An Effective Approach to Managing Your Online Audience

Written on Dec 26 2012

Digital audiences are the focus of every discussion about brand scaling, audience relationship and behavioral data. The ways to build and engage consumers through these means has been the aim of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, and many other online social platforms.

Social middleware, performed by every provider of CRM solutions, has lured many companies and individuals by means of reducing audience requisition costs while increasing return, however this result seems elusive when searched for in data sets.

Upon taking action to manage your social audience, there are a few guidelines to follow, surfacing from marketer experience.

  1. Audiences are groups of individuals that share a common interest and before any approach is made the needs of those individuals must be understood. The use of contests or other transactional rewards will build a larger audience quickly but they will not satisfy the needs of “esteem” or “self-actualization”. With this in mind, there is a need to foster deeper engagement and sustain loyalty, which can be fulfilled by enhancing their experience. Changing incentives from transactional to contextual increases the quality of individuals who are reached and gains sustainability of engagement with those individuals.
  2. It must be remembered, that audiences built through social media do not entirely belong to the company employing the media to produce them. For example, on Facebook marketers compete amongst themselves for a shared audience and also with the social platform itself. The ad revenue generated on Facebook stays with the social media platform. Basically marketers have very little control toward establishing ownership with their audience. This being said it’s best to use e-mail and other similar methods supported by a social presence as it is a much more indicative of audience ownership and a greater return on investment. The attraction lies in the fact that upon opening, it becomes an owned experience, not affected by restraints or conflicting interests.

On discussing owned environments it must be said that they can be innovated. Human tendency is to be more or less engaged with various media at different points in time. Future implementation of audience engagement must take into account the exchange happening between the creator of the experience and the audience.

The question is “how should they get involved?”

We found some great answers in Age of Conversation.

  • Brands must establish an objective and the desired results they want to achieve through online communication. Possible outcomes could be in revenue numbers, brand mentions and overall awareness, list building, etc. Without fully understanding your business goals, your online presence is just a soulless picture of your company’s activity. Your audience will not relate to a dull, formal image.
  • Once objectives have been defined, it’s time to locate the right people in your organization capable of managing your social media assets. Depending on the organizational structure and company culture, this may include a blog, social accounts, and social strategies. Think about acquiring a tool that allows you to observe, scale and follow your business goals. Remember that our SimplySocial App can help you become a great 2.0 CEO!
  • After you line up the right team of social media supporters, you need to enable them and empower them. That’s the secret of social media. Your social team must feel like they can interact with stakeholders and provide value to your audience. Have these brand evangelists start interacting by following other similar brands, answering customer questions, and lending advice. After a while, a community will begin to form and then it’s what you do with that community that makes all the difference.

Taking all of this into consideration it is safe to say that it is still the early days for internet managed audiences. Social trends tell us that effective ways of marketing is shifting to online and digital approaches with an emphasis on social engagement. Still, it is sometimes hard to make the most of an audience gained through social media according to current data sets which favor wholly owned environments. However, our app is here to solve your worries and build the online voice of your company!

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