Reaching Your Target Audience through Social Media

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Reaching your target customer is a difficult task in marketing because of the lack of information about public preference. The more information you have, the better job you can do establishing who you target market is and how you can reach them. Before the Internet consumer preference was largely evaluated by polls and surveys, but the accuracy of these methods is inherently limited because of their invasive nature. To truly evaluate consumer preference, it must be done in an unbiased, natural setting.

Today, people are searching, buying, rating, interacting, and using social media in a pressure-free environment. This is creating a large amount of raw, yet accurate data about consumer preference and by digesting this information you can sift through to the people who are interested in your product or service.

For example, [43 things]( is a community that allows people to interact about what they want to do with their life. One thing that 1033 people want to do is [scuba dive]( When you’re on the scuba dive page, these are the advertisements that show up.

From a marketing perspective, if you’re the company offering scuba lessons or equipment, what better audience would you want then people who are coming out and saying they want to scuba dive. From the consumer’s perspective, if there are going to be advertisements, the more relevant they are, the better. Personally, I would much rather see ads that are interesting and relevant to me than random and untargeted ones. It seems to be a win-win situation.

As more [niche communities]( are developed, the public’s preferences will become more transparent. With this, the information needed to figure out who your target market is, and how you can reach them will become available. Then the infrastructure will be in place for you to reach your target customer with ease.

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  • Orson

    Great post and as an e commerce entrepreneur i have realized the benefits of the interactivity you speak of and how dramatically it has eased into a more comprehensive market targeting.

  • Justin Kistner

    Reaching target audiences via social networks is a growing practice. In fact, it’s lead to the establishment of a new discipline, social media optimization, or SMO for short. And, I for one, love me some SMO! 😀

  • Ryan

    Orson, I’m glad to see you’re taking advantage of social media for your e-commerce endeavors.
    Justin, this is true. As social media grows, so will the opportunity for SMO and SMM.

  • Olivier

    Hi Ryan,
    Good post. You are correct, online communities offer new targeting capabilites when combined with AdSense.
    But what is missing so far is reach. In your example, there are 1,000 people interested in scuba diving, which is not much if you are a global player. And if you are a scuba diving club in South Los Angeles, you can probably identify 5 potential prospects out of the 1,000. Online communities only offer micro targeting capabilites for the moment.
    The question for marketers is how to prioritize and/or aggregate all those new targeting opportunities, when it is still so simple to just advertise on traditional media.

  • Ryan

    You make a great point Olivier; geographically localized businesses may not find value advertising through most Social Media. However, similar problems arise through traditional media. Take your South LA SCUBA club for example. Even though you can geographically isolate your target market, ie: through TV or newspaper, only a fraction of that group (10 million + people live in greater LA area) will be interested in SCUBA.
    Using 43 things, you can find the people interested in SCUBA but may not be in the geographic area. Through traditional media, you can get people in your area, but they may not be interested in SCUBA, pick your poison.