How many times are companies and brands told or “guided” to Listen to their Audience? What does that mean? Is it plugging keywords into a platform and searching social conversations? Is it analyzing your fans and followers and how they interact with your brand? I think it’s probably some of both, but isn’t there more to Listening to your Audience? It goes beyond analytics and data and maybe it’s time we applied some old fashioned, marketing common sense to our social media.
Listening is critical for social media success in today’s competitive environment. It should be a combination of analytics, data, common sense, and proper brand voice development. For example, is it better to know keywords or understand who your Audience is within the social networks?
What we typically find are companies consistently tweeting, “graming”, and posting on Facebook and Pinterest without any understanding who they’re talking to. In our experience, we find that individuals tend to be different personas within each of their social media platforms. The recipe driven home chef on Pinterest may be a crazed football fan on Facebook. Or the family oriented mom on Facebook who’s extremely professional and uses her Twitter handle for business only. These Audience Members require multiple brand voices and languages that your company has to speak, even to the same persons! That’s why brands must first LISTEN rather than SPEAK. In between is where our company applies the common sense, voice development, of THINK. By following this process brands can create and develop the right #AudienceSpeak.
So what’s the process? It’s actually very simple, but may require removing your “Posting Hat” and replacing it with two steps backwards, and putting in the hearing aids. Your social voice and strategy should derive from your Audience, NOT your marketing department. Sorry marketing departments, but in today’s world, Audience voice and conversations will show you where to go and what path to take. Ultimately, this makes everyone’s goals more obtainable when your Audience is relating to the brand more frequently.
So here’s a few tips:
“No Ties Meeting” – This is a meeting of the minds. A good old fashioned branding session.
Determine who and what you want to be in social media. How does it tie back to the “off-line” brand voice? Remember, you may need several voices to ensure you’re reaching far into your Audience.
What does the brand want to be in each of the social media platforms? Is it Follower Dominant, or more of a Boutique Interactive relationship?
Who is your Audience? Where are they and who are they in the social networks? Are they the “Home Chef” or the “Professional Pinterest Mom”? Each has a different language…now you have to start building the right #AudienceSpeak.
“Map it Out”
What did you learn in the “No Ties Meeting” and how can you now build from that to begin development of the new social voice….the #AudienceSpeak.
“Time for Talk”
This is the final stage in building your language. Here you actually begin to talk to your Audience. Test the language. Are they understanding it, following it, and relating to it? If not, keep testing based on what they’re saying back to you. This and only this, will continually develop your #AudienceSpeak.
#AudienceSpeak, the language beyond words for your brand.