Not only is deciding who is in your target audience a good practice for social media and content marketing, it is crucial for creating a strong repertoire with customers and standing out from the competition.

Creating a strategy for how to best reach your target audience will not only improve your sales, it will also foster a strong sense of loyalty around your brand. Getting started may the hardest part, but here is our advice:

Create Specific and Defined Personas

As a small business owner, the answer to how many people you want to reach with your products is often “as many people as possible.” While this may be true, when deciding on content marketing and related strategies, you want to get as specific as possible.

Think about your audience’s demographics and psychographics. What is important to them? Where do they live and what do they like to do on the weekends? How old are they? These types of questions will help you make a more informed decision about what sparks an interest with your customers.

Know How to Relate

As a subset of this, it’s important to be able to empathize with your customers, and care about their problems and values. Along with being able to define what these values and pain points are, you should also have an answer for them. Take what your customers may already be trying to do to solve a problem, then be able to show them that your way is better.

Monitor Conversations Online

What are people saying about your business on social media? Or, even better, what are they saying about your competitors or industry? Be able to join in on the conversation. This will help you out because, first, it will help customers see that you are connected and engaged in the online space. Second, it will give you a better idea of how to show people you’re different.

If your target audience is concerned about talking to an actual representative when they pick up the phone to call a company, capitalize on how your company believes in connecting customers with real people, not machines. If they want to be able to easily make orders online, show how simple it is to use your e-commerce store.

Basically, knowing what it is your customer base wants sets you up nicely to deliver it to them.

Find and Create Opportunities

Knowing what your customers want from your website and social media can sometimes be as simple as asking them. Pose a question on social media or post a survey on your website to know how you can best serve your current target audience and allow it to grow. Your current customers will appreciate that you asked for their input, and it will put you at a better advantage for giving them the content that they want to interact with.

Be Ready to Engage

Even if it is perfectly targeted to you customers, sometimes pumping out content on your website or social media is not enough. Share posts and information from your users by retweeting their ideas. Run a contest to see who can create the best design for your upcoming campaign. However you can create a conversation with your loyal customers while still staying true to the values of your company will help create a community, and one that people will enjoy interacting with.

In the end, consumers want to see a brand that is authentic and people-oriented. They would rather have a personalized experience rather than big promises with little substance. Through it all, be sure to stay true to what makes your business unique, and show customers that you would enjoy having them as part of the community you have created.