Chapter 3: Hitting Your Target (Audience)
As I mentioned in the last chapter, the most powerful tool that Facebook has is its ability to target audiences. What’s kind of strange for those of us who have been doing marketing for years is that all of that information has been given up voluntarily.
In the old days, you had to go to a dozen different source to know someone’s income, address, marital status, and hobbies. Today, it’s all on Facebook. When you put up a profile, you name is attached to everything that you do, like, and share. That lets Facebook know what you’re all about. That’s a massive change from just 20 years ago.
Here is a list, not even close to comprehensive, of some of the information points that you can use:
- Marital status
- Address (down to a single street)
- Musical interests
- Books read
- Movies watched
- Facebook pages liked
There are thousands of other data points that you can narrow your audience down with.
Rather than get into the usual conversation about “know your audience”, which is frankly Marketing 101, let’s look at how Facebook lets you use this information.
If you aren’t sure how to find your target audience, check out this article from Inc. Magazine: https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/defining-your-target-market.html. Nearly every business magazine has some articles you can look at and Hubspot is one of my favorite sources of information, as well.
Facebook doesn’t give you this information for free. You have access to this when you purchase ads. What you can do, though, is purchases ads that promote your page or group to your target audience. That will get you the followers you want.
Getting Started in Defining Your Audience and Your Offerings
Let me make a confession here: I hate catchphrases. One of those catchphrases that really annoys me is “value proposition.” A value proposition, in this context, is finding out “what do your customers care about?” and delivering that.
The idea is really simple, but I’m going to say it again: Create great content that humans would like and you’ll do fine!
So let’s just assume that you are only going to offer your readers value, not junk. The question then is what do they like.
Here’s a plan for figuring out how to engage your audience well using the tools that are free to you on Facebook:
- Look at competitors’ pages – Find competitors, big and small, that are posting on Facebook. What do you like about their page and postings? What don’t you like? What applies to what you do? What doesn’t? Imitation of success is a tried-and-true way to succeed.
- Look for those posts that they put up that got the most engagement. If they posted a funny cat meme that 500 people liked, but their posts about what they do simply fall flat, there’s a lesson there.
- See if you can find places where people have asked questions, complained, etc. This is what their readers were passionate enough about to take the time out of their day to say something about it. That’s what they want to hear and what you want to give.
- Summarize what you’ve found – Take everything that you found out about competitors and see if you can find the patterns that run through it. If it’s funny cat-related business posts, then you know what to post. This list of what’s working is going to be the heart of your success.
- Defining your audience – Looking at the information that you’ve gathered, you can see what your audience might like and why. If you took the time to read the Inc article and define your audience with what you know, you can easily see what you need to do to get them engaged.
- Be unique – One of the lessons that you might get from what you’ve gathered is what can you do differently. For example, if you’re a web design company and folks constantly have questions about how to modify the WordPress themes, there’s a really good chance you can keep your audience engaged by offering them advice on how to do that. I know a psychic who goes onto Facebook Live most Tuesday afternoons and gives a free reading for an hour or so to her audience. Who do you think they call when they want an in-depth, personalized reading? Knowing what everyone else is doing is the perfect way to figure out how to be different.
- Accentuate the positive – Really play to your strengths. If you have a unique offering, keep working that in your posts and ads. If you don’t do something well or don’t want to do it all the time, don’t talk about it.
- Start your content machine – Now you have a sense of who your audience is and what they want. You also understand what you do that’s unique and different. Use that to start creating content.
- Writer’s hints – Speak to your audience as if they were in the room. Use real words and real tones. Don’t try to be more formal or more laid-back than you and your business really are. Just sound human. Imagine that you’re speaking to a group of your readers in your living room and explaining the things that you want to write about to them. BE REAL! It’s how it all works best.
- Look at what your readers are saying – Just throwing it out there and letting it run is not productive. Feedback is at the heart of social media. Look at the comments that you’re getting.
- If you get a negative comment, answer it immediately. Try to get that person to contact you out of the public eye. Then put up a resolution when you get it all done.
- Look at the likes and shares that your posts are getting. That will be an indicator of how well you’re doing with your content.
- Compare and contrast. If one post gets 2,000 likes and another only get 200, look at the differences. See if you can figure out how they are different and what makes them work well.
- Say thanks for positive feedback. The key to engagement isn’t just waiting for someone to have a complaint. If someone looks at your posts and likes it, thank them for taking the time.
- Give everyone updates. If you’ve gotten a lot of positive and negative feedback, take the time to put together everything that you’ve learned and what you’re doing about it. Nothing is more satisfying to a customer than to see that you’ve instituted a new policy or procedure to address a concern that they had.
All of this starts with great quality content.
There are a lot of things you can do to make your Facebook page more active,
but you have to start with great, thoughtful content.