How to Make Your Audience Love You

In today's economy, your customers are also your audience. In addition to supporting your company by buying its products or services, they follow your Twitter account, like yourInstagram photos, and share your posts on LinkedIn.
With the growth of social media, customers themselves have become a marketing opportunity, and they base their first impressions of a brand largely on the quality of its social media content.

Though most companies use social media in some form, many of them don't realize that it's not enough just to gain legions of followers. If you've gained 100,000 followers on your company's Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletter, etc., during a product launch but then stop updating these channels regularly, you'll see your audience decline as quickly as it grew. Likewise, if you continuously bombard your audience with a string of advertisements, they will quickly start clicking the "Unfollow" button.

The key to maintaining an audience on and off social media is to regularly meet your followers where they are. Here are a few ways to do that.
INC Magazine & GETTY Images

1. Know Them
Much like stand-up comedians read a room to know what their audience finds funny, businesses should read social media trends and articles written by members of their audience to hone in on the needs and interests of their customers. Do they value luxury? Are they looking for advice or humor? Are they drawn to brands with a higher purpose?

When executing any marketing strategy, make sure you know what story you want to tell and for whom it is intended. Create fictional personas of your target audience members, then identify their goals, passions, and the other brands they follow. This will help you set the appropriate tone for your content.

Be able to sum up your brand's unique story in one sentence. What is it that makes your company uniquely differentiated in a way none of your competitors can claim? Having a clear storyline to follow for a clear audience will help ensure that your social media content is compelling, even when multiple people are working on it.

2. Give to Get
Like any strong relationship, your company's interaction with its audience should be mutually beneficial.

Though your latest special offer may seem like a big "give" to you, you'll need to step into your customer's shoes to ensure they see that same value. You're more likely to earn the trust of a customer by coupling your pitch with a free and useful gift. It could be a link to a helpful article related to your industry, an e-book download, a product or service giveaway, or an announcement about an upcoming exclusive event that your audience would love.

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