The problem with these phrases if you’re new to using social media to make money is they appear separate.
The product/service will Provide Value and the “We care about our s…blah blah blah” is how to Be Authentic.
These terms are overused and too ambiguous. Let’s shed some light on what this really means for anyone looking to profit using social media.
It boils down to another two word phrase…
But wait, you might be saying… My product/service is useful…
But are you?
If you want to gauge how useful you are in social media look at the to the point feedback you receive.
If your feedback isn’t proportionate to the people in your network, you’re not being useful. And if you’re not being useful, why would anyone want to buy your selling?
The good news is, it’s not that hard to be useful.
Identify your target market
Your target market isn’t “anyone who can benefit from my services” Don’t fall into that trap. You’ll waste valuable resources like time and money trying to get just anyone to be your target market.
Likewise targeting groups like “small business owners” “entrepreneurs” and “mommy-bloggers” is also too general.
If you want to be useful, you have to know very specific demographics and psychographics of your target market.
This doesn’t mean you have to focus on one group and exclude everyone else, but rather focus your messages to speak directly to groups of people who are more likely to buy, or share or whatever your end-game is. (Don’t worry, others will come too)
Television advertising runs ads during programming that their target market will most likely to be viewing… It’s kind of like that. On steroids.
Imagine you run a printing company. You could target 20-35 year old male graphic design freelancers who live within 20 miles of New York City.
If you wanted to break the market down even further, you could target only those who are interested in Graffiti art, and could then break down to target based on different artists the market is influenced by.
A clearly defined target market enables you to clearly know where and how you can be useful to the market you’re looking to serve.
Defining your target market is only the very beginning if you want to be useful.
Getting into your mind of your market
Knowing who they are is a good start, but if you don’t know what they need, how are you going to fit into their lives?
If you’re going to be useful, you should be able to provide solutions to your target market.
The only way to know what people truly need is to ask and do research. I took an informal poll on Linkedin on “How to get into your target market’s mind“. (Really interesting feedback! Click here to read all the results.)
Some common methods of collecting this type of data is to use surveys, basic keyword research and check out the interactions on related blogs or news sources.
However, relying on a single method to create a psycho-graphic profile independent of additional research will provide only partial results.
Graham Jones, Internet Psychologist elaborates on this point further
“If you really want to get into someone’s mind you need quite sophisticated techniques. One of the problems of surveys, questionnaires and so on, is the fact that people say what they expect you want the answers to be. Honesty and a true reflection of thinking is not always apparent…!
So, tracking what people ACTUALLY do, rather than what they say they do is essential. Equally, using linguistic analysis of free-flow (essay) style answers is better than tick boxes. Also, research that monitors what people say about an industry or product or company is useful – such as analysis of Twitter or Facebook groups.
In order to get a true picture you need several sets of data which you then “triangulate” to see what is really going on. Otherwise any simple survey is likely to have weaknesses and not present a full picture. Nevertheless, even simple surveys can help as they provide some glimpses into the minds of your s.”
Likewise Frank Feather says:
You listen carefully for what they don’t say.
You need to identify their unarticulated needs.
And Flyn Penoyer says:
The key to getting into the ‘s head is to understand the ‘s role and viewpoint then speak directly into the questions they are asking themselves.
After identifying your target market and “triangulating” their needs, build a brand persona designed to engage on a personal level. Establishing this connection separates your communication from the noise on social networks. Doing this deepens your knowledge of your markets needs, allowing you to discover new ways to be useful.
When you dedicate yourself to being useful, you will grow well beyond sales.