[guest blog] The importance of knowing your audience

I have just returned home from a beautiful, sunny week away in Tenerife. Oh, how the week flies when you’ve got nothing to do other than get through a book of sudoku puzzles and crosswords!

Of course, like any busy, tourist-laden area, there are a million and one small businesses and independent traders trying to sell and make a living. As a tourist, however, it can be conflicting and confusing to know where to buy from, where to eat and where to avoid, as each and every independent is trying to be everything to everyone, with none specifically targeting you. Out of 100+ similar souvenir shops all selling the same products, who are we supposed to choose? While on holiday, though, we spend very differently, with (usually) a tidy sum of spending money stored in our pockets at all times 

As a week away in Tenerife is very far from the reality of everyday life, it got me thinking about the importance of knowing your audience, when people don’t necessarily have a pocket full of cash, ready to spend anywhere.

I think this is no truer and more crucial than on social media. As part of your carefully considered social media plan, you should know who you’re looking to target through social media, as it can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your overall content and activity, as well as often manipulating what you post in the first place.

While we understand and discuss the importance of social media as part of your everyday business operations, it’s also vital that – like anything – it’s doing the right thing for you and your business. After all, if you’re mis-targeting your social content, all the effort you make may be entirely wasted, and may even negatively effect your image. This is especially true if you’re taking advantage of super-accurate ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for instance.

However, simply selecting a target audience is not enough. When content planning and creating, what’s integral is that you’re planning your social through the eyes of your target audience. What do they want to see? And equally important, what do they not want to see? Once you’ve pinpointed what’s most valued, as well as establishing good content formats with which to push this (e.g. video, images, infographics), get going!

Social platforms are constantly changing, and there is a distinct need to ‘keep up’ to ensure your social efforts are well-spent! Over time, it’s important to reflect on your activity and efforts to see what’s working with your audience, and what’s less successful. Due to the rapidly-evolving nature of the beast, reflection and re-planning can really help you to stay on track with your social efforts, ensuring not one minute of your time is wasted!

This a guest blog post by Harriet Giffard-Tiney. Harriet has been working with me for three years, having started as an apprentice and worked her way up to being a super-duper right hand woman. She is currently studying Marketing and Advertising at Lancaster University, and also works as a freelance blogger and content creator. You can connect with Harriet on LinkedIn by clicking here