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How to talk to your target audience online

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Are you active on social media, but don’t seem to be reaching your target audience?

This could be for a variety of reasons – but there’s one thing you can make sure you are doing to appeal to your target audience. First things first, are you using the right tone of voice in your content marketing?

Many businesses we’ve helped build engagement for were previously struggling to capture attention online because they’ve been using a formal tone of voice, devoid of much personality.

When we asked why certain individuals posting on company pages had decided to adopt a formal tone of voice, most weren’t exactly sure who their target audience were in the first place so used generic messages and a formal tone of voice because they didn’t know who they were trying to engage with.

Others were treating social media more like traditional forms of print and TV advertising, which is more suited to being formal and sales led.

Know your audience

The first rule is: know your target audience.

Are you trying to talk to you young teenagers? Or, are you trying to talk to a mature audience with a specialist interest? Who are you trying to sell your service or product to? What might they be interested in? How could you inspire, entertain or engage with them?

Once you know who your audience are you should know more about their demographics, for instance their age range, what sort of hobbies and interests they have, and what sort of topics might grab their attention. This will then make it much easier for you to talk to them individually and directly, in a way that resonates with their needs, wants and lifestyle.

Ask questions

There might be many things you don’t know about your target audience, perhaps hindering you from getting started. Never fear, social media is the perfect platform to start finding out more about your customers and potential customers.

Asking questions won’t just encourage your audience to notice you and what you are saying, but it could also enable you to do a very handy bit of market research.

Being inquisitive will also help you come across as conscientious and caring about getting products and services right, which again will make you seem more genuine and likeable, which is key to building up relationships online.

Have a conversation

Don’t treat social media marketing as a chore that you have to do every day, or you’ll end up sounding like a robot.

Don’t just push out sales messages online because then you’re most likely just interrupting or irritating people who are scrolling through a million other marketing messages on their newsfeed.

Have fun on social media — give your target audience a reason to engage — give them more than what everyone else is giving. Think of social media posting more like a warm and friendly conversation you are striking up with someone — build up rapport, be authentic and personable.

The more chatty and authentic you are the more likely you’ll encourage a conversational response back. If you start off a conversation with somebody in person think about how you act and how you’d involve the other person. You’d most likely ask questions, you’d be informal and friendly and you’d be tuned into their responses. The best conversations normally involve good listeners…

Just because you’re communicating online, it doesn’t mean the rules of normal conversation should be any different.