and Maximising Social Media Presence
When working with social media, it’s important to consider the reason you’re using it. Whether your page exists as a notice board for your facility, an interactive community for your customers, or a space for you to promote sales messages, having a solid reason for the use of social media can help you understand the type of content you need to produce, as well as figuring out which platform is best suited for your business.
There are several factors involved when it comes to determining the reason you use social media as a part of your brand. When looking into these factors, it’s important to consider the ways that your audience is engaging with your content. We’re going to look at the different reasons someone might follow your page, and what sort of content will resonate with each audience.
I want information and updates on the business
A significant number of your audience on social media will be following your pages to stay informed of news and updates from your business. Some examples of updates that this audience might be looking for include new activities at your centre, development updates, and opening times.
If most of your audience is made up of those looking for updates on your business, having regular content is important to maintain their engagement. Content such as a weekly update post or a link to a newsletter can be helpful.
I’m researching before making a buying decision
This type of consumer presents a very real sales opportunity for your business. Whether they are new or existing customers, they provide an opportunity for you to showcase your products and facilities, as well as your brand’s personality. Sales messages can work with this type of audience, but it’s important to remember that sales messages should be posted with a degree of caution; too many can push potential customers away. Some places to start with sales content are product advertisements, showcasing your facilities, and promotions of discounts or offers.
A good way to avoid the over-use of sales messages is using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which allows your organic posts to focus on customer retention and service communications. This can help to reduce the number of sales posts on your page – keeping important sales messages current and on the screens of relevant audiences and leaving space for other content. PPC does can also be a very effective tool in awareness campaigns, as well as for use in driving sales.
I’m a current customer and want to show support to the business
Current customers that want to show support for your business are an invaluable part of your social media presence. Not only can they help to boost engagement on your channels, but they offer an opportunity to spread awareness of your business at next to no cost. For this audience, awareness campaigns can be very beneficial. ‘Like and share’ competitions are a great way of spreading awareness, and those that want to show support are likely to get involved.
Polls can be another great way of engaging with this audience. They offer both a way for your customers to get interactive with your page and can also provide valuable feedback about your products and services. For example, you might ask ‘What’s a fitness class you’d love to see added to our timetable?’.
Now that you’ve got your audience members nailed down, what else can you do to suit their needs and keep them engaged?
Keeping content balanced for your audience
It’s important to keep a good balance across your social media content. Ensuring that you have a good mixture of content will keep your social media presence fresh and interesting, and by looking at the behaviour of your audience you can determine which types of content are worth the most attention. For example, if customers are interacting more with posts about updates in what’s happening in the local community, this sort of content should be used regularly. If polls are getting no attention, other methods of engaging content might be worth considering.
Types of content and different social media platforms
Once you have a good understanding of the types of audience your following is made up of and the type of content you want to post, you will be able to maximise your social media presence by using different social media platforms. It’s important to remember that each social media platform serves a different and unique purpose; we’ll look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and consider how each platform is appropriate for different types of content.
Facebook is used for social networking, connecting with others, sharing information, and forming communities. It has more of a communal feel that other social media platforms and can be a great choice of platform for content focused around updates on your business, as well as awareness content.
Instagram is used for sharing image and video content, as well as some ‘disappearing content’ such as polls and stories, which are erased from the platform after a certain period – usually 24 hours. It is a good choice for sharing updates on your business if the content isn’t too text heavy. It can also be a great platform for showcasing your facilities through high quality images to give an impressive introduction.
Twitter is used to communicate through short text-based messages, with the option to include images, videos, and links. This isn’t the platform for wordy or complicated content; it’s best suited for content that can be condensed into short text accompanied by images. Once again, it can be a good platform for sharing updates on your business, but it can also be a great choice for sales messages.
Whilst not often considered a social media channel, YouTube allows for comments, likes, dislikes, and subscribers – sound familiar? You can build a community on YouTube, using video to bring your brand and services to life. Posting product updates, opening times, meet the team, and sales messages can all be done through video.
Having a solid understanding of the reason you want to use your social media combined with a knowledge of the audience that you’re dealing with is a working formula to maximise the potential of your social media presence. We can help you understand the needs of your audience and can show you how you can use different social media platforms to help your business’s online presence reach its full potential.
Get in touch today to arrange a social media audit or to discuss our social media management services.