The Audience you Reach can be Dizzying!

It might be stating the obvious, but the unique characteristic of social media is just that – it’s social.  Get it right and you don’t have an audience, you have a community, a group, a tribe.

The channels know that – and they encourage your innate tribal instinct.  Algorithms ensure you see content you are likely to like, people you are likely to agree with, news items that will interest you.  Gathering information about you all the time, they can give access to extraordinarily targeted audiences.

These are people talking to each other.  Us marketers get the opportunity to interrupt, break into that group and join the conversation.

Match your content to your audience, bring information that is both interesting and relevant, listen, converse, respond: watch the numbers rise.  For a B2B marketer, the sheer size of the audience you can reach can be dizzying.  Who’d imagine we could get 1 million people to watch a video on cable manufacturing?

Once everyone has calmed down, of course, it’s good to remember that the objective is not necessarily how many people see your content, it’s what they do that really counts.

That’s where it all gets technical.  Profiling in detail who you want to influence, defining objectives, clarifying exactly what you want to achieve is essential.  A million views is a lovely number, but it’s the 1,000 who might actually buy your stuff who matter.  Content must be designed to achieve a result, not just to produce numbers.

It must also be matched precisely to the audience you’re looking for and the channel you are using.  Targeted audiences need targeted content: and you’re well advised to play around to find the silver bullet.

One fantastic characteristic of the fast-moving, rough and ready world of the social media channels, where last week is pre-history and yesterday is ages ago, is that there is so much room for refinement.  Rewrite a headline, switch an image, tweak your targeting, change your conversion criteria: it’s all up for grabs and you know immediately whether you’ve struck gold.

And gold should be just that.  Tangible, measurable results that prove your case.  Can you build awareness? Can you spread knowledge? Can you build sales?  Yes, yes and yes.

Even better, you can find the people who not only like your brand but are prepared to say so.  Building an online community of users who genuinely like what you do is the most persuasive marketing resource available.

Don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy.  Using social media channels effectively needs a mix of interesting, creative content and mind-warpingly precise analysis.  It needs persistence, investment and consistency. It’s not right for every campaign or every audience: but it is fun.

Anna Hern, Ridgemount PR

To learn more about the use of social media in the construction sector see the Construction Media Index.