You may ask now, why you want to be a target. Everybody is always talking about targeting your audience or followers. And now I am telling you, that you actually want to be targeted by them?
Think about it: Instead of having to hassle to find your ideal audience and beg them to follow you, they will flock to your account and follow you of their own accord. They will find you and decide that you are a great target for them. Wouldn’t that be great?
To be honest, it is not that easy, they still need to find out you exist first. But no matter what you do in Social Media – if your account is not worth to be followed by the right people they will not follow you, no matter what you pay or do to get your account in front of them.
Thus, to grow a targeted audience in Social Media, you need to be a target for your target group.
This is actually one of the most important steps towards building a (targeted) audience in Social Media: Making yourself a target so that others will WANT to follow you. The steps to make you a target should also be your first steps in Social Media Marketing. If your account is not worth to be followed, you can pay a ton of money for ads or be active with the best intentions, talking to the right people, following people, joining groups – and results will be low at best, most likely nearing zero.
We can all talk about your target audience and how to find them for ages, if you do not get your basics right on your end, they will never follow you.
How can you make sure, your social account is worth to be followed?
Too often I see people in Social Media desperately trying to grow an audience, asking me to follow them or retweet or share something they shared – and then I cannot even figure out who they are and what they are about. That is actually the first step towards failure. Here are the most important things you should do to make yourself a target:
The account name: It starts with choosing a good name for your account. In most cases, I would go with your real name for a personal account. Many Social Media experts claim that is the best you can do. I am careful about that because my Twitter account works well with a (German) profile name, that does not even make sense for English speaking people. But your real name should be clearly associated with your account. Do not hide who you are. Some people might be looking for you in Social Media – if you want to grow a following, then make sure they can find you.
Your Profile Picture (Avatar): Make sure you have a profile picture. Be honest, would you follow someone who is too lazy to even upload a profile picture? I am not claiming that you need a picture of yourself – my Twitter account has been growing for a while now with a picture of my Newfoundland dog as an avatar. This picture is so recognizable and unique it has started many conversations. A company can well use their logo as an avatar.
In many networks, in addition to your profile picture you can upload a header picture for your profile. In this larger picture, you can also add a slogan or some other (very short) description of what you do. Use this opportunity and show some more of what you are about.
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Your Bio: On your Social accounts you actually have the opportunity to talk about yourself – Use it! Not filling out your profile is not only plain lazy, but it is also missing out. Even though some networks limit the number of characters you can use, your bio is the first place people will go for more information about you. Choose your words carefully and make sure you include the most relevant keywords, which describe what you are going to offer on your social accounts.
The information you share: This is the most important aspect of making yourself a target. My guess is, you are not famous (yet), no celebrity and no hyped person everyone has to follow to be up to date. If you are, I wonder why you are reading this article?
Most people will follow you because you do or share something on your social account, which they want to have. Whether it is the best and unique event list or the best information about your niche – be useful, make it worth following you. Give your audience something they want to have.
What you share on your social accounts is the foremost reason anyone will follow you. You need to make sure, that you share exactly the kind of information, your target audience is looking for. This requires a little research on what topics are important to your target group right now and what they are talking about. It also takes a little research, in what form (video, text, graphic,…) your target group likes to consume this information. If you do this right, and you know exactly what your target audience is looking for – now, go ahead and share exactly that.
You can curate valuable information. Sometimes that is enough. But still, your account needs to do more than re-share what everybody else from your niche is also sharing.
It is not enough to share the daily news (I can read the papers, too), or be the mouthpiece of the influencers from your niche (most likely I already know them and follow them anyway). If you go for curating content, you need to find content to share from smaller and boutique sites, content that adds value to the mix you share. To really provide something unique with content curation is not so easy as it sounds.
It might be simpler to be unique and outstanding by creating some own and, therefore, unique content. Have you ever thought about having your own blog? It would certainly help to make yourself worth to be followed. Because your content and your opinions is what makes you and your social accounts unique.
How can I make sure people know about my account?
But to be honest, this can and will only be the first step towards successful targeting. Now that your account is worth to be followed, you need to make people aware that your account exists. It is the same as with blogging: The best accounts in Social Media might pass by entirely unnoticed for the simple reason that no one knows they exist. You need to make sure that people know about your great Social account. Here are just a few short ideas on how to spread the word about your great social accounts:
- Mention your Social accounts on your homepage and/or blog. If you have valuable information on your blog, some of your readers will be happy to follow you in social media, too.
- Mention your Social Account in the bio you use at networking events, or for conferences. Do not mention all your accounts, choose the most important one.
- Mention your social account in your guest author bio.
- Make sure to include your social account when you comment. Many commenting systems specifically ask for Twitter handles. Do not miss out on your chance here.
The best thing about this kind of targeting is: Your audience will be perfectly targeted if you got your basics right and provided value for your target audience.
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