Social Media Marketing One of the many hats I wear is as a marketing expert-in-residence for a business incubator. Couple that with running a consulting company, and you’ll understand that I get put in the room with a huge number of businesses.

Sadly, an overwhelming number of these companies have one thing in common: poor marketing. They have no understanding of who their ideal customer is (or even who actually buys their stuff), why a customer would want to buy their product, or even how to find their customers. Fortunately, modern marketing gives us the answer to all of these questions: social media.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you why you should be using social, because, let’s be honest, you guys are a rather educated bunch who “get it” already. Rather, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about one of the ways social can not only remedy your marketing blues, but bring your companies to a whole new understanding of who you are and how to interact with your customers.

What we are really talking about here is understanding who your target audience is, where they like to be talked to, and how they like to speak. After all, wouldn’t that make your job as a marketer easier? Not just in the social world, but all of your content creation, and even new features become a logical extension of how you would treat this person in “real life.”

Ideally, you already know a little bit about your target audience. Basic demographics are a start, but psychographics are where the real win is. As a general “rule,” similar groups of people tend to think, act, and speak in similar ways (i.e. Nurses are caring and Engineers have their own lingo).

Here at Skirmish Strategies, we use the DISC system to help break down audience personalities for our clients. Then we do something crazy. We use social media to TEST our assumptions.

Social media is an amazing tool, not only for the sheer amount of data we can look at to test our assumptions, using tools like Facebook ads for demographics, but because we can actually test messaging on real, live people.

The way you phrase things matters, even if you’re just being helpful on Twitter. Different audiences will respond to different phrasing, so we test. Then we test some more. Finally we test again, until we are absolutely sure that the lingo, the offer, the WAY we are interacting, and most importantly the conversion (the action we want our audience to do) is moving the needle in a direction we like. Then and only then do we unleash the full power of the marketing department: we build the ads, write the emails, and tweet the tweets (note, the interns are not driving social media strategy, rather the audience is driving social media strategy).

Social media created a marketing revolution by bringing every company back to the “small town” way of doing business (you know, where the local butcher knew how you liked your steaks cut and that you had 4 kids….oh and probably their birthdays). I think it’s about time we start treating the channel with the respect it deserves and stop simply using it to send out useless information.

Stop tweeting and start listening, not just to what’s being said, but also how it’s being said. I promise you, your social media marketing efforts, your bottom line, AND your audience will thank you.

Think I’m brilliant, crazy, or crazy-brilliant? Let us know in the comments section below!


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