Your Target Audience Is NOT Generic


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Peas in a pod

There’s a mindset among many business owners that they need to be on social media. Specifically, they need to be on Facebook; or Twitter; or LinkedIn; or have a blog; or look ahead to business options on Google Plus.

This is usually fostered by fly-by-night consultants and agencies who tap into the fear factor so many businesses have about social media, and use blinding statistics and numbers about these platforms, and why a business needs to be on them.

You get the usual soundbites, like Facebook is the equivalent of the third biggest country in the world; or Google Plus has the fastest adoption rate of new users across all social networks; or if you’re not blogging, you’re not reaching your audience.

But so what? All these numbers and stats are doing is taking a generic approach to social media.

The consultants and agencies peddling them are doing so because they know big numbers sound impressive, and that any business owner would be a fool to miss out on 750 million potential new customers on Facebook, or 20 million and counting on Google Plus, or any other millions of potential customers on other networks.

But, again, that’s being generic. And customers are anything but.

The Collective Individuals

Sure, you can segment customers into groups. For example, you might have a product that appeals to women between 25-45, with kids and a sporty lifestyle. Or you might attract gearheads. Or teenagers.

But they’re still individuals, even as part of a collective.

There’s no guarantee that a million sporty moms will all love the same product; or that 500 gearheads will all be tempted by your latest sale; or 1,000 teens will all want to see the same teen movie.

As consumers, we don’t work that way – so why would we approach our business strategy that way to attract our audience? Why would we think generically? Because we’re told that’s where the money is, according to the people with the awesome social media numbers?

Be Your Customer

If you’re a brick and mortar store, and you attract a very niche audience based on location and age, do you think having a generic blog is going to attract new customers?

If you’re a mom and pop business that sells classic 78 RPM vinyl, do you think a Facebook group full of teens talking about video games is going to work for you?

Yes, social media and a solid online presence can – and does – bring in new business. But that’s after research defines where that new business is, not because someone tells you that you could reach almost a billion potential customers simply by having an account.

Seriously, if it was that easy, we’d hear more success stories of how social media is the secret sauce, as opposed to digging in deep and finding out for ourselves what we need to be doing.

You’ve built your success up so far by being smart about your business – why would you want to stop now, just because someone shows you some bright lights and inflated sales potential?

Sure, numbers are great (despite what girls tell us guys, size does matter, or so I’m told).

But size only matters when it’s appropriate – make sure you’re not getting sucked in by size, when you should be looking at the overall package…

image: MrWoodnz

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown is partner at Bonsai Interactive Marketing, a full service agency offering integrated, social media and mobile marketing solutions. He is also founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a social media-led charity initiative connecting globally and helping locally.


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