How to Target Users within Social Networks

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One important aspect of social media optimiza­tion is finding individuals interested in your prod­ucts or initiatives. One way to approach this is to find key influencers within a social network that might be interested in your offering.

This can be a difficult challenge at times therefore targeting and approaching the right people is key. With the help of Google one can alleviate some of the challenges that occur when searching for these people inside each network, as each network can be finicky when it comes to searching for users.

With the right search query used in Google, it is fairly easy to find these individuals. Here is one example: “site:facebook.com/people led zeppelin”. In this query, we took Facebook.com, which indexes profiles pages with personal interests (so long as that user has not turned off that feature in privacy settings) Now that you are able to find users on Facebook who have stated interest in Led Zeppelin you can approach them with much more certainty that they would be interested in your offering or service.

Once you have identified a group of users to outreach to you need to fine tune your pitch. I find success when the pitch typically is short, sweet, and to the point. Remember users on social networks are there to “hang out” per se and don’t want to be lambasted by pushy marketers, so make sure your offering is irresistible.

In the above example, we found users who are fans of Led Zeppelin, on Facebook, however this can be done on many other Social Networks. Below are example searches to use on 8 different social networks:

Linkedin

site:linkedin.com inurl:in “social media expert”

Bebo

site:.bebo.com inurl:profile inurl:bebo “social media expert”

CafeMom

site:www.cafemom.com inurl:cafemom.com/home/ “stay at home mom”

Facebook

site:facebook.com/people “led zeppelin”

Flickr

site:flickr.com/people “@gmail”

Twitter

site:twitter.com -inurl:statuses -inurl:status “social media expert”

MySpace

site:profile.myspace.com inurl:myspace inurl:fuseaction “go to nc state”

YouTube

site:youtube.com/user “social media expert”

Since it can be somewhat cumbersome to recreate these search queries on a whim I have designed a social search tool to help users. It’s a very basic Google gadget that has hard coded search queries into it, thus allowing you to simply query the respective social network.

Brian Chappell is the Senior Social Search Strategist at Ignite Social Media. With over 9 years of web design and search engine optimization experience, Brian has developed an in-depth organic search optimization background. He monitors, analyzes, and optimizes social media initiatives for Ignite. You can find him on Twitter @brianchappell

Brian Chappell
Social Search Strategist for Ignite Social Media who is always dabbling in side projects
Brian Chappell
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