(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)
Whenever I speak to a class about digital marketing, the first thing we talk about is your audience. Who is it that you are trying to reach when you are using social media? Knowing your audience really helps decide what platform(s) are best.
First, create your “target” customer. Most businesses can narrow down their audience through a series of demographic and psychographic questions: How old are they? Are they married? Where do they live? What brands do they like? What influences buying behavior? These questions can be answered through anonymous surveys, casual questioning, or, if you already use Facebook, the insights tab.
While determining your audience, also understand why they should buy your product or service. Are they buying it to inspire them? Does it solve a need, simplify their life, or improve an opportunity? This will help with content down the road but also helps define your audience.
Once you have answered these questions, determine what platform(s) your audience is utilizing in terms of social media and how your audience shares news/information. If your business sells clothes/accessories for teenage girls, utilizing Instagram and Snapchat would be the best avenue for the audience. While Facebook is the most popular and widely used social media platform, many teens are not utilizing it, at least not regularly.
Lastly, follow your competitors and see how they are attracting your similar audience. What do you see them doing well and how can you position your business to attract and retain your audience.
It’s always a good idea to evaluate your audience annually and make any necessary changes to the customer profile.