As companies create social media strategies and tactical plans, it is surprising to see how often a crucial element is overlooked: target audiences (aka the people that companies are trying to reach, engage and build relationships with).
It probably has to do with the focus on coming up with a plan of attack and the mechanics of day-to-day execution. Companies spend a lot of time working on getting a handle on why they want to use social media, what they want to get out of it and how it’s going to happen but the consumer sometimes gets lost in the mix.
It’s a head-scratcher because a key part of creating and selling a product – be it tangible or social media activity – is identifying the target audiences, and trying to determine who they are, what kind of content and information they would be interested in getting, their consumption habits, and what kind of social media services they are using, if any.
Having a solid knowledge of the target audience plays a crucial play in making sure whatever a company does with social media is effective and focused. It makes no sense, for example, to be enthusiastic about Facebook if only a small portion of the target audience uses Facebook as a way to consume information and engage with brands.
Another thing that makes target audiences so challenging is different groups could use different types of social media services and be interested in consuming different kinds of information. One part of your audience may be all over Twitter because they want a steady flow of content, while a blog would resonate with another group looking for in-depth perspective, insight and information.
In other words, it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. This makes the importance of identifying target audiences that much more necessary and important. At the end of the day, a social media program will thrive if enough people consume, use, interact or share the content that a company generates. Otherwise, a company is wasting its time if no one is buying what they’re selling.