The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

The Modern Audience and Small Business

You think that you may have found the perfect audience audience. After an extensive search through the popular social media pages you’ve found a group with a need for your brand. By all appearances, they are always willing to try the next great option and seem to align with the values you might want to promote.

Image Source: User BubblePunk on Instagram 

The only issue is that the audience seems to be speaking in code.

What connection could there be between your brand and the interests of this group? At TSO, we’re hoping to offer solutions to small businesses for broader issues, but it can often be the more specific obstacles which present the greatest challenge. As graduate students in marketing, we try to remain ahead of the popular trends to offer those solutions.

Image Source: The Social Observer on Facebook

So how do understand what’s happening between our users and how they might best receive our message? 

Research

Start investing your time in learning about the audience

Image Source; Rocket.Chat on MemeGenerator

Understanding how and why the audience values these communication styles will be important. During this research period, placing ourselves into the culture will be an effective strategy. The good news is that these concepts aren’t especially difficult to grasp after only a minimal time investment. Imagery and video content are perhaps the best place to begin. As Pew Research Suggests, this would allow for a fuller view of the audience as far as its interest and to gain a sense of personality.

Per Platform Communications

Each platform will require a specific strategy

Image Source: EWM 

Like any business, each social media platform has been designed specifically to offer something unique from its competitors, or an improvement on the existing structure. Twitter is the primary service for short observations and for sharing bits of content that can be consumed and reshared immediately. The format of Twitter differs significantly from that of Instagram, and for that reason the cultural communication between these platforms differs, as well. What might have worked for an Instagram could fail on Twitter. For this reason, audience research on social media should always consider the platform in developing a strategy. Mitch Porier has a strong write up of the platform trends and some additional items to look out for here. 

Making the Move

Determine where your strengths are and act on them

Image Source: User ShopSmilesByColgate on Reddit 

The research into understanding brand-audience communication does not need to end with a meme that will immediately draw everyone towards the content. 

Actually, putting forward any piece of platform-audience specific content can be a risk where the negative reception is difficult to overcome. The above image is an actual reddit-based promotion by Colgate, we can see that on its face it seems absurd, and perhaps even disturbing, though it was well received on this platform.

Image source: User Bryantmakesprog on Reddit

The better strategy for a small business would be to avoid these sorts of ventures (at first) and simply establish a dialogue with the audience on its own terms. This could be accomplished by becoming a member of that audience.  

In Summary

There is much that goes into a connection with the audience. Fortunately, coming to understand the audience can be done anonymously and at no risk to the brand. What’s more, there is often a greater rabbit hole than might appear at first within these demographics as far as useful leads. The audience knows where its like-minded users spend their time, and that may be at an unanticipated location. If you take the time to understand the audience, you’ll be well ahead of competitors that don’t.

Category: Social Media Marketing 201