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If Your Social Media Strategy Doesn’t Start With Your Audience, You’ll Miss the Mark

Social media is, well, social, right? People consuming and sharing content is what makes social networking what it is, but too often, businesses fail to consider the importance of delivering the right content to the right audience when creating a social strategy.

The fact is that the content your business produces plays a huge role in the viability of your social media marketing efforts. Specifically, the quality of your content is what drives a meaningful social strategy. Just sharing a funny meme because it’s funny doesn’t necessarily help your social media presence.

Also, just because you think a piece of content is helpful or interesting doesn’t mean that it will provide value to your followers. You need to begin with your audience in mind rather than considering them as an afterthought.

What Does It Mean to Begin With Your Audience in Mind?

Whenever you’re considering producing or sharing content on your brand’s social media channels, ask yourself questions like:

  • Does this content add value to the audience or relate to their interests?
  • How does this content reflect on my brand’s relationship with the audience?
  • What aspects of this content make it something people will want to share?
  • What stops people from skipping over this content?

When you begin with your audience in mind, you’re acting with purpose. Every piece of content that you share, whether video, text, image, audio, or something else, needs to serve a role in the journey toward conversion.

Wait… How Do You Know What Your Audience Likes?

While creating and sharing the right content for your target market can have huge benefits for your social marketing, there’s a tiny little problem that you’re bound to run into — what does your audience like? You know that you need to produce and share content that resonates with your followers, but who is your target market, and what are they looking for?

This conundrum is one that marketing professionals and business owners alike have faced since the dawn of commerce. The good news is that social media and the internet make it easier than ever to figure out what your audience is into.

Become a Cyber Detective

In fact, one of the easiest ways to learn about your audience is to do a bit of cyber-sleuthing. Check out the social profiles of some people who follow your brand. Most social media platforms will show the pages people follow, what music they like, where they spend their time, and more. Also, people love to post about hobbies, travel destinations, and other personal information on social media. All you have to do is start building personas.

For example, if you notice that many of your brand’s followers are into overseas travel, you can then use this data to build out your content. If your company sells home security technology, make videos talking about the importance of utilizing home security while you’re away from home on vacation. You can also share infographics that demonstrate how your products integrate into busy lifestyles for people on the go while also giving vacation safety tips.

Accept Feedback, Go With What Works

As mentioned above, just because you think content will be valuable doesn’t always mean it will resonate with your followers. Likewise, the audience may engage with content that you don’t consider relevant, but none of that matters. What matters is that you understand your followers and their interests, which begins with listening to and accepting feedback.

Pay attention to comments, direct messages, shares, likes, and other forms of engagement. What is it about your latest blog post share that created a higher engagement rate than usual? Why did this or that video, in particular, get more shares than usual?

When you look at your feedback, you’re letting your audience into the driver’s seat for a moment. While this may feel a bit strange at first, remember that your destination is wherever your customers are, not where you plan to find customers.

Case Study: Duolingo and TikTok

To further drive home the point that your content needs to focus on the audience and its preferences first, take a look at Duolingo’s success on TikTok. Duolingo is a language learning app, and at first glance, you might not think it would have millions of likes on social media. However, the truth is that Duolingo has a huge presence on TikTok, one of today’s hottest sharing platforms.

Duolingo is famous for its viral content, and part of what makes the brand’s content so special is that it learned what its followers like. It took dozens of videos with different types of content before Duolingo caught onto the fact that audiences really engaged with Duo, the brand’s owl mascot. By including Duo in the content that Duolingo shared, engagement went up dramatically.

Today, Duolingo’s TikTok account is known for quirky videos and shareable content, and it has achieved success because the brand was willing to learn what audiences want. From there, it was just a matter of answering this demand and letting Duolingo’s followers define what is valuable content and what is not.

Your Audience Is the Seed That Grows Your Strategy

At the end of the day, your audience is the seed that grows your social media marketing strategy. Just like with growing anything that bears fruit, you need to nourish your followers with consistent, quality content that feeds into what they crave.

Instead of rich soil, you can build a rich foundation of content that offers value and shareable qualities that your audience can come back to again and again to establish strong, healthy roots with your brand. Do this across all of your social media channels, and you’re bound to see engagement soar.