Using social media to get to the right audience

“Getting the right message to the right people” is the core message I took away from the CIM digital capability and collaboration event in London last week.

Tom Edmonds was the Director of the Conservative Party’s digital and creative operation in the last election. Listening to how he led his team which played a massive role to the Conservative success was incredibly interesting and the core fundamentals of their strategy were a lot simpler than you would think.

Where is your audience?

There is a lot of noise nowadays about what social media companies should be using and no sooner than everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of the latest trend then there is a new one hot on its heels. Someone in your company might think snapchat is the way to go and be convinced that is the way to go but you need to remember who your audience is. Tom explained how that given the majority of the UK population is on Facebook rather than Twitter that is where they concentrated their efforts. Makes sense to go where the numbers are doesn’t it?

Times are changing too and the money the Party used to invest on traditional billboard advertising was swapped in favour of social media. Why is that? Social media is easier to target individual groups and most importantly you can measure what you are spending. Individual targeting was a huge element of their strategy and tailored messages to each group. So someone who would be targeted as a ‘soft UKIP’ voter they would target with messages around the Economy as these people have a particular interest in a strong economy. These segments could be any size some as a small as 100. Point is to segment to fit your audience’s needs. Sounds obvious really to make sure the message for a particular group is relevant. It’s the same for me when marketing legal services, in our housing department for example, one message to a landlord will be different to what we say to tenants.

If there’s anything harder to market than Politics it is the Law…

Something which Tom said that really struck a chord with me was “Make your business relevant to people’s lives. People aren’t sitting at home thinking of how to interact with businesses.” This is so true. Who wants to sit home on a Saturday night and read about a politician manifesto, or worse still changes to the law… (no offence if you do, I do!) As marketers, we need to think what is important to people and how the product or service we are marketing can solve a problem for them. That’s what the Conservative Party did by understanding their audience demographics and putting them to good use.

Armed with this knowledge, what am I going to do?

The basic fundamentals of their strategy is simple:

Find where your audience hang out + drill down to the group + Send them a relevant message = results

Yes there’s a bit more flesh to add to these bones but it’s getting the foundation right. If you’re audience aren’t on Instagram then you shouldn’t be either. Make your efforts count.

Over the next few weeks I will be thinking about my own social media strategy and what is working for our audience and what isn’t. I’ll report back when I know how I can make this work and share with you.

Comments welcome.