Social Media, like any other marketing tool, can be successful if you target your ad to the right audience.   You would not write an article in Spanish for your all English speaking audience.  You need to ensure you know who you are targeting to make sure you provide value for that group to get them and keep them interested.  Here are 5 things to consider when planning to market your content to your audience:

1-Know your actual audience

Are you real estate agent and you wish to provide tips and strategies on getting the best deal for your home? Then your audience will not be teenagers.  If you are an education advocate, you may be targeting parents and writing content helping them understand new policies that affect their children.  If your target is not one particular group, make a list of who they are (Parents, 25-35, females, People looking to lose weight, etc.).   Know them, and move on to step 2.

2-Know what they want

To provide quality content and have people return to your brand, you must offer what people are looking for.  The old adage “you must give a little to get a little”, holds water with Social Media.   Because “liking” a page costs a person nothing but 2-3 seconds out of their life, what keeps them coming back is that the brand offers something of interest that they are willing to spend time on.  Advice, humor, free stuff, it all plays well with your audience! However, it is not all about them.

3-Find the Sweet Spot

To have 1000 fans just to have them does nothing for your brand.   Having 1000 fans visit your website consistently and/or purchasing your product or taking a course of action makes being online worth your time.   This is where you have to be creative in finding the sweet spot-the place where your interests and that of your fans find a common place.   If you are a restaurant and you offer 50% off a second meal every 3rd Friday of the month for your Facebook fans, they get a great deal for being a fan (and would likely tell others about it) and you get more folks eating at your business.   It is win/win.

4-Know what tools you need

If you are like the above restaurant,  make sure you use the tools to make it easy for people to redeem the discount online.   Constant Contact allows you to capture peoples emails and send an automatic reply when a person signs up.  This reply can contain a coupon to redeem the discount.  Essentially, know which tools you will use to make it easy for the fan.

5-Know your resources

Sometimes the ability to share information like tips and strategies and whether you can give a discount does not coincide with your ability to produce the content so it is conducive to sharing.   Conversely, you can be an expert on sharing but do not know much about the policy aspects of an issue.  So know who are the people who can help you put all the above together and create a plan around your strength and weaknesses.

At the end of the day,  as long as you are showing your fans that you are trying to give them the best content and accepting their opinion when you are asking them (you are asking them right?), they will love you for your authenticity, ability and willingness to be a part of the community, rather than the dictator of it. Invest in the time to create great content and you will be rewarded.  But if you just post announcements to 1000 fans but only like the comment (your brand and your cousin) than people are not as interested as you think they are!