How to successfully reach your target audience via Facebook – a guideline

With nearly half of the marketers (source: Social Media Report 2011) having less than a year’s worth of social media marketing experience it becomes important to share some valuable information that will help businesses develop their social media strategies. What’s likely the most important nuance when you’re marketing through Facebook is to make sure that you are reaching your target audience.

There is nothing worse than having a large Facebook fan base who are all but your target audience. A situation like that usually happens when a business thoughtlessly gives out appealing goods that are not related to their business niche. For example, it gives little benefit to a flower boutique, who’s target audience is a 25-40 year old woman, to have most of their fan base consist of men.  Following these guidelines should help your business reach their target market effectively:

  • When your business is giving out prizes or gifts through Facebook campaigns they should be related to your products or better yet – give out your own products. This makes sure that all of the participants have sincere interest in the type of business you’re in and they are most likely to engage with your business after the campaign is over. For example a travel agency should stay away from giving out iPads and should rather focus on gifting exotic travel packages which are desired within its target audience.
  • Facebook ads – they should be segmented to reach your buyer personas. The flower boutique should only target 25-40 year old women living in the nearby area.  Facebook also provides a segmentation option which approximates the segmentation, in this case meaning it will also pick some 41 year olds who might be interested in your business.
  • Engage your audience in discussions and polls. Start the dialogues but always be ready to jump into any interactions that the fans start on their own.
  • It is important to prompt your audience to give feedback. This can help you to fine-tune your marketing and helps to get to know your clients better which will help sales in the long perspective.
  • A lot of brands try to directly sell their product. Don’t! It is more effective to create value and build trust with your target audience. If your business can establish that, the sales will follow. Value is often something that will help your buyer personas solve a problem such as a construction material company giving tips about do-it yourself house building. However, selling directly can be effective when the product is actually value itself. A wine store sharing their weekly wine offers works well. Just be sure that you don’t overload the would-be customers with your offers.

Mart Prööm

Hi there! I'm a young marketing enthusiast currently getting my bachelors degree in the awesome field that is marketing. I'm passionate about inbound marketing, social media, mobile marketing and my own personal hobbies such as football and volleyball.

10 Responses

  1. Nina says:

    Great post although whenever you are running contest and trying to get new targeted followers, it is important to move outside of your already established network and create additional fans, interest and buzz

  2. Mart Prööm says:

    Thank you for your reply, Joel. I agree and I can definitely see one drowning into a pool of excess information about social media. Luckily we, as the consumers of this information, can select which sources we listen to and which we ignore. It is somewhat inevitable that there is so much information floating around.

    The other thing about social media marketing is that it is still fairly new and the theories are in constant evolution. This might make you feel like you know little but don’t let that discourage you! If there are peers who take you as an expert, it is probably for a good reason.

  3. Right on! With about 2 years vested in commercial social media, I am an old timer. But why do I feel like I still know so little? Groups ask me to speak because I’m viewed as an expert. There is so much random information on social media for business today it is becoming simply noise. The more I read from my peers, the more I see even the professionals are segmenting themselves into niches. I too am guilty of this. What we really need is a validated source of what is really working and not untested opinion!

  4. Mart Prööm says:

    You’re welcome, Alicia! Good luck

  5. Alicia Vaz says:

    I really appreciate you taking the time to address my concerns. I will reevaluate keeping in mind all that you have mentioned, especially creating buyer personas. I will give it a good try. Thanks, this was helpful.

  6. Mart Prööm says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Alicia.

    Without knowing more detailed information about your situation I do think you kind of answered your own question. Engaging the fans could be difficult at first but once you get the hang of it, it will get easier.

    I suggest you try the following strategies:

    1) Test, test test. Test with different types of questions, their wording and make your conclusions about what seems to prompt engagement more than others. You have to find a specific style that works for your business.

    2) See what your competition is up to and how do they get their fans to engage. I’m not saying you should copy their style but you could likely learn a lot of new and interesting ways to prompt interaction.

    3) Think like one of your buyer personas. It should help you think of the right questions to ask your fans. What are their problems? What type of information are they willing to share? How to approach them? Those questions should get answered if you can establish yourself to think like one of the buyer personas and not as a business owner.

    However, if you really think that the questions are right but the audience is wrong, it gets even trickier and I cannot help without knowing more detailed information.

    Hope this helps. Let us know 🙂

  7. Alicia Vaz says:

    Great post! You’ve made some really great points. I don’t want to assume that I know what my audience need or have interest in which is why I like engaging them in discussions and polls. Things is, I’m having difficulty getting them to participate, the rate of involvement is very low. Could it be that I’m not asking the right questions? (Thinking out loud here) I might just be talking to the wrong audience. Any thoughts on my observation?

  8. Mart Prööm says:

    Thank you, Smriti.

  9. Smriti says:

    Great post!! agree with every bit of it.

  1. February 17, 2012

    […] Whilst advertising in social networks like Facebook enables the targeting of precise demographics of potential customers, your other social media activities should also be target group specific. A social media roadmap will help you keep track of that. You should consider how you address the users you want to engage in a dialogue and incentivize them to give feedback. Talking to your users will also help you to further understand and specify your target audience, their interests and online behaviour. Are you planning to promote your brand through a Facebook give-away? It might seem trivial, but give out your own product or at least a product-related gift. “This makes sure that all of the participants have sincere interest in the type of business you’re in and they are most likely to engage with your business after the campaign is over”, says  Mart Prööm in his guideline for Facebook. […]

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