How well do you really know your audience? Do you know their likes, dislikes, needs, fears, wants, and challenges? Getting to know and understand your customers and prospects is the key to growing your business.
With the rise of social media, the importance of knowing your audience has taken center stage. When you listen to your audience, your one-on-one engagement on social sites becomes effortless and ultimately you are able to deliver exactly what they want, when they want it. The real-time element of social media makes this possible. With simple online surveys you can take your social media program to an entirely new level.
The Benefits of Knowing
When was the last time you actually asked your fans and followers what they really wanted? When it comes to social media marketing, this important aspect, surveying your audience, is often overlooked when creating a social media strategy.
Unfortunately, when you don’t spend the necessary time and energy learning about your audience, you are in danger of completely missing the mark when it comes to engaging with your audience, building real relationships and adding value. These days, with all the chatter online, not knowing your audience can make or break your business and your brand.
First, let’s take a look at the 5 benefits of knowing your audience.
#1—Focus: Knowing your audience allows you to stop spending time on things that don’t interest them, and focus more of your energies on creating content you know will instantly resonate. Content created with your audience in mind will drive more traffic to your blog and increase activity on your social sites.
#2—Break the Barrier: Your ideal audience likely has similar uncertainties, challenges and fears. When you understand their fears, you can break down their barriers by confronting their concerns head-on with solid solutions to support their needs. You can move past their uncertainties if you know what they are.
#3—Language: When you learn more about your audience, you will learn the trigger words, phrases and questions to use to increase your overall engagement with your customers and prospects. When you learn your audience’s communication style, you become someone they can relate to.
#4—Empathy: If you take the time to listen to your audience, you will start to understand what makes them tick. The more you empathize with your audience, the more you can respond to their needs.
#5—Positioning: When you take the time to understand your audience, you can become the “go-to source” by delivering the content they’ve asked for. Your knowledge and delivery of the content positions you as the expert.
Sample Questions to Ask Your Audience
When creating your online survey, the most important element is the questions themselves. Before you craft your questions, decide on the overall goal for your survey. What information do you need to know in order to build stronger relationships and support your customers at a higher level?
To get your creative juices flowing, here's a list of potential questions for your survey. These questions can be geared specifically to your niche and will help you delve deeper into the needs and wants of your audience as they relate to how you communicate with them and how you create your products and services to fit their needs.
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Remember this: The shorter your survey, the more responses you’ll get. Try to keep your survey short, while still achieving your desired outcome.
- What type of business are you in? Are you in business for yourself or do you work for a company?
- How do you spend your time online?
- What blogs do you read most often?
- How much time do you spend on email per day?
- What frustrates you the most about [insert your niche here]?
- What are your main goals for [insert your niche here]?
- What type of training would support you in [insert your niche here]?
- What strategies have you already tried in this area?
- What have you tried so far that hasn’t worked for you?
- What other training or coaching programs have you tried so far in [niche]?
- What’s your biggest fear or concern when it comes to [insert a challenge here related to your niche]?
- What would you be willing to do to solve your challenge or reach the outcome you want?
- If you could have one question answered about [insert a challenge here related to your niche], what would it be?
- When shopping for [insert product or service], where do you tend to look first? (Here you could give a drop-down menu with options to choose from.)
- What do you consider the top three websites in [insert your niche here]. (This question will help identify your competitors.)
- How often do you currently use [list tools or resources related to your niche]?
Using Social Media to Promote Your Survey
Once you’ve crafted the questions, you can create the actual survey. There are different survey software tools you can explore to deliver your survey. Two of the most popular are Survey Monkey and Poll Daddy. I would suggest using an online option such as these for your survey because they both deliver easy, real-time access to analytical data from your survey results.
Once you've created your survey and loaded it into a software tool, you have many options to get your survey out to as many people as possible. Before you start sending out your survey, first decide if you want to gather a large number of responses or if you want to narrow your reach to a specific group of people.
The more responses the better; however, if people outside of your ideal audience are taking your survey, you might not get the information you’re after. So be clear on your ideal respondents and be strategic in going after them.
Ideas to Promote Your Survey
Facebook: Post a message on your profile and your page. Create a strong headline that will attract the attention of your ideal audience. Make sure to click the “Like” button after you post because this will allow it to go viral faster.
LinkedIn: There are two great places to post your survey on LinkedIn. The first is the “Network Activity” box on the main page of your LinkedIn profile.
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The second place to post your survey link is the “Answers” section. (You can find the “Answers” section in the “More” drop-down menu on the top of your LinkedIn profile page.) In order to reach a large audience, I suggest you use both areas to post your survey.
Twitter: Twitter is a fantastic way to create buzz for your survey. To get even more traction, you can ask others to retweet your survey link. Here are two example tweets for a survey:
You can test out a few different survey tweets if you run your survey for a few days. I suggest you experiment with headlines by tracking the clicks via your shortened survey links. Keep testing new headlines until you find one that elicits a lot of click activity.
YouTube: Make a short video explaining why you created the survey and encouraging your audience to take a few minutes to complete it. Give your viewers the URL and also post a link under your video on YouTube.
Your Blog/Website: When people visit your blog, you can create a pop-up to invite visitors to take your survey or you can create a static box that includes a link to your survey. Make sure to place the box above the fold and in a highly visible spot so viewers can easily find it.
List: Email the survey link to your entire list. Send out an email blast and encourage your current list to participate.
Key Influencers: If you have access to key influencers in your niche, ask them to spread the word about your survey. Create tweets and Facebook posts for the influencers to make it as easy as possible for them to help you create buzz for your survey.
Reach out to your groups: If you belong to any online groups, forums or masterminds, send out a link to your survey and ask your group members to spread the word too. The goal is to get your survey to go viral as fast as possible!
Offer a gift in exchange: If appropriate to your outcomes, offer a gift for completing your survey. You could hold a contest for a free gadget or perhaps a free 30-minute consultation with each completion (depending on the size of your reach). Think of something your audience would find valuable and build a giveaway strategy around that.
Why This Supercharges Your Social Media Presence
Once you’ve taken the time to ask your audience what they really need and want, you now have a huge advantage over your competitors. When it comes to social media, there are key areas where deeper knowledge of your customers and prospects will be extremely useful.
There is always a lot of talk about the importance of engagement on social sites, especially on Facebook pages. Imagine if you knew firsthand the topics your audience liked to talk about the most? What if you knew the blog sites where they get most of their information? You could use this insight to craft posts that will grab the attention of your followers and start conversations. When you talk about the topics they’re most interested in, you can’t lose.
Your Opt-In Strategy:
Social media sites have made it easier to ask prospects for their contact information in exchange for a free gift. An opt-in strategy is an extremely powerful tool when used correctly. These days, you can take advantage of opt-in boxes on your blog site, website, individual landing pages and on your Facebook page and profile. The traffic landing on your sites consists of hot leads and you want to create a compelling reason for these people to give you their name and email.
Use the information you collect from your survey to create a “can’t resist” opt-in strategy. What did you learn from your audience? What do they want to learn more about? What training or tools do they find most valuable? What topic interests them the most? Use this info to create a giveaway that they can’t pass up.
The great news is that there are multiple ways you can deliver content via an opt-in. You can create a free report, an eBook, a video training series, a coupon, a free consultation, a newsletter, an assessment, a “top tips” list on your niche—the opportunities are endless! The key here is to take what you learned and give your audience something they’re sure to find irresistible.
These two opt-in options deliver content to target a specific audience’s needs. Take a look to get some ideas for opt-in strategies that might work best for your niche.
Become the “Go-To Source”:
Now that you know what your audience wants most, give it to them! Create questions based on their feedback and then create blog posts or short videos to answer those questions. You will instantly become an expert because you have the answers they’re seeking. This strategy also builds trust and affinity because you are adding value and insight.
If you take the time to ask your clients what they really want, you will be able to catapult your social media presence by communicating and delivering value at a higher level than most others in your niche. There is much you can do with this valuable information, so I encourage you to take the time and create a survey for your own business. You will likely be pleasantly surprised at what you find out.
Now it’s your turn! Have you used online surveys to find out more about your audience? If so, what are some of the ways you’ve used the feedback to benefit your marketing and social media efforts? If you haven’t done so yet, in the future do you think you’ll test out online surveys in your marketing efforts?
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