How To Use Social Media To Understand Who Your Customer Base Is

Social media is more than just talk. One of the most powerful marketing tools, it can be a great place to learn who you are, where your customers are, and how to connect with them. That starts with learning how to use these platforms to find your base.

Figure Out Who Yourself Is

Before you can do a deep dive into who your customers are, you first have to find yourself amongst them. Considering you, yourself, are most likely a personal consumer of your product, it’s imperative to look at this from the angle of where you think your brand would fit, as well as why that might be the case. We look at the brands we love as extensions of ourselves; in fact, 64 percent of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand. And while mastering that can take a fair amount of digging, it also will come much more intuitively than you might think.

When looking at your business, first ask yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. In other words, what type of change are you looking to make and why does it need to happen? The latter part of that question is the most important because while we’ve seen plenty of companies have nice ideas, they often dissipate due to a true lack of need.

Start Studying Where You Should Be

With a strong mission in hand, it’s time to look at where you should be placing this message. While we often assume that our social media posts should go to every channel, there are certain nuisances you need to understand; for example, consumer products do particularly well on Instagram, while thought leadership suits LinkedIn. Additionally, the audiences amongst these groups can be massive. Instagram alone takes up 35 percent of all US internet users.

Start going through the different mediums you believe that your brand should be posting on, as well as why that’s the primary medium. As you know your industry best, be mindful of the ‘why’ behind your social media choices, especially when you consider how you’ll divest your time…or in other words, dedicate your time to the mediums that you feel like will have the best return. Although it’s great to occasionally step outside of your comfort zone and maybe flirt with content marketing as a consumer product or make a captivating Instagram for a b2b security company, the general rule is to socialize where the conversation is happening. However, what’s going to separate the good from the great is not only being a part of the bigger conversation but being the one that leads the discussion.

Find Your Niche Amongst Them

If you’re going to be actively ahead of the curve on social media, then it’s important to know where your tribe is amongst your industry, as well as what metrics are commonly used to show success. We use engagement as a means of quantifying success, and it’s said that the strength of social isn’t necessarily follower count but follower engagement. For example, the most successful ecommerce engagement on Instagram isn’t a fashion or makeup company, but NBATV, with approximately 63.6 million interactions.

When looking at your niche audience, ask yourself what separates them from the rest. It might be smart to look at Instagram insights, diving deep into the specifics of your demographic. For example, it’s not enough to say your product is for “young people into hip-hop.” Rather, you should think about “young professionals, 22-28 years old, with an income above $50,000, into UK grime, hip-hop, and streetwear.” The more specific you can make these labels, the better.

Create A Feedback Loop

Finally, as you continue to grow your base, be mindful that a big part of social media is that it’s often a feedback loop for customer service. According to Social Media Today, an estimated 67 percent of consumers now use sites like Facebook and Twitter to resolve customer service issues, making it practically status quo now.

To start, draw up a slight rubric of the common customer service complaints you expect to see. No matter how big or small, it’s important to have a plan in place for response. For example, if there’s a small problem that many people are going to need the answer to, commenting the solution publicly isn’t a bad call; however, if it involves someone’s personal information, discretion is a must. As you register complaints, keep track of who is complaining about what and why to paint a better picture of how to improve. Quality customer service can not only be a form of feedback but also a way to showcase how much you care about your customers.

What are some ways you’ve used social media to learn about your customer base?