5 Ways to Locate Your Ideal Customers on Social Media

Running social media marketing without getting the right results you expect can be such a pain, you don’t want to imagine. We’ve been there before and because you are here it is certain you have to or are afraid of the same.

After a couple of not-so good results back in the day, I and the team at dreamstar digital came up with a framework for identifying ideal customer audiences online and today I thought I should share with you.

  1. By asking questions
    The first thing we do with any new account is interview 10-15 of the client’s existing/active or past customers/users. Apart from seeking to know their experience with our client’s product or service, we attempt to get to understand their occupation, favourite digital communications channels, marital status, financial muscle, wishes, desires and challenges in relation to the solution our client offers.

  1. By analyzing historical data: KYC
    Analyzing both explicit and implicit data provided by current customers/users.

    Entities like banks collect a lot of data from their customers during registration and use of various banking services. This kind of data helps us understand the current customers and determine where, how and with what we can get the new customers like them.

    In addition, through use of other banking channels like the mobile banking app, the bank is able to understand with precision their customers and by extension their  most likely prospects’ affinity to technology. 

For the banking sector in particular, we find that some products appeal more to tech-savvy audiences than the others. However, instead of going by assumptions, using real data to match products to target audiences always yields much higher  results, even when you have just 30 days ‘to prove yourself’.

This kind of analysis saves us the hustle of guessing audience interests and wasting time and money ona kind of social media content marketing that doesn’t add value to the business and might even annoy potential customers.

  1. Using experimental content
    Yes, content.
    In the year 2018, we were charged with managing a hospitality account  for one month. The task involved creating a website and optimizing social media and  e-listings (TripAdvisor, AirBnB, Booking.com, HomeAway  and others) for the property.

The property was new so we had no way of getting real customer insights (by way of interviews), explicit or implicit data analysis.

Using available industry information on the internet we started optimizing the channels, designing a launch-pad website and blog. At the same time, we were curating and sharing on social media third-party content on topics we thought ideal customers might like or find useful. We wanted to use the content to identify potential customers. Our mind was, “if you click like on posts about tourism destinations in Uganda, and also read about things to carry when coming to Uganda, and yet at that time you are in the UK or netherlands then there’s a great chance you will consider Uganda for a holiday, some time”.

Indeed we were successful with our experiment. Within 2 weeks we launched a business-ready website and blog and the first booking of $700 (about UGX 2,500,000) was realized within the same week of the launch (of the website).

  1. Using data from similar brands (competitors)
    Now this is not one of my favourites but I have seen it work.

At some point, we realized that most leads for our financial services client were coming from a specific competitor with complaints and bad reviews about that particular competitor.

What we did was visit the competitor’s public profiles, read through user complaints (read; reviews and comments) and made a secret report. That report was the arsenal we used to launch an indirect campaign targeting the competitor’ customers because, well, we knew what the customers key challenges with our competitor were.

Insights from the competition are often so powerful and can save you tonnes of money and time. Remember Africell’s ‘Don’t be Cheated Wednesdays’ vs ‘MTN Gaga Bundles’ (2017/18)? 

  1. Creating look-alike audiences
    I am tempted to say that this one’s for beginners. Well, it isn’t entirely for beginners anyway.
    If you have a well engaged social media audience (that also converts into buyers) but it is small, you can use free tools provided by advertising platforms like Facebook business manager to target other people the system understands have similar interests with those who already follow or previously engaged with your brand/business online (or even offline). This is like a short-cut to research and I have often seen it deliver especially for our e-commerce account – www.kweli.shop.

    However, if your existing audiences (including non-subscribed audiences; people who engaged but are not following the pages) did not translate into leads or buyers, it is likely that look-alike audiences of the same won’t translate into leads or customers.

The earliest followers of dreamstar digital on Facebook were youngsters who wanted to master ‘Facebook marketing’, but we somehow did not pay attention to that. About a year into the business we created look-alike audiences and targeted them with website design offers. The results were as you would expect – nothing but garbage.

My experience with social media marketing is that once one has got a clear picture of their target audience; is certain of their demographics, values, needs and desires, reaching them with the right content and engaging them becomes like a religious dating experience. You can’t run out of valuable content, and you won’t always need a lot of money in the form of ads or discounts to get them to give you business.

Stephen Obeli Someday
A user experience designer, front-end web developer, inbound marketing scientist, salesman and digital marketing trainer with considerable experience in tourism and travel marketing.

In 2016 I co-founded dreamstar digital, the first inbound digital marketing and sales agency in Uganda.