“Man is a knot into which relationships are tied.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Human beings crave relationships. Social media has made it easier for humans to connect. You have identified your business’s target audience. Now you need to know them.
Having a target audience for business is critical to most people and their companies. How do you choose your target audience in the first place? Initially, there are several possible criteria by which to choose your target audience. You can choose demographically. You can choose according to location. You can choose according to elements in common that they share with you. Whichever criteria you choose, you need to ask yourself “what’s in it for my audience” when it comes to interacting with people and enticing them with your offerings.
Once you have identified your target audience, you need to start to know them as people. On your journey in building relationships with your audience, you really need to understand who they are as people, what they are interested in, how they feel about various topics and what their problems are and how you can help solve them. You also need to totally make them understand how important they are to your business. Always remember to consider their needs above anything else.
As you are growing your relationships, time and patience are of the utmost importance. You can consider it like growing tomatoes. When you first begin the relationship with a member of your target audience, you make sure that the foundation that you have laid together is comfortable and nurturing. Then, you must start to learn who they are as people. Relationships, no matter what the ultimate goal is, are always about people. You need to understand what they feel and how they feel. The foundation, which you have so carefully built, must be strong and valuable. Without sun and rain, your tomatoes will not flourish. Without patience, caring and understanding, your relationships will not flourish.
The more involved you get with your target audience, the more you will be able to connect with them and the more they will trust you.
Here are some ways to truly get to know your target audience:
- Listen to what they are saying: As easy as it seems, it really isn’t. Listening to your audience’s wants and needs is a critical first step in getting to know your audience. As you build your online relationship, you must dedicate consistent and regular time to interacting with your audience. When you are interacting, your only goal should be to gain a deeper understanding of the other person. Really listen to what he or she is saying. If you do that, you will have effective and meaningful interactions.
- Jump into the conversation: If you sit quietly and don’t participate in discussions, you won’t get very far with your target audience. You will find that you are not always the one starting the conversation. You will have many opportunities to comment on other people’s discussions and blog articles.
- Pose a question: People love to answer questions. You will find that many people will want to contribute their 2 cents. People love to share their opinions with others. There are so many questions to ask and the answers will prove to be extremely interesting.
- Offer a Call to Action every time you post: Without a Call to Action, your audience members will have no way of getting in touch with you. It should never be just a link. It should be enticing enough to other people to want them to connect with you. Offer them something that they want and need. A Call to Action can come in many different forms, such as an invitation to purchase and item, a response to a poll, answering a question, etc. A Call to Action is basically anything that compels your audience to take some sort of action.
- Follow your audience: Following your target audience is a really excellent way to get to know them. Often, you will get to know them very well by seeing how they interact with other people, not just with you. That includes interesting articles that they share with others, questions that they answer, brands that they discuss, etc.
- Pay attention to who is following your target audience: Paying attention to your followers’ followers is an interesting and creative way to get to understand your target audience more deeply. In doing this, you may also gain new members for your target audience. Expanding the number of people (as long as the relationships are of high quality) in your target audience is a really smart thing to do.
- Pay attention to what they are posting: If you read their blogs, you will get to know where they passions lie. The more you read, the more you will understand. Along with this, you should also pay close attention to the sorts of comments that they leave on other people’s blogs. Learn how your target audience likes to engage.
- Ask them to comment on your blog: Encourage as many members of your target audience as possible to leave comments on the blogs that you are posting. The more people comment, the more engaged they will become.
- Start a LinkedIn group: You can create a group in your niche and encourage the members of your target audience to join the group. Once you have established the group and have gotten other people to join, post questions. You can also ask the other group members to introduce themselves and write a little about their businesses. The idea is to get other people to be excited about the group and all of the interactions that take place there.
Getting to really know your target audience is essential to the success of your business. The more you interact with other people and get them to want to interact with you, the stronger your relationships will be and the more trust, credibility and expertise you will be building in their eyes.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team and don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).