01 Mar How to reach your customers on social media
One of the best marketing exercises I ever did was during a workshop years ago where I was asked to describe what my customers looked like (for the business I was working for). I think we all tend to think about the demographics first, i.e. age and location, but this workshop encouraged me to actually draw what my customers looked like. We created a person; a potential customer, giving them a name, a lifestyle, age and location of course, in addition to their interests. What I realised from doing this, were the additional opportunities for finding and reaching potential customers, just by doing a simple marketing exercise.
When you’re looking at exactly ‘who’ your customer (s) is, consider these questions…
What do they read?
Where do they shop?
What other interests might they have?
What similar social media pages might they be following?
What social media platforms might they use?
For example, if you’re an accommodation provider offering self-catered accommodation you might consider ‘Martin’ or ‘Debra’ as your target audience.
‘Martin’ is a 42-year-old man married to ‘Debra’ and lives in Essex. ‘Martin’ holidayed in Cornwall when he was younger and likes to take his family back during the holidays. He has two children and a dog. ‘Martin’ reads the Guardian newspaper as well as follows national media pages online. ‘Martin’ is a full time IT Consultant but likes to get outdoors walking or cycling, and enjoys rugby.
‘Debra’ is a 39-year-old woman and works as a Purchasing Manager for a leading food manufacturer. ‘Debra’ works part time and enjoys reading the Guardian as well as lifestyle magazines including Red Magazine. She is an avid foodie and shops locally where possible. Like ‘Martin’, ‘Debra’ enjoys walking as well as spa days and exploring her county’s local heritage. ‘Debra’ is the decision maker when it comes to booking holidays for the family. Value for money is important, as well as finding self-catered accommodation that is both child and dog friendly with plenty of local attractions and walking routes.
A very detailed description of these two ‘people’, but what opportunities can we pull from this information?
Needs/requirements – ‘Debra’ will be looking specifically for dog friendly accommodation and may well ask for recommendations on social media as well as posting in Facebook groups or checking online booking sites. She will also be looking for accommodation that is child friendly (with lots to do on-site) in a location that has plenty of local attractions. Use this information to share relevant posts into Facebook groups (e.g. dog friendly accommodation owners) for example.
Lifestyle/ Interests – As a history lover, ‘Debra’ may well be looking at places close to English Heritage and National Trust sites as well as local spas. ‘Martin’ will be keen to find local cycle routes for himself and the family. Having holidayed in Cornwall before, he may be familiar with some of the more well-known tourist spots.
You can use some assumptive information such as what ‘Martin’ and ‘Debra’ read and their hobbies into the ‘interests’ box of ad targeting. Provided the page has a large enough following, you can also target ads to people who like Red Magazine’s Facebook page for example.
All this information can also help you put together content that appeals to what your target audience is looking for. Of course, ‘Martin’ and ‘Debra’ are fictitious, but you may already have some of the answers for creating a typical customer based on previous customers and what you have learnt about them.
Your customer profile can also help you identify other marketing opportunities including print advertising and online booking sites or directories. Remember to work backwards and really put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Whatever product or service you offer, the more knowledge you have about WHO your customer is, the more data you can input when putting together an advertising campaign… or even part of a marketing strategy. Your customer needn’t be your current clientele either. It could be customers that you aspire to have. What kind of audience do you want to appeal to? Often finding new audiences can help generate fresh leads, especially on social media. Ever have the same people liking your posts?
So, the next time you’re looking to start a new marketing campaign, whether that be on social media, print advertising or elsewhere, get your drawing board literally out and get brainstorming!