One of the beautiful things about social media is the fact that you can use social media tools to craft specific messages for specific audiences. By being strategic in your approach, you can build groups of potential customers and business partners that will be open to your message, and more willing to engage with you.
To begin, you must identify the prospects in your niche. For example, if you sell home goods or cosmetics, you may be looking for women in a certain age demographic. Begin to follow people in your niche using social media tools. You can find them by doing good searches, reading profiles, and by engaging in conversations to learn about people. Facebook now allows you to group friends into various friend lists, and then view updates just by that list, and this is a valuable way to find out what friends in your niche are talking about, and to make sure you are engaging with them. If you use Twitter, an application such as TweetDeck allows you to group friends in a similar way, in order to keep track of those conversations.
Once you have identified your niche, and built relationships with that group, it is time to provide that group with a forum in which to interact with you, so you can position yourself as an expert. Some of that interaction will occur within your daily conversations in Facebook, Twitter, or other social media tools that you use. But you can also create a forum where you can have more input into the conversation. A great tool for this is Facebook groups.
By creating a Facebook group, you provide a forum for conversation about topics that interest your niche. You will also find out exactly what your niche is looking for. You can encourage your niche to invite like-minded friends, increasing your reach. Seed your discussion board in your group with topics that will get your prospects talking, and enable you to provide information of value. And teach your group how to get the most value from their group membership, by explaining the tools available, and how to use them. It’s also important to communicate to the group exactly what they can expect from you. Let them know that you will be sending them weekly updates on the discussion happening within the group, invitations to events, special offers, and other information related to your business. When you approach this in a spirit of providing VALUE to your niche, they will be welcome communications.
Let’s be clear. If you are reading this, you most likely have specific business objectives for engaging in social media. There is nothing wrong with this. Social media is a great tool for expanding your reach and building your business. By being strategic in how you build your friend groups, and being upfront in terms of how you plan to communicate, you will build a receptive group of people that are more likely to listen to what you have to say. It’s important to always remember that you MUST provide value first…no one will listen if you sound like an ad. But once you have built relationships based on value, you will have a receptive, targeted niche audience that you can use to build your business.