Building the Proper Facebook Audience for Social Media Success

So you have taken your talents to Facebook to build an epic fan following in hopes of finding potential customers and engaging current customers. Excellent. Let us just assume that you have filled out all the appropriate info, uploaded all of your pretty company pictures and even told your co-workers to “like” your page in an effort to get 25 “likes” so that you can get your vanity URL.

What now?

It’s time to build a following of mass proportions to share your company message with the world. 

But how to get fans always seems to be the magic question and far too often somebody comes up with the idea of an ill targeted giveaway. How many times have you seen this? “Like my page and you could win an iPod or an iPad”. Swarms of people jump at the chance to click the like button for your page in hopes of winning that sweet new iPad.  Your chest swells with pride as you have just taken your page from 25 “likes” to over 1000 overnight. Ah, the power of Apple.  

A job well done smells like success, right? Ehh, not so fast…

Congratulations you have just baited people into “liking” a page. If it is shear numbers that you seek then yes, you have done something very successful. However, if you are a company that has a particular audience to market your goods or services to then you really haven’t done yourself any favors with this attempt at gaining fans.

Consider this, you are a bait and tackle company that sells high end fishing equipment. You are giving away a chance to win a brand new iPad 2 and to enter simply “like” the page. My Aunt Elaine has decided that she wants to be in the running for the new iPad she has been hearing so much about so she “likes” your page. You just got a fan, but one problem, my Aunt Elaine hasn’t fished a day in her life nor does she ever intend to.  

Your giveaway is casting a very wide net, pun intended. The people your catching in that net have little or no desire to hear about your fishing company, gear, bait, fishing tips, stories etc. Eventually they will unlike your company, simply hide your posts from their feed or just flat out pretend that you do not exist. This is not the desired effect in building your social media audience that you had originally intended.

The desired audience that were hoping to attract would be people who have an all round interest in fishing. These are the people that could potentially purchase goods or services from your high-end fishing company. So how do we attract those people? Here is an idea, if you gave away a $100 gift certificate to your fishing store and all you had to do was “like” the Facebook page to enter, I assure you that my Aunt Elaine has no interest in liking your page to potentially win a $100 in fishing tackle. That is a good thing; after all she isn’t the target audience for your business.

Remember it’s not about gaining mass amounts of fans; it is about the gaining the proper audience. Ask yourself would you rather have 1000 fans that can have a wide variety of interests and maybe one of them is fishing or would you rather have 100 fans that you know are fishing enthusiasts? Logic tells you to take the 100 fans of fishing as these are the folks that want to hear your stories, get your fishing tips and look at new fishing gear that they can purchase from your store.

Come up with ways to properly target your audience like this and with time you will begin to see social media success. You will be connecting and engaging in conversations with people who are passionate about fishing. Improperly target your audience and you will be wasting your time talking AT people who have no interest in hearing what you have to say.  Social media will work for you but you must properly define the people that you are looking to reach. 

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