If You Don’t Know WHO You’re Talking To, You’re Talking Out Of Your…Well, You Know…
Imagine you’re at a networking event. You have a drink in your hand and you start circling the room. The first group you come to is a group of naturopaths, discussing their latest treatment options. As a tax lawyer, that topic doesn’t hold much interest for you, but you stick around to listen anyway and exchange business cards with each of them. Wanting to contribute to the conversation but knowing nothing about being a naturopath, you offer up some insight on the latest changes in federal tax laws. The rest of the group looks at you as if you have just spoken in a totally different language — because, let’s face it, you have — and then turns back to each other, resuming their chat about the relative merits of eucalyptus oil. You leave the event, muttering to yourself that it was a total waste of time.
This little tale was a small scale version of what happens when some businesses get on the social media bandwagon. In their frenzy to do it NOW and be present TODAY, many new and some very old businesses forget the one key part about it: effective social media is about starting a conversation. It’s essential that you at least be speaking in the same language.
Does that mean that our tax lawyer friend from the story should only post things on social media about things that other tax lawyers will understand and enjoy? Absolutely not. It means that if the tax lawyer wants to reach a new client base, they need to understand that market and what is important to them.
IDENTIFYING YOUR TARGET MARKET
This is Business 101, so I won’t delve too deeply here except to remind you that you have to do it! You MUST sit down and work out who your target market is and where they can be found. It’s shocking how many businesses, if asked, could not identify their target market in once sentence.
Sit down and do it: you have to identify your target market and learn about them if you’re going to reach them. Otherwise, your content and social marketing will end up being an exercise of throwing posts at your ‘wall’ and seeing what sticks.
CREATE SOCIAL CONTENT THAT RESONATES WITH YOUR TARGET MARKET
Once you know who you want to reach, you have to figure out the HOW. What can you write about that will peak their interest? What can you share that will resonate with them in a meaningful way? What material will position you as an expert without being a pontificating pain in the … ? What matters to your target market?
There are two approaches to nailing what matters. One, look at things that your target market is passionate about. Two, look at things that your target market is pissed about. Addressing topics in either category, and preferably in some combination of both, is a great start.
Knowing your market inside and out will allow you to share things that matter to them. You can tailor your voice and language to suit the market. If our tax lawyer decides that his niche is small businesses with less than 100 employees, he probably would want to gear the language to avoid too much legalese and jargon, avoid topics that only major corporations would really care about and in general, stay on top of the things that matter to small businesses.
GET AUTHENTIC WITH YOUR SOCIAL CONTENT
Yes! And a little bit of out of the box, too! Authentic content is personal, at least to some extent. Our lawyer who wants to reach small businesses would do well to talk to them as if he was talking to a friend. Would he talk to his friends about mundane topics like setting up a separate bank account to house their tax installment funds? No. Of course, he might share an interesting case study about how ‘Business ABC’ saved X in tax dollars by converting from a sole proprietorship to a corporation. What small business isn’t passionate about saving some of their hard earned dollars? But he could also share some funny stories about some of the things he’s seen people attempt to get out of a tax audit.
One way to be authentic is to have a single client in mind when you write or share. If you ‘sound’ like you’re talking to someone directly, your words will be perceived that way, by each person who reads them. If you sound like you’re talking from a pulpit away up high above the ‘commoners’, your words will be ignored.
Social content is just that: social. It’s about the conversations that build trust and an image of not only being an expert in your field but being someone that your potential client would want to chat with. Over the back fence. With a beer in hand. Be that person online and the results will come.
If you’re unsure how to identify your target market, or perhaps you know who they are, but have no idea how to reach them, feel free to drop us a line! We’ll help you figure out the best way to communicate so that you can grow your bottom line…