REPOST: 3 ways to use social media to reach your customers by targeting someone else

Apart from creating brand awareness through the social media, targeting stakeholders who influence the market is a must in any marketer’s strategy. This article shows how.

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Most companies now realize that social media is here to stay as a form of marketing and customer service, providing a valuable direct link to customers.

But many also have yet to find their social media sweet spot.

Part of the reason is that some companies try to apply new technologies in traditional ways. The misconception of “if you build it, they will come” runs rampant among corporate marketers, along with the idea that their best social media bet is to try to position themselves directly in front of their target market with their product’s value proposition. It sounds logical but rarely is it successful.

For most companies, social media success can only come when they think OUTSIDE of their target market.

This is not to suggest they shouldn’t consider how to reach their target market. Rather, they should focus on how to reach their target market from the periphery.

Here are three ways you can think outside of your target market for social media success.

1. Influence the influencers

One traditional marketing target that hasn’t been given enough credit on social media, particularly in the business-to-business sector, is the influencer.

Think about who influences the buying decisions of your business buyer, then target those groups or individuals. If you reach the influencers, you’ll reach the buyer.

Let the architect know about the value of your building materials, and he’ll recommend them to the builder. Help the accountant understand how your new software platform can save her customers money, and she’ll talk to the CEO. Convince the coffee buyer that a new roasting machine could enhance the quality and lower the cost of the coffee he buys, and you can be sure he’ll talk to the roaster.

2. Ride the rising tide

As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. Sometimes the best social media campaign is no campaign at all. It may make the most sense to take advantage of the rising tide of another’s social media campaign.

If your resources are limited, bypass your own campaign and piggyback on one that already reaches your audience.

First consider social media advertising as a method to reach your target market. Targeted social media advertising can be extremely effective. Then consider a social media partnership. If you can identify an organization that markets non-competitive or complementary products or services to your market, join forces to push content that will benefit you both. This can also cut costs and human resource requirements by 50 percent.

3. Do a friend a favor

In certain situations it’s easier to create demand than to sell.

Consider the manufacturer that relies on distributors for the bulk of its sales. A social media campaign focused on new distributors is wrought with hurdles. First you must convince them your product is worthy. Then the price wars begin. If you clear these first two, then your product still must perform in the marketplace.

In these cases, focus on a social media campaign that will benefit your existing distributors and generate a social strategy that will build demand for your products. You’ll not only help your existing distributors, but you’ll create market demand and get the attention of new ones.

Don’t underestimate the value of social media within your overall marketing strategy. Give it the respect it deserves. Think outside of your market and you’ll no doubt blaze your own trail to social media success.

John Bohan is an Internet advertising veteran and a specialist in social marketing solutions. More on this blog site


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