Sometimes I’m asked to come up with social media strategies on the fly. Clients bring me in to consult on a new or existing social media community for which they don’t know where to begin or how to move forward.  They understand on some level the power of these communities and how they can increase trust and brand awareness, but they aren’t sure what to do be successful. If this is you, consider these basic questions.

Who are you talking to?

Leading a social media presence means you are building an audience. Fans, followers, whatever you call them, they are an audience. You want them participating, sharing and enjoying your content and increasing your reach through their word of mouth. So ask yourself – who am I talking to? What do they look like? What are their interests? Often it is helpful to create an image in your mind of your ideal audience member.  For example, if you’re selling alternative health products your audience member will have certain traits and interests different from a member of a manufacturing company community. Picture that ideal audience member in your mind as you decide on the type of content you plan to post.

Where are they?

Is your business location specific or are you trying to appeal to a global audience? Local business can often benefit from the strong “buy local” sense of community, while global corporations won’t have much luck with this strategy unless they plan to highlight all the communities in which they do business.  Remember your audience wants to connect with something that’s relevant to them. Again, it is about keeping your audience in mind. Seems simple, but it this concept is often overlooked.

What do they like to talk about?

Picture yourself at a party. Do you find yourself drawn to folks that talk about themselves and their accomplishments only or genuine people that take an interest in you, your thoughts and your life? Remember this party analogy when you create your content calendar. Ask yourself “why will people want to connect with this?”  It is acceptable to talk about yourself once in awhile, but try to strike a balance.

What’s in it for them?

People connect with businesses on social media because they get something out of it. Maybe it’s a discount code, exclusive content, a potential job, entertainment, social status from company recognition or education that helps them with their own agenda. Whatever the reason, it isn’t about you. Give your audience what they want.

All these things point to the basic premise of social media, that it’s the social aspect that matters most. Keep your audience in mind with every post.

I’d love to hear about your audience and what’s working for you.