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What are your ideal customer's preferred social media sites

What are your ideal customer's preferred social media sites (personal and professional)? - by Community Mailbox
I am going to be the contrarian here, so let me start by telling a story.

In WWII we had 'Thousand Plane Raids' wherein we launched a thousand bombers from England and dropped tens of thousands of bombs on Germany, hoping a small percentage would hit something of value.

During the first Gulf War we were introduced to 'Smart Bombs'. You could say, "Mr. Bomb, I want you to fly to this city, that neighborhood, down this street to that building, and go through the second window from the left on the third floor."

Too many people today use the carpet bombing approach to social media when they should be using the smart bomb approach.

What does the smart bomb approach look like?

It starts with understanding your audience. The best way I've found to do this is to develop a detailed profile called a 'Buyer Persona'. A Buyer Persona is an imaginary individual you represents the characteristics of a distinct group of your buyers. For example, If you own a hotel you have these four buyer personas:
1. Vacationing family
2. Business traveller
3. Admin assistants at nearby businesses who book hotel rooms for their visitors.
4. Convention/meeting planners.

Notice that only two of those buyer personas are interested in fluffy pillows. Develop your personas to the point that you know what they are thinking, what their problems are, why they buy from you, why they don't buy from you, what keeps them awake at night, and even what they are being measured on for their annual performance reviews.

Next, do some research (or buy some research, Forrester is a good source) to determine what kinds of interactions do your personas want to have with you. Do they want to read your blog and watch your videos? Do they want to have an ongoing dialog and personal relationship with you?

Next, use one of the social media search tools (Radian6, ScoutLabs, etc) to find out WHERE those conversations are taking place now.

Finally, decide upon your social media goals. Some common goals are:

- Research to better understand your consumers
- Spread the message about your company/brand
- Energizing your customers, turning them into raving fans
- Providing service and support to your customers
- Helping your customers provide support to each other
- Integrate your customers thoughts and ideas into the way you design products and services.

Given all of that you can then determine the best social media sites and how you should use them. - by DaveB
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