Have you ever wondered how to find your ideal clients on social media?
If you are like most business people or marketers, locating your ideal customers and prospects is often a challenge when using social media.
In fact, a key finding in the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner discovered that one of areas that marketers (and most other businesses) struggle with most, is locating their ideal customer and prospects. This was true for 86% of the people who took the survey.
Thankfully, this task will be much easier if you have worked through my two previous articles on ideal client, How To Get Your Marketing To Attract Your Ideal Clients and Speak Directly to Your Ideal Clients in Your Marketing.
The content in this series will help you to attract, speak to, locate and connect with your ideal clients.
Locating Your Ideal Clients
Your first objective is to find out what social media platforms your potential clients spend their time on.
If you already have access to your ideal clients, such as through a brick and mortar store or email list, take advantage of this and ask them what platforms they prefer to use.
If you are not sure where to start, there is plenty of demographical data out there for each social media platform, which can give you a place to start. For example:
“Over 90% of the 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35, which makes it an attractive platform for many apparel, entertainment, and media brands focused on the 18- to 34-year-old age bracket.”
While stats such as this can give you an idea as to whether your ideal clients might be using a social media network, these are only a place to start. These stats don’t tell the whole story for each unique community – including yours.
Combine what you know about your ideal clients with the function and demographics of each platform.
As an example, if you offer products or services related to home building, décor, fashion, food, travel or sports, these are very visual industries so there is a good chance you could find your clients on the more visual platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest as well as video platforms like YouTube, Periscope and Snapchat.
Don’t ignore the more specialized platforms. In the case of homebuilding and décor, you may want to look at Houzz, which specializes in all things related to the home, whether it is services (such as decorators, cabinet builders, plumbers, contractors etc.), to vendors offering home related products, to a wealth of do-it-yourself content.
In the B2B sphere, LinkedIn is one of the most widely used social networking platforms. With over 433 million members, many of which are executive level or business owners, there is a good chance you will find the decision makers you are targeting here.
Once you have picked one or more platforms you think your ideal clients can be found on, you need to dig a little deeper.
Now do a search for your ideal client using relevant job titles and/or keywords tied to their profession, challenges and hopes.
For example, if you have created a medical device to treat back pain. You could approach this from several angles.
If this device requires a professional to use it, you would want to locate those professionals such as (chiropractors, doctors, physiotherapists, etc.), most likely on a platform like LinkedIn. You want to find (and join) groups that these people belong to as well as search for people in your network with those professional titles.
You might also want to search for back pain groups on Facebook or use the hashtag #backpain to search on Twitter. Depending on your goals, pick the best one or two platforms and create a strategy to begin connecting and building relationships with your community.
Once you have found them, hangout where they are and listen to what they are talking about. Do NOT try to just jump into their conversation. You want to make sure that:
a). these are indeed your ideal customers and
b). that you fully understand what they are discussing and the language they are using.
If you feel you are in the right place and understand the topics and language being used, you can begin by engaging in small ways (that I will expand upon shortly).
If after a six month or more period you are not getting results, you may need to re-evaluate the platform. Don’t be afraid to regularly analyze your results and course correct as needed.
Most platforms have their own analytics, which you can use to track your progress as well as get demographic info. This information can help you to know if you are reaching the community you are targeting as well as if there are other communities interested in what you have to share.
Here are examples of demographical info from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Remember that social networks are constantly evolving, as are your ideal clients. You need to be prepared to be as equally as nimble in your marketing efforts.
Connecting with Your Ideal Clients
After you have located your ideal clients, you will need to become a respected community member by providing consistent value to the group.
Start this process slowly.
In the case of groups, forums or other public spaces, begin by engaging with the content of others. This includes leaving thoughtful and appropriate comments. The goal is to join the conversation.
Once you are familiar and comfortable, you may want to reply to other’s comments and ask questions.
Finally start your own conversations by posting helpful content whether it is curated from others or content you have created.
NEVER blast your sales materials or marketing pitches or you will lose any hope you have of building relationships with the community.
It is a similar process when connecting with individuals on platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.
On Twitter you might start by replying to or retweeting the person you wish to connect with and work towards starting a conversation.
On LinkedIn the process starts with your initial connection request. Make sure that the connection request is personalized, telling people why they should connect with you.
Successfully Marketing to Your Ideal Clients
After you have located and connected with your community, your goal is to become the trusted expert and authority on your topic.
This is done by consistently sharing content, in the forms most favored by your community (such as videos, images, animated gifs, articles, webinars, case studies, etc.) that helps them to overcome their challenges or speaks to what is important to them.
Respond to any and all engagement by your community in a reasonably amount of time and in a positive and appropriate way.
If you successfully do this, you can build a loyal following of people who will be eager to purchase from you.
You will find the greatest success with your marketing when you focus your efforts on knowing who your ideal clients are, what is important to them, what keeps them up at night and what they hope for in the future and then use this information to find, connect and help them be their most successful selves.
People make buying decisions based on emotion rather than facts, so SHOW your ideal clients that you understand and care about what is important to them. If you don’t, someone else will.
What social media platform(s) has been most successful for you? Share in the comments below.