Know Your Audience

For a company beginning to establish a social media presence, it’s imperative to know their audience. If this crucial step was skipped, then the entire campaign could be for naught.
Businesslink suggests the first step that must be taken in the process of establishing whom a company’s campaign will be marketed towards is to thoroughly understand what the company is trying to accomplish. Is the company trying to sell a product? A service? Once this basic concept is established, a better idea of how to go about accomplishing this goal is achieved.
For example, a clothing company’s goal will be to sell clothes. This seems simple enough, but from there, it must be established who they are trying to get to buy the clothes. A children’s clothing company cannot be marketed towards the children themselves, but rather at their parents, whom will be the ones actually buying the clothes. Children and teenagers influence their parents’ spending around $500 billion per year! So it is important to include teens and kids (more so teenagers) in the company’s social media campaigns, but not aim the entire project toward their demographic. As shown in the article, Social Networks/Blogs Now Account for One in Every Four and a Half Minutes Online, 54% of the world’s population that uses internet also uses Facebook. With this statistic being among the entire WORLD, it’s easy to see how important it is to be on Facebook as a company.

As time goes on, more and more people in older generations are establishing social media presences. With “professional” social media, such as LinkedIn, it has become a social norm for everyone to have some sort of social media website, even if they do not consider themselves to be young or hip enough to have a Myspace or Facebook presence. So, in this day and age, the older generations can still be reached through online and social media.
But, once the decision to market online via social media has been made, how can they decide whom specifically the social media marketing campaign will be aimed towards?
For example, as a clothing company, would they solely market directly to the customers themselves, or also to clothing stores who could carry the clothes to sell for their own profit? There are many more questions that must be asked beyond the surface level of establishing a target audience.
The easiest way to go about establishing a target audience is just to think about it critically. As aforementioned, sometimes the decision of whom to market to is an easy one. If not, then market research must be conducted. Once the research is conducted, then the campaign can be properly aimed so as to achieve the best results that link back to the company’s original goal, whether it be to increase sales, increase publicity, or another goal.
Knowing the target audience and target publics is the most crucial step when designing a social media presence. Even something so small as picking the wrong social media platform could result in an ineffective effort.

— Posted by Beckie Sweet
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