Using Social Media as a Targeting Tool

by Spencer Spellman on August 15, 2011


Guest Post by Spencer Spellman, freelance travel writer

Connecting. That’s what social media is all about. However, with millions of users across different social media platforms, the challenge for businesses is how to target the right users. While you want to reach a broad group of consumers, you also want consumers that are actually interested in your company and those who are more likely to become your brand ambassadors.

Here are a few tips to help you use social media to target the right audience.

Browsing Facebook pages. Facebook has recently taken measures to ensure that Facebook pages are better classified. Facebook search doesn’t work in the same way as a search engine, where you type in a keyword and it pulls up relevant matches. Typing “photography” in the search box, for example, will only pull up relevant results with photography in the name. Instead, use the Facebook page directory to connect with relevant pages.You can search by topics such as local businesses, people, brands, and companies, as well as filter results by country. By using this tool, you can use your profile or existing Facebook page to connect with pages that are relevant to your business.

Twitter search. While having a Twitter account will help you target the right people, it’s not a requirement. With tools such as Twitter search or Topsy, you get real-time results on topics you search, without having to have an account. For example, using Twitter search, typing in “Paris hotel” will pull up the most recent tweets from people talking on Twitter about Paris hotels. Using a website such as Topsy, you can easily get results sorted by date or relevancy, including websites, photos, videos, and tweets. To search for targeted users, rather than topics, Twellow is one of the largest directories of Twitter users, classifying users by topics like entertainment, travel, news, and technology.

Twitter chats. Similar to using Twitter to search for topics and users, you can participate in weekly Twitter chats that are focused on specific themes, such as photography, fashion, blogging, and public relations. These take place at a specific time each week and range anywhere from 30 minutes to all day. Users post using a hashtag, such as #FriFotos, to participate in the chat. The following are a few popular Twitter chats:

  • FriFotos: All day Fridays featuring travel photography.
  • BlogChat: Sunday evenings about blogging.
  • PR20Chat: Tuesday evenings about PR and social media trends.
  • JournChat: Monday evening chat between journalists, bloggers, and PR professionals.

LinkedIn as more than just your online resume.  For most people, LinkedIn is nothing more than their online resume. However, LinkedIn offers different features that can help businesses connect with relevant people in their industry. The simplest and most efficient way to find and connect with the right people on LinkedIn is through groups. If you search for “public relations,” for example, it’ll pull up some of the biggest and most relevant groups, such as Innovative Marketing, PR, Sales, Word-of-Mouth & Buzz Innovators, which has over 100,000 members. The most active groups feature frequent discussions by members. For even deeper targeting, there’s LinkedIn Answers. This feature allows you to ask and answer questions through search or browsing by industry.

What tools do you use to connect with your audience?

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If you like this post, you might also like:

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