Creating custom content for specific audiences is a proven way of getting more engagement on your social media content. Whether your brand is looking to launch a new campaign or fill the space in between promotions, pulling audience insights can be done throughout the entire process.
Using a target audience profile is fundamental to content planning. And, in addition to that profile, marketers can also find up-to-the-minute insights about those profiles using a social media monitoring tool.
Here’s an example. A podcast around the topic of the TV show “Lost” was launched after the creator noticed many people watch the show while also posting and following along on Twitter. He promoted the podcast through his handle and quickly acquired 15,000 listeners.
Before launching into three recommended steps, there is some information that will help to see the data through the right lens. First, it helps to already know the average user base of social media networks. Pew Research Center has some great stats from a variety of angles.
Reading this first will put into context the fact that there are more men than women using Twitter, for example. It’s also helpful to know that not all social media networks require demographic information in order to create a profile – nor do they validate the information. Some networks partner with companies that can track a user’s location, purchase history, etc., but this is not standard practice.
There are three ways to use social media listening to find new ideas and learn who would appreciate those ideas in 35 to 50 minutes. These tips are designed to be used with a social intelligence platform where all your brand’s profiles are connected.
1. Filter First (2-6 minutes)
Instead of wondering who is talking about news or products in your category, start by isolating a specific demographic first, such as men over 40 in middle America. Try to keep the search terms (queries) as broad or general as possible. If the search is too specific or narrow you’re not going to learn anything new. If this filter does not return a high enough volume of content, you might want to change your location, or age. You could also keep going with this process regardless of how much content you find, then come back to this step and increase the scope of the search by age, location or both. Or, look through the social sphere of those posting about your topic. Hop on over to someone else chatting about that same topic and see what other topics two influencers have in common. Exploring through affinity groups might be a great way to find topic/product crossovers.
2. Sort by Top Engaging (5-10 minutes)
Once you’re satisfied with the amount of content available for analyzing, look at it from a couple different angles. Start with sorting it by highest engaging posts (preferably posts not from your brand channels or posted by your brands). The goal is to find what users are sharing and see what gets the most buzz. You might want to also visit that user’s profile page to get a little background on who they are. Make a note of which social media network this post appeared on, when it appeared (day of the week, time of day). Looking at word clouds can also reveal new or unusual terms worth exploring. These are all insights to guide you as you publish your content. Also look at the images being shared. What is the lifestyle and tone reflected in the imagery around the post? You can also try filtering by a specific network like Reddit, which has a high male user base, to find really targeted insights.
3. Read the comments* (20-30 minutes)
Seeing a high volume of interaction is one thing, but actually combing through the comments is another. Make a note of whether or not the feedback includes hashtags, emoticons, etc. You’ll want to take these into consideration when creating your content. Also note where audiences take their reactions in a completely different direction. One news outlet’s Facebook post about a product recall might trigger a slew of comments about a tangential topic. Remember, there’s more to numbers than meets the eye. What you’ll probably also discover here is what you already knew – the posts with the highest interactions usually have a strong emotional draw, either positive or negative.
This process can also be supplemented with a quick search across the web for correlating topics and more information about the topics being discussed. At this point, the trick is to work what you’ve learned into your branded content, then target this same audience once it’s published.
Coming up with fresh and engaging content for social media can be draining. Finding tips like these can provide a go-to method for keeping the spring of eternal ideas fresh and relevant to your target audiences.
*Caution! Some comment strands are hilarious and might derail your strict time limitations.
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